Making Homemade Cottage Cheese in 10 Minutes is a Breeze!

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Homemade cottage cheese is easy to make and a great way to use up milk before it spoils. It’s a simple, healthy, and high-protein food which, when made at home, tastes so much better than what you’ll find at the store.

If you’ve never been a fan of the stuff, I’ve got some flavor variations and quick cottage cheese snack ideas that may just win you over. And don’t miss the troubleshooting pointers and FAQs at the end: they’ll help you create the best cottage cheese at home.

Ingredients Matter

I started making homemade cottage cheese after an unpleasant experience trying a brand-name version I bought at the store. It had a gummy flavor, not at all fresh, and one look at the ingredient list on the carton explained why: “lactose, salt, guar gum, mono and diglycerides, xanthan gum, and carob bean gum.”

Did You Know?

Cottage cheese got its name because it was traditionally made in cottages from the leftover milk after making butter. The milk would be left to curdle, forming what we now know as cottage cheese. Now, for food safety, we use an acidic ingredient and heat to make the curds quickly, but the process of making cottage cheese at home remains simple. Pretty neat, right?

Storing Cottage Cheese

Keep your homemade cottage cheese refrigerated in an air-tight container and eat it within a week. If you store it upside down so the lid is on the bottom, it will form a “seal” that keeps it fresh a little longer. Cottage cheese made with milk that’s about to spoil will only be good for a day or two. Signs that it has gone bad include a sour odor and discoloration.

Serving Ideas

Not a fan of cottage cheese on its own? Try these serving ideas, or read on flavor variations!

  • Savory Cottage Cheese Salad: Combine 2 cups of cottage cheese, 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes, 2 tablespoons chopped red onions and a sprinkling of furikake seasoning or black pepper.
  • Cottage Cheese Ranch Dip: Blend 2 cups of cottage cheese in a food processor or blender with 2 tablespoons of homemade Ranch dressing mix. Chill 30 minutes or more to let the flavors combine.
  • Lasagna: Use cottage cheese in place of ricotta in your favorite lasagna recipe. To keep it from tasting grainy, stir in 2 tablespoons cream for every 2 cups of cottage cheese used.

Flavor Variations

Not a fan of plain cottage cheese? Use 1 cup as the base to make any of the flavored cottage cheeses below:

  • Garlic Herb Cottage Cheese: Add 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1 tablespoon snipped fresh herbs.
  • Fruit-Flavored Cottage Cheese: Add 1/2 cup crushed pineapple or 1/2 cup frozen berries (thawed) or 1/2 cup applesauce.
  • Chocolate Cottage Cheese: Add 1 tablespoon Dutch-processed cocoa powder and 2 tablespoons of your preferred sweetener with the cream in Step 7. Chill 30 minutes before serving.
  • Cinnamon Maple Cottage Cheese: Add in 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1 tablespoon maple syrup.

Pro Tip

For the best results, review the section of Frequently Asked Questions below. There, I explain different types of milk you can use, what you can substitute or skip, and how to ensure your curds don’t come out small or wispy.

Easy Homemade Cottage Cheese

A simple recipe featuring clean ingredients that produce creamy, firm curds and a delicious, healthy cottage cheese that's ready in minutes.
Print Recipe
Homemade Cottage Cheese Recipe served in a bowl
Prep Time:5 minutes
Cook Time:20 minutes
Total Time:25 minutes

Equipment

  • Large pot
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Slotted spoon
  • Cheesecloth (or clean kitchen towel)
  • Colander
  • Medium bowl
  • Cooking thermometer

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon whole milk
  • ¾ cup white vinegar or apple cider vinegar or 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream (optional, see step 7)

Instructions

  • Pour milk into a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Heat slowly to 190°F/88°C stirring regularly so the milk doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pot.
  • Remove from heat, pour in vinegar and stir a few times. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, line a colander with a clean piece of doubled cheesecloth or a tea towel. Place the colander over another bowl to catch any liquid (whey) that drips out.
  • Spoon the solids from the pot into the lined colander. Let drain for 30 minutes.
  • Gather the ends of the cloth tightly together and form a cloth-wrapped ball of cheese. Holding this in one hand, run cold water over the ball, kneading and gently squeezing it with your other hand until the entire ball of cheese is cool.
  • Transfer the cheese from the cloth into a bowl and use a spoon to break it into small curds. Stir in salt to taste. (For best flavor, chill for 30 minutes before serving.)
  • For creamy cottage cheese, stir in the heavy cream 2 tablespoons at a time until it reaches the desired consistency. Check taste and add more salt if needed.
  • Add ingredients for flavor variations listed in the blog post if desired.

Video

Notes

Need help? Check out the Frequently Asked Questions in the blog post.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cups | Calories: 120kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 440mg | Potassium: 140mg | Sugar: 4g | Calcium: 90mg
Servings: 6 half-cup servings
Calories: 120kcal
Author: Katie Berry

Quick Cottage Cheese Snacks

Check out my slideshow for quick snack recipes featuring homemade cottage cheese, like smoothies, stuffed pickles, and a satisfying granola bowl.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve put together the questions and answers below so you can produce the best homemade cottage cheese possible. If I haven’t answered your question, please leave it in the comments.

What’s the difference between cottage cheese and ricotta?

Many people confuse ricotta and cottage cheese. In Italian, the word “ricotta” means re-cooked. True ricotta cheese is made with fresh whey left over from any cheesemaking.

Did You Know?

To make ricotta using leftover whey, combine 4 cups of fresh whey and 2 cups of milk and use it in the recipe above, adding only 1 tablespoon of vinegar. The rest of the steps stay the same.

Can I use canned, powdered, or evaporated milk?

No. You can’t make cottage cheese from canned, evaporated, or powdered milk because the processing involved has changed the milk’s proteins. Canned and evaporated milk have been exposed to high temperatures which have destabilized the proteins, so they won’t form curds that hold their shape. Powdered milk has been exposed to long, low heat which accomplishes the same.

Can I use organic milk?

It depends. If the organic milk has been through ultra-high temperature (UTH) treatment, it will not make cottage cheese. This is because the high temperatures have destabilized the proteins, so they will not form curds. Curds are necessary to make cottage cheese.

Do I need raw milk?

You do not need to use raw milk to make cottage cheese, although you can. Raw milk is not legal in every state, so you should check with your locality. Pasteurization partially sterilizes milk but does so at a temperature low enough that it does not keep the proteins from forming curds.

Can I use goat milk?

No. The proteins in goat milk differ from those in cow milk, so it’s not a good substitute. This homemade cottage cheese recipe is specifically for cow’s milk.

Can I use lactose-free or lower-carb milk?

No. Lactose-free milk and “low carb” milk have both been through treatments which affect the structure of their proteins. This make them incapable of forming the type of solid curds needed to create cottage cheese.

Can I use plant milk, nut milk or another dairy-free milk?

No. Neither plant milks (soy, hemp, or oat) nor nut milks (almond or cashew) contain the proteins needed to form curds with this method. To use plant or nut milk, you’ll need tofu or plant-based yogurt as called for in this recipe for dairy-free cottage cheese.

Why are the homemade cottage cheese curds small?

Homemade cottage cheese curds come out small or grainy for several reasons. The most common one arises when people overheat the milk or try to heat it too quickly.

  • Heat the milk slowly. Heating the milk too quickly does not allow the proteins to form curds. Keep your stovetop temperature just below medium-high heat.
  • Watch the temperature closely. Heat the milk slowly to 190°F, which is just below boiling. (See the video.) It will look foamy but not bubbling.
  • Spoon the curds gently. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the curds from the pot to the lined colander. Dumping them will crush the curds, so they’ll come out small.
  • Let it drain in the colander. Hanging the cheese from the faucet, as you would for paneer or other forms of cheese, allows its weight to squeeze out too much whey.
  • Squeeze gently when rinsing. Being too rough with the ball of curds when you’re rinsing will break them up into small pieces.

Can I use a different kind of vinegar?

Making traditional cottage cheese without rennet or cultures requires an acidic ingredient. I use white vinegar in the video. You can use replace it with equal amount of apple cider vinegar, or use 1/2 lemon juice (two-thirds the amount of vinegar).

Can I skip the salt?

Sure! The salt is just there for flavor. If you want to make lower-sodium cottage cheese at home, follow this recipe but omit the salt, use half as much, or swap it with a salt substitute. I’ve even used homemade Mrs. Dash in place of the salt before and it’s delicious.

Can I skip the cream?

Sure. Using cream in this cottage cheese recipe is optional, but it adds a smoothness to the final product that you may miss if you leave it out. If you want to skip it to keep the calories or fat content low, consider adding half-and-half, non-dairy creamer, Greek yogurt, or even a few spoonfuls of leftover whey so it’s not dry.

What can I substitute for the cream?

You can use any of the cream varieties mentioned above, or try half-and-half, a dollop of yogurt, an equal amount of coconut milk or buttermilk, or even a splash of your favorite coffee creamer to give your homemade cottage cheese a richer flavor.

Don’t Throw Out the Whey!

Whey is the yellow liquid created when the proteins in milk form curds to make homemade cottage cheese. It’s the same as the yellowish stuff that pools on store-bought cottage cheese, sour cream, or yogurt, and it’s a protein powerhouse, so don’t throw it out.

Turn liquid whey into homemade whey protein powder. Or, use it in place of water when you make stock, or toss it in soups, use it in baked goods, add it to smoothies, or make ricotta cheese as described above using the whey left from making cottage cheese. It’s a versatile kitchen scrap you’ll want to keep on hand!

Making 4% or 2% Homemade Cottage Cheese

The 4% and 2% designations on cottage cheese reflect its fat content. Milk fat content ranges from almost none in skim or non-fat milk to 3.25% in whole milk. Heavy cream is roughly 36% fat. So, to make homemade cottage cheese with a specific fat percentage, you’ll need to start with the right milk and adjust the amount of cream you use at the end.

Using skim or 2% milk, the fat comes entirely or in part from stirring in cream at the end. Stirring in 2 tablespoons of heavy cream in step 7 creates a 2% cottage cheese, while adding 4 tablespoons makes 4% cottage cheese.

Using whole milk, which contains 3.25% fat to start, rules out making 2% cottage cheese. But you can create 4% cottage cheese from whole milk by stirring in 2 tablespoons of heavy cream at the end.

Have any questions about making cottage cheese at home? Let me know in the comments—I’m happy to help!

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Recipe Rating




184 Comments

  1. Hi! This recipe looks great, just have a question: We buy an organic cottage cheese that does have some super simple ingredients and also two “live and active cultures” (lactococcus and lactobacillus). I’m looking them up it sounds like they are often in probiotic supplements. Anyhow would these cultures result from the process of making cottage cheese with the vinegar or if you wanted to add in cultures how would you do it? If the good gut bacteria is just part of the end result of your recipe that makes sense but also wondering if can be added to get those bacteria like in yogurt for instance. Thank you!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Zach! Making homemade cottage cheese that contains probiotics happens through one of two ways: either you ferment it after adding a probiotic culture or yogurt with live active cultures, or you can stir in probiotic supplement powder with the cream in step 7.

      To make homemade cottage cheese with live cultures through fermentation, you’d skip the vinegar in my recipe, warm the milk to 110°F instead of 190°F, and stir 2-4 tablespoons of yogurt containing live cultures once it reaches temperature. To get it fermenting, keep it covered and at an even 110°F until it forms curds, then continue with my recipe starting at step 3.

      But using that method to create homemade fermented cottage cheese takes several hours. My recipe is designed to be a quick and easy one, which is why I don’t cover it. 🙂

      Hope that helps!

  2. 3 stars
    Recipe is good will definitely make again 👍🏻

    but as a comment – it does not take 25 minutes like you say in ‘total time’ including all the minutes you need to wait (just fyi) & the tools is missing a thermometer to figure out the temp of milk 🙂

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, and thanks for helping me add the thermometer in there! I don’t include the chill time because it’s optional. 🙂

  3. Can you use whey from a previous batch as the acid for the next batch? (Instead of vinegar or lemon juice).

    1. Katie Berry says:

      That’s how you make ricotta! 😊

  4. Hi. Beautiful recipe. I’m also a housewife and feel it’s so important to be able to make these kitchen staples from scratch since the quality of consumer items is going down even though the prices are going up.

    Anyways, I think I made a mistake lol. I have something really firm like cream cheese. It’s delicious, but what happened to my curds? I think I could have taken out too much whey when straining with the towel. Should I leave more next time?

    I see you respond to many posts, so thank you in advance!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi V,

      It sounds like you might’ve squeezed the curds a bit too hard in step 5. Also, make sure you aren’t hanging the curds in the towel in step 4 — just let them rest in a cloth-lined colander. That’ll keep them from losing too much whey. Let me know how that works out for you!

  5. Ellen Egan says:

    5 stars
    How much cottage cheese ( finished product) does 1gallon of whole milk make?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Ellen,
      The recipe makes 3 cups of cottage cheese from 1 gallon of milk. If you’d like to adjust the amount, you can enter a different serving size at the bottom of the recipe card and it will automatically recalculate for you how much of each ingredient you need. Enjoy!

  6. Will 2% milk yield good results?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Katie (great name, by the way)! You can definitely use 2% milk. It will have a drier texture, since it has less fat, but it’ll still be good. Enjoy!

  7. Angela Rushbrook says:

    5 stars
    Hi,
    I’ve just made this for the first time and it’s amazing! So easy. The milk definitely needs to be brought to temperature slowly and actually stirring a lot.
    It reminds me, how many years ago my mum would quickly heat some milk, then add lemmon juice and then spoon out the curds and sprinkle with sugar for a snack when we came home from school.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I’m so glad you liked it! Your mum’s snack idea sounds absolutely delicious.

  8. 5 stars
    This recipe is SPOT ON! I remember my Dad making cottage cheese with raw milk without renet. I do remember him saying to hear it slooooowly to 190°

    1. Katie Berry says:

      So glad you like it, Cal! Heating slooooowly is definitely a good tip. I’ll be sure to emphasize that next time I update this post. Enjoy!

  9. Marilyn Apsey says:

    5 stars
    I not only enjoyed the small curd cottage cheese made per your recipe, but thoroughly enjoyed using the whey as the base for high protein smoothies. I just blended a cool cucumber and whey smoothie with sea salt… refreshing!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I’m so glad you liked it. The combination of cottage cheese and cucumber is a favorite of mine, too!

  10. Theresa collins says:

    1 star
    This recipe failed me. The milk temp is too low. It should be 90C.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Well, Theresa, I don’t know what to tell you. Thousands of people have made this recipe using the temps I state and have loved the results. I have, too, as you can see in the video where I even show the thermometer reaching the temp of 190°F/88°C. So I’m thinking the problem you encountered didn’t have to do with the milk temp. Perhaps test your thermometer to make sure it’s accurate, since a difference as small as 2°C seems to be the issue. Whatever the cause, I hope you find a recipe that works for you.

  11. How can I tell if my organic whole milk is UHT made? I don’t see it listed on the carton

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I’d check with the manufacturer.

  12. you can use powdered milk to make any kind of cheese. you arent correct. see cheesemaking .com

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Cheesemaking’s method uses mesophilic starters and cultures. Those compensate for the powdered milk’s changes in protein. It’s an entirely different recipe and an entirely different method.

  13. What a load of codswallop
    I have just made cottage cheese from uht lactose free milk with vinegar
    Yes the curds are very small and it’s more like ricotta I guess but that is really wrong to say that to lactose intolerant people

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Well, I’m glad it worked for you. It did not work when I tried it with various UHT milks or with Lactaid milk, which is why I do not feel comfortable recommending it to people.

  14. 4 stars
    So 1 gallon of milk only makes 3 cups of cottage cheese??

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Correct.

  15. 5 stars
    Do you think this recipe would work with goat milk? I can’t tolerate cow milk 🙁 and really miss cottage cheese!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      The proteins in goat milk differ from those in cow milk, so it’s not a good substitute in this recipe.

  16. Steve Walker says:

    5 stars
    Not a housewife just a single dad trying to help my boys eat healthier.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      As a single parent, you’ve already got your hands full but to do that, too, is fantastic. You’re doing great!

    2. Jennifer Hanuschak says:

      5 stars
      Good for you, sir! I hope you and your kids enjoy the recipe!

  17. Barbara Thompson says:

    4 stars
    I have 2% cows milk that has clabbered naturally. Except for not needing vinegar is the recipe different?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      You’re absolutely right about skipping the vinegar when you make cottage cheese using clabbered milk. You also won’t need to heat it as highly: 115-120°F will do it. The rest of the recipe, including drainage and adding salt and cream, remain the same.

    2. Jessica P says:

      5 stars
      I’m not sure how long ago this comment was made but thank you for introducing me to the word “clabbered” which has all but disappeared from the English-American lexicon! Fascinating!

  18. I have a farm down the street that sells Raw Cow milk. Can I use this or does it need to be pastuerized?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      It does not need to be pasteurized to make cottage cheese.

  19. Kristen F says:

    Is the video still online? I’m not seeing it. I’d love to know what milk at 190F “looks” like. Thanks!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Kristen! The video is at the top of the post. If you have an ad blocker on, you won’t see it.

  20. Dani dial says:

    Can I make it with almond milk?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Unfortunately, plant and nut milks don’t make true cottage cheese because they lack the proteins which form the curds.

  21. Definitely going to try this !! Just had a question : how long can it be stored in the fridge ?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Ezra,
      It stays good for about a week. As I explain in the section titled “Storage,” if you put it in an air-tight container and store it upside down, it may keep longer than that.

  22. I’m going to try this because my favorite store bought cottage cheese tastes plasticky ( just a funny taste). I’ll let you know how it went. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I hope you like it!

    2. 5 stars
      Well, I made the cottage cheese and it is delicious. The store only had half and half so i used that to make it a little creamier. I love the texture. I’m not wasting money on nasty store bought anymore. Thank you so much for the recipe.

    3. Katie Berry says:

      That’s wonderful, I’m so glad you liked it. Enjoy!

  23. I’ve made cottage cheese before from sour milk and sour half and half… I froze mine afterwards because I didn’t need it right away… was just fine in lasagne when I thawed it out months later

    1. Katie Berry says:

      That’s a fantastic use for it!

  24. Esther Foley says:

    The recipe says 1 teaspoon of salt per gallon of milk. The nutrition information says 660mg of sodium per half a cup. Is this assuming that you add more salt? Or is that the sodium content with the 1 teaspoon? I wasn’t sure if the process itself somehow increased the sodium content.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      To be honest, I don’t know why the recipe software calculated it that way. Even taking into account the sodium in milk, and not accounting for the amount of sodium that would drain with the whey or during the rinse, the math says it should only be 125 mg in a 0.5 cup serving. I will rerun the software and manually adjust the amount. Thank you for catching this!

  25. Greg McDonald says:

    This recipe is almost identical to making cream cheese. I am going to try it.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Enjoy!

  26. Peter Handley says:

    Can cottage cheese be frozen?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      That’s a great question and I’ll be sure to add it to the FAQs! You can freeze cottage cheese, but once frozen it won’t have the same consistency. This is in part due to the change in the protein structure when it’s heated and separated from the whey. If you freeze cottage cheese, you won’t want to eat it as-is — it’ll be grainy. But you can use it in lasagna or blended into a dip and it’ll be great!

  27. May be a stupid question but was wondering if I used a 1/2 gal of raw goats milk would I only use 3/8 c. of vinegar/lemon juice?? I know the goats milk will work just wasn’t sure if you halve the vinegar or lemon juice. Recipes can be funny.
    Thanks for your help.
    Deb

    1. Katie Berry says:

      The type of milk doesn’t affect the measurement for the acid used. Since you’re planning to use half as much milk, you’d use half as much vinegar.

  28. Michele H says:

    4 stars
    Can I use the whey to make yogurt rather than ricotta cheese? If I use lemon juice, I imagine it will taste a bit like unsweetened lemon yogurt. Thank you.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Michele,
      I don’t know the answer to that, since I don’t make yogurt.

  29. Renee terhune says:

    5 stars
    You are so precise in your descriptions I may have to try this. Mom used to make cottage cheese and hang the ball under the table to drain. Common warnings at lunch was don’t kick the cottage cheese. Just wanted to share that funny with you.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      That’s too funny!

  30. Michelle Ruff says:

    5 stars
    I wanted a sweeter taste so I tried vanilla yogurt and it turned out creamy and delicious. I skipped the squeeze and rinse step; however, while it was straining, I folded the cheesecloth over the top and put weight on it for about an hour. It had the consistency of a firm tapioca pudding which is what I wanted and I enjoyed it with fruit the same day. Thank you for this easy recipe.

  31. Connie Whitton says:

    5 stars
    Love this recipe! We’ve been dumping whole milk every couple weeks as it’s just my husband and I now and with the prices so high I now have a way to get my cottage cheese and ricotta.
    Thank you. And all the comments I’ve read gives my daughter a way to make with almond milk.
    Yahoo 🤗

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I am so glad you’re enjoying it! I have not yet tried using almond milk to make cottage cheese. Please let me know how it turns out for your daughter.

  32. 5 stars
    Great recipe! I don’t like store bought anymore – too many hours sitting on a truck I guess.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I’m so glad you liked it!

    2. 5 stars
      I agree. My favorite cottage cheese tastes terrible, so I’m gonna try this route.

  33. Will this recipe still work if it’s scaled down? Do you think I’ll need to make changes if I use 1/2 gallon or maybe 1L?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Other commenters have successfully scaled the recipe down for smaller amounts. You can review their comments for tips.

  34. Gill Smith says:

    5 stars
    Interesting info on making cottage cheese and the difference between it & Ricotta which is the information I was looking for.
    I regularly make gorgeous cottage cheese from lactose free milk here in the UK. It doesn’t work with the long-life version but fresh Arla Lactofree whole milk works beautifully. I use a litre of milk at a time and usually get about 450g of cottage cheese from it.

  35. 2 stars
    Well yuck! I had high hopes for this but it has a ricotta texture and is extremely dry. 3 TBS of cream didn’t help at all. I wished the recipe would have stated if your curds are not well formed to let it sit longer. I followed the recipe where it states let it sit for 30 minutes. I only found the longer wait time in the comments AFTER I ruined a gallon of milk trying this. Might be ok it I feel like making lasagna. But I won’t be able to eat it as is unless it gets better after aging a few days.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I’m sorry it didn’t turn out well for you, Mary. I’m not sure how I could’ve helped you further since this exact point is addressed in the section discussing common questions: Why are my curds small?

  36. Erica Radway says:

    5 stars
    I’m curious if anyone has tried using coconut milk or cream to add at the end (substitute for regular cream)? Thank you!

  37. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for this! I made this for the first time to use up both half-gallons of whole milk and 2%. I was blown away by how much better it is compared to store-bought.

    I am not sure though if I squeezed out too much because I had to add 6 Tbsp of cream to make it moist. Should I just need to give it a gentle squeeze next time during the final rinse and not eliminate all the liquid out of it?

    I’m making lasagna later but I can’t run to grab some cottage cheese. Since I had those unfinished kinds of milk past due their best-by dates, I just thought it saved me in many ways.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Jewel! Don’t worry that you had to add a little more cream. Sometimes that happens. But, yes, when you’re squeezing it, there’s no need to wring out all of the liquid. That step is mostly about rinsing excess milk off the curds so the whole thing doesn’t sour, so it’s okay if there’s a little moisture from the water you’re rinsing with.

      Enjoy your lasagna — I bet it’s going to be amazing!

  38. I am on a low sodium regimen. Is the salt strictly for flavor , can it be omitted entirely?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      The salt is strictly for flavor.

  39. 5 stars
    I included the cream at the top of store bought milk for my first batch
    It didn’t set !
    But the other two batches from the remainder of the milk did
    Is there anything I can do to make the first batch into cottage cheese or too late

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Sorry, there’s really no help for it — the cream goes at the end, after it’s set and rinsed, as I show in the recipe and video.

  40. 5 stars
    Many thanks for your recipe
    I made cheese by adding lemon juice
    It came out very nice

  41. Katie
    Can I use non dairy coffee creamer instead of heavy cream……like French vanilla?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I haven’t tried that, so I don’t know if it will separate or change the texture. I’m sure it will change the taste, though: you’ll wind up with sweet, vanilla-flavored curds. Sounds interesting!

    2. I’d think that if you wanted to use a non natural product like nondairy creamer, it might be good to just add a little to a serving whenever you want to eat it rather than adding to the whole batch. There are different ingredients in the creamer that might change the texture/taste over time.

  42. Is there any way of making this with less carbs?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Sorry, but I can’t think of any since milk has carbs.

  43. Jane Beastall says:

    Serving size is 1g, and all those calories??
    Typo?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      As the note says, the nutritional data is calculated by software that does not take into account the extraction of the whey. Thus, there are 100 calories in a serving. The recipe card reflects that the serving size is 0.5 cups.

  44. Can I make ricotta using the leftover whey from this recipe.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      The website I linked to in the article explains how to do it. (You’ll find it where I typed: “Click here for a good ricotta recipe to get you started.”) That’s not something I make.

  45. Tracey Goff says:

    5 stars
    Thank you so much for this easy peasy recipe. I love cottage cheese, and I am excited to make it myself. Am considering infusing w rosemary to serve w strawberries. Have you tried something like that?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I haven’t tried that but, wow, it sounds delicious!

  46. Awesome! Thanks for much for the speedy reply. Now I can give this a try today because I do have whole milk. Much appreciated

    1. Katie Berry says:

      You’re welcome. Enjoy!

  47. Thanks for the recipe, I am definitely going to give this a try. But I wanted to clarify when you say whole milk, you don’t mean whole milk with cream. In Canada, fluid milk is sold as skim, 1%, 2% and homogenized (3.25%). Whole milk refers to milk that doesn’t have the cream skimmed off and isn’t available in grocery stores only small dairies. I assume that you’re referring to 3.25% milk when you say whole. Is that correct?
    Also, for others in Canada, milk may have the acronym UHT on the label to indicate ultra high temperature pasteurization.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Thanks for explaining that — isn’t it crazy how things have different names everywhere? Our “whole milk” is the same as your homogenized, or fairly close. Although it’s had most of the cream skimmed off, there’s still more left in it (3.25%) than in the other forms. So, yes, your homogenized milk should work as long as it’s not UHT.

  48. 5 stars
    I use this recipe quite a bit, but I got it from a website calling it mozzarella. I always make it from reconstituted powdered full cream milk, and it works fine. I make crumbly by washing or creamy by leaving in some whey. Flavoured with fruit and eaten with sweet biscuits it is very nice. With creamy I press it into a round pastry cutter and leave in the fridge until a thin crust forms.
    Hope this is useful.(ps I’m an 82 yr old male)

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I’m not sure why anyone would call it mozzarella, since that cheese is usually made using rennet and requires stretching. Buut I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  49. 5 stars
    Is the rinsing step necessary? I am letting it sit in the cheesecloth now and it looks good enough to me already! Couldn’t I just add salt and chill it?

    Thanks!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I know it’s hard to wait, but rinsing removes the excess whey. If you leave it there, it’ll spoil quickly and smell awful.

  50. Magdalena says:

    5 stars
    Hi Katie,
    In Poland we eat cottage cheese practically every day, so lots of choice in stores. But I live in Holland now & miss it a lot as you can’t buy it here. I’m gonna try your recipe! It sounds to me just like my Mum used to do you make it. Thank you so much!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

  51. Terri Foster says:

    5 stars
    Can cottage cheese be made with soy milk?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Sorry, I have not tried it with soy milk.

    2. Yes, I am vegan and use soy milk with the same recipe. Works great every time. Just make sure it is unsweetened soy milk.

  52. 5 stars
    Hi again Katie,

    Ive now been making this awesome CC WEEKLY for the past few months. I make 1/2 recipe every week along with homemade applesauce. For US $5-7wk (depending on apple choice) I have a pre-made, already planned, nutricious, yummy lunch every day.

    Thank you!
    Debra

    1. Katie Berry says:

      So glad you like it, Debra! Your home must smell absolutely amazing from the applesauce you’re making. Yum!

  53. Can I make this today using a gallon of milk that expires today?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      You can, but you’ll want to eat it within the next few days.

  54. 4 stars
    Thanks for your reply, Katie. I checked the milk bottle and it just says “pasteurized” not ultra or anything. And it really was a lump coming out of the pot, so it was a matter of leaving it as one lump or breaking it into the smaller pieces. I might try it once more, maybe heating it more slowly. Also might check my thermometer as you suggested in another reply. Cheers!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      You’re welcome!

  55. Lise Stoessel says:

    4 stars
    thanks for the recipe! I used organic fat-free milk, followed your instructions and it produced a lump rather than curds after letting it sit and separate for 30 minutes. I went through the rest of the steps, broke up the lump In the cheesecloth ball and ended up with something that’s more chewy/grainy than cottage cheese. I added back a little of the whey so it wasn’t so dry (I’m on a low-fat diet, so no cream!). It’s still yummy, and I will eat it, but any thoughts as to what went wrong?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Sounds like you may have been a bit vigorous breaking up the ball in the cheesecloth. As you can see in the video of me making it, it’s not a smash and break action– just a rinse. Using organic milk is also iffy, since that’s usually processed using ultra-high temperatures which interfere with curd formation. I’m glad it was still yummy, though!

  56. Thank you for your recipe. It worked perfectly. I planto use this whey to make ricotta. Can I then still use the whey that is left from making the ricotta? Not sure how many times you can reheat and add acid to the whey before it goes bad or tastes too much acidic to be used. Thank you!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I haven’t tried that approach myself, but I don’t think I’d use the whey more than one more time to make ricotta. At some point, like you suggested, I think it would start tasting too acidic.

  57. Diane Charles says:

    5 stars
    Thank you so much for this simple recipe and clear responses to what might be the cause of aberrations in results Katie! I used to know just by constant practice, how to make good cottage cheese every time when I had my own Jersey cow and plenty of milk (and cream) and wanted to use it all up. Times have changed and now I buy milk from the store like most people and I forgot what I used to know almost instinctively. So thank you so much Katie for keeping it simple and helping me make this simple useful cheese once again. So lovely!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Diane,
      I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed my cottage cheese recipe! Thank you for taking the time to leave such a wonderful review. 🙂

  58. Pat Newton says:

    5 stars
    Can you add sour cream to the dry curds to make it creamed cottage cheese

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Pat,

      I’ve never had creamed cottage cheese, but I don’t see why you couldn’t do that.

  59. 5 stars
    Do you have nutrtional breakdown for the cottage cheese (Calories, g Fat, Protein, Carbs)? Or will it be similar to any full-fat manufactured product? Thanks!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Debra,
      It’s similar to full-fat storebought cottage cheese. Unfortunately, the software that calculates nutritional info on my recipes doesn’t adjust their figures to take into account the fat and calories lost when whey is subtracted. The store-bought small curd whole milk cottage cheese with a serving size of 1/2 cup (114g) is 100 calories, 5 g fat, 5 g carb, 11 g protein.

  60. 5 stars
    Katie!!! I chose to make my own cottage cheese to save buying plastic containers every week (that I have to find uses for at home).

    Im in a tiny cottage, so with my largest pot, used 1/2 gallon of milk.

    Perfect!! I got 2+ cups of beautiful cheese, and over 2qts whey for my shakes. Going to try it in my oatmeal too.

    I wonder if others are getting tiny curds because theyre not sqeezing the ball tight enough to lose extra water? I squeezed until I felt it start to firm up into the ball.

    Thank you for easy instructions. –debra

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Debra,

      I’m so glad you enjoyed making homemade cottage cheese! Your idea about the cause of the small curds is a good one. It may also be that people aren’t letting it drain long enough. I’ve got a video coming to show the exact steps involved, so everyone can make their own. 🙂

  61. Beatrice Davis says:

    I have to use lactose free milk, can I use this to make homemade cottage cheese?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Beatrice,
      As long as it’s not been through ultra-high temperature pasteurization, it should work. I haven’t personally tried it, however. If you do, please let me know your results!

  62. 5 stars
    Great and well explained recipe! Just made a nice amount of cottage cheese. It is wonderful. Thank you

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Thank you, Bella! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

  63. I’ve seen a lot of recipes say to heat the milk to 120 degrees but your recipe says 190. Why is your temperature so much higher?

    Thank you!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Well, I can’t really speak to why other people write recipes the way they do. But as for mine, the milk needs to reach just below boiling to make cottage cheese. For milk, that happens around 212°F which is why I aim for 190°F.

  64. mureen mills says:

    5 stars
    I used lemon juice instead of vinegar. Lovely flavour. Thanks for the receipe/ i used to make cottage cheese years ago but I could remember what I used to do.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      You’re so welcome!

    2. 5 stars
      Thank you for experimenting with lemon juice. I hate vinegar and was reading people’s comments to see if anyone used lemon juice – you did, and I thank you!

  65. 5 stars
    Do you have a ricotta recipe from what posted somewhere?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I haven’t posted one yet.

  66. 5 stars
    Can you use buttermilk?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Sorry, but buttermilk doesn’t work in this recipe.

  67. nancy hoekman says:

    I made this recipe, and it didn’t curdle very much, very tiny chunks, is that normal?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Nancy,
      I’m sorry yours didn’t form a solid curd. That can happen for a few reasons but it is usually is because of an iffy thermometer. To check yours, clip the thermometer to the side of a pot of water and bring it to a full, rolling boil. Let it boil for 5 minutes to get the best reading. At sea level, your thermometer should read 212°F or 100°C for boiling water. If it doesn’t, keep the difference in mind for future reference and adjust accordingly.

      I hope that helps!

  68. 5 stars
    I just got done making this and it was very easy and the taste is soooo incredibly fresh! Mine turned out with a very fine curd though, it’s about the texture of Ricotta, did I do something wrong? I prefer small curd cottage cheese but would like a little bit bigger curd than I got with this.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Annie!
      Small, fine curds are a sign that it hadn’t set up long enough. For your next batch, try waiting a bit longer. Also, be sure not to disturb the mixture — you want the curd to set I disturbed so it can form larger clumps.

  69. Can this be done using reconstituted powdered milk?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Sorry, Victoria, but I doubt that would work since the proteins have been changed and it doesn’t have the same fat content.

    2. I’m going to make this tomorrow! How long does the whey last in the fridge? I’d like to use it to make ricotta in a few days? Thanks!

    3. Katie Berry says:

      I’d use it within two or three days. Keep in mind that since this recipe doesn’t use cultures or rennet, you’ll need to add more acid to make ricotta and your yield will be small. Once you’ve strained and stirred it, though, it’ll be delicious. And you can always freeze excess whey for other uses.

  70. Jim Simmons says:

    5 stars
    Great recipe. I didn’t have any cream to mix with the cottage cheese.
    So I used a scoop of previously made yogurt. It makes an excellent modifier.
    The cheese yield was one quart. They whey went back in the pan with a cup of
    sugar and 3/4 cup of powdered cocoa. Heat but do not boil, stir until all cocoa is dispersed.
    JC

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I’m so glad you liked it, Jim. Your substitution with yogurt sounds great!

  71. Canned evaporated filled milk is what is mostly available from where i live will this help me make my own cottage cheese? Thank you.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Mina,
      Unfortunately, canned milk does not work in this recipe or any cheesemaking recipe since it’s been treated using ultra-high temperatures as discussed in the article.

  72. 5 stars
    Hi, thank you so much for this recipe! Can apple cider vinegar be used instead of white vinegar? Thank you.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Kelly,
      I haven’t tried it myself, but I’ve read that others have with success.

  73. Fay Brooks says:

    5 stars
    Have just made this fabulously simple cottage cheese. Absolutely delicious. I added whipped cream at the end and I used 3 litre bottle of standard blue top milk. Now I have at least 2 litres of whey to utilise. Can’t wait for it to chill. I didn’t have a thermometer but will be getting one. Thankyou

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Fay,
      I’m so glad you liked it. Isn’t it wonderful being able to make things like this? Enjoy!

  74. Sylvia Murray says:

    Hi Katie

    Can you tell me if this will work using skim or low fat milk please?

    Thanks

    Sylvia

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Sylvia,
      You can certainly use 2% or skim milk. If you do, I’d strongly recommend adding the optional cream to ensure proper texture and taste.

  75. A great use for extra whey is to keep an opened ball of fresh mozzarella from going moldy. I never seem to use it all and have to toss it in a few days when it gets moldy but submerged in whey, it will last much longer. I have also used it when making sauerkraut. Nourishing Traditions lists lots of recipes to use whey.
    Susan in Virginia, USA

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Susan,
      I love that cookbook!

  76. Stefanie Froese says:

    4 stars
    Is the Whey still usable even though it is full of vinegar??

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Yes. All cheese is made through the combination of milk and a curdling agent, which also means that all whey contains the curdling agent, too. In this case, the curdling agent is vinegar. Surprisingly, you don’t taste it at all after the reaction that produces the cottage cheese.

    2. Hello. Can I use the left over liquid (whey) to make ricotta?

    3. Katie Berry says:

      Yes, you can!

  77. Can I use heavy cream instead of the milk?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Ursula,
      It won’t work with without milk, which is why the cream is stirred in at the end.

  78. 5 stars
    I made this today, started small with 1/2 gallon of whole milk – pasteurized but not ultra pasteurized – and added only a pinch of salt at the end. It came out really good with a mild, creamy flavor and a soft/crumbly feel in the mouth.

    Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I’m so glad you liked it! It’s one of my favorite ways to use up extra milk.

  79. How much cottage cheese do you get from one gallon of milk? How much whey? When I made it a long time ago I got very little cheese and it was tough/chewy/funny feeling in mouth. Can you think what I might have done wrong? I don’t remember but have been afraid to try again.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      As the recipe card states, you get 2 cups of cottage cheese out of it. How much whey varies, though, so I can’t answer that one. If it feels chewy, the problem may be cooking it too long or at too high of heat.

    2. Mary bolen says:

      Where can i get rennet

    3. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Mary,
      You make this recipe for cottage cheese without rennet.

  80. Debby Flowers says:

    5 stars
    Made this today using 1 gallon raw goat’s milk. I used the 1 teaspoon of salt and added another cup of whole milk (from the top, so a little extra cream) to the result. It’s cooling now but what I tasted is delicious! My yield is just over 4 cups. A very easy recipe and I will use it again. Thank you!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I’m glad you liked it, Debby. I think I’ll make more this weekend, too!

  81. Can I use pure cow’s milk?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Yes, but if you do then skip the cream.