How To Make Homemade Cottage Cheese

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This homemade cottage cheese recipe is so easy to make and takes only three ingredients. Check out the video, too!

Homemade Cottage Cheese served in a bowl with a spoon

Why Make Your Own Cottage Cheese?

I started making homemade cottage cheese after reading the ingredient list on a carton from the grocery store. Things like “lactose, salt, guar gum, mono and diglycerides, xanthan gum, and carob bean gum.” Why so complicated? Homemade cottage cheese takes just three ordinary kitchen ingredients: milk, vinegar, and salt. It’s also a fantastic way to use extra milk before it goes bad.

You don’t need cheesemaking experience to make homemade cottage cheese. The name itself implies as much: it’s a simple, fresh cheese so easy to make that even a cottager can make it. Or so suggests “Miss Leslie” in the July 1831 edition of Godey’s Lady’s Book, the first reference to “cottage cheese.”

Easy Homemade Cottage Cheese Recipe

Ready to make cottage cheese on your own? Grab a gallon of milk, some white vinegar, and your salt shaker, then let’s get started!

Cottage Cheese Serving Ideas

Homemade cottage cheese is, of course, delicious on its own or topped with fruit. Or go savory by stirring in chopped tomatoes and red onions, then seasoning it with cracked black pepper. Turn it into a dip with a little homemade Ranch dressing mix, or use it in place of ricotta when making lasagne. Any way you use it, homemade cottage cheese is delicious!


If you use milk that’s about to turn sour, you’ll want to eat your homemade cottage cheese the same day. Otherwise, keep cottage cheese refrigerated in an air-tight container and eat 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. Some people report it stays good as long as a week. Signs that cottage cheese has gone bad include a sour odor and discoloration. Do not consume cottage cheese that has gone bad.

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What to Do with the Whey?

One thing you’ll notice while making this Homemade Cottage Cheese recipe is that there’s a lot of liquid coming out of the curds when you drain them. That stuff is known as whey, and it’s the same as the yellowish liquid that pools on your store-bought cottage cheese, sour cream, or yogurt. Keep it because whey is a protein powerhouse! Use whey in place of some water when you make stock, toss it into soups, or add it to smoothies. (Related: 10 Ways to Use Kitchen Scraps)

Easy Homemade Cottage Cheese

Creamy, all-natural homemade cottage cheese is an excellent way to use leftover milk.
Print Recipe
Homemade Cottage Cheese Recipe served in a bowl
Prep Time:5 mins
Cook Time:20 mins
Resting and cooling:2 hrs
Total Time:2 hrs 25 mins


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


  • 1 gallon whole milk NOT ultra-high temperature processed or “long life”
  • ¾ cup white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream (optional, see step 7)


  • 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 squeezing it with your other hand until the entire ball of cheese is cool.
  • Dump the cheese out of the cloth into a bowl and use a spoon to break it into small curds. Stir in salt to taste.
  • 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.
  • Chill for at least 1 hour then stir before serving.



Data is calculated by a software program that does not take into account the extraction of whey protein from the milk. Calories are roughly equal to the same in commercially prepared whole milk cottage cheese. (100 cal. per 1/2 cup serving.)


Serving: 0.5cups | Calories: 391kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 660mg | Potassium: 833mg | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 1022IU | Calcium: 715mg | Iron: 1mg
Servings: 6 half-cup servings
Calories: 391kcal
Author: Katie Berry

FAQs about Making Homemade Cottage Cheese

When I first shared this recipe in 2013, there were not many other recipes for making cottage cheese on the internet. Since then, dozens of other sites have posted different versions. People arriving at this recipe for homemade cottage cheese often have read several others, and sometimes try to combine steps from different versions with disastrous results. So, the questions and answers below will hopefully help you avoid problems while making your own cottage cheese at home.

Do I Need to Use Raw Milk? The US FDA bans the interstate sale or transport of raw milk, and most states have similar laws, so I figured store-bought was the only option. Then one year, a friend who knows I’m into making things from scratch gave me this book on cheesemaking. That’s when I learned you could make pretty much any cheese from storebought milk, as long as it hasn’t been through the ultra-high temperature (UHT) process that’s known as “long-life milk” in the U.K.

Can I Use Organic Milk? Unfortunately, most organic milk sold in the U.S. has been through ultra-high temperature (UHT) treatment which makes it unsuitable for cheesemaking, including use in making homemade cottage cheese.

Can I Use Skim or Non-fat Cow’s Milk? This cottage cheese recipe recommends whole pasteurized, homogenized cow milk, but you can use 1%, 2%, skim, or non-fat cow milk if you like. The lower the fat content of your milk, the dryer your cottage cheese curds will taste. You can overcome that by stirring in cream at the end, as suggested in the recipe card. Or, if you prefer to make non-fat cottage cheese, skip the cream.

Can I use Goat Milk? I have not personally made cottage cheese using goat milk, but readers have said it works well.

Can I use nut milk or plant milk? You can make vegan cottage cheese by substituting soy milk for cow’s milk in this recipe. Other forms of plant or nut milk don’t work as well for this particular recipe.

Can I use canned milk to make cottage cheese? Or powdered milk? You can’t make cottage cheese from canned, evaporated, or powdered milk because the processing involved has changed the milk’s proteins.

Can I use lactose-free milk to make cottage cheese? Or lower-carb milk? Neither lactose-free milk nor “low carb” milk work to make cottage cheese. Both of these forms of milk have been through treatments that change the milk too much for it to form curds.

Why are my curds small? There are many reasons why your homemade cottage cheese curds may come out small or grainy. The most common reason is not reaching the appropriate temperature. To make cottage cheese without rennet, the milk needs to reach 190°F, which is just below boiling. (See the video for a visual cue of what milk looks like at that point.) Other things that can cause small curds include not draining it long enough, not rinsing it thoroughly, or not squeezing the ball well enough when shaping it.

Can I use a different kind of vinegar? Or lemon juice? Making cottage cheese at home requires some form of acidic ingredient. This recipe calls for white vinegar, but you can also use apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. Note, however, that the flavor may change as a result so you might need to add less salt or even a pinch of sugar at the end.

Can I skip the salt? Absolutely. The salt in homemade cottage cheese is just there for flavor. If you prefer, you can skip it or use a salt alternative.

Can I skip the cream? The cream gets added to homemade cottage cheese in step 7 solely for flavor. If you prefer a low-fat cottage cheese made from non-fat or skim milk, you may want to reserve a few spoonfuls of whey to add at the end so it’s not dry. Alternatively, you can stir in a few spoons of buttermilk, coconut milk, or even your favorite coffee creamer.

Can I add flavors? Yes, you can add flavors to your homemade cottage cheese recipe. Some people like to add chives or other fresh herbs. Others like sweat cottage cheese and add pineapple, strawberries, or blueberries. You can even add sugar or maple syrup. To make flavored cottage cheese, stir in your additives in Step 7 when you stir in the cream.

Isn’t this ricotta? No. In Italian, the word “ricotta” means re-cooked. True ricotta cheese is made starting with whey, which is a byproduct of cheesemaking, and then it is re-cooked, usually with an additional acidic ingredient. If you want to make ricotta, it’s essentially the same process but you’ll use 2 gallons of whey. (Adding milk is optional.) Or visit here for a good ricotta recipe to get you started.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Can I use pure cow’s milk?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Yes, but if you do then skip the cream.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. Sylvia Murray says:

    Hi Katie

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



    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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Jim Simmons says:

    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.

    1. Katie Berry says:

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 5 stars
    Can you use buttermilk?

    1. Katie Berry says:

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

  17. 5 stars
    Do you have a ricotta recipe from what posted somewhere?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I haven’t posted one yet.

  18. mureen mills says:

    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!

  19. 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.

  20. 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. 🙂

  21. 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!

  22. 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. 🙂

  23. 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.

  24. Pat Newton says:

    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.

  25. 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. 🙂

  26. 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.

  27. 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!

  28. 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!

  29. 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.

  30. 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!

    1. Katie Berry says:

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

  31. Terri Foster says:

    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.

  32. 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!

  33. 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?


    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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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!

  37. 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!

  38. 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.

  39. Jane Beastall says:

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

    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.

  40. 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.

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

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. 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!

  46. 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!

  47. 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?

  48. 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.

  49. 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.

  50. 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!

  51. 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.

  52. 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.

  53. Renee terhune says:

    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!

  54. 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.

  55. 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.

    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.