Introduction: Homemade Super Simple Cheese

Picture of Homemade Super Simple Cheese

Let me start off by saying this is my first instructable. I learned to make this really simple cheese yesterday. This cheese is relatively flavorless, but i will show you the uses for it at the end. (Will post pics soon!)

Step 1: Materials

What you need:
(measurements con go up or down depending on how much you want)

2 cups Whole or 2% milk
1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice


Sauce pan
Thermometer (can be candy or meat)
Cheesecloth, cotton t-shirt piece (preferably white. Who wants green cheese?), or a washcloth


Cookie sheet with raised edges
heavy object with flat bottom (5-10 lbs)

Step 2: Curds and Whey

Picture of Curds and Whey

Put the milk in your saucepan and heat it on medium low (any higher will make the milk stick to the pan) to between 170°F - 190°F

When the milk reaches the right temperature, turn off heat add the lemon juice 1 teaspoon at a time and stir until curds (lumps of fat) form. Remove from that burner.

Let mixture cool to a temperature that you can handle. Separate the curds from the whey by pouring the mixture through the strainer. Dump the curds onto the cloth. Take the four corners in one hand and use the other to twist it until most of the whey (liquid drained from the curds) is out of the curds.

Break up and salt (if you want a block, look at next step. DO NOT BREAKUP!)

Step 3: Optional: Press and Block

Picture of Optional: Press and Block

Take your cloth with curds and fold in thirds. Place on baking sheet. Place your heavy object (5-10 lbs) on top for about 15-30 minutes. (I used a cast iron skillet.)

Step 4: More Uses

Use as cheese for Italian pasta dishes

Break up and deep fry in homemade batter

Crumble on salad

Comment on your uses!


papakilo (author)2015-11-18

Excellent, that's how we make the traditional Indian cheese 'Paneer' at home almost thrice a week. Can be had deep fried or baked sprinkled with a little salt and pepper or in a curry or a sandwich and a dozen other ways of eating it, also very nice as a pizza topping !

HomeCheeseAdam (author)2015-01-30

Anyone reading this who wants to have a go, or has made a cheese at home and wants more help with next steps should check out which is aimed at the amateur home cheese maker.

alhanson (author)2013-04-12

I have been making this cheese for a while now. got the it from a cheese book as the first step in making harder cheeses.

One thing I like to do is chop some bunching onions or garlic and putting it in a food processor. This will make a flavored cream cheese of sort, works great and is cheap!

osh114 (author)2012-11-15

I think the green cheese may go good with the green eggs and ham Dr.Seuss likes.

strmrnnr (author)2011-03-10

Have a question. I see that this is the same as paneer or very close.

What is your take on the melting point of the cheese? I see that paneer can be fried in slices, and does not melt but browns like a piece of buttered bread. Will it melt if shredded? What are the different textures of your cheese with the different cooking processes?

If I want a gooey cheese will I have to use the Rennet process to make the cheese?

JilleeBreeze (author)strmrnnr2012-08-04

I have done this and not pressed it this makes a softer cheese and i added the salt in the hot milk. I also used white vinigar it was very nice dont use too much of either as it makes it taste to lemonee or vinergaree... i put cheese cloth bundle in fridge when firmer i took off the cheese cloth let it air dry to form a skin on flattened ball making it look and taste a bit like brie. still experimenting.I also tried a little flour to make it not so sticky on outside. and chill.. I will post exact recipe.

fonzuzu (author)2011-07-23

in india we make the same thing and call it paneer, u can make just about anything with it and use it for meat substitute . You can make barbeque paneer, grilled paneer, tandoori paneer,white sauce paneer ,ect. just google paneer recipes for all of the recipes.

joehudy (author)2011-06-02

cold you add chocolate to the melk to make chocolate chess

kkibler (author)2011-05-15 rhymed.

garrettg (author)kkibler2011-05-20

So i did! :D

Lizzle25 (author)2011-05-13

I just made this and tried it with a little salt, WOW! This is good stuff! I'm suppose to make lasagna tonight for dinner and I'm wondering if I can substitute this for the cottage cheese without my hubby noticing a huge difference. Wow! Love it!

prickly vegan (author)2011-02-14

this might be a daft question, but has anyone tried this with a non-animal milk, such as almond, soy, etc.? This recipe creates a tofu/paneer type cheese, but I'm dying to make a cheese replacement that is more like a hard cheese.
Any suggestions?

looks nice by the way. how about adding beer? :) mmmm
have you seen this instructable?

lazemaple (author)2011-02-14

Sorry, you can't easily make cheese of non animal milks - casein is required to make cheese - well Cheese!

Goat and Sheep milk - yes, in fact Feta is traditionally goat cheese and there is a very expensive, very rich cheese made exclusively of sheeps milk which is very high fat. About $40 a pound! As it takes 10 gallons of milk to make a pound of pressed cheese you can well imagine why after milking a sheep!

Sheep's Milk Cheese
Abbaye de Bel'loc is a French Pyrenees sheep's milk cheese from the Benedictine Monks at the abbey of Notre-Dame de Belloc. It has a fine, dense texture and ...

Scurvymcdiggle (author)lazemaple2011-03-04

tofu. i essentially non dairy cheese. the same process is used to make tofu as this recipie... i will try an almond milk this weekend maybe.

Jstnona (author)2011-02-13

I use dry milk.. Also, instead of forming it into a cheese, I use a food processor, adding cream or yogurt (Greek yogurt is especially good), The result can be used in place of ricotta and cottage cheese.

spark master (author)Jstnona2011-02-14

this cannot be used in place of ricotta unless you have no taste buds. Ricotta is a bit different, but close. It may be used in place of cottage cheese, but the same can be said of paper mache, or tofu.

when i was 22 I was visiting friends. being eyetalian they asked me to cook a meal (brave as well as nice people). Food was fine they loved it, next day they wanted to use the left overs so I told them to buy 2 pounds mozzerella and 2 pounds ricotta they picked up the mootsie and cottage cheese. The dairy man said " they are both pot cheeses and can be used interchangably, and CC is half the price. " We went back to store and I told the dairy man he should not tell lies they are very different. Later on back at the ranch I made them taste side by side, both cheeses. My pen pal then told his mom not to question my cooking if, it is eyetalian food, cause she didn't have a clue. He was right, and she was a fabulous cook, just no ethnic stuff. And they were gracious hosts.

Jstnona (author)spark master2011-02-14

LOL perhaps it is true, though I also am Italian, I do not have taste buds. Although it does not have the taste of commercial cottage would not be suitable for things like cannoli. I do use it for Frittata, Ricotta pie, Pizzagaina ect. My family, and many other Italians, always made their own ricotta this way.....using rennet, vs vinegar/lemon juice. But, rennet is hard to find and rather expensive.

spark master (author)Jstnona2011-02-15

Hi Nona,

try has many many toys and ingredients. I must say if you make those items you definitely have buds, but you like what you like. But my personal feeling is if it doesn't taste like cottage cheese it isn't. I can only base this on my tasting of many many commercial ones, however, non salted cottage cheese has no flavor, almost as obnoxious as tofu. Starting with 100% skim then making it very dry (cheese cloth), then adding a few tablespoons 1/2 and 1/2 and salt, will make it more cottage cheezie?

You mentioned Pizzagaina what is it? and the classic NY'r line, "whataparta Italy duza u familigia coma from? Mine hails from Sicilia and Rome and another part (not sure). Due to the melting pot that is America, we cook other kinds of food and things other then Siggie food, (but honestly, it is the best). And of course my mother sauce is better then your mothers sauce(chuckle).


Jstnona (author)spark master2011-02-15

Isn't that cheese site interesting. Found it when I was trying to find out how to make a basket goat milk cheese, my family made.

You probably call Pizzagaina something else....every region of Italy has it's own name. It is the Easter pie, with Italian cold cuts, ricotta...along with other cheeses and lots of eggs.

My family was from Lake Como... my late husband was Sicilian. LOL your mother more than likely did make a better sauce. Northern Italian cuisine is more butter and cheeses, than tomato and oil.

spark master (author)Jstnona2011-02-16

Pleasa pleasa actually

I usually like to eat sauce in any house o/t my own (as long as its homemade), just to taste the differences. Kinda like wine tasting (how siggie of me). I once (many times actually) told my mother that my inlaws Honey Balls (can't remember the Italian name) were better then hers. She told me I was cut off, I explained that was fine , since hers could be loaded in a blunderbuss and shot through cinder-block walls. Took a week for the swelling to go down after she hit me with a wooden spoon. Woof, hell hath no fury like a ticked off Sicilian Mother. I like Norther Italian stuff as well.

I have no idea how to spell that pie or the real pronounciation, but my buddy (of southern eyetalian heiritage) referred to it as cannibal pie. We make ours different from yours, but we use the same name. I think it is a Neopolitan item. Will ask mom after she comes back from radiation. it will give us something to kvetch about.

But seriously on cheese making, have you made ricotta from scratch that tastes like commercial ricotta? If I can make it cheaper I will make it myself. Heck if I can make good cottage cheese (skim) that tastes like commercial I will make that as well.

ciao happy cooking today /tomorrow we get catered, we have back to back funerals.


spark master (author)Jstnona2011-02-15


spark master (author)2011-02-15


shortcut (author)2011-02-15

Some info
In India this is called Paneer and is served with curry's. Curry ads a great taste.

imboox2 (author)2011-02-14

I see where folks have said you can use vinegar. Can you use a red wine vinegar or perhaps a balsamic?

lazemaple (author)2011-02-14

I always use whole milk, adding more cream would make a richer more satisfying cheese. I like to add red pepper flakes, chopped black olives and dried onion or garlic, maybe red/green pepper chopped fine for a delicious dip [add cream or mayo to smooth it out] or a cheese spread for the rustic black breads and sandwiches.

rpb (author)2011-02-14

Thanks for the instructable! How much cheese do you get from your two cups of milk?

lazemaple (author)2011-02-14

What you are seeing/calling fat is not; its the coagulated milk solids with only 4.30% fat.

If you look at the USDA Food Database - cottage cheese curd; and this is the type of cheese you are making here aka Farmers Cheese, has per 100 grams [3 oz approx] 79.79% water, 11.12% protein and only 4.30% total fats. As well that 100gram sample is chock full of Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Selenium, Vitamins C, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin Pantothenic acid, Vitamin B-6, Folate, Vitamin B-12 and other good stuff.

klixtopher (author)2011-02-13

Great instructable; can't wait to try it! Any ideas for how to use the whey?

whiteoakart (author)klixtopher2011-02-14

You can actually make ricotta cheese from the whey. Instructable by mikemwa

ranmawolf (author)2011-02-13

Two quick questions;

#1 - Is it safe to assume that a thicker cheese can be made if I start with heavy cream instead of milk, or is that too much of a difference (and would I need more lemon juice)?

And, #2 - If I was to add some sort of flavouring to the cheese (whether it be herbs, oils or nuts, etc.), at what point would I do so?

By the way, this is superb - thanks for sharing!! ^_^

neffk (author)2011-02-13

I was lead to believe that the curds are clumps of protein, not just fat.

Another basic acid-curdled cheese can be made by squeezing the whey out of yogurt.

In general, using acid to curdle the milk produces harder curds. Rennet, an enzyme, produces softer curds.

evilangelgirl (author)2011-02-13

I learned to make this from a friend of mine, but she uses plain white vinegar in place of the lemon juice. Her's comes out like a soft cheese spread like substance, and she adds fresh herbs like minced garlic, basil, oregano, thyme, etc and we eat it on snack crackers or pieces of crusty bread. It's delicious!

joe koning (author)evilangelgirl2011-02-13

Have you tried adding wine? Like "Wispride Portwine" spread?

SageMinto (author)2011-02-13

Looks so easy to make! :)

I shall be making this by the end of the week. Feb. break is around the corner so I'll have time then.

kretzlord (author)2011-02-10

could you add a culture to this to make a cheddar?

Reki3 (author)kretzlord2011-02-13

The lemon juice is in place of the culture. Cheddar is made using a WAY different process.

cragmonkey (author)2011-02-13

This is just the kind of gastronomical project I've been looking for. Your pictures are great!

commiejay (author)2011-02-10

Anyone know how long to age this stuff for best taste?

Ratatosk (author)commiejay2011-02-13

I wouldn't age this. It's a fresh cheese made without microbial agents. There aren't any organisms which are going to impart flavor through their life cycle. Panir, farmers cheese, etc, are best eaten within the week and cooked in a heavily spiced/flavored dish. I like to salt mine and then grill it, and serve it with a curry-ish sauce.

garrettg (author)commiejay2011-02-10

It is good to eat fresh. You can experiment with ages.

lazg65 (author)2011-02-13

this is the same process to make dulce leche, caramel milk curd.
1) stop at the point of the curd is made and the milk is in the pot.
2) at this point place about one or two cup of sugar depending on how sweet your want it.
3) stir until sugar is disolved.
4) your can sustitute the lemon juice for straight lime or lemon rind. Squeeze the juice out of half a lemon and then place it in with it.
5) cook the same at for a little bite until its color changes to light brown and your done. This is your choice of texture and color by how long you cook it.
6) skip the cheese cloth and use all of the material and enjoy the Cuban cuisine of Dulce Leche , or Caramel Milk chunk delight.
i guess it is a form of eating curd milk that is desirable and sweet.

susanrm (author)2011-02-13

I'd like to try it with goat or sheep milk. Has anyone done this?

lublu (author)susanrm2011-02-13

yes its a bit more like cream cheee has more flavour youget a faint taste of goat which i love.i have my own goats

Phoghat (author)2011-02-13

I live in Zacatecas Mexico and every day, or every other day the milkman cometh selling milk to make into cheese just like this. Most Mexicans make their own cheese

TenTwelve (author)2011-02-13

That's pretty much the Indian cheese paneer. There are great recipes that utilize this cheese. I'm not vegetarian but a great veggie recipe with paneer is "Mattar Paneer".

giristhemoon (author)2011-02-13

note: curdling is not related to the fat but to the protein in the milk reacting to the acid in the lemon juice (the protein is relaxed by the heat and will 'agglomerate' under the effect of the acid)

wizgirl (author)2011-02-12

Wow, nice photos. They look professional. What kind of camera did you use? Good job. Very similar to my cheese curds.

garrettg (author)wizgirl2011-02-12

Canon dslr

guillemrg (author)2011-02-10

Here we eat it as a dessert covering it with some honey, it's great!!

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