Affiliates note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. My content may contain affiliate links to products and services. If you click through and make a purchase, I'll receive a small commission. It does not affect the price you pay.
Today, I am sharing How to Make Cottage Cheese – The Easy Way! This recipe provides step-by-step instructions on how you can quickly make this cheese on your stovetop. Best of all, you have the flexibility to use any type of milk you want from Fat Free to Whole Milk.
The Easy Way to Make Cottage Cheese
This recipe gives you an easy way to make cottage cheese without the need for special equipment or unusual ingredients. Now, when it comes to soft cheeses, are these exactly like what you might find at the grocery store? Not exactly. But they are close enough. And your homemade cheese will often be better tasting with less ingredients!
No Rennet Required
Stovetop Soft Cheeses are easy to make because you do not need to use rennet. But what is rennet? It’s curdled milk from the stomach of an unweaned calf. The rennet contains rennin, which is used in curdling milk for making cheese.
You can certainly find a source for rennet from a specialty cheesemaking store or from an online source. But unless you are a regular cheesemaker, it’s so much easier to make a nice soft cheese without rennet on the stovetop with as little as two ingredients!
Two Ingredient Cottage Cheese
And what are these two ingredients? For making homemade cottage cheese on the stovetop, all you need is milk and some sort of acid. For the acid, I like white vinegar, but you can certainly use lemon juice instead.
You’ll warm the milk on the stovetop in a large pot, and when it’s nice and warm, you’ll add your acid and let the curds form in the liquid. That’s it!
Now You Have Curds and Whey
Once the curds form, you’ll strain them from the liquid whey and…voila! The curds are your Homemade Cottage Cheese!
In my instructional video, I walk you through exactly how to strain your curds, and I also share a few tips on how to use the whey, so be sure to watch the How to Make Cottage Cheese video to learn more!
More Homemade Dairy Videos
Now that you’ve made cottage cheese, try your hand at other Homemade Dairy recipes, including an easy yogurt made without a machine, plus kefir, evaporated milk, and condensed milk too! And once you’ve made homemade condensed milk, try my favorite ice cream recipe—no ice cream maker required!
Stay in Touch with Mary’s Nest
- Subscribe to My YouTube Channel for Traditional Foods Videos (Free) - When you subscribe, be sure to click on the notification bell that will let you know each time I upload a new video.
- Subscribe to Mary’s Traditional Foods Newsletter (Free) - Get a free 36-page eBook for signing up: How to Stock Your Essential Traditional Foods Four-Corners Pantry.
- Join the Traditional Foods Kitchen Academy (Optional Paid) - For more detailed videos, live streams, and exclusive members-only perks, join my YouTube membership community.
- Preorder The Modern Pioneer Cookbook (Optional Paid) - Get a printed book of Mary's nourishing recipes from a Traditional Foods Kitchen. This cookbook will be published by Penguin Random House with their DK imprint.
I look forward to having you join me in my Texas Hill Country Kitchen!
How to Make Cottage Cheese
- Heavy bottom pot or sauce pan
- Food safe thermometer, optional
- Colander or mesh strainer
- Cheese cloth or flour sack towel
- 1 gallon Milk whole milk, 2% milk, or fat-free (non-fat/skim) milk
- 3/4 cup White distilled vinegar, 5% lemon juice can be substituted
- Heavy cream, optional
- Sea salt, optional
- Pour all the milk into a pot on the stovetop, and warm the milk slowly on medium heat until it reaches approximately 120°F. If you do not have a food safe thermometer, the milk should be quite warm to the touch.
- Once the milk reaches the approximate temperature, remove it from the heat, and gently pour in the vinegar (or lemon juice, if using).
- Stir the milk and vinegar together gently for a minute to two to make sure that the vinegar is well distributed throughout the milk.
- Cover the pot and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, the milk should have curdled significantly, and the liquid surrounding the curds should be a pale yellow. If the liquid still looks like a white milk color, add an additional 1/4 cup of vinegar and stir gently. More curds should form, and the liquid should turn a pale yellow.
- Line a colander or mesh strainer with the cheesecloth or flour sack towel, and place over a bowel. Pour the contents of the pot into the lined colander. The yellow liquid, which is whey, will strain through, and you should be left with curds in the cheesecloth or flour sack towel. Allow the curds to strain for 5 to 10 minutes.
- You now have cottage cheese. The gallon of milk should yield you approximately 2 cups of cottage cheese. You can refrigerate the cheese as is, and it will stay fresh in your refrigerator for 5-7 days. If you wish, you can add approximately a quarter cup of heavy cream, and salt to taste, to the 2 cups of curds to give the cottage cheese a texture more similar to what you can find at the grocery store.
Shop for items used in this blog post or video
Favorite Cheese Making Supplies
- 4-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Pot
- Stainless Steel Colander
- Stainless Steel Mesh Strainer
- Flour Sack Towels
- Glass Bowl Set
Amazon Shop and Shopping Guide
- Visit Mary’s Nest Amazon Shop
- Visit my Shopping Guide page
Get up to 15% off for stocking your Traditional Foods Pantry and equipping your Modern Pioneer Kitchen, including discounts from US Wellness Meats, Mockmill Grain Mill, Masontops, Cultures for Health, Survival Garden Seeds, Redmond Real Salt, Plan to Eat, and More!
**Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor, a medical professional, a dietician, or a nutritionist. All content found on the MarysNest.com website, including text, images, videos, eBooks or eGuides, social media, or other formats, were created solely for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or proper nutritional advice. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have watched in a video or read on this website. Use caution when following the recipe in this video. The creator and publisher of this video and website will not be held responsible for any adverse effects that may arise from the use of this recipe and method or any other recipe and method on this website or corresponding video channel.
Simple straightforward steps! Best cooking instructor on YouTube in my opinion.
Thanks for your kind words. I appreciate it!
Love and God bless,
Hi Mary 🙂 I made this tonight….followed your instructions to the letter, and it is absolutely wonderful !
Far superior to shop bought… deliciously creamy and full of flavour…. and as you said, no need for salt.
I’m just a middle aged guy, who’s no great cook, but I’ve been following you avidly on YouTube….and had success with some of your other recipes…your easy sourdough recipe was my first success after many failed attempts using other people’s recipes.
Thank you for helping us get away from the processed (dare I even call it food) stuff…that is dominating the supermarket shelves.
Very best wishes from the UK.
Hi Jools, Thank you so much for all the kind words! So happy to hear that the cottage cheese came out great! And so happy that you are on this Traditional Foods Journey with me! Love and God Bless, Mary
Oh my goodness! I just tried your recipe without rinsing the cottage cheese. It is truly exquisite!
Oh Tammy!! Thank you so much the kind words!! It is wonderful to hear that you found the cottage cheese so delicious!! If you enjoy making Traditional Foods, be sure to head over to my YouTube channel’s home page where I share lots of playlists of videos that I think you will enjoy. Here is the link: https://YouTube.com/MarysNest Plus, I have a playlist of some of my videos titled “Mastering the Basics of Traditional Nutrient Dense Foods Cooking”. It’s a series of 15 detailed videos that covers How to Make Bone Broth, Cultured Dairy, Ferments, Sourdough Starter (my foolproof stater), Sourdough Bread, Soaked and Sprouted Nuts and Beans, and How to Soak and Sprout Grains to Make your own Sprouted Flour at Home. You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkRuW3pBo2U3b4eu0QraZReKlGzA11h3y And please share the playlist with any other folks you think might be interested in learning about these types of things. I’m passionate about the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon (of the Weston A Price Foundation) and want to help as many people as I can learn how to make Traditional “Nutrient Dense” Foods.
And for more details on some of these subjects mentioned above…(and more), be sure to check out these detailed playlists:
➡️How to Make Bone Broth: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkRuW3pBo2U0JFsTi2N7sHSpU-vBR04CH
➡️How to Make Fermented Vegetables: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkRuW3pBo2U2EhVspEV5d4Xs2s4pcbHbr
➡️How to Make Fermented Condiments: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkRuW3pBo2U0hCKYoMMBeVD-9bA6TckEj
➡️The Complete Guide to Sourdough: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkRuW3pBo2U3NKN0GHvGCpiWNxcTefLof
➡️The Complete NO KNEAD BREAD Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkRuW3pBo2U0ZnA45FadK99NvKZLKh-6N
➡️How to Make Bread with or without Yeast Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkRuW3pBo2U344nspo8zPj3O3LfyNVHZS
➡️And if you are interested in learning about how to make various types of Homemade Dairy including Cultured Butter, Cottage Cheese, Sour Cream, Ricotta Cheese, and more, be sure check out this playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkRuW3pBo2U2R7u0Ri26HwdLMjUa4iJJX
➡️Also…If you enjoy making homemade pantry type items, you might enjoy my playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkRuW3pBo2U1MqC3YAw7ZRYjuL9FBGSwc where I show how to make Apple Cider Vinegar (see more info about this below), 10 Flavored Extracts including Vanilla Extract, 10 Seasoning Blends including Ranch Dressing Mix and Onion Soup Mix, 1- Minute Homemade Mayonnaise, Homemade Bouillon – and how to dehydrate it, Natural Food Colorings, Evaporated Milk, Condensed Milk, Preserved Citrus, Breadcrumbs, Croutons, and more!
And if you like the idea of making your own Apple Cider Vinegar as mentioned above…Be sure to check out the Apple Cider Vinegar Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkRuW3pBo2U1QPA95O2-oOvxwtO-v3L4L which a 3-part series where I walk you through the entire 30-day process. And if you like making vinegar, I also have a Homemade Citrus Vinegar Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkRuW3pBo2U3apQRTzhfQBkR_x0rb514U And I have one more vinegar video where I show how to make vinegar from Strawberry Scraps. You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkRuW3pBo2U2M3dRA483q5KJ7JkJfn3fS
➡️And…Have you seen my playlist for making immune boosting foods and natural remedies including a Super Mineral Detox Broth? You can look through the playlist here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkRuW3pBo2U0p9nRAWldbyqYSbgwzARGd You may like some of these recipes.
➡️And if you are interested in how to make probiotic rich fermented drinks, here is my playlist of some fun drinks including How to Make Homemade Sodas, Mocktails, Drinking Vinegar, Homemade Energy Drinks, Switchel, Shrubs, and More: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkRuW3pBo2U2w2-CiBrkNnZj_IIlqZc9h You may enjoy these videos. And if you are interested in learning how to make Kombucha and/or Water Kefir, I have a playlist which includes a Beginners Guide to Kombucha Making along with a video on making water kefir for beginners…which you can watch here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkRuW3pBo2U3YysV0OYOMsxsJuf_sxPTK
➡️And in the Modern Pioneering spirit…If you enjoy canning, or are interested in learning about canning, I have a playlist of my canning videos here which include step-by-step tutorials: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkRuW3pBo2U3HJRCmwVAvBNS90WjifR1U
➡️Oh…And here is my 2020 Channel Update for everything I have planned for this year: https://youtu.be/qjOJh8Cb_-k
Please let me know if you have any questions. I’m so happy to help! And also, let me know what other types of traditional food videos you would like to see me make. I’m SO glad you’re here!! Love and God Bless, Mary
PS – Are you in our FB group? It’s called Mary’s Nest Modern Pioneers. The direct link can be found in the description under this video. Come join us! We have a lot of fun chatting about Traditional “Nutrient Dense Foods and it’s a great place to get questions answered.