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5 Water Buffalo Cheese Recipes Perfect for the Festive Season

Make the profound, earthy taste of water buffalo cheese the star of your next holiday meal 

Treat your guests this holiday season with culinary delights made with the rich, porcelain white freshness of water buffalo milk cheese.

The award-winning Natural Pastures Cheese Company from the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island blends traditional cheese making with inspired, artisan methods to produce Buffalo Brie, Mozzarella di Bufala, Bocconcini di Bufala and Buffalo Paneer. Natural Pastures’ 100 per cent water buffalo milk cheeses are loved by home chefs and professionals alike for how moist and creamy they are, and for their earthy aroma and exceedingly smooth texture.

Traditionally, many countries have used water buffalo milk to make cheese, like fresh mozzarella in Italy and paneer in India. Water buffalo milk is healthy with more calcium and protein than cow’s milk, but with less cholesterol. Moreover, people who are allergic to cow’s milk can more easily digest water buffalo milk cheese.

An important factor in the success of Natural Pastures’ water buffalo cheese is the source of the milk: stress-free, foraging herds on idyllic Vancouver Island. Natural Pastures partners with three progressive Island farms that share a passion for buffalos and for sustainable farming, including Fairburn Farm, the first to introduce water buffalo in Canada.

Try these five delicious recipes to wow your guests with the fresh, profound taste of award-winning water buffalo cheese from Natural Pastures. Discover more about water buffalo cheese at

Dwane MacIsaac of Passioneat Foods in Victoria shares his recipe for Lasagne di Bufala. Natural Pastures Mozzarella di Bufala, handcrafted in the Italian style, turns this comfort food into a creamy indulgence that is perfect for entertaining.

9 fresh lasagna sheets
500 g fresh Natural Pastures Mozzarella di Bufala Fairburn
100 g fresh grated parmesan

Meat Sauce
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
300 g ground veal or beef
300 g ground pork
2 tsp. plain flour
Vancouver Island Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
Pinch of sugar
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
700 ml tomato puree
400 g canned diced tomatoes
2 large handful basil leaves
Béchamel Sauce
50 g unsalted butter
600 ml milk
2 Tbsp. plain flour


  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Adjust the oven racks so that the dish can sit in the middle.
  2. To make the meat sauce, heat the oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
  3. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the meats and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, for 4 minutes or until it loses its raw colour but is not browned.
  4. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the vinegar and cook, stirring occasionally, until it has almost evaporated. Add the sugar, tomato puree and tomatoes, and simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly.
  5. Check the seasoning, stir in the basil and set the meat sauce aside.
  6. For the béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan over low-medium heat.
  7. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the milk all at once, whisking constantly, to avoid any lumps. Return the pan to the heat and keep whisking, until the sauce boils and thickens. Remove from the heat and season.
  8. To assemble the lasagna, spread a quarter of the meat sauce in the base of a lasagna dish. Place two lasagna sheets over the sauce. Spread another quarter of the sauce over the pasta, then a third of the mozzarella, torn into pieces. Continue layering the pasta, meat sauce and mozzarella two more times.
  9. Pour the béchamel sauce evenly over the final layer of mozzarella and sprinkle with parmesan.
  10. Cook the lasagna for 30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling. Let the lasagna stand for 10 minutes before serving.


You will be amazed at how easy this fun and delicious appetizer is to make! You can serve the breaded Boccconcini di Bufala balls on their own or on top of a soup.

Natural Pastures Bocconcini di Bufala, 1/2 package
1 egg white, whisked
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon of Italian seasoning blend
Cooking spray
1 steaming hot bowl of tomato soup (optional)


  1. Freeze bocconcini balls on cookie sheet, preferably overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 425F.
  3. Keep bocconcini frozen until you have everything set up and ready to go! Don’t let them thaw.
  4. Combine seasoning blend and panko in a shallow bowl. Combine egg white in a second bowl and flour in a third bowl.
  5. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and top with a wire cooling/baking rack.
  6. Once everything above is ready, take mozzarella from the freezer. Dip the frozen cheese into the flour, then the egg, and finally roll around in the panko to coat. Place breaded ball onto the wire rack. Repeat for the remaining bocconcini balls.
  7. Spray each ball with cooking spray. Place baking sheet in oven and bake at 425F for approximately 10 minutes.
  8. When the breading on the balls is golden brown, remove from oven and serve on top of a piping hot bowl of tomato soup… or enjoy them on their own!

Use leftover lamb to make this quick lamb curry topped with creamy, traditional Buffalo Paneer.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
500 g lamb fillet or left over leg of lamb, diced
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons curry paste (or mild curry paste)
1 1/2 cup beef stock or water
1 large carrot, peeled, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
200 ml coconut milk
1 apple, peeled and chopped
Natural Pastures Buffalo Paneer, one third package, cubed
Coriander or parsley leaves, to garnish
Steamed brown medium grain rice (or your favourite rice), to serve


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over high heat, add the lamb and brown in batches. Remove and set aside.
  2. Reduce heat to medium, add onion, garlic and ginger to pan and cook, stirring, for 5-6 minutes.
  3. Add curry paste and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes. Return lamb to pan, add stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Add the carrot, celery and coconut milk and cook for a further 25 minutes.
  5. Add Natural Pastures Buffalo Paneer and warm through. Garnish with coriander and serve with rice.

Make this Tomato Ginger Jam ahead of time — it’s perfect for unexpected guests or last-minute snacks.

1 baguette, sliced into rounds
Natural Pastures Buffalo Brie
8 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 cup sugar
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp ginger, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
pinch of ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes


  1. Combine ingredients for tomato jam in a saucepot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to low and cook, stirring often, until moisture has evaporated and the mixture is the consistency of thick jam.
  2. Top baguette slices with a generous piece of Natural Pastures Buffalo Brie. Broil cheese under high heat in the oven until golden and bubbling, about 30 seconds. Top with tomato ginger jam and serve.

Make this festive, colourful salad dotted with bites of porcelain white, fresh Buffalo Mozzarella.

Natural Pastures Mozzarella di Bufala, torn into large pieces
1 lb mixed winter salad greens
Seeds from 1 pomegranate
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup roughly chopped mint
1/4 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tsp pomegranate molasses
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
1 Tbsp tahini
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
pinch black pepper


  1. In a small bowl combine molasses, vinegar, tahini and garlic. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl. Toss lightly with dressing and serve.

We are grateful for the support of the BC Government’s Buy Local Program, delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC with funding from the BC Ministry of Agriculture.

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