Easy Cheeses to Make at Home

Save money and enjoy fresh cheese from your own kitchen. No fancy equipment required!

Credit: flickr / Chris and Jenni

Homemade cheese is as fresh and local as it gets

Making cheese is incredibly easy; making the right cheese is a little harder


I’ve been making my own cheeses at home for about a year now. I started with the easiest (yogurt cheese) and worked my way up through soft cheeses (fromage blanc, chèvre, etc.).


Thanks to the book 200 Easy Homemade Cheese Recipes, from Debra Amrein-Boyes of Agassiz’s The Farmhouse Natural Cheeses, I’ve up skilled to haloumi and mozzarella (these are good because you can eat them straightaway) and Camemberts and bleus (which take a month or more to mature).


Homemade cheese recipes

Each cheese I’ve made has been delicious, but not necessarily what I’d planned for. The Coulommiers tasted exactly as it should but was crumbly rather than creamy. Sterility plays a big role in getting consistent results, as does accurate measuring.


For these soft cheeses, you don’t need special equipment, but you will need a thermometer (I use a candy thermometer) a colander and some cheesecloth.


Yogurt cheese recipe

With the consistency of soft cream cheese, but lower in fat, yogurt cheese is great on crackers, as a base for dips or on baked potatoes. You’ll need to use a yogurt that doesn’t contain gelatin or thickeners; you can either buy one (the only ingredients should be milk, bacteria and milk powder) or use your own yogurt at home.


Place the yogurt into a colander lined with a double layer of cheesecloth (or paper coffee filter) and place over a bowl. Cover and refrigerate. The excess whey will drain through leaving you with the cheesey curds. Draining takes three to 12 hours depending on the desired consistency.


Chevre recipe

Chevre is a bit more work than yogurt cheese, but not much.


Last time I made this I used 4 litres of milk and ended up with 1 kilo of chèvre. A kilo of chèvre is a lot to eat in two weeks, so you might want to quarter the recipe or find four friends to share it with and take turns making it.


This recipes is a sort of fromage blanc with goat’s milk, so you don’t need the mesophilic starter that a lot of chèvre recipes call for.


Chevre recipe:

4 litres fresh goat’s milk

1 cup lemon juice

1 tsp sea salt

Herbs (optional)


Heat the milk in a large pot over a medium heat until it reaches 180°F (this is effectively pasteurizing it, killing off all the unwanted bacteria). Take the milk off the heat and stir in the lemon juice. The milk should begin to curdle immediately. You’ll see the curds separate from the whey. Ladle off as much off the whey as possible. Then, using a slotted spoon, transfer the curds into a colander lined with a double layer of cheesecloth.


Gather the corners of the cheesecloth together and hang your chèvre for about an hour (tie it to the faucet or from a cupboard over a bowl). Transfer you chèvre to a container and fold in the salt and herbs if desired. If it’s a little dry you can mix some of the whey back in.


You can eat your chèvre straightaway.  It’ll last a couple of weeks in your fridge.