How to Make Cottage Cheese from Scratch

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It’s so simple to make cottage cheese or paneer from scratch that you’ll wonder why you haven’t made it before now – all you need is full fat milk and lemon juice, both items that you can find easily.

Recipe doubles easily


500ml full fat milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice


1. Boil the milk in a saucepan and add the lemon juice. Leave to sit until the milk curdles and the whey separates.

2. Pour the mixture into a sieve lined with clean muslin or a clean Jeyes cloth. Place the sieve over a large bowl leaving lots of room underneath the sieve for the liquid to drain. It will take a few hours. If you need to do it overnight place the bowl and sieve in the fridge and cover it with cling film.

3. When all the liquid has drained cover the cheese in the sieve with a piece of paper towel or fold over the Jeyes cloth on top of it and place a weight or a few tin cans on top to press out any remaining liquid. You will be left with a piece of solid cottage cheese ready to use. (If you want to use it to make mattar paneer – the Indian dish of peas and cottage cheese – cut it into 1 inch cubes.)

Recipe Note

– This is the same method that you use to make Labnah or Labneh, the middle-eastern strained yogurt.

– If you have a cream cheese maker you can use that. You sometimes pick them up in the discount supermarkets and they work for making cottage cheese, cream cheese and labneh. We use ours all the time. It is essentially just a little sieve set into a plastic bowl and you place your milk and lemon mixture in it once it has separated and cooled, place the lid on top, and leave to drain in the fridge. You may still need to place the weight on top to press the cheese once all the liquid has drained off.

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