Give [DIY] Cottage Cheese a Chance! | culture: the word on cheese
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Give [DIY] Cottage Cheese a Chance!

Of all things cheese-related, almost everyone loves to hate cottage cheese. I admit, I was a part of the cottage cheese-hating fan club—and why? What did cottage cheese ever do to me?

Was it the lunch snack mix-up in grade school, when I mistook cottage cheese for rice pudding?

Was it my arachnophobia and the Miss Muffet nursery rhyme convincing me cottage cheese (i.e. curds and whey) must be a spider sentinel?

Or is it because I just fell in with the same boat as everybody else, the “wrinkle your nose without giving ‘ol cottage cheese a chance” cruise line?

Whatever my qualms were, they disappeared once I gave cottage cheese the college try. (Really—it took me until college to try!) Since then, I haven’t gone back.

With the popularity of frozen yogurt, Green yogurt, kefir and anything else wonderfully tart, you should give cottage cheese another chance as well. Trust me on this.


Stacy of Stacy Makes Cents, was inspired by her friend to make this easy cottage cheese recipe that includes kefir among its trinity of main ingredients. She herself often laments about everyone else’s loathing for cottage cheese; “My husband doesn’t care for cottage cheese, but I can inhale it.” Stacy and I are on a mission—and we’ll make cottage cheese lovers out of you yet!*

Makes 3 cups cottage cheese


  • 1 pint dairy kefir, room temperature
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Salt (optional)



  • Thermometer
  • Cheesecloth
  • Colander


Step 1: Heat Milk

Heat milk slowly to 140˚, making sure milk doesn’t boil.

Step 2: Add kefir

Pour kefir slowly into pot. Do not stir.

Step 3: Acidify

Pour apple cider vinegar into pot. Do not stir.

Step 4: Allow curds to form

Push mixture with wooden spoon as curds form. Do not stir. (Do you see a pattern?) When whey (it will look like chicken broth) starts to emerge, turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

Step 5: Strain

Wet cheese cloth; line colander with cheesecloth. Pour curds and whey into lined-colander; allow cheese to strain for 30 minutes.

Step 6: Fluff

Turn cheese into storage bowl and break curds with fork while still warm. Add salt to taste. You can use the leftover whey to make homemade bread tender and flaky.

Stacy loves using cottage cheese in lasagna. Make it a treat with fruit; “It’s really good with some nice, sweet pears or peaches,” Stacy says.


Just add a little of this, a little of that. Tell if you want to—I’ll keep mum.

Crockpot Lasagna: “Holy Moly. How can something so simple be so good? Usually I make lasagna from scratch, but I wanted to try this one because it just seemed too easy to be true. The reviews were great, so I went for it…and I was blown away.” – Stacy Makes Cents

Cottage Cheese Pancakes: “They’re delicate and pillowy, yet still somewhat hearty. The perfect vehicle for plum ripe berries and a drizzle of maple syrup.” – dramatic pancake

Bean, Cheese, and Vegetable Enchiladas: “Enchilada recipes don’t typically have cottage cheese, at least not as its only form of cheese, so I was curious to see how these fared…The bean and cheese filling was light and creamy and the sauce had just the right amount of kick.” – The Sweets Life

Recipe and Photos by Stacy of Stacy Makes Cents

Amanda Furrer

Amanda is a BU gastronomy grad who is still getting used to repeating herself when people ask what she's studying. Although it took her longer than the average human to like all kinds of cheese besides the gooey stuff on pizza, Amanda is now proud to be a gorgonzola lover, brie bandwagoner, and pumpkin cheesecake baker.

2 thoughts on “Give [DIY] Cottage Cheese a Chance!”

  1. Leonardo Seccia says:

    I made this (using the juice of a lemon instead of vinegar) and worked out really well. Thank you for sharing. Do you think you could make mozzarella using kefir?

    1. Madeline Upson says:

      There are actually recipes online to make mozzarella with kefir cultures!

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