Have you ever made your own cheese? It's easier than you think. It's also a heck of a lot of fun, and has such tasty rewarding results. We found you nine recipes — some fuss-free, others a little more involved but all of them easy to follow — so you can play kitchen scientist. The best part is that, although you do need to drain these cheeses for a few hours and refrigerate them overnight, the actual preparation time for most of these recipes is just a few minutes.
Ready to make some?
From: Sharmi's Passions
If you're feeling adventurous and have a few hours to spare, try this relatively simple recipe for making your own cream cheese. The actual prep time is about 15 minutes, plus 30 for cooking. But you do have to let it sit for five or six hours while it drains before refrigerating.
From: My Kitchen Experiments
If you have a hankering for some saag paneer or paneer tika masala, then behold this recipe so you can make your own cheese. All you need is some milk, a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice and 15 minutes of actually preparation time. Follow the steps and let the paneer sit for two to three hours, and voila!
From: Thrifty T's Treasures
Don't let the citric acid powder or vegetable rennet tablets scare you. This will feel like the best — not to mention tastiest — science experiment you've ever conducted in your kitchen. From start to finish, cleanup included, it takes about an hour. The result is fresh mozzarella that you'll want to eat up in one sitting.
Got two cups of heavy cream, a tablespoon of lemon juice and 10 minutes? Good! Because you can make your own mascarpone cheese! You still need to let it cool off and then refrigerate it overnight, but it's definitely worth the wait. Promise.
Photos by Shelly of Vegetarian 'Ventures
From: Baked In
We had to include this pepperjack cheese recipe — not just for our vegan friends but also for those of you who are lactose intolerant and miss the stuff. Nota bene: vegan cheese doesn't have the best reputation. Even vegans dislike the store-bought options, including this food blogger who describes it as tasting of shredded chemicals. While this pepperjack doesn't taste exactly like the real thing, it's still tasty enough to eat with crackers, in sandwiches or even on its own.
TVFGI believes in streamlining recipe instructions to make them more approachable rather than overwhelming. And that's important when it comes to cheese-making — which is why we love this easy no-stress method for preparing lemon ricotta. Simply leave out the lemon zest if you want the regular stuff!
From: Homesick Texan
Queso blanco won’t melt, but you can slice it and throw it on the grill or crumble it into refried beans. It's delicious plain, but feel free to add herbs, spices and chilies to get it some extra kick.
From: From Scratch Magazine
This recipe is a little more involved so a few of you might feel a little intimidated. But it's perfectly suited to those who have a few hours to burn and don't mind getting a little science-y in the kitchen. Go on, get your gloves on and pretend you're a culinary Dr. Horrible.
From: Blissful Basil
Here's another recipe for vegans and those who've had to kiss dairy good-bye. Made with cashews, this cheese is easy to make. This isn't a fussy recipe, either, and the results are creamy, tasty plant-based cheese that may just surprise you. Ideally, you'll want to wrap the cashew cheese in cheesecloth and refrigerate it overnight to pull out any excess water — but if you simply can't wait, go ahead and dive right in. The texture, explains Blissful Basil, is closer to ricotta rather than a thick, spreadable cheese but just as tasty!