How to Make Homemade Mozzarella Cheese

Have you ever wanted to be able to make your own fresh cheese? Making Homemade Mozzarella takes less than 30 minutes and is so easy that anyone can do it!

Homemade Mozzarella

Homemade Mozzarella

I love fresh mozzarella cheese. I like it heated up just plain or heated with homemade sun dried tomatoes. The problem is that it’s so expensive! An 8 oz ball can cost anywhere from $4 up to $10 in the store and since my price point for normal cheese is less than $2 a pound, that doesn’t really fit into my budget.

I decided that I would give it a try and see if I could make my own homemade mozzarella. Here is my fairly simple recipe for homemade mozzarella, using only 1/2 gallon of milk.

This recipe can be made using raw milk or whole milk from the store. Do not attempt it using anything less than whole milk.

–Use this mozzarella cheese in this yummy Mozzarella Stuffed Meatloaf recipe!

Homemade Mozzarella Cheese Recipe

How to make your own fresh mozzarella cheese in just 30 minutes or less!

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword mozzarella cheese
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 8 ounces

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Heat the milk to 55F.
  2. Dissolve the citric acid in 1/4 c. water. Dilute the liquid rennet with 1/8 c. water. Add the citric acid/water mixture to the milk.
  3. Heat the milk/citric acid mixture to 90F. The milk will start to curdle slightly.
  4. Stir in the rennet/water mixture. Keep slowing stirring until curds form. When the curds look like the ones in the picture above, remove them with a slotted spoon in a separate bowl.
  5. Form the curds into slightly formed balls.
  6. In the meantime, heat the whey to 175F in medium heat. When the temperature reaches 175F turn the heat down to low to maintain the temp. Add the 1/8 c. salt and stir until dissolved. Dip the balls, one at a time into the hot whey for about 5 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon.
  7. Immediately after removing the ball from the hot mixture, knead in a folding motion. You will have to do this 4-5 times until the cheese is no longer crumbly and is stretchy.
  8. Serve warm or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Liquid Rennet can be hard to find in the stores (you can buy it on Amazon) but I would highly recommend using it over the rennet tabs. I’ve tried both and did not have the same success with the tabs as I did with the liquid.

Want to make other homemade dairy products? Here are some of the tutorials I have here on Little House Living:

Have you ever tried making your own cheese? How about making homemade mozzarella?

My Bio

This blog post on how to make Homemade Mozzarella was originally published on Little House Living in September 2010. It has been updated as of March 2020.

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50 Comments

  1. How cool is that! I never knew that you could make mozzarella in your own home. I thought that it had to be proccessed a certain way and had to set in special temputures. Maybe I'm thinking of anothe kind of cheese.

    Blessings,
    Kristiana

    P.S. I clicked on your link from RHM

  2. Welcome Kristiana! Yes it was actually pretty simple and pretty fun! My hubby tried it last night for the first time and he really liked it!

    1. Why in the world does it call for an 8th of a cup of salt. I made this and didnt want to spoil the taste so I waited till it was done and prepared. I took a bite almost three up it was so salty

      1. Is it possible you added the salt to the curds rather than the whey? If you add it to the whey, you’re essentially giving the curds a mild saltwater bath with each dip, and very little salt ends up in the cheese.

      1. I make my own yogurt. And I like my yogurt thick (Greek Style), so I drain off some of the whey. I save the whey and like to use it in pancakes and biscuits. It’s a great substitute for anything you might use buttermilk for.

  3. I know in South Dakota it is legal to retail raw milk, but not in North Dakota. Here it is only legal to sell raw milk as pet food. Okay I want to buy some “pet food”! So dumb! I live in a rural small town but no one milks on a small scale anymore. In the meantime, I am looking for someone that may have a milking goat for my cheese making. I could drive to South Dakota but the cost of fuel kind of erases what I’d save on making my own cheese. Rennet has been my next biggest challenge. The one health food store 58 miles away in Bismarck said they carried it. I made my monthly trip up there and they no longer had it in stock! So guess I will search the internet. I did find powered citric acid. As I understand it distilled water should be used over tap water for the cheese to set. (No chemically treated water). The only way I am going to get fresh mozzarella around here is to make it myself. I can’t wait to try it with my garden fresh red tomatoes and basil!

  4. Goats produce too is a great step by step book for cheese. I have used the recipes with goat or cow milk and it works fine. The brick cheese is a good transition cheese that is really yummy. Its by mary jane toth.

  5. Yes you can use store bought milk but you need calcium chloride. When liquid rennet isn’t in my budget i use junket tablets. Use the insert recipes in the box. It works great. Since you saved the whey you should make ricotta with it. I love ricotta!

  6. Hi Merissa,
    We started making cheese this past summer with our goats milk. I couldn’t find liquid rennet locally so I found it at this site http://www.thecheesemaker.com/ and it includes free shipping. I save my whey from my mozarella and use it to make ricotta cheese and then the whey from that I give to my chickens or use it to water plants. My goats drink a little sometimes, too.
    You should try making your own yogurt, if you haven’t already tried it. It is super easy and delicious.

  7. I don’t know what rennet usually costs, but I was checking out cheesemaking.com the other day and see that they carry a number of kinds of rennet.

  8. I went to a cheese making class and it looked so easy! Tried it at home and screwed it up, wouldn’t turn to mozz. Didn’t even look like barely edible ricotta. I still have plenty of tablets I will try again. I just don’t wantto waste another gallon of milk.

  9. Dakota ways- you can order rennet from hoegger supply it is pricey but not too terrible. You can use junket rennet tablets if you use the insert to get your recipes. Also, there are cheeses you can make that yeild more per gal. I would skim the cream off your raw milk because its not going to set up and make curds with the rennet anyway. Happy cheese making 🙂 junket tablets are available at most grocery stores.

  10. Tacie, I couldn’t get the tablets to work, only the liquid rennet. I’m not sure if it was just me or if those things are just difficult!

  11. Don’t use chlorinated water (or let it sit until you don’t smell it). Citric acid you can get at drug stores and bigger quantity at some bulk food stores or frontier. Hoegger has citric acid too and so does lehman’s.

  12. Keep trying and make sure your water isn’t chlorinated. The temp is very touchy with the tablets use hot water bath in a sink if your kitchen is a little cool. I use a little extra tablet than it calls for.

  13. Calcium chloride some how changes the milk proteins in pasteurized homogenized milk so that you can make cheese without it it won’t turn out.

  14. According to a YouTube video I watched if you take the whey, heat it up and add vinegar, you can get ricotta cheese out of it. Two cheeses for the price of one!!! The lady also reduced the whey until thick and then dehydrated it for whey powder, but you can also just reduce it to a syrup and keep in the fridge for a week or two, would make a good base for bread.

  15. Hmmmm! Love monzarella cheese! We make our own too. I found that culturesforhealth.com has lots of cheese making supplies.

  16. Thanks Melissa! We don’t really have raw milk options around here. How do you make ricotta from the whey? We are cheese junkies here so if I can make my own ricotta and mozzarella, that would save us a ton! Constant staples in our house!

  17. Heat the whey to 190 then add about a quart of milk heat it again until you see flecks in it. Strain very carefully into cheese cloth. Thats it!

  18. I happen to be one of the lucky ones with milk cows of their own, so I end up with a lot of milk to experiment with. May I suggest that you take a look at http://www.cheesemaking.com? It’s the New England Cheesemaking Supply Company and where I like to get all of my supplies. They have a fantastic recipe for mozzarella that you stretch (it’s the recipe that I use and love) and I think it turns out really well with our raw Jersey milk. They have a lot of tips and hints for cheesemaking as well. On a side note, I have never had a problem ordering my liquid rennet from them, I always get it really fast. Just a couple thoughts from a seasoned cheesemaker 🙂

  19. Please email me for any kind of homemake different kind of cheeses i need to make savs money than buy cost..thanks KathyTaylor

  20. We used to get raw milk from the Amish farmers… and I made the cheese once – oh, so good…. and cottage cheese…. and LOTS of homemade ice cream. We can’t get the raw milk for a good price anymore, but I hope to again some day.

  21. My hubby has been making his own cheese – so cool! It’s really neat to see it come together.

  22. This is so cool! Pinning so I can reference this later. Thanks so much for sharing with us this week!

  23. I’m excited to try this. Do you also have a way to make sundried tomatoes? Many thanks. –Martha

  24. Thank you for posting this again. I am planning to make it but will have to use milk from the store. I already make yogurt, so this will expand my efforts. Have a Blessed day.
    M. Hanska

  25. Hope you are having a fantastic week and thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday. We will look forward to seeing you again real soon!
    Miz Helen

  26. I just want you to know I tried to order by clicking on the ling that sends to amazom and it’s always the same can never get on ! Even if you do everything correctly! It just piss me off so sick of amazom they need to fix there website sorry just really tired of never being able to order with out jumping threw there hoops

  27. The New England Cheese Making Company is an excellent source for many cultures. cheese making.com We purchase cultures for many cheese projects as well as yogurt and kefir. Their customer service is amazing – if you have any questions while making your project, you can actually speak to Jim! Other questions he answers via email. Orders ship very quickly and keep for a long time in the freezer. The Cheese Queen has an excellent book out for the home cheese maker. Homemade feta is a family favorite.

  28. I love using this recipe. I actually use Kifir yogurt as a starter culture as appose to using citric acid. I have been to Italy many times since I have family there, so I know what authentic mozzarella cheese taste like. Using Kefir definitely is much closer to authentic mozzarella than using citric acid. Please feel free to contact me for the recipe. I would also like to exchange ideas with the author of this site, feel free to contact me.

    1. 1/8 cup is correct. You aren’t adding it into the actual cheese, it just goes into the whey mixture to add a bit of saltiness to the cheese without being overly salty.

  29. When I make mozzarella cheese I cut the whole matt of cheese curds into two or three chunks. Depending on how much my milk yields. Cut each chunk into largish pieces. Put those pieces in very hot water. When they get squishy all the way through remove from the water with a slotted spoon. Let cool slightly and then stretch with your hands until smooth. It’ll be hot! Shape into a ball and chill in ice water. When you have stretched and shaped all the cheese then put all the balls into a strong salt brine for 1 hour. Weight down with a plate. 1/4 cup salt to 1 quart of water. Refrigerate or freeze. You can reuse the salt brine until it gets too dirty looking. Keep it in a jar in the fridge. Good luck everyone!