Homemade mozzarella cheese on a wooden cutting board
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Homemade Mozzarella Cheese Only 2 Ingredients Without Rennet

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I love cheese, it is so good! That is one thing I always have on hand. My all-time favorite cheese has to be mozzarella. I love string cheese, eating it plain, and of course on pizza. Time to learn how to make homemade mozzarella cheese using just 2 ingredients.

If you are a cheese lover like me, then you have got to give this easy homemade mozzarella cheese recipe a try. You can use it the same way you use store-bought cheese. And you know exactly what is going into it.

Traditional cheesemaking requires you to use citric acid and a product called rennet. Similar to the process I show in this mozzarella cheese recipe. But, for this recipe, I will teach you how to make it without using those ingredients. It is super easy to make, if I can do it, you can do it. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Gather the ingredients

Raw milk next to a large yellow pot on a white counter top.

In order to make this simple homemade mozzarella cheese recipe you need just the following ingredients:

  • Raw Milk or Pasteurized Whole Milk – Do not use ultra-pasteurized milk or homogenized, the cheese won’t turn out correctly, it will wind up kind of like cottage cheese. But, if all you can find is homogenized milk then you are better off following this cheese recipe. Where I show you how to make mozzarella with cheap milk. Again though, the milk can’t be ultra-pasteurized.
  • Distilled White Vinegar – This is used instead of the classic citric acid and rennet ingredients. (4 to 5% acidic)
  • Cheese salt – This is optional, you can also use flaky sea salt or kosher salt. Iodized table salt is not recommended.
  • Water – This is used for cooling down the cheese. But isn’t an actual cheese ingredient.
Homemade mozzarella cheese ball on a wooden cutting board.

Tools

  • Large pot
  • Spoon
  • Gloves, optional
  • Bowls
  • Plastic wrap
  • Thermometer

NOTE: If you prefer you can actually buy a cool cheese-making kit, which has everything you need minus the dairy/milk to make several different kinds of cheese, including mozzarella.

Step 2: How to make homemade mozzarella cheese with just 2 ingredients

Raw milk being poured into a large yellow pot.

Pour the milk into a large stockpot or I like to use my dutch oven.

Remember to use raw milk (unpasteurized) or you can use normal pasteurized whole milk, but NOT ultra-pasteurized or homogenized. Ultra-pasteurized and homogenized won’t work properly and won’t produce a good curd. Also, if the particular brand of pasteurized milk you buy doesn’t work well, try a different brand.

I find I get the best results with raw milk. But that can be a little more difficult to find for us here in the States. If in the States try places like Sprouts, Natural Grocers, Whole Foods, etc.

Set the heat in between medium-low and medium. We don’t want to heat the milk up too quickly.

Hand with red thermometer in milk on a stovetop.

Gently keep stirring the milk so it heats evenly and reaches right around 115 F/46 C.

thermometer really comes in handy for this. But if you don’t have one it should feel like hot bathwater.

Pouring vinegar into a pot with hot milk.

Once the milk gets to that temp, turn off the heat, and add in the vinegar. Stir in the vinegar for about 30 seconds so it evenly mixes in with the milk. It will start to curdle almost immediately.

Add a lid to the pot and allow it to sit undisturbed for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Lid on top of a yellow pot of homemade mozzarella cheese.

NOTE: Classic cheesemaking uses ingredients like citric acid and rennet. But white distilled vinegar works too! It turns out a little different but still amazing.

If you would like to go the more classic route you can pick up a cheesemaking kit that has everything you need minus the dairy of course.

Step 3: Gather the curd and remove the whey

Spatula pushing the homemade mozzarella cheese curd against the wall of a pot.

After the 15 to 20 minutes are up, it is time to gather that amazing cheese curd and separate it from the whey.

Take a spoon or spatula and bring the curd to the side against the pot. Make sure to fish around in the whey, because you will always find extra curd hanging out in there.

As you gather it, push it up against the wall of the pot. Then remove it from the whey and place it in a bowl.

NOTE: If you use regular pasteurized whole milk, the curd may look differently, and be in smaller chunks. If you use citric acid and rennet it will develop a film of curd on top, like a custard. Use a knife to cut the curd several times in a grid pattern.

Hand with gloves squeezing whey out of homemade mozzarella cheese.

Time to remove as much whey as possible. Using very clean hands or gloves, grab the curd and cup it in your hands and gently squeeze. This will press out the whey.

Allow the whey to fall into the bowl and then discard it into the big pot of whey.

Hand pressing cheese into a bowl.

Keep repeating this process several times, using a bit more force each time. You can also place it in the bowl and knead it a bit.

TIP: You can also use cheesecloth if you like, place the curd in the cheesecloth bundle, it up into a ball, and squeeze, this helps remove the whey as well.

Once you have as much whey as possible pressed out of the cheese, wipe any excess whey out of the bowl with a paper towel and place the ball of cheese in the bowl. Or you can certainly use a new bowl. Make sure the bowl is microwave-safe.

Step 4: Heat and stretch the homemade mozzarella cheese

Hand checking the temp of homemade mozzarella cheese with a red thermometer.

Time to heat that curd/cheese up to right around 160 F/71 C. There is a couple of ways to do this.

I just use the microwave and start with 30 seconds then stir the cheese, and then another 20 seconds or so and that usually does the trick.

Or another method is to heat the whey in your pot up to 170 F/76C. And immerse the cheese in it to heat it up. I show that in this mozzarella recipe.

Once you get the homemade mozzarella cheese to temp, start stretching and folding the dough with a spoon, it will be hot.

Hands stretching homemade mozzarella cheese over a bowl.

If there is any leftover liquid/whey pour it into the pot.

Stretch and need the mozzarella cheese for a few minutes, then shape it into a ball.

Hands shaping homemade mozzarella cheese into a ball.

If using the whey to heat up the cheese, immerse the cheese and press it with a spoon, then remove it and squeeze out the whey, etc.

NOTE: If you would like to add salt, you can add cheese salt, flaky sea salt, or kosher salt (not iodized salt) right when you are heating and stretching the cheese. Use 1/8th to 1/4th of a teaspoon.

Step 5: Cool the cheese down and eat it

Hand holding a ball of cheese over a bowl of cold water.

Next, immerse the cheese ball into a bowl of cool water for about 10 minutes. Then add some ice to the water and chill for about 5 to 20 more minutes. Some people allow their cheese to sit in cold water in the fridge overnight before eating it.

TIP: If you want to add more flavor to the cheese, add a few tablespoons of salt to the water as well.

Remove the cheese ball from the water, at this point I like to dab it dry with a paper towel.

Sliced homemade mozzarella cheese on a wooden cutting board.

And just like that, the homemade mozzarella cheese is ready.

Can I make mozzarella cheese with powdered milk?

Yes! You sure can. Check out this mozzarella chees from milk powder recipe to learn how to make homemade mozzarella using powdered milk. This recipe uses a more traditional method with the use of citric acid and rennet as well as showing the use of a cheesecloth.

How long does homemade mozzarella cheese last?

To store it, wrap the homemade mozzarella cheese with plastic wrap and place it in an airtight container, and place it in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks. OR store it in the salt water or whey in a small airtight container, it keeps the cheese damp and flavorful without drying out.

If you want to grate it, wait for it to chill in the fridge for a day or so, or put it in the freezer for a few hours.

Why is my mozzarella cheese hard?

The cheese can become hard, if you cut your curd pieces too small or if it is stretched too much. You want to stretch it as little as possible, just enough to create a smooth texture and form it into a ball.

Why won’t my homemade mozzarella cheese melt?

If you make homemade mozzarella cheese and store it in salted water or whey, which some people like to do, it doesn’t melt well. Because the moisture content in the cheese is very high. It is best to use the cheese right away after making it if you want it to melt. Like for a pizza.

What can I do with the leftover whey?

Don’t throw out that pot of whey! It is very nutritious and can be used in a variety of ways. Pour it into a couple of mason jars and store it in the fridge. It can be used instead of water in most baking or cooking recipes, or in the following ways:

  • Smoothies
  • Water the plants with it
  • Drink it plain
  • Use it to make ricotta cheese
  • Make butter with it
  • Soup stock
  • Feed it to the animals
Homemade mozzarella cheese pin for Pinterest
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Here are other recipes that you may be interested in:

Roasted Peaches

Fudgy Brownies

Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks

3-Ingredient Nutella Cookies

Angel Food Cake

Homemade mozzarella cheese on a wooden cutting board
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4.62 from 62 votes

Homemade Mozzarella Cheese Only 2 Ingredients Without Rennet

Learn how to make yummy homemade mozzarella cheese with just 2 ingredients! If you are a fan of cheese and like making things at home, give this recipe a try!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Soaking time15 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Ingredient, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: dairy, easy, savory, soft
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 56kcal
Author: Matt Taylor

Equipment

  • Large Pot
  • spoon
  • Gloves, (optional)
  • Bowls
  • Plastic wrap
  • Thermometer

Ingredients

  • Half-Gallon of Raw Milk or Pasteurized Whole Milk Do NOT use ultra-pasteurized or homogennized milk, they won't work. (1.89L)
  • 7 Tbsp. white distilled vinegar (4 to 5% acidic) 105ml
  • 1/4 tsp cheese salt, flaky sea salt, kosher salt (optional) don't use iodized table salt (1g)
  • Water for soaking

Instructions

  • Pour the milk into a large pot and place it on the stovetop burner. Set the heat between medium-low and medium. Gently keep stirring the milk so it heats evenly and reaches right around 115 F/46 C.
  • Turn off the heat, and add in the vinegar. Stir in the vinegar for about 30 seconds so it evenly mixes in with the milk. It will start to curdle almost immediately.
  • Add a lid and allow it to sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Gather the curd by taking a spoon or spatula and bring the curd to the side against the pot. Make sure to fish around in the whey, because you will always find extra curd hanging out in there.
  • Then remove the curd from the whey and place it in a bowl.
  • Use very clean hands or wear gloves and grab the curd and cup it in your hands and gently squeeze. Allow the whey to fall into the bowl and then discard it into the big pot of whey.
  • Keep repeating this process several times, using a bit more force each time. You can also place it in the bowl and knead it a bit.
    *If you want to add salt, add it at this time.
  • Place the pressed ball of cheese into a microwave-safe bowl. Heat it on high for about 30 seconds, then check the temp. Stir the cheese and heat it up again for about 20 seconds. The temp of the cheese needs to be about 160F/71C. OR if you don't want to use the microwave heat the whey in the pot to 170 F and soak and stretch the cheese in that.
  • After the cheese hits the proper temp start stretching and folding the dough with a spoon, it will be hot. If there is any leftover liquid/whey pour it into the pot. Then switch to your hands when it cools enough to handle.
  • Then shape it into a ball and place it into a bowl of cool water for about 10 minutes. Next, add in some ice to further cool the water and chill the cheese.
  • The cheese is done. Pat the cheese dry with a paper towel and eat it. Or you can wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for later use, it will last 1 to 2 weeks in the fridge. Grating works better when the cheese is really cold or frozen. Enjoy!

Video

How to Make Mozzarella Cheese 2 Ingredients Without Rennet | Homemade Cheese Recipe

Notes

NOTE: Classic cheesemaking uses ingredients like citric acid and rennet. But white distilled vinegar works too! It turns out a little different but still amazing.
TIP: You can also use cheesecloth if you like, place the curd in the cheesecloth bundle, it up into a ball, and squeeze, this helps remove the whey as well.
NOTE: If you would like to add salt, you can add cheese salt, flaky sea salt, or kosher salt (not iodized salt) right when you are heating and stretching the cheese. Use 1/8th to 1/4th of a teaspoon.
List of ingredients for homemade mozzarella cheese
Tried this recipe?Mention @WPRecipeMaker or tag #wprecipemaker!

Nutrition

Calories: 56kcal

Do you like the recipe? Please give it a rating and comment down below, I really appreciate it.  If you make it tag me on Instagram @inthekitchenwithmatt. Also, sign up for the newsletter so you won’t miss out on any of my new posts and recipes.

Check out my other website 101 Creative Dates for fun date ideas. Food and dating go hand in hand!

210 Comments

  1. Hi Matt, what happens if iodised salt is used?

    • I have used it and it has worked fine, but it has the potential to inhibit bacterial growth which is essential to good cheesemaking. Cheese salt is a flaky non-iodized salt. But again, I haven’t noticed any issues adding it during the melting and stretching phase.

  2. Connie Hazelbaker

    5 stars
    Easy to follow instructions. Easy to make without all the extras. Just what I waslooking for and had ingredients already. Thankyou. I would be making regularly

  3. 5 stars
    My mum taught me easy cottage cheese when we were broke but I nevered dared mozarella.
    Now we have cheese shortages in Australia & if available cheese is expensive. I tried this and OMG I wish I had this recipe b4 cos Im a mozarella addict LOL.

  4. 5 stars
    Great recipe!! I’ve made it a couple times now and turned out great both time. Quick question instead of salt could I use Italian seasoning or dill weed in it??

  5. Valerie Fitzer

    5 stars
    I’ve never made cheese without rennet and citric acid before. I decided to try this recipe and was pleasantly surprised that it came out wonderful. I also used a butter knife to stretch the cheese while it was too hot to handle. I folded it over the knife and just kept folding it over the knife and letting gravity stretch it out and that worked very very well. This will definitely be a repeat recipe for me and I give it five stars.

  6. 4 stars
    This is so great for not having rennet in it! It definitely needs the salt though, I wouldn’t skip on that. I do have a question: after making my cheese ball I ran the rest of the way through my cheese cloth and got enough curds to make one tiny cheese ball. I seasoned it with some Italian herb and other things and then continued to microwave informant but it ended up being super creamy and wouldn’t solidify properly. Is this just because what’s left over is creamier or did the seasonings do something to it?

    • Hi Emily! Yes, that is exactly right, the leftovers that you can extract from the whey, are what is used to make ricotta. So it won’t harden like the first batch. πŸ™‚ Glad you tried it!

  7. 4 stars
    my first time to make cheese. incredibly easy! the result was not bad, I’m sure i will improve with practice. I also used one of your fudge recipes to make fudge(infused) for the first time, and the result was really good! Very simple and easy to follow! Thanks

  8. The cheese turned out ok but was a bit tough? When grilled not appetising at all? It went a green/brown colour?

    • Hello, Heidi! It’s possible you stretched the curds too much, it loses more moisture during that process which can cause it to be dry and rubbery. Sometimes it takes a bit of practice to get it down. If you want to try a more traditional method try using Rennet and citric acid. Like I do with this recipe https://www.inthekitchenwithmatt.com/mozzarella-cheese-from-milk-powder but instead of milk powder use the milk that you used in this recipe. If you do try the rennet way and use raw milk or whole milk start with step 3. But either way, it may take a few times making it, before it gets exactly how you like it. πŸ™‚

  9. 5 stars
    Worked great, thanks for the recipe

  10. 5 stars
    Hello!

    I did this for the first time today and it worked beautifully, except I felt like I got very very little cheese out of a half gallon of milk. Is there a reason that it would curd very well but not make a lot? Ty πŸ™‚ I think it made a 150 gram ball of cheese

  11. I followed the recipe but used Fairlife whole ultra-filtered milk – lactose free. It formed the curds fine however it ever smoothed out in the microwave stage and I was unable to stretch it. The end result looks just like a head of cauliflower. It was dryer and crumbly than expected. Any thoughts? I used a thermometer and followed all the temperature and times in the recipe.

    • It may have something to do with the milk that you used, are you sure it wasn’t ultra-pasteurized, if it was, it won’t work. Did you make sure to heat it up to the proper temp during the microwave stage? After adding the vinegar, instead of letting it sit for 5 minutes, you can try longer time up to 30 minutes. Times can vary depending on the type of milk it seems. At least that has been my experience trying with different milks. I have never tried lactose-free milk. This is a great source: It talks about lactose-free milk https://cheesemaking.com/blogs/learn/faq-milk-and-cream

    • It’s always funny when you see “I followed the recipe….BUT”. Don’t worry, I’ve done that too lol. If we make substitutions with things that require precision, like cheese making and baking then we are bound to end up with varying results. Fairlife ultra-pasteurizes their milk so it will not work for this method.

  12. 5 stars
    Hello, I tried as well and the cheese isn’t melting the second time I’m heating it. It remains hard and with many lumps in it, is uneatable. Hehe

  13. 5 stars
    Hi hi, a question, what if we dont have thermometer? And if the milk is not hot enough, but we pour in the vinegar, and reheat it back, is it considered as a failure? And thank you for this recipe. Hehe

    • It may still work to reheat it after adding the vinegar if it isn’t hot enough. But you really need to use a thermometer for cheese. It needs to be fairly precise, the temperature.

  14. 5 stars
    This was a simple recipe to follow and helped me to reach the long time goal of making cheese πŸ™‚ also a very delicious tasting product!

  15. Breeze Early

    Sounds simple enough can’t wait to try
    TY

  16. 5 stars
    I love how easy you can make your own mozarella! Thanks for the recipe!

  17. 5 stars
    I can’t wait to try this out! I love caprese salad so having fresh mozzarella would be amazing!!!

  18. 5 stars
    This was so easy to make! Can’t even believe how simple and how delicious it was. Homemade cheese forever!!

  19. Mine came out gooey. I used fresh raw milk from my sister’s cow. I just don’t know what happened

    • Hi Carla! I am so jealous you can get fresh raw milk :). Gooey? Did you stretch it? It will be gooey when you heat it up, you need to stretch it, and then as it cools you should be able to ball it up, then place it in the cold water and it will firm up.

  20. Hi Matt, I made your mozzarella with whole milk and vinegar. It turned out curdy like almost cottage cheese. What did I do wrong?

    • It could have been a few things, didn’t leave it in long enough, it isn’t an exact science, sometimes it takes longer to develop the curd. Did you use a thermometer? Did you heat up the curd and try stretching it? Also, did you make sure your whole milk wasn’t ultra-pasteurized?

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