How to Make Cream Cheese


We're going to use plain old yogurt, a little bit of salt, and a lot of time to make an easy and incredibly delicious homemade cheese. I found some sheeps' milk yogurt at the farmers' market, but I've done this with regular cows' milk yogurt and it works beautifully. The taste is more flavorful and tangier than regular cream cheese.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Additional Time:
3 days
Total Time:
3 days 20 mins
1 round of cream cheese


  • 1 package of cheesecloth

  • 1 (32 ounce) container plain yogurt (such as sheeps' milk yogurt)

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Line a colander with 6 thin layers of cheesecloth set over a bowl, letting the edges of the cheesecloth hang over the sides. Pour in the yogurt and gather the cheesecloth at the top. Tie the bundle together at the top with kitchen twine and hang the yogurt partially inside a large bowl or large measuring cup set in the refrigerator to drain for 24 hours. Check liquid level in container and pour off if it gets too high.

  2. Unwrap the cheesecloth and place cream cheese into a mixing bowl, sprinkle with salt, and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.

  3. Line a 4 1/2-ounce ramekin or a small bowl with 4 thin layers of clean cheesecloth. Spoon the salted cream cheese into the ramekin, avoiding creating air pockets. Smooth top of the cream cheese and place a small circle of plastic on top, cut out of a plastic bag. The plastic should just fit inside the ramekin. Fold the cheesecloth over the top and cut off excess cheesecloth. Place another piece of plastic wrap over the ramekin.

  4. Cut out a small cardboard circle, just barely smaller than the inside of the ramekin, and place the cardboard circle on top of the plastic wrap. Place a small heavy object (such as a can of food) onto the cardboard. Refrigerate to press and age the cream cheese for 2 days.

  5. Carefully unwrap all the layers of plastic and cheesecloth to reveal the pressed cheese. Transfer to a serving plate with the flat side down to show the cheesecloth marks. Refrigerate leftovers.

Cook's Note:

Serve with crisp crackers or toasted bread slices, topped with a drizzle of honey and chopped pistachios.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

48 Calories
1g Fat
5g Carbs
4g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 48
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g 2%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 213mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 139mg 11%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 177mg 4%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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