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.

Chef John
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Ingredients

12
Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

48 calories; 1.2 g total fat; 5 mg cholesterol; 213 mg sodium. 5.3 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (13)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
12/15/2013
Yum! Used 2% greek yoghurt added minced garlic and chopped chives with the salt. Fantastic on French bread straight out of the oven. Read More
(7)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
08/06/2017
while a nice way to use up yogurt this is NOT cream cheese! It's just firm yogurt! Read More
(1)
15 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 11
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
12/15/2013
Yum! Used 2% greek yoghurt added minced garlic and chopped chives with the salt. Fantastic on French bread straight out of the oven. Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
12/15/2013
Yum! Used 2% greek yoghurt added minced garlic and chopped chives with the salt. Fantastic on French bread straight out of the oven. Read More
(7)
Rating: 5 stars
05/28/2014
This was fun to make and it really worked! Creamy and yummy. Thanks Chef John! Read More
(4)
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Rating: 5 stars
09/07/2016
I make home made yogurt and used this. Excellent!! Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
12/03/2018
Didn’t make it myself. My aunt from Iran used to make this for me about 40 yrs ago when I was in college. It was actually just one of the ways she got rid of extra yogurt as we made our own weekly She would give me a small óleo plastic of it but it was mixed with a variety of herbs (like mint, tarragon and basil) and dried flower petals (rose was especially good) We also made our own cracker bread and I recommend one With poppyseeds and or sesame is especially good with this! Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
12/07/2016
Want to thank you for this recipe works great for me. I only use the first part of this recipe and use pineapples. Its a great recipe love it and so does the family! Read More
(1)
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Rating: 2 stars
08/06/2017
while a nice way to use up yogurt this is NOT cream cheese! It's just firm yogurt! Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
01/21/2017
thanks, chef John! my new favorite way to use up old plain yogurt, i use generic brand greek yogurt & every time it comes out great. Tie tightly, and don't be afraid to give the dripping bundle an extra squeeze when you walk by the fridge. I serve mine drizzled with just softened minced garlic in hot butter, & sprinkle with oregano and crushed black pepper Read More
(1)
Rating: 3 stars
12/12/2014
This is good Read More
(1)
Rating: 3 stars
10/25/2016
Unwrap the cheesecloth and place cream cheese into a mixing bowl sprinkle with salt and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined. 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. Obviously yogurt was meant and not cream cheese. Read More