Homemade Mozzarella Cheese


Learn how to make mozzarella cheese from scratch using this delicious recipe! You can create any shape you desire — try larger balls, small balls, or twists and knots. Store in the refrigerator.

Prep Time:
45 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Additional Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 5 mins
3 balls
Close up on a ball of homemade mozzarella cheese with two slices resting on the cutting board.

Dotdash Meredith Food Studios


  • ¾ cup cool water, divided

  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid rennet

  • 1 ½ teaspoons citric acid

  • 1 gallon raw milk

  • 1 teaspoon salt (Optional)


  1. Combine 1/4 cup water and rennet in a small bowl; mix well.

  2. Combine remaining 1/2 cup water and citric acid in another small bowl; mix until dissolved.

  3. Pour milk into a large pot set over medium heat. Stir in citric acid mixture.

  4. Heat milk, stirring occasionally, until it registers 90 degrees F (32 degrees C) on an instant-read thermometer, about 5 minutes.

    Overhead of a milk mixture in a pot being heated to ninety degrees.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  5. Remove milk from heat and stir in rennet mixture in a figure-8 motion for 30 seconds. Stir counterclockwise for 30 seconds to still the milk. Let stand, covered, until milk sets into curd, 5 to 10 minutes. Press edge of curd gently with a palette knife or the back of a spoon to check for firmness.

    Overhead of solidifying milk mixture being punctured with a palette knife.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  6. Slice vertically into the pot to cut curd into 3/4-inch cubes with a palette knife. Stir curds gently, but leave cubes mostly intact.

    Overhead of forming cheese in a pot with vertical and horizontal cuts running through it.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  7. Return pot to the heat; cook over medium heat, stirring curds gently, until temperature reaches 109 degrees F (43 degrees C), about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

    Overhead of a cheese mixture cooking with a thermometer reading one hundred and nine degrees.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  8. Ladle curds into a colander set over a large bowl using a slotted spoon. Press curds gently to extract liquid whey. Pour drained whey back into the pot.

    Overhead of cheese curds being drained in a colander with a pot of liquid off to the side.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  9. Heat whey to 185 degrees F (85 degrees C), about 5 minutes. Wearing gloves, tear off a piece of curd and place on a slotted spoon. Dip curd into hot whey for 5 to 10 seconds. Stretch, fold, and knead curd. Repeat until mozzarella is smooth and elastic. Knead in salt and form curd into a ball. Repeat dipping and kneading process with remaining curd.

    Hands taking a cheese mixture out of a heated pot and forming balls and placing them on a baking sheet.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  10. Allow mozzarella to cool. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator.


Do not use ultra-high temperature processed (UHT) milk. Regular pasteurized milk will work, but raw milk is best.

At the end of step 7, you may place your curds in a plastic bag and store both the curds and the whey in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days before continuing the process. If you want a softer-textured, moist mozzarella, do not let the curd get as firm and work less when stretching and kneading. You can speed up the cooling process in step 9 by placing mozzarella balls in an ice-water bath.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

195 Calories
11g Fat
15g Carbs
11g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 195
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 6g 31%
Cholesterol 33mg 11%
Sodium 324mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 5%
Total Sugars 15g
Protein 11g
Calcium 368mg 28%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 465mg 10%

* 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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