Super Simple Series: 5-minute Homemade Cottage Cheese Recipe

Super Simple Series: 5-minute Homemade Cottage Cheese Recipe on

– After making blueberry pecan buttermilk pancakes, try this homemade cottage cheese recipe with the leftovers. –

This post kicks off an ongoing series I’m starting to highlight amazingly easy recipes that maximize your time in the kitchen. Because I’m overly fond of alliteration, I’m dubbing it the Super Simple Series. I’ll be sharing a bunch of things – from DIY projects to whole dishes – and every last one of them will take almost no work. Amen to that! To start the series, I’ve got something really interesting that will come in handy when you’re awash in extra buttermilk over the holiday season (or any other time of year).

Ever wondered what to do with all the leftover buttermilk after you make pancakes? Or biscuits? Or a cake/pie/whathaveyou? Buttermilk isn’t cheap and no one likes to waste food. The best trick I’ve found is to turn it into cottage cheese.

Yes, you read that right. You can make cottage cheese out of leftover buttermilk. And it requires no other ingredients. Huzzah! And there was a whole conversation recently about whether or not artisan cheese is the healthiest cheese, this is well timed.

This simple recipe is perfect for whatever amount of buttermilk you’ve got left, because it takes no additional ingredients (save for a little salt and cream, if you like, to add extra flavor to the finished product). At it’s simplest, you don’t even need to measure anything. All you have to do is pour some buttermilk into a pot, heat it for a few minutes, and let it sit.

That’s it. See, I told you this was the Super Simple Series!

I found this idea in one of the ShortStacksEditions I picked up last year. I love these little cookbooks; they’re clever and creative, and since they’re so short, they really get to the heart of cooking with no extra fluff. I highly recommend you check them out. They’re a lot of fun and pretty cheap.

And in case you don’t believe me when I say how easy it is to make this homemade cottage cheese recipe at home, with just your leftover buttermilk, let me give you a visual guide:


Super Simple Series: 5-minute Homemade Cottage Cheese Recipe on

– First you heat the buttermilk. It begins to form a curd, even with no added acid.-


Super Simple Series: 5-minute Homemade Cottage Cheese Recipe on

– The curds will continue to form. It only takes 5 minutes! –


Super Simple Series: 5-minute Homemade Cottage Cheese Recipe on

– Strain your cottage cheese through some cheesecloth or a clean cotton cloth. –


Super Simple Series: 5-minute Homemade Cottage Cheese Recipe on

– What’s next? If you want, you can stir in a little salt and cream. –


Super Simple Series: 5-minute Homemade Cottage Cheese Recipe on

– That’s it! Enjoy the fruits of all your hard work. Ahem. –

If you’re looking for a more traditional method, I’ve also got this cottage cheese recipe.


5-minute Homemade Cottage Cheese Recipe with Buttermilk
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 4
  • Calories: 137
  • Fat: 6g
  • Saturated fat: 4g
  • Unsaturated fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 12g
  • Sodium: 2111mg
  • Protein: 8g
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This homemade cottage cheese recipe is the perfect way to use up all that leftover buttermilk after making pancakes, biscuits, or any other buttermilk-based cooking project. It's so simple even a child could do it - in fact, this is a great recipe to make with the kids.
  • 4 cups buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Heat buttermilk in a large saucepan over low heat. Watching carefully, allow the buttermilk to heat until it steams and small bubbles slowly saunter to the surface, but do not let it boil. As the buttermilk heats, curds will start to form. Don't stir, which will break up the curds. Once the buttermilk is about to boil, remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Line a strainer with cheesecloth of a clean cotton handkerchief. Discard the whey, if you like, or keep it for another use. (See notes.) Allow the curds to cool in the strainer for 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and stir in heavy cream and salt, being careful not to smash the curds. Keeps in the refrigerator for up to a week in an airtight container.
If you want to keep the whey that's leftover after you make your cottage cheese, store in in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week. You can add it to soups, smoothies, or rice/pasta cooking water for a little extra flavor and protein.
If you don't want to use cream, you can sprinkle in a few tablespoons of half & half or whole milk. Or leave it out altogether for a drier, firmer homemade cottage cheese.


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