Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (2024)

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Looking for the best farmer’s cheese recipe ever? Look no further. This one is creamy, dreamy, and can be used anywhere you would use cottage cheese!

Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (1)

Once you try this recipe for homemade farmer’s cheese, you can guarantee that you will never want to buy a store-bought or packaged variety again (or at least most of the time, right?). In my lifetime, I’ve tried so many different versions of this Eastern European staple but haven’t quite landed on one that’s checked all my boxes…until this one. It’s the perfect combination of creaminess and texture and incorporates into our favorite Slavic recipes so well. You’ll love how it takes virtually no time to get those quintessential curdles!

More cheese, please! Try this homemade cheese if you want a versatile, creamy, slightly firm cheese!

What Exactly is Farmer’s Cheese?

Farmer’s cheese is an unripened cheese and key ingredient in many Eastern European cakes, pastries, and dumplings. Similar to cottage cheese, it boasts a ridiculously creamy texture and versatility. You’ll find it made with everything from sheep, goat, and cow’s milk and prepared with a zillion different methods. In our 3 ingredient version, we use a natural curdling process powered by lemon juice and vinegar and nix the need for hard-to-find ingredients like rennet (a set of enzymes used for cheesemaking). Below, find a rundown of the flavor, texture, and time it takes to make our rustic, simplified version.

  • Flavor: The flavor of farmer’s cheese favors American-style cottage cheese. It’s milky with a slight amount of tang and acidity.
  • Texture: The texture of farmer’s cheese is also super similar to cottage cheese with the exception that it’s a bit firmer due to its higher fat content and lower moisture content.
  • Time: From start to finish, this super speedy recipe for farmer’s cheese only requires 30 minutes to pull together.

What’s a good substitute for farmer’s cheese? We’ve already mentioned that cottage cheese is a good alternative, but Indian paneer and ricotta work too. That said, certain Slavic recipes (like pierogis, blintzes, and vareniki) are simply not as authentic without it.

Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (2)

Making Farmer’s Cheese from Scratch

Preparing this simplified recipe for farmer’s cheese only requires milk, lemon juice, and white vinegar. Below, find a quick rundown of the recipe before you dive in.

  • Boil the Milk: In a large pot, bring the milk to boil over medium hit, stirring it every so often so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Once it boils, immediately turn off the heat.
  • Stir in the Lemon Juice and Vinegar: Using a spatula or slotted spoon, stir in the lemon juice and vinegar. After about 5 minutes, the milk will begin to curdle.
  • Strain the Milk: Line a colander or fine-mesh strainer with a cheesecloth and pour the milk through. Pick up the cheesecloth and twist the top like a purse. Next, drain out as much of the whey as you can.
  • Press the Cheese: Place the drained cheese on a plate and weigh it down with a heavy pot or pan (a Dutch oven works great). Finally, leave it pressed at room temperature overnight.
  • Store the Cheese: Transfer the cheese to an airtight container and use it as you wish.

Top Tips for the Most Authentic Farmer’s Cheese

Here you’ll find our top tips for making the most authentic farmer’s cheese possible.

  • Use full-fat whole milk. Whole milk yields the creamiest curds. Refrain from using 2% or 1% or it will turn out watery.
  • Use a candy thermometer to check the milk’s temperature. The milk should reach around 205°F before you remove it from heat. To take the guesswork out, use a candy thermometer to check on it periodically.
  • Add different spices and herbs to it. If you want a pop of savory flavor, add in some freshly cracked salt and pepper, sautéed onions, and herbs. This goes wonderfully spread on a slice of toasted rye or sourdough!

Tasty Ways to Use Homemade Farmer’s Cheese

While there are a handful of traditional Slavic recipes that call for farmer’s cheese, there are also plenty of off-the-beaten-path ways to tap into its mild flavor. Below, find some inspiration.

  • Farmer’s Cheese Coffee Cake Recipe
  • ​Pierogi with Farmer’s Cheese (Vareniki Recipe)
  • Farmer’s Cheese Cake aka Zapenkanka
  • Use in place of ricotta in stuffed shells or lasagna
  • Add it to your favorite Mediterranean recipe in place of feta cheese
  • Use it in Indian dishes and curries instead of paneer
  • Spread it on a piece of toast alongside some honey or jam for a quick breakfast on-the-go

Tips for Storage

To keep your cheese fresh for up to 10 days, store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container. This will keep it from hardening or soaking up any lingering smells hanging out in your fridge. Some also like to wrap it in a layer of wax paper, followed by a layer of plastic wrap. This method is a bit harder with crumbly cheese, but perfectly acceptable if you prefer it.

FAQ

Are you supposed to leave the farmer’s cheese pressed at room temperature overnight?

Yes, leave the farmer’s cheese pressed at room temperature. Once all the whey is removed the next day, pop it into an airtight container and store it in the fridge.

Can you use a different kind of milk besides whole milk?

It’s not recommended that you use any other milk besides whole milk. A non-dairy, lower-fat, or lactose-free milk just won’t get as creamy or yield the right texture.

Can you eat the cheese immediately after it’s rested overnight?

Yes, it’s perfectly acceptable to eat the farmer’s cheese after it’s rested overnight. Feel free to use it right away!

How many cups of cheese does this recipe yield?

This recipe yields about 2-3 cups of farmer’s cheese. This varies depending on the type of milk you use and the level of fat content it has.

What are some other names for farmer’s cheese?

Lots of other cultures have their very own rendition of farmer’s cheese. A couple of other kinds include queso blanco (Mexican-style), paneer (Indian-style), and quark (German-style).

Other Tasty Recipes that Use Farmer’s Cheese Recipe

  • Farmer’s Cheese Doughnut Holes (Russian Ponchiki) – Crispy fried doughnut holes with farmer’s cheese filling
  • Russian Cream Cheese Vatrushka Buns – Soft buns stuffed with sweet cheese and raisins
  • Puff Pastry Cheese Turnovers – Sweet cheese mini-turnovers
  • Sochniki (Sweet Cheese Cookies) – Shortbread cookies with sweet cheese filling

Recipe

Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (4)

Easy Farmer’s Cheese Recipe

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Servings

2 cups

Prep Time 10 minutes mins

Cook Time 20 minutes mins

Total Time 30 minutes mins

Recipe contributed by: Natalya Drozhzhin

This easy homemade farmer's cheese recipe is made with just 3 ingredients – milk, lemon juice, and white vinegar. A true Slavic staple!

Ingredients

US UnitsMetric

Instructions

  • In a large pot, bring the milk to a boil over medium heat. Make sure to stir it occasionally so it doesn't stick or burn to the bottom.

  • As soon as the milk begins to boil, turn off the heat. Using a spatula or slotted spoon, stir in the lemon juice and white vinegar. Within 5 minutes, the milk should begin to curdle.

  • Line a colander with a cheesecloth and pour the milk through to strain out the curdles.

  • Bundle the cloth around the cheese like a coin purse and bring out as much of the whey as you can.

  • Place the wrapped cheese on a plate and weigh it down with a heavy pot or pan. Leave it to press overnight.

  • Keep the farmer's cheese stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use it in your favorite recipes and baked goods. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe

Amount Per Serving

Calories 1726 Calories from Fat 819

% Daily Value*

Fat 91g140%

Saturated Fat 53g265%

Polyunsaturated Fat 3g

Monounsaturated Fat 20g

Cholesterol 341mg114%

Sodium 1080mg45%

Potassium 4353mg124%

Carbohydrates 139g46%

Fiber 0.3g1%

Sugar 139g154%

Protein 93g186%

Vitamin A 4605IU92%

Vitamin C 35mg42%

Calcium 3498mg350%

Iron 0.1mg1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Posted March 1, 2022

About Author

Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (11)

Natalya Drozhzhin

Natalya founded Momsdish to demonstrate that placing a homemade meal on the table is not hard at all. Natalya makes cooking easier and approachable, by simplifying the ingredients, while still producing the same great taste.

  1. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (12)

    SamanthaMar 2, 2024

    Is this farmers cheese sour?

    1. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (13)

      Natalya DrozhzhinMar 4, 2024

      No it is not sour. I hope you give it a try!

  2. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (14)

    Dawn LockeJan 23, 2024

    Do you leave it on the counter or the fridge? Thank you, looking forward to trying it!

    1. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (15)

      Natalya DrozhzhinJan 23, 2024

      Hey Dawn, I store it in an airtight container in the fridge up to ten days. I hope you try it soon, and I look forward to hearing back from you!

  3. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (16)

    sara blakelyJan 22, 2024

    We made this recipe in my Culinary class. It kept burning on the bottom of the pot. Any ideas how to avoid this?

    1. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (17)

      Natalya DrozhzhinJan 22, 2024

      Hey Sara, That's unfortunate it kept burning! I'm sorry to hear that. How often were you stirring it and what temperature did you have the stove set to?

  4. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (18)

    SarahJan 17, 2024

    The recipe calls for 6 quarts of milk. Is this correct?

  5. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (20)

    Dorothy SmithJan 16, 2024

    Really simple for me to make and very good!!! Thank you

    1. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (21)

      Natalya DrozhzhinJan 16, 2024

      So happy to hear you love this recipe Dorothy! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (22)

    Amanda SmithOct 27, 2023

    So excited to try this! My husband is Russian and his mom was here making Syrniki but the cottage cheese at the store was so runny, so I’m excited to make this and use it for Syrniki 🥰💕 thank you !

    1. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (23)

      Natalya DrozhzhinOct 27, 2023

      Hi Amanda, You'll love this farmer's cheese in Syrniki! Enjoy!

  7. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (24)

    Irene RothOct 23, 2023

    In Russia, where I grew up, there was, fortunately, no such thing as the hard-curdled, salty thing that's called 'cottage cheese' here..
    There was, though, a widely available, delicious, and unsalted' product called 'tvorog'.
    That's analogous to what one could get here with the name 'farmer's cheese'...

    To make Real 'tvorog', a smooth, delicious product that we used to eat practically every day, one does NOT use lemon juice/vinegar.

    Instead, you could either use Just buttermilk, or, more economically, mixture of buttermilk (or kefir) with milk.

    Maybe boil milk(?0 beforehand, then cool to tepid (don't know temp...), add kefir/..., put the container into a warm water bath, not too hot (put on low burner), and wait till the mixture starts curdling; it will start looking like clouds of curdles; leave till whey is mostly formed...
    Do the same as in recipe, and then, instead of putting press over it, I hang the cheese cloth bundle from the kitchen faucet....

    Good luck.

    1. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (25)

      Natalya DrozhzhinOct 23, 2023

      Hi Irene- thank you for the comment! Each cook has their own method, thank you for sharing yours. 🙂 Regarding using just buttermilk...adding the lemon juice & vinegar essentially makes it buttermilk. I find it easier to make this way since buttermilk isn't often sold in larger quantities the way milk is.

  8. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (26)

    AlexAug 20, 2023

    That’s not how you make farmer’s cheese!👎👎👎👎

    1. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (27)

      Natalya DrozhzhinAug 21, 2023

      Hi Alex, I would love to hear how you make farmer's cheese. 🙂

  9. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (28)

    Yevgeniya LJul 26, 2023

    Hi Natalya, Can this cheese be frozen? And if yes, for how long?

    1. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (29)

      Natalya DrozhzhinJul 27, 2023

      Hi Yevgeniya, I personally do not freeze farmer's cheese. I know some do freeze it for up to three months. Just keep in mind if you do freeze it, the texture may change. I hope this helps!

  10. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (30)

    SerenaJul 18, 2023

    What can I use if I don’t have a cheese cloth

    1. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (31)

      Natalya DrozhzhinJul 19, 2023

      Hi Serena, If you don't have a cheesecloth, I'd recommend using something that is pure cotton like a flour sack towel (these can be purchased at walmart or amazon). I hope this helps.

      1. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (32)

        StacieSep 5, 2023

        Are those also called “ T towels”? Do you have any favorite herbs you like to add? Thank you😁

        1. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (33)

          Natalya DrozhzhinSep 6, 2023

          Hi Stacie, From my understanding T-towels can vary in thickness, material and how tightly woven they are so they are not be the best for straining liquids. I recommend cheesecloths and when in a pinch, thin flour sacks. I personally don't add herbs to my farmer's cheese. I leave it plain since I usually use it in other recipes.

  11. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (34)

    VictoriaApr 7, 2023

    How long does it stay good in fridge?

    1. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (35)

      Natalya DrozhzhinApr 7, 2023

      Hi there Victoria, To keep your cheese fresh for up to 10 days, store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container. This will keep it from hardening or soaking up any lingering smells hanging out in your fridge. Thank you for reaching out!

  12. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (36)

    Fred ClevelandFeb 10, 2023

    Your nutrition facts are not helpful. How many servings? What serving size?
    Fred

    1. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (37)

      Natalya DrozhzhinFeb 11, 2023

      Hi Fred, this recipe makes about 2-3 cups of Farmers cheese, I will make a note in the recipe. Thanks for brining this to my attention.

  13. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (38)

    Cheryl SypniewskiJan 5, 2023

    My husband told me his mother (I never met) used to make Pierogis with Farmers Cheese so we looked high and low to try and find Farmers Cheese with no luck. No one had it. It says in here it's in most stores, Not. Any idea where I might find it? I had a recipe I found years ago for it but he said it just wasn't the same. Help.

    1. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (39)

      KeithMar 15, 2023

      Cheryl, I was able to find farmer's cheese at Sam's Club. It was the only store that had it.

    2. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (40)

      ElinaJan 10, 2023

      Hi Cheryl. It depends where you live. If you have Publix around they usually have friendship dairies farmer cheese. Also I would check Russians/Eastern European stores if you have them in your area.

    3. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (41)

      ScottJan 7, 2023

      Hey Cheryl, after you made the cheese it this recipe did you prep it for pierogis? When used for pierogi filling it is traditionally seasoned by adding egg yolks and sugar to the cheese. This might have been the step you missed if you filling didn’t taste right. You should be about to find a ratio of yolks/sugar vs weight of cheese you need to use looking for another recipe online. Sorry I don’t know just off the top of my head.

      Good luck! My wife and are are making pierogis for our freezer tomorrow 🙂

    4. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (42)

      Natalya DrozhzhinJan 5, 2023

      Hi there Cheryl. I usually buy mine at sprouts. If you dont have that store around you, I recommend you make your own! We have an awesome and easy recipe for farmers cheese. I will link it for you here. https://momsdish.com/recipe/2…
      Hope this helps. Good luck!

  14. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (43)

    JewelsDec 22, 2022

    How many pounds does this make?
    I need 3 lbs

    1. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (44)

      Natalya DrozhzhinDec 22, 2022

      Hi Jewels- it yields about 2-3 cups of cheese, so you would definitely need to double or triple this recipe at least.

  15. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (45)

    GeneNov 19, 2022

    I liked how easy this recipe is but it doesn’t yield a lot of tvorog. I got about a pound and a half.

    1. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (46)

      Natalya DrozhzhinNov 20, 2022

      Hi Gene, So glad to hear this recipe was a success! Enjoy!

  16. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (47)

    TaylorNov 18, 2022

    Thank you!! I'm almost done making my own cheese because of you. 🙂

    1. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (48)

      Natalya DrozhzhinNov 18, 2022

      Hi Taylor- I'm so glad you are giving this recipe a try! Enjoy it. Is there something you plan to make out of the farmers cheese?

  17. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (49)

    DianeNov 11, 2022

    Natalya, can sheep milk be used to make farmers cheese?

    1. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (50)

      Natalya DrozhzhinNov 11, 2022

      Hi Diane, I have not tried using sheep milk. You would need to use a high fat content milk. If you give it a try, I am very interested in the result. Good luck!

  18. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (51)

    JennyOct 11, 2022

    This is great, and I will be making it next week. It's something I've always wanted to try. I will ask my Czech friend for recipes!

    1. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (52)

      Natalya DrozhzhinOct 11, 2022

      Hi Jenny! I would love to hear how this recipe turned out after you make it. Make sure you also tag us @Momsdish on Facebook and Instagram. Enjoy!

  19. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (53)

    Brian S ParkerJul 17, 2022

    for those looking to scale up or down...

    half gallon of milk - 1/4 cup of Lemon Juice - 2 teaspoons of White Vinegar..

    that should do ya..

    also, I flipped my colander over and placed my cheesecloth in the base in my sink which held it nicely to drain.. I then put a glass pie plate over top of that inverted and on top of that I put a large mason jar half filled with water... the pie plate helps distribute the downward force evenly and the colander base has a ring as it's stand and that keeps the cheesecloth in and of course, the holes in the bottom of the colander (top now since it's upside down) allow for the whey to drain from the block being pressed.. actually makes a nice little cheese wheel shape!

    can't wait to taste it in the morning!

    1. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (54)

      Natalya DrozhzhinJul 18, 2022

      Hey Brian, love all the tips! Thanks for taking the time to share, I know it will be useful for many.

  20. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (55)

    JosephJun 5, 2022

    very nice just put the plate on a larger plate and raise one end of the smaller plate so liquid drains away from the cheese cloth

    1. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (56)

      Natalya DrozhzhinJun 6, 2022

      Thank you for the tip, Joseph!

  21. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (57)

    J LFeb 27, 2022

    Can you make this recipe half or 1/4 I only need a little cheese for some pancakes?

    1. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (58)

      Natalya DrozhzhinFeb 28, 2022

      Hi JL- yes, I think you could halve the recipe without any issues.

  22. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (59)

    VickyFeb 11, 2022

    Do you use fresh squeezed lemon juice or store bought?

    1. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (60)

      Natalya DrozhzhinFeb 11, 2022

      Hi Vicky, either can work. Since its a larger quantity, using store bought lemon juice may be faster!

  23. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (61)

    JackieJan 30, 2022

    Thank you for this recipe!! It’s becoming impossible to find dry farmers cheese for our annual family pierogi party here in Florida so I’m attempting to make our own. I’m starting with a “practice batch” using your recipe 😊
    I followed your directions exactly and it turned out perfect. My only question is: do you allow it to cool in the colander/cheesecloth before squeezing it out? I tried to squeeze it right away and it was a bit hot to handle. Also, 1 1/2 gallons of milk yielded 1 1/2 pounds of cheese…delightfully more than I expected 🙂

    1. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (62)

      Natalya DrozhzhinJan 31, 2022

      You're welcome, Jackie! Yes, you can let it cool for a bit before straining it so that it's easier to handle.

  24. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (63)

    LenaJan 24, 2022

    Hi Natalya! I used Costco brand milk, since they didn't have the organic kind. Recipe is so easy to make. It was a total success!!!
    I made сырники already.
    Recipe us going in the trusted recipe collection
    Great job!

    1. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (64)

      Natalya DrozhzhinJan 24, 2022

      Thank you for the feedback, Lena. I'm glad this recipe was a winner for you!

  25. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (65)

    LenaJan 22, 2022

    Natalya! What kind of milk do you use?

    1. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (66)

      Natalya DrozhzhinJan 22, 2022

      Hi, Lena. I use whole milk!

  26. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (67)

    LenaJan 12, 2022

    Hi Natalya
    How many gallons of milk do you need for this recipe. I am in US
    Please let me know I want to .ake it asap

    1. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (68)

      Natalya DrozhzhinJan 13, 2022

      Hi Lena - 6 quarts is about 1.5 gallons. Hope this helps! Let me know how it turns out. Thanks!

  27. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (69)

    Cecilia GDec 11, 2021

    So glad to have found this recipe. Farmer cheese is so hard to come by here in northern Vermont. Sometimes we can get it around Christmas, but not other times of the year. And our family absolutely loves pierogi and definitely want to eat it year round. Unfortunately I became lactose intolerant recently and thus have not eaten pierogi the past years. I am anxious to try making our own farmers cheese with lactose free whole milk. (i.e. Lactaid) Do you know if it will work?

    1. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (70)

      KcMar 7, 2023

      Vermont Creamery makes quark

    2. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (71)

      Natalya DrozhzhinDec 12, 2021

      Hi Cecillia - Pierogi is such a comfort, I'm sorry you haven't been able to enjoy it! I've never actually`tried making farmer's cheese with Lactaid. Let me know if you try it and how it turns out. I'm very curious. Thank you for the kind words and fingers crossed you enjoy them soon!

  28. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (72)

    ValNov 22, 2021

    Hi, I'm wondering if there's a brand of whole milk that might work best? I know you say whole milk.

    1. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (73)

      Natalya DrozhzhinNov 22, 2021

      Hi Val - Thanks for the note. I typically go for organic milk like Horizon Organics or Organic Valley (typically whatever is being sold at Costco is what I have on hand). I find that the taste is richer than most standard milks. Hope this helps!

  29. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (74)

    CorneliusNov 12, 2021

    Coming from a Mennonite background, I am used to make farmer cheese out of old milk, without any need to add lemon, vinegar, kephir, yoghurt pr renet. Just let the milk get old (about 2 days out of the fridge will do it), and bring close to the boiling point. Let cool off and rinse.

    1. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (75)

      Natalya DrozhzhinNov 13, 2021

      Hi Cornelius, thank you for that tip!! That is another great option!

  30. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (76)

    CarolineSep 12, 2021

    Can I use this the same day that I make it?

    1. Easy Farmer's Cheese Recipe (77)

      Natalya DrozhzhinSep 13, 2021

      Hey Caroline, yes for sure. Enjoy

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