homemade goat cheese

Homemade Goat Cheese

I made my own raw goat cheese from scratch!  The amazing Patrick brought over some raw goat’s milk from one of his farm friends and that’s where it all began…

And now I can say I’m totally digging this homemade goat cheese, it’s deliciously addicting –at least for me.  We’re back from California, hence the previous sentence using words such as “totally digging.”

I had a wonderful time in Los Angeles working with The Almond Board to promote healthy eating.  I also had so much fun meeting so many of you at the book signing at Erewhon!  Finally, hanging with my parents was great and very relaxing.  Many delicious salads were made together and much fresh California fruit was consumed.  Great trip all around!

Here’s my recipe for homemade goat cheese.  Enjoy!

Print Recipe
Homemade Goat Cheese
  1. In a large saucepan, heat milk to 110°, stirring constantly
  2. Pour milk into a blender, then add yogurt starter and blend on high for 10 seconds
  3. Blending the milk removes any clumps that the yogurt starter may form
  4. Pour milk into yogourmet yogurt maker and turn machine on
  5. Leave yogurt in machine for 12 hours, longer is ok too
  6. Line a colander with cheese cloth and place the colander on a bowl
  7. Pour yogurt into cheesecloth lined colander and allow to drain for 8 hours in refrigerator
  8. Lift cheese cloth off of colander and scrape creamy cheese off onto a plate
  9. Transfer creamy cheese into a 2 cup mason jar
  10. Serve with Rosemary Crackers

My goat cheese was just a tad less firm than the kind you can buy at the store, though I think if I had strained it longer I could have gotten it more firm.

I’m sure you can make yogurt without all the gadgets I mention above, though you’ll probably need to do an Internet search for some alternative directions –this is my method and the one that I am familiar with.  If anyone else has other methods, feel free to chime in with a comment.


  1. Hadia says

    I am delighted to have discovered your website — a seemingly endless treasure of recipes that actually work for me! I’ve recently begun using goat yogurt as my smoothie base. I would welcome ideas for integrating goat kefir into my diet. I am a little intimidated. Thanks.

    • Elana says

      Hi Hadia, thanks for your wonderful comment! I haven’t ever had goat kefir myself so not really sure how to integrate it into one’s diet. If you do figure it out, please stop back by and let us all know :-)

  2. Ginny Barrett says

    I just now, years later, saw this post about goat cheese. I’d you want a thicker cheese, instead of lining a colander worth cheese cloth. Let our sit in said colander for a couple of hours. Then gather up the corners of the cloth and tie together. Slip a wooden spoon under the knot so the bundle of cheese hangs from the spoon. Now lay this spoon across a bowl so it catches the dripping. Put it back in the refrigerator.

    I just made some apricot chutney, plenty of them this year, and it would go great with this cheese!

  3. says

    Four points:

    First, and perhaps the most important: if you let the yoghurt “take” for over 24 hours, there’s no more lactose. (Source: Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall, about the Specific Carbohydrate Diet to heal the gut.)

    Second, you can make yogurt by putting the mixture in a glass jar and setting right next to an incandescent 60 w (or stronger) light bulb. Turn the jar from time to time so it gets heated more or less evenly. If you let it take for 24+ hours, this means the light will be on overnight, so use a reliable fixture.

    Third, you make an easy cheese strainer by lining a plastic coffee pour-over filter support with a paper filter, filling the filter with the yoghurt, covering it, and setting the whole thing over a recipient (jar or bowl) in the fridge. Yes, the longer it stains, the thicker the cheese will get.

    Four, you can use this soft cheese in recipes that call for cream cheese.

    Elana, I love your blog and books. You’re a genius!

    All best wishes

  4. Yael says

    I clicked on Yogourmet Yogurt Starter, but in amazon it is ot avilablen no more. Can you tell me where can I found it?
    Thank you, yael
    I found your web site this week, and I think I found my cure. I am gluten free almost a year now but I am still having migraine . (all others symptom are gone)
    Thank you yael

  5. Catherine says

    This recipe looks delicious. Just a quick note though…in order to sterilize milk and prevent dangerous bacteria from growing, it must be heated to 180 degrees and then cooled to 110 to enable sub-culturing.

  6. Jaan says

    I wanted an, hopefully, easy recipe for homemade goats cheese…and you had it. I make regular yogurt but heating the milk to ‘blood temp’ then adding starter. Leaving it bundled up on the counter overnite. So, will try this the same way. I kept looking thru all your recipes. Always trying to find healthier ways of cooking for my diabetic husband and growing son. Can not wait to get started on your breads and snacks. I will have to work around some of the ingredients as we live in Pakistan. Thanks a million for your hard work on all the recipes.

  7. Kirsten says

    I think this would be the perfect snack to make. I love goat cheese and so does my mom. We have been looking for recipes for goat cheese for a long time. Thank you Elana.

  8. says

    Have been making yogurt for awhile; originally inspired by David Frankhauser’s cheese page-very cool. I used to do several jars in my oven on the “keep warm” setting, approx. 120 degrees. Raises the utility bill a bit, but helps to do big batches.

  9. says

    how lucky you are to have a farmer friend with premium goat milk. I usually get mine from Whole Foods, but still not “farm fresh”. Your recipe is wonderful and the culinary possibilities are endless!!!

  10. says

    I’m am totally loving you right now! I do have a good, clean source of raw goat’s milk, and I think I’m going back to get some just for this recipe.

  11. Ruth J. Hirsch says

    Dear Elana,

    Welcome home. Glad it was a good trip.

    While I do have a Yogourmet yogourt maker, a wonderful gift, I have been leaving it in the pantry. I switched to making it in the oven using the lightbulb as a constant heat source. It has been amazing. I stopped bothering, but for quite a while, would put the sensor for my digital thermometer in the yogurt, the readout on a surface nearby. The temp would stay at 100 degrees, f, not varying bec the lightbulb of course, does not vary the output of heat. To give full credit, it was Esther of Digestive Wellness, who sells yogurt makers, who suggested this.

    Also, if someone does want a yogourt maker, there is an interesting one I found on-line, and, far as I know, now sold at Digestive Wellness. It comes with jars, however, it also accepts most any size jar you’d like to use in it–even quite large ones.

    Many thanks, as ever, for your on-going generosity,


  12. says

    Hi Elena,
    Your cheese looks delicious. I’m on a cheesemaking kick,also. Recently made a simple ricotta recipe that I found at David Bleckman’s website, http://www.joyofcheesemaking.com

    It was delicious and I used it for “Baked Ricotta”. After the cheese drains for the proscribed time, you mix it with around 1/2 cup of chopped fresh herbs (I used basil, parsley, and oregano), some salt and freshly ground pepper. Then press it into a 9 inch greased pie pan and brush with evoo. Bake at 350 for around 45-50 minutes, cool 15 minutes and cut in wedges to serve. Great with olives, salad and a glass of vino.

  13. ~M says

    Hey Elana,

    My guess is you could use a crockpot in lieu of a yogurt maker. Crockpot365 has instructions about how to make yogurt in a crockpot.

    Also, I thought you might want to enter this post into this contest…it’s definitely “cool goat stuff”:

    • Sunny B says

      ~M, you are officially my hero of the day! Yogurt in a crockpot? Fantastic. Especially given my daughters milk allergy, this will be a great way to not only indulge on this yummy goats milk cheese recipe, but to also make her some creamy decadent home-made yogurt and ice cream. So excited! Thank you.

    • CJ Chard says

      I have been told that you should use the pasteurized but NOT the ultra pasteurized goat milk, and, if you use raw goats milk it will not last as long.

    • CJ says

      You do not have to use raw milk, just get regular pasteurized goat milk, NOT ultra…and no, it will not work with ultra pasteurized.

  14. Claire says

    Hi there – what a fab recipe!

    I make my own cream cheese from yoghurt when I have too much in the fridge (ok so it is not really ‘making’!) – just stir in a couple of pinches of sea salt, put it into a cheesecloth (or I use an old but much washed linen cloth) in a colander (or I hang over the sink overnight in winter) tied loosely at the top overnight.

    Yummy, especially if you use Greek-style natural yoghurt. Works with the low fat stuff too, just slightly sharper taste and not quite such a stiff consistency.

    Both lovely with fresh herbs chopped in, currently loving wild garlic which is just coming to the end of the season here in UK. Also delicious with chopped chives and a few pretty purple chive flowers strewn artfully about ;o)

    x Claire

  15. says

    Oh, wow, thank you SO much for this post! I have gallons of frozen raw goats’ milk lying around, and for some reason, it isn’t appealing to me as a beverage right now. Not sure why, as I’ve really enjoyed it in the past. But I KNOW I’ll love goats’ cheese. Yum yum.

  16. Megan Hughes says

    The low tech alternative to a yogurt machine is an insulated cooler with jugs or jars of hot water in it. Or I have used a cardboard box and blankets and jugs of hot water. Tops of refrigerators, hot water heaters and computers are also a warm place to keep blanketed milk warm. You might as well use the wasted heat.

  17. Anne Merideth says

    Hi Elana,
    I am totally digging your goat cheese recipe. And, to be perfectly honest, I still say variations on “dig” all the time even though I’ve lived on the east coast for 21 years now! I have purged “far out” from my vocabulary, though :-).
    Your California Pal, xo Anne

  18. says

    Mmmmm, what a great idea!
    I will have to try using goats milk with my Kefir grains.
    I normally use them with cow’s milk to make kefir (a yogurt like drink that is teaming with probiotics), and then on to cream cheese by straining the whey using an unbleached coffee filter (which then can be used to make preserves and pickles).
    I bet it would work the same for goats milk.
    The best part about using the grains is that not only is it very easy – you just place the grains & in a sealed jar for 24hrs, but you also get all that good bacteria through the fermentation into kefir.

    Looks like I’m off to buy some goats milk, thanks for the inspiration!

  19. says

    Wow! I’m so proud! I’m glad you enjoyed all the California produce we have right now! You picked a great time of year to come–berries are perfect, apricots have been great, and the greens…oh, the greens are always great :)

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