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! 

Farmers Cheese in a bowl

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. 

Farmers Cheese close-up

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 itIf 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. 

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).

cooked donut holes on a plate

Other Tasty Recipes that Use Farmer’s Cheese Recipe

About Author

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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.