Homemade fresh goat cheese Three simple ingredients yield the best goat cheese you’ve ever tasted

Homemade fresh goat cheese

Milk heated to just the right temperature, then mixed with a starter culture, is the basis for the stunning and endlessly diverse array of cheeses found across the world. To me this is not just extraordinary; it’s alchemy… food alchemy!

Store-bought vs. homemade goat cheese: no contest!

We’ve all been conditioned to buy our cheeses at the market. But you may have noticed—whenever it’s possible, I love making the food my family eats in my own kitchen. Don’t worry; I won’t be tackling (or publishing) Camemberts or aged cheddars any time soon—I’d rather purchase those gems from local artisans. But when it comes to fresh cheeses, the work is worth it. You just cannot compare a homemade cheese to the plastic-wrapped stuff found in supermarkets.

Making cheese at home is easier than you might think

I started making my own ricotta a couple of years ago, and I’ve never looked back. Then my interest expanded to include fresh goat cheese. Now I’m experimenting with other fresh cheeses (fromage blanc is next!). I find it to be pure joy.

This fresh goat cheese recipe is so simple. Three ingredients and a bit of time will give you the lightest, freshest, creamiest goat cheese you’ve ever tasted.

So here’s a promise: once you start making your own fresh cheeses, you’ll be hooked!

Homemade fresh goat cheese


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Homemade fresh goat cheese

makes 1 lb (455 g)
active time: 30 min

  1. 1/2 gallon (190 cl) homogenized and pasteurized goat milk (not ultra-pasteurized or ultra-homogenized)
  2. 1/2 packet C20G chèvre starter (scant 1/8 teaspoon)
  3. 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  1. butter muslin (for draining soft cheeses)

  1. Use non-reactive cookware and utensils (stainless steel, ceramic, glass or plastic) to make your cheese.
  2. Step 1: Remove the milk from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Place the milk in a heavy-bottomed pot. Heat milk over medium heat until it reaches 86 ºF (30 ºC). Remove pan from heat and sprinkle the C20G starter over the whole surface of the milk. Let stand for 5 minutes to rehydrate the starter. Then whisk the milk for 20 seconds to distribute the starter evenly. Cover the pan and let stand at room temperature, undisturbed, for 12 hours until thick curds have formed. The ideal room temperature for ripening the cheese is between 70 ºF and 75 ºF (21 ºC and 24 ºC).
  3. Step 2: Wet the butter muslin with spring water and squeeze all the water out. Line a medium colander with the damp cheesecloth and suspend it over a large bowl or pot. Carefully ladle the curds into the colander and let drain for 2 hours. Sprinkle the curds with the salt and gently stir until the salt is well incorporated. Grab the ends of the butter muslin and tie them into a knot. Suspend the cheese over a large bowl or pot for 6 to 12 hours, depending on how thick you’d like your goat cheese to be. (The longer you drain the cheese, the thicker it will get.) Once the cheese has reached the desired consistency, use it right away or transfer to a container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
  4. Cook’s note: The butter muslin can be reused many times. Once you’ve made your cheese, wash it thoroughly in warm soapy water, rinse it several times and hang it to dry. Now it’s ready for your next batch!

Viviane’s tip
  1. Here’s a fun way to serve your fresh goat cheese: Spoon the cheese into a glass jar. Top with minced fresh thyme and drizzle with a fruity olive oil, as shown in the photo below. Serve with a crusty loaf of bread or crackers.

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Homemade fresh goat cheese in glass jars

cheese, goat cheese, goat milk

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  • Reply Katie July 10, 2019 at 12:46 am

    Hello Viviane, I just completed my first attempt (my husband LOVES goat cheese!), and my end result was very dry and crumbly even though I only did the final drain for three hours. What might I have done wrong? After the initial 12 hour rest, what was in the pot didn’t look quite as set as yours did in the video. Should I have let it sit longer?

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre July 12, 2019 at 3:00 pm

      Hi Katie! I am sorry your first attempt at making goat cheese wasn’t successful. But don’t give up! It definitely sounds like something didn’t go right. Go back to the recipe to troubleshoot. Start with the milk. Make sure the milk you used wasn’t ultra-homogenized. I use un-homogenized milk (with cream top) and it gives me the best results, although it works with homogenized milk too, but it won’t work with ultra-homogenized. Also did you use the right cheese cloth for straining the cheese? Did you use the right culture? From what you say, the curds didn’t form properly. It would be helpful for you to re-trace your steps and compare them with the recipe/video to find the culprit. I’ve been make this cheese every month for years now and fortunately, it has never failed. Let me know if I can help further. You are welcome to email me viviane@foodandstyle.com for an easier way to communicate. Let me know how your next batch comes out… and good luck!

  • Reply Saada Abdulahi September 21, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    Hi Viviane,
    After reading your method for making goat’s cheese at home, I am really inspired to try and make it. Could you please tell me where to buy the starter and the butter muslin?

    Many Thanks
    Saada Abdullahi

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre September 25, 2017 at 6:40 pm

      Hi Saada! I’m delighted this recipe inspired you. You can find the links (in green) to purchase the starter and butter muslin in the list of ingredients. Have fun making your cheese!

  • Reply Patti March 27, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    I have found a source for fresh goat milk and am sure it will be amazing, but am wondering if there is a safety issue with the milk not being pasturized.

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre March 30, 2017 at 1:47 pm

      How lucky you are, Patti! Getting goat milk straight from a farmer is an amazing find! However, I do recommend that you pasteurize it before you make this cheese, since we only heat the milk to 86F. Better safe than sorry… Enjoy making your cheese!

  • Reply Phillie November 15, 2016 at 9:25 am

    Must the goat milk be pasturized or can I use fresh raw milk?

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre November 17, 2016 at 7:19 pm

      Hi Phillie, It’s best (safest) to use pasteurized milk since you only heat the milk to 86°F to make this cheese. Enjoy!

  • Reply lia March 21, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    Hi, when you suspend the cheese over a pot for 6-12 hours, is that refrigerated, or not? I am going to try this for my next party!

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre March 22, 2016 at 4:20 pm

      Hi Lia! The cheese must drain at room temperature. In fact, you make the cheese at room temperature the entire time… Only refrigerate the cheese when it is done. Good luck and have fun!

      • Reply lia April 5, 2016 at 8:07 pm


        • Reply lia April 7, 2016 at 8:00 pm

          Hi Viviane! I am starting my cheese tonight. I found great goat milk at the farmer’s market in Union Square. Question about the starter. It is kept in the freezer. Do I defrost it first? Or use it straight out of the freezer?

          • Viviane Bauquet Farre April 8, 2016 at 5:14 am

            Hello Lia, there is no need to thaw your starter. It is such a small amount that it gets to room temperature very quickly. Let me know how your cheese turned out. I am making a batch myself tomorrow!

  • Reply Priya March 13, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    I am seeing home made goat cheese recipe first time.. Never thought that goat cheese can be made at home as well.. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe… Connecting you on insta

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre March 16, 2016 at 10:21 pm

      Hi Priya, Thank you so much for your note and for connecting on Instagram. I hope you do venture in making your own goat cheese. It’s simply marvelous!

  • Reply Angie@Angie's Recipes March 13, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    wow…I need to give this a try too. It looks amazing!

  • Reply Robin March 11, 2016 at 9:10 am

    Where do you recommend buying the goat milk & starter? I’m assuming the goat milktat Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods is too ultra pasteurized? I’m in the Boston area…

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre March 16, 2016 at 10:19 pm

      Hi Robin, I am able to find un-homogenized and pasteurized goat milk at Whole Foods in California. But I’m thinking that in the Boston area you probably have access to some wonderful gourmet food stores that would carry the right goat milk for this recipe, if your local WF doesn’t carry it. As for the starter, click on the link in the recipe, or click here: http://www.cheesemaking.com/shop/chevre-ds-culture-5-pack.html Good luck and have fun making your cheese!

  • Reply Evelyne CulturEatz March 11, 2016 at 2:11 am

    Oh boy, brings me back to the year I did a monthly cheese challenge. it is so true some are really easy to make and so much better then store stuff. Not sure I made goat cheese but very curious to try soon!

  • Reply Tina Powell March 10, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    Hi Vivian- Can I use fresh goats milk as opposed to homogenized? Thanks!

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre March 16, 2016 at 10:13 pm

      Hi Tina, Well, yes! You’re so lucky to be able to find fresh/raw goat milk… Your cheese will be even more delicious! Happy cheese making!

  • Reply Kayle (The Cooking Actress) March 10, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    ahhh I’m dying to tackle homemade cheese! I adore goat cheese and this looks amazing. pinning!

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre March 16, 2016 at 10:11 pm

      Oh… thank you, Kayle!

  • Reply Kim Beaulieu March 28, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    This is so amazing. I’ve never made my own cheese. I really need to try this.

  • Reply lisaiscooking March 27, 2013 at 11:11 am

    I love making ricotta, but I’ve never attempted goat cheese. I’d love to try it!

    • Reply Viviane March 27, 2013 at 11:39 am

      Lisa, thank you for stopping by… You’ll love making your own goat cheese. I have no doubt!

  • Reply Anita at Hungry Couple March 26, 2013 at 8:57 am

    I love goat cheese but have never tasted the homemade version. I can only imagine how good it is!

    • Reply Viviane March 27, 2013 at 11:38 am

      Anita, thank you for your comment… Homemade goat cheese is really awesome!

  • Reply Kayle (The Cooking Actress) March 25, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    This is amazing! I so would love to make my own goat cheese!

    • Reply Viviane March 27, 2013 at 11:38 am

      Kayle! I think you would love making your own goat cheese too. A most rewarding experience!

    Question or comment? I'd love to hear from you!