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Homemade 30 Minute Mozzarella, the Perfect Cheese for Busy People?

Did you know that you can literally make fresh mozzarella in just 30 minutes? It is quick enough to whip up while you are getting dinner ready.

People will think your Italian grandmother made it!

Most cheeses need cheese cloth, a cheese press, and a cheese cave, which are a little out of reach for someone who is not a dedicated cheese maker. Not mozzarella!

You will need rennet, though, which is the enzyme that sets milk for making hard cheeses. Rennet can be bought from any cheese making store online, and even amazon carries it. A 2 oz bottle of it will last you a long time. Store rennet in the fridge.

 Equipment you will need is:

  • heavy bottomed pot

  • measuring cups and spoons

  • perforated strainer spoon

  • rubber gloves

  • thermometer

  • 3 quart bowl for an ice bath

  • a plate


1 gallon raw milk

1/4 cup vinegar

1/4 tsp liquid rennet diluted in a 1/4 cup water

1/2 cup salt (sea salt is great, but not himalayan salt, because it makes it gritty)

ice and water for an ice bath, filled to 2 quarts in the bowl

Get all ingredients measured and prepped before you get your milk out of the fridge, because once it gets going, you won’t have a chance!

1. Pour the milk into a heavy bottomed pot and add the vinegar. Heat on medium high while stirring to 90F.

2. Turn off the heat. Add the diluted rennet and stir for 10 seconds. Leave it quiet for 5 minutes.

3. It should now have the texture of jello. Turn heat on high.  Resume stirring it and break up the curd into small, roughly 1" pieces.

4. Add salt as you continue to stir and heat.

5. When the temperature gets to about 140F, you will notice that the curds begin to stick together and get stringy. Turn off the heat. Now the fun begins!

6. Put on dish gloves. Gather all of the curd with your slotted spoon and set them on a plate while you find the last stragglers. Pick up the curd mass and begin stretching and folding it back on itself, kind of like kneading bread dough in the air.

7. If the curds cool down too much, they will get hard to stretch. You can reheat them in the hot whey. Don’t get carried away stretching and folding, though, or you will make the cheese tough. Do it just enough times to transform the lumpy curds into a glossy, silky mass.

You can make one large mozzarella ball, or pinch it into multiple small ones. Shape them by making a round ball and tucking the ends in on themselves, kind of pinching and pressing the edge in with your hands.

8. Put the ball/s in the ice water so it/they can chill in the shape you just gave it/them. Larger balls take longer to chill than small balls, so don’t remove a large ball while it is still warm inside or it will sag when removed from the ice bath.

Fresh 30 minute mozzarella tastes amazing within a few hours of being made, and still pretty good the next day. After that, it loses texture. You can freeze whatever you aren’t going to use quickly.

  • Slice it with tomatoes and fresh basil, and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a stunning caprese salad. 

  • Put slices on a pizza with basil and tomato slices for a real margherita pizza. 

  • Eat it fresh with olive oil and garlic.

If you love the idea of making quick mozzarella but want someone to show you how the first time, I teach cheese making classes!

This is a quick version of mozzarella that uses vinegar to achieve the correct acidity very fast. There are other ways to make mozzarella that rely on bacterial action to increase acidity slowly. Those versions have a longer shelf life, and can even be aged into provolone or scamorza cheese.

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