How to Make Raw Milk Cottage Cheese & Sour Cream


My grandpa grew up eating fresh cottage cheese every morning and continued throughout his entire life. He lived to be 100!!! Our family gets raw whole milk from a local farmer every week. It’s the absolute best tasting milk that I have ever had. So, I decided it would be a great idea to learn how to make raw milk cottage cheese for the health of my family. I soon found out that raw milk cottage cheese and raw milk sour cream are also easy to make. They have quickly become a staple in our kitchen and I make them every week!

What you need:


  • First you want to make sure that all the kitchen tools that you are using in this recipe are VERY clean so bad bacteria doesn’t grow.
  • Pour the milk into the large bowl and cover with the cotton towel

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  • Make sure that the towel is secured around the top of the bowl so critters don’t get in. Use a large (really large) rubber band or some kitchen twine
  • Let the milk sit on your counter at room temp (out of the sun and away from a heat source, such as the stove or microwave) for 24 hours
  • There will be a cream layer that settles on top so you will want to skim that off with a spoon and put into another container. Congratulations, you just made sour cream!



Sour Cream!


  • Keep an eye on the milk, lift the towel after 24 hours and give it a shake. If the milk is almost like a jello consistency (lumpy and gelatin-like) then it is ready. If you shake the milk and its still very much liquid then let it sit for another 8-24 hours. Just keep checking on it. I have let a batch sit for 3 days before it was ready.
  • Next put the strainer into the second large bowl. It is very important that the bowl is suspended above the bottom of the bowl so the whey can drip into the bowl, leaving the milk solids behind. Skim any additional cream off the top and add to your sour cream container. Then pour the milk into the strainer



  •  Cover with a towel again and let it sit for a couple of hours until the only thing left in the strainer is milk curd and the whey is in the bowl beneath. But watch out for spiders when you are making all of this curds and whey (ha! toddler Miss Muffet humor)


  • Now, scoop the curd out of the strainer with a spatula, taking care not to smear it too much and break up the curds


  • The left over liquid in the bowl is the whey and can be used for a variety of things. My favorite way to use the whey is to freeze into cubes and use when I want to lacto-ferment things.




Voila! Frozen whey cubes!


  • Ta da, you just made raw milk sour cream, cottage cheese, and whey!


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This post is part of: Unprocessed Fridays Frugal Days Sustainable Ways

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  1. says

    This is wonderful. I didn’t realize you don’t cook cottage cheese to get the curds. It looks amazingly easy. I have made goat cheese, but not cottage cheese; I feel inspired. Love the post, thanks for sharing.

  2. Karen Wood says

    Great post! I so want to do this. I didn’t know it was so easy and that there was no cooking involved. Nice to get three useful products at once. Now if I could just find somewhere to get raw milk around here.

  3. Carla says

    I have made cottage cheese using vinegar and the stove but no one would eat it. How would I know if it did not turn out right? Have you had this happen?

  4. Sue says

    I am eager to try this. Are the curds easy to remove from the bowl? I am assuming what is left in the bowl after the curds are removed is the sour cream. Thank you.

    • says

      The cream that forms on top is the sour cream. Then you strain the liquid and the curds are left in the strainer and are very easy to remove. The whey drains into the bowl.

  5. ronda says

    Making the sour cream sounds so easy! But I was wondering if there is anything else you can make with “left over” milk since my family doesnt like cottage cheese?

  6. Heather Easton says

    I have tried this method on my counter but never achieve the jello-like consistency. I wondered if my house was too cold? In the summer, it is usually around 67 degrees or so. Do you have any suggestions?

  7. Phoebe says

    Hi Kate,
    I have been letting raw milk sit on my counter for days until thick, but lately (midsummer) it has been getting bitter. Is it bad to drink? I will try the bowl method.

  8. Phoebe says

    What I am really wanting to know is why it goes bitter, so I can avoid it next time. Do you have any idea? I did drink some in a smoothie, but when I taste it straight, it doesn’t seem good to drink. Hope I survive…..

    • says

      I have not had that experience when I make mine. Maybe some unsavory bacteria made its way into the milk. Make sure to keep it covered. If it tastes off, I would toss it.


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