Mozzarella Cheese Recipe

Finished Mozzarella

The Spruce / Elaine Lemm

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
255 Calories
10g Fat
25g Carbs
16g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 255
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 6g 32%
Cholesterol 40mg 13%
Sodium 234mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 27g
Protein 16g
Vitamin C 1mg 5%
Calcium 589mg 45%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 687mg 15%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Homemade mozzarella has a fabulous fresh flavor that goes especially well with fresh ripe tomatoes, a drizzle of olive oil, and basil. The idea of making it yourself may feel intimidating, but these detailed instructions will surprise you with how easy it can be. Even better—it only takes 30 minutes.

It's not complicated—as long as you weigh and prepare all the ingredients before you start, the whole process should be very smooth. All you will need is milk, rennet tablets, and citric acid, typically found in health food stores and specialty markets.


  • 1/2 rennet tablet

  • 1/4 cup cool water, chlorine free, such as bottled water

  • 1 gallon milk, low-fat or skim

  • 2 teaspoons citric acid

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Ensure that your work area and tools have been thoroughly cleaned.

    Making Mozzarella Ingredients
    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm 
  2. Crush the rennet into a fine powder with a pestle and mortar if you have one; if not use the back of a tablespoon. Add to the water and stir to dissolve.

    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm
  3. Pour milk into a nonreactive pot (no aluminum or cast iron). Place over medium heat. Sprinkle the citric acid over the milk and stir a few times. Heat milk to 88 F. The milk will begin to curdle.

    Thermometer in mozzarella at 88 F
    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm
  4. At 88 F, add the rennet solution and continue stirring slowly every few minutes until the milk reaches 105 F. Turn off the heat. Large curds will appear and begin to separate from the whey (the clear, greenish liquid).

    Heat rennet solution to 105 F
    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm
  5. With a slotted spoon or mesh strainer, scoop the curd into a large glass bowl. (If it's still too loose, let it set for a few more minutes). Press the curds gently with a spoon or squeeze with your hands.

    Pressing whey form curds in strainer
    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm
  6. Once you have squeezed out the liquid whey, you will be left with the soft white curds.

    Curds and whey in strainer in bowl
    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm
  7. Place the glass bowl with the curds into a microwave and cook for 1 minute on high. Remove from the microwave and press with a spoon (do not use your hands as the cheese will be too hot) to squeeze out any more whey. Keep pressing until the cheese starts to cool. After just one round in the microwave, the cheese will already start to smoothen out. Repeat twice more for 35 seconds.

    Smoothing out the curds in bowl
    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm
  8. After 3 times in the microwave, there will be little whey left and the cheese will start to form a ball. When it is cool enough to touch, knead it like bread dough until smooth. Once the cheese starts to harden, pop it back in the microwave for 10 seconds to soften it again.

    Making Mozzarella Ball
    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm
  9. Keep kneading, gently heating in the microwave a few more times until the cheese starts to get shiny and smooth. You can sprinkle 1 to 2 teaspoons salt into the cheese while kneading.

    Smooth mozzarella ball
    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm
  10. Now is the time to start stretching, just as you would with taffy. Pull the cheese into a rope, fold over and repeat. The cheese will become stretchy, smooth, and shiny. If you find it difficult to stretch and it tears instead, give it 10 seconds in the microwave.

    mozzarella being stretched on a marble surface
    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm
  11. Once the cheese is soft and pliable, gently roll it into a golf ball-sized ball or a log and serve.

    Finished Mozzarella ball in bowl next to fork
    The Spruce / Elaine Lemm


  • Not sure if your rennet is working? There is a simple way to test it. Cut a rennet tablet into quarter, crush with the back of spoon, and dissolve in 1 cup of water. Warm 1 cup of milk to 88 F, add 2 tablespoons of the dissolved rennet, and stir well. After two minutes, the milk should start to set; after 10, it will have firmed up and you can cut it with a knife.

Recipe Variation

  • Mozzarella is a mild cheese and adding a little salt can bring flavor, but if you prefer not to or are cutting down on salt, use dried herbs or even a pinch of chile flakes for a little added kick.