Homemade Cream Cheese (Yogurt Cheese)

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Category : About Food Sources, Condiments, Make It Yourself, Recipes, Snacks, Vegetarian

Photo of Making Cream CheeseI’m discovering that when I can’t find a locally produced version of a common ingredient, making it myself is sometimes easier than you’d think. For example, I’ve already posted a simple technique I learned for making butter. This week I wanted to make a dish that normally uses cream cheese. I couldn’t find a local brand in the grocery stores, but I saw several local dairy products that I suspected could be used to make it. I decided to come back after doing a little research.

When I got home, I googled “how to make cream cheese” and quickly found several alternatives. (I love Google. I tell everyone that we have to make sure it is never taken over by dark forces…) Below I describe the method I finally used. The process was incredibly easy, and the results tasted surprisingly good. The texture was rich and creamy, just as you want cream cheese to be.

  • Prep Time:
    5 min
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready In:
    5 hours
Servings: 3/4 cup
  • 1 cup creamy plain yogurt (Grace Harbor Farms, Custer)
  • cheese bag, or piece of muslin (purchase online at Whatcom Locavore Store)
  • colander
  • large bowl


Put the colander in the bowl. Spoon the yogurt into the cheese bag or muslin cloth, and place in the colander. Set in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours. The longer it drains, the tangier and thicker the cream cheese will be. (I let it sit overnight.)

Pour off the liquid from the bottom of the bowl occasionally to keep the liquid from touching the bottom of the bag.

When finished to the texture you want, use a spoon to scrape the cheese out of the bag into a storage container with an airtight lid. The estimated expiration date will be the same as for the yogurt you used.

Serving Suggestions:

Use as you would any cream cheese. Spread it on bread or add herbs to make a dip for snacks, or use in any recipe which calls for cream cheese.

Food Sources:

Terra Organica, Flora and Cornwall, Bellingham

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Comments (2)

My daughter was just asking me the other day how to make cream cheese. Thanks for putting that on your blog. I have a tip to give to you also.

This year was an awful year for ripening tomatoes. I was hoping to get enough to can and get them all at the same time in order to can more than just a jar or two at a time. I found out that you can freeze tomatoes as long as you just want to make sauce or some other recipe out of them. Just wash them and place on a cookie sheet in a single layer and freeze. When frozen solid, take the tomatoes one at a time, run under warm water for about 10 seconds and slip the skin off. Place in a zip lock bag and freeze until ready to use. Works great for spaghetti sauce and such.

Thanks for the tip, Sue! Great idea!