How to Make Goat Cheese

Goat Cheese Recipe Chèvre

Chèvre is that soft goat cheese that most people generically call “goat cheese.” It is a delicious snack or appetizer spread on crackers or bread, and it makes a scrumptious sandwich when paired with grilled mushrooms and peppers. You can also use it to make chocolate truffles and pumpkin cheesecake. I was amazed when I learned just how simple it is to make goat cheese.

You can ease into working with cultures and rennet by getting a chèvre direct-set starter from a cheese making supply company, such as New England Cheesemaking. Direct-set starters package the rennet and culture together, which makes the whole process extremely simple. This was the cheese that got me started on my cheesemaking journey in 2002.

Chévre Recipe

Makes 1–2 pounds.

Heat the milk over low heat until it reaches 86° F. Add the direct-set starter. Let the milk sit at room temperature for about 10 hours; then put it into molds or a cheesecloth-lined colander (as you did with the queso blanco) to drain for 6 to 12 hours—voila, you have cheese!

Depending upon what breed of goats you have, the butterfat will vary, and that will determine your yield. Milk from Nigerian dwarf goats has butterfat that averaged about 6.5%, so the yield will be higher than if you have a larger breed of goat, whose butterfat is usually about 3.5%. Nubian milk will fall in between the two with a butterfat of 4.5%.

But butterfat changes seasonally, and since we used to be on milk test, we know that in winter, many of our goats are producing milk that has butterfat of 10% or more, meaning an even better yield when we make cheese.

herbed chévre_cheese

If you want something a little fancier than plain chèvre, you can layer it with herbs as you are putting the curds into the molds, as shown in the video below. Some of our favorites are dill and garlic, herbs de Provence, and even sweet options like cinnamon and sugar or cocoa and sugar. If you pair the cinnamon or cocoa chèvre with graham crackers, it’s like having little mini cheesecakes. 

If you are just getting started on your cheesemaking journey, check out my post on Cheesemaking for Beginners and How to Start Making Cheese.

I have several cheese recipes in my book, Homegrown and Handmade and Raising Goats Naturally. But if you want a book completely devoted to the beginning cheesemaker, check out my review of this book.

Whether you are making chèvre or any other type of cheese, my number one recommendation for buying your culture, rennet, and equipment is New England Cheesemaking. I’ve been a customer of theirs since I started making cheese in 2002. Links in this post to their website are affiliate links, which means I will earn a small commission if you place an order after clicking. This is one way that we are able to continue providing free content for you on our website and through our newsletters.

If you want to learn to make cheese the old-fashioned way without commercial starters, that’s the subject of my Natural Cheesemaking book review.

This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you purchase something after clicking on a link, Thrifty Homesteader will make a small percentage while you still pay exactly the same amount as you otherwise would.

Goat Cheese Recipe: Chèvre pin graphic



2 thoughts on “How to Make Goat Cheese”

  1. I was hoping mine would turn out creamy enough to spread but it was harder and won’t spread. What can I do different to make it spreadable or can I had whey back to it and mix or blend it together? Or instead of whey add cream to it? It’s from fresh Nigerian Dwarf milk so higher in butterfat. Thanks in advance!

    • Nigerian milk does not need as much rennet as other milk, so if you use the packets of direct set starter, they have too much rennet for ND milk. You don’t want to use less of the starter because you would use less culture, which you don’t want to do. Directions for making chevre with culture and starter are in my cheesemaking course,, and in my book, Raising Goats Naturally,

      Using a direct-set starter is quick and easy for someone new to making cheese, but it’s like using a cake mix rather than baking from scratch, which means you can’t make any adjustments by reducing the sugar in the recipe. If you enroll in the dairy course, you can post questions and photos of your cheese, and I can help you troubleshoot.


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