Sustainability made simple

What to Do With Spoiled Milk: Easy Homemade Cheese Recipe

what to do with spoiled milk 
Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay - Diana Lavrova

Wondering what to do with spoiled milk? While your initial reaction may be to get rid of sour milk, a tastier and more sustainable option is using it to make homemade cheese.

Fresh milk, especially unpasteurized, can turn sour surprisingly quickly. Although it’s no longer drinkable and you can’t freeze milk, you don’t necessarily have to throw it out. Sour milk has plenty of household uses. You can use it to descale faucets or as an overnight soak to bring back the shine to your silverware. You can even use spoiled milk in the kitchen, as a base for homemade cheese! Wondering what to do with spoiled milk? Read on.

For this recipe, you’ll need a total of eight cups of whole milk (3.25%). It doesn’t have to be sour milk: you can use however much sour milk you have and top the rest off with fresh. Or, you can make the whole recipe using fresh milk – it’s up to you! You’ll also need a cheesecloth or a thin dish towel to make this cheese. 

Note: We recommend buying organic milk products whenever possible. Organic farms adhere to stricter standards than conventional producers and practice species-appropriate animal husbandry. If you want to know exactly where your milk comes from, look for regional suppliers at local farmers’ markets.

What to Do With Spoiled Milk: Recipe for Homemade Cheese

sour milk cheese
Remember to collect the whey when pouring your cheese through a sieve. You can use it as a brine to keep the cheese fresh for longer. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Flickr - Kim Siever )


  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 8 cups sour or spoiled milk


  1. Add sour cream, eggs and salt to a bowl and mix until combined. 
  2. Pour the (spoiled) milk into a pot and heat it slowly over low to medium heat. As soon as it starts to boil, reduce the heat and slowly stir the sour cream and egg mixture into the sour milk.
  3. Continually stir the mixture until small white clumps begin to form (approx. 6-10 minutes). This shows that the milk protein is separating from the whey – in other words, the milk is curdling.
  4. Leave the pot on the stove for another 10 to 15 minutes, stirring constantly.
  5. Now it’s time to separate the milk protein from the whey: take the pot off the stove, wet the cheesecloth and place it in a sieve. Then pour the contents of the pot through the cloth. Tip: Place a container under the sieve so you can collect the whey and use it later as a brine.
  6. Wrap the cheesecloth tightly around the milk protein (careful, it’ll be hot!) and squeeze out as much of the remaining liquid as possible. Let the tightly wrapped cheese cool at room temperature.
  7. Place the cloth with the cheese mixture in a bowl and refrigerate for at least four hours. 
  8. Unwrap the cheese, serve and enjoy!

Note: Now that you know what to do with spoiled milk, store the finished cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It is best to cover it with brine or with the collected whey — it keeps for a week to 10 days.  

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