Eat: Easy DIY Mozzarella Cheese for Simple Kids Snacks

No no, keep reading! I swear this is SO. EASY, and will be the tangiest, most tender (DIY!) mozzarella that you’ve ever tasted. SERIOUSLY!

One of the things I love about making our homemade mozzarella is that it’s so incredibly easy to grab a little protein-packed snack that I know is super fresh, has zero added preservatives or questionable ingredients, and was made by hand – by me!

To make your own mozzarella, there are two ingredients you’ll need that you may not be as familiar with or have in your kitchen regularly…

  • Citric acid: I was able to grab this at a Middle Eastern market down the street from me,  but you can usually find it near the canning supplies at supermarkets or hardware stores.
  • Rennet: I found this at my regular grocery store in the refrigerated section alongside other yogurt-making supplies. There are beef and chicken-based rennets but I used the vegetarian one.
Homemade mozzarella cheese used for bruschetta that's sitting on a wooden board.

Looking for more easy and quick kids’ snacks? Try whipping up a batch of crunchy homemade apple chips, fresh lower-sodium quick pickles, or yummy almond butter bites!

DIY Mozzarella Cheese Ingredients & Supplies

Note: We prefer to shop locally or use what we have at home, but this list contains Woodpeckers Crafts, Etsy, Blick Art Materials, and/or Amazon affiliate links for reference. As Amazon Associates, we make a small commission on qualifying purchases.*


  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons citric acid (like this kind)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon (or 1 tab) rennet (like this vegetarian kind or these tabs)
  • 1 1/4 cups of cool water
  • A gallon of milk (Raw milk, whole milk, or 2% milk work well. The only kind of milk you want to avoid is ultra-pasteurized milk, as it won’t curdle correctly.)


  • A Food thermometer
  • A Colander
  • Cheesecloth (like this kind)

*Note: At the end of the process, you will be handling extremely hot cheese. It’s a good idea to have a clean pair of kitchen gloves ready to go in case you have sensitive fingertips.

DIY Mozzarella Cheese Instructions:

  1. Prepare your citric acid and rennet solutions

    Add 1 1/2 teaspoon citric acid to 1 cup cool water in a small bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine 1/4 teaspoon rennet (or 1/4 tab) and  1/4 cup cool water.

  2. Combine the milk and citric acid & water mixture in a pot

    Pour milk into a pot, add citric acid/water mixture to the milk, and stir.

  3. Heat

    Heat milk slowly to 90 degrees (being careful not to burn the milk).

  4. Add rennet and water mixture

    Remove pot from heat and add rennet/water mixture and stir through for 30 seconds. Cover and leave for 5 minutes. Check the curds – they should be white and the whey should be clear.

  5. Squeeze excess water from curds

    Spoon the curd into a cheesecloth-lined colander and allow to drain. Once the excess water has drained, gather it into a ball, and squeeze out any remaining water. Remove from the cheesecloth and transfer curds to a bowl.

  6. Microwave and knead until taffy-like

    Microwave the curds for one minute, then pour off the whey. Knead and re-microwave for another 30 seconds. You’ll want to knead curd as though you would bread dough and re-microwave for 30 seconds as needed. It will soon begin to stretch like taffy.

  7. Season and form

    Once you’re able to stretch your mozzarella, salt to taste and form your mozzarella into a ball (or quite a few smaller balls for easy snacking, as I did).

  8. Serve warm or refrigerate in cold water

    Serve warm or put in a bowl of cold water in the fridge. FYI: your mozzarella will lose shape if you don’t put it in some sort of form or handle it until it’s completely cool, so I recommend having a bowl of cold water at the ready.

Once finished your mozzarella should look similar to the balls I made below – don’t you just want to dig right in?!

Cooled DIY mozzarella cheese, ready to eat

Simple mozzarella snacks for kids

My favorite way to snack on our homemade moz is to combine it with fresh tomatoes, basil, balsamic, and toast for a delightfully yummy bruschetta (this recipe from Cookie + Kate is my go-to!) Here are a few more fun ways to prepare snacks for (or with) your kiddos in the kitchen…

  • Need a healthy school or party snack in a hurry? Cut your mozzarella ball into bite-sized pieces and toss in a cup along with fresh-cut tomato, black olives, a basil leaf, and a small drizzle of olive oil. Buono! A mini on-the-go Caprese salad! You could also make them into kebabs like these tomato and mozzarella bites from America’s Test Kitchen)
  • Make a refreshing summer salad your little ones can eat with their hands by cutting up watermelon, tossing in some mozzarella bites, and sprinkling with some fresh chopped mint.
A ball of DIY mozzarella cheese sitting with prosciutto, fresh vegetables, and basil in a bowl for a snack.

Another benefit of this simple snack? It’s a great way to get your kids involved in the process of making their own food. For more easy ideas to encourage kitchen learning visit our full collection of practical kitchen skill activities for kids, or discover our favorite kids’ kitchen tools,

*A note about affiliate links: We strive to use simple, earth-friendly supplies that can be purchased locally whenever we can, but sometimes we find the best universally available options, a rare eco-friendly find, or a niche product only available on Blick Art Materials, Amazon, Etsy, or Woodpeckers Crafts. When included in our supply list, these products are affiliate links, and if you click through to make a purchase we receive a small commission that helps us re-order these supplies!

team barley and birch
team barley and birch

This post is from the barley & birch archives


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  1. Yum! As soon as my wrist heals I am going to give this a try! I have been craving some fresh mozzarella, straight from the garden tomatoes (hopefully coming soon here) and basil…

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