What is Whey Cheese?

Whey cheese is cheese made from whey instead of milk. Whey is the clear, yellowish liquid byproduct of cheesemaking, or of straining other cultured dairy products like yogurt and milk kefir.


The usual method of making whey cheese consists of merely cooking whey until it separates again. The temperature levels for making whey cheese are around 200°F, or just under boiling.

Whey is made up of water, albuminous protein, minerals, and trace milk sugars. The temperatures used in the milk cheese recipe are usually not high enough to fully separate the albuminous proteins out of the whey, but a secondary, higher-temperature cook will yield even more cheese solids. Whey can be cooked over a direct heat source and does not require indirect or water-bath heating methods.

Ingredients Used to Make Whey Cheeses

Making cheese with whey does not usually require rennet or starter cultures. Rather, some type of acid (vinegar, citric acid, lemon juice, etc) is used as the coagulant in whey cheeses. Sometimes cream is called for in a whey cheese recipe to bring up the yield of the recipe, and to develop the creamy texture of the resulting cheese. Hard and soft cheeses can be made from whey, but usually whey cheese will be slightly drier, saltier, and more crumbly than whole-milk cheeses.

Filter leftover whey to remove any remaining solids before using it for cheesemaking, to prevent off flavors or strange solids showing up in the finished cheese.

Whey Cheese Recipes

There are many cheeses that can be made out of whey. A few examples are listed below:


As with milk cheese, the freshest, sweetest whey will make the highest quality, sweetest cheese. Keeping your whey chilled when you are not using it is the best option for keeping it sweet and fresh.