What can I use in place of rennet to make mozzarella cheese? And what cheeses can we make without rennet?

  • 1
    Why are you avoiding rennet? (Knowing that will help us recommend replacements that do suit you.)
    – user141592
    Commented Nov 15, 2020 at 7:51
  • Because I can't buy rennet in my country.
    – Sean
    Commented Nov 15, 2020 at 10:46
  • even in an online shop? or even imported?
    – Luciano
    Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 9:16
  • 3
    That seems ... unlikely? Does nobody make cheese in your country? Does nobody slaughter goats?
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 22:14
  • 1
    It's normal. My grandparents never ate cheese until I bought them some. As far as I know, all kinds of cheese products sold in our supermarkets are imported. I just want to find a way to make cheese at home to reduce costs since I'm living in the countryside and shipping fees are expensive.
    – Sean
    Commented Nov 18, 2020 at 2:09

3 Answers 3


You cannot make mozzarella without some form of rennet. It can be natural rennet, synthetic, or vegetable-based rennet, but you need it to get the correct cheese texture.

This goes for the vast majority of cheeses. The only ones you can make without any type of rennet are the soft, heat-and-acid-set cheeses such as ricotta, farmer cheese, chevre, and paneer.


You can make mozzarella cheese without rennet by using an acid like yoghurt, lemon juice, vinegar or powdered citric acid. The heated milk will curd and then you will need to process those curds on the same way you do with a rennet derived curd.

  • 2
    If you use yogurt you'll get more yogurt, not cheese
    – Luciano
    Commented Apr 5 at 9:01

There are a number of herbs that are supposed to be able to be used in place of rennet (such as stinging nettle), but I don't know them all offhand.

Stinging nettle is said to be usable for making Cheshire cheese. I don't know about other kinds. I don't know how effective it is.

This link seems to have information on how to use stinging nettle, and where to get it. One user there mentions thistle and yellow bedstraw being used in place of rennet. It sounds like they might be better to try than stinging nettle (thistles, I'm sure, are easier to find, too).

After a search, it looks like artichoke thistles are a kind used for this purpose (Cynara cardunculus).

This link seems talks about using plants to make rennet for mozarella (I don't know how reliable the site is).

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