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20 Cottage Cheese Recipes That Breathe New Life Into This “Diet Food”

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20 Cottage Cheese Recipes That Breathe New Life Into This “Diet Food”

Think the only way to eat cottage cheese is straight out of the container? These 20 cottage cheese recipes will reinvent the way you look at this dairy delight.

 

Cottage cheese is a lot more than a cheap and easy source of protein.

It’s chock full of caclium and a single serving of cottage cheese made from 1 percent milk contains 5 percent of your recommended daily allowance (RDA) of most B vitamins and potassium, as well as 10 percent of your vitamin A RDA. 

But let’s face it…by itself, cottage cheese is also pretty bland and boring.

With a little creativity, though, it doesn’t have to be. These recipes are the proof!

Enjoy!

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

cottage cheese pancakes Picture courtesy of Hurry the Food Up

Looking for healthy pancakes? Use cottage cheese, and you can have 3-ingredient pancakes on the table in under 15 minutes.

And unlike the quick pancakes made with mashed bananas, these use rolled oats to stay close to the original flapjack. You can also add to the batter with a tablespoon of mix-ins like peanut butter, crushed nuts, coconut flour, or protein powder.

Serves 1

Ingredients

1/2 cup (4 oz.) low-fat cottage cheese

1/2 cup rolled oats

3 large eggs

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 446

Protein: 38 grams

Carbs: 33 grams

Fat: 18 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE 

 

 

Chocolate Cottage Cheese Cake

cottage cheese cake Picture courtesy of Diana Duca / Disturbingly Delicious

There’s butter in this chocolate cake, but that’s not the only ingredient that makes it so moist and rich. The top layer is typical chocolate cake. The bottom, on the other hand, is like a cottage cheese pastry filling.

This unique cake is special enough on its own to require no frosting, just a simple dusting of powdered sugar.

Serves 8

Ingredients

Cottage Cheese Batter:

Scant 1/2 cup (3.5 oz.) cottage cheese

2 large eggs

7 Tbsp. butter

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Zest of 1 lemon

2 Tbsp. flour

Chocolate Cake Batter:

1 cup flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1/2 cup low-fat milk

1 Tbsp. baking powder

2 Tbsp. cocoa powder

7 Tbsp. butter

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 435

Protein: 7 grams

Carbs: 54 grams

Fat: 23 grams

 

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Peanut Butter Maple Protein Shake

cottage cheese smoothie Picture courtesy of Dashing Dish

When you use fruit, a cottage cheese smoothie can taste a lot like cheesecake. And that’s an amazing treat for sure. But when you blend it with peanut butter (or better yet, PB2) the result is more like a creamy milkshake.

In fact, you can try using cottage cheese in place of yogurt in a lot of smoothie recipes, but use about half as much since it’s much thicker.

Serves 1

Ingredients

1/2 cup (4 oz.) cottage cheese

1 scoop WHEY+ vanilla protein isolate

Stevia to taste (or pure maple syrup)

1/2 tsp. maple extract

2 Tbsp. PB2 (or peanut butter)

5–10 ice cubes

1/2 tsp. xanthan gum (optional)

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 260

Protein: 35 grams

Carbs: 5 grams

Fat: 2 grams

 

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Homemade Paneer

homemade cottage cheese Picture courtesy of Veg Recipes of India

Indians don’t eat a lot of cheese – except for paneer, that is. It’s a kind of cottage cheese that’s pressed in cheesecloth to get a dense texture. After that, you can fry it for curry like saag paneer or use it to make a naan pizza.

It can even be turned into an Indian dessert like paneer kheer, a type of pudding, or ras malai, paneer dumplings that are cooked in cardamom milk. And this cheese can be made with any kind of milk to adjust the fat to suit your diet plan.

Serves 8 / Makes about 8 oz.

Ingredients

4 1/4 cups milk

2 tsp. lemon juice (or yogurt)

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 100

Protein: 6 grams

Carbs: 0 grams

Fat: 8 grams

 

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Savory Scallion & Cottage Cheese Scones

cottage cheese scones Picture courtesy of An Edible Mosaic

To make cheesy scones most people reach for cheddar. Use cottage cheese instead, and each scone will have 4 less grams of fat.

They’re still soft and full of flavor. The recipe is also easy to adjust if you want another flavor. Instead of chives, try a fresh herb like basil or oregano. You could also leave out the pepper and turn these from savory to sweet with a swirl of jam.

Serves 8

Ingredients

1 cup (8 oz.) cottage cheese

4 Tbsp. milk

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, chilled and diced

3 scallions (about 1/2 cup), green and white parts thinly sliced

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 195

Protein: 7 grams

Carbs: 21 grams

Fat: 10 grams

 

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Want to know how to build muscle and lose fat eating delicious foods like these?"Dieting" doesn't have to suck. You CAN eat foods you like and have the body you want!

 

High-Protein Berry Mousse

cottage cheese and fruit Picture courtesy of Om Nom Ally

This lightly sweetened dessert barely requires more than berries and cottage cheese. In fact, you can make it with just those ingredients, or spruce it up with your sweetener of choice, liquid for a creamier texture, and almond meal (or perhaps protein powder) as a thickener.

This mousse recipe will work with any berries or other fruit. And of course it won’t hurt to add cocoa or peanut butter to taste.

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 cup (8 oz.) cottage cheese

Juice of 1 lemon

1 Tbsp. fresh apple juice

1 Tbsp. almond meal

1/2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

3/4 cup frozen berries, thawed slightly

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 166

Protein: 17 grams

Carbs: 15 grams

Fat: 4 grams

 

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Fennel Salad with Cottage Cheese & Spiced Nuts

cottage cheese salad Picture courtesy of Andrew Zimmern

Since fresh cheeses are easy to make, it exists in various forms around the globe. Cottage cheese is called ayibe in Ethiopia, where it’s served to counter the heat of spicy foods. In Tibetan cuisine, chura loenpa is made from the curds left over from boiling buttermilk.

Cottage cheese is also eaten throughout Europe, and it’s featured in this salad from North: The New Nordic Cuisine of Iceland by Gunnar Gislasson & Jody Eddy. The cookbook also shares how to make your own beer vinegar, or you can use apple cider vinegar instead.

north cookbook

Serves 4

Ingredients

Cottage Cheese:

1/2 cup (4 oz.) large-curd cottage cheese

2 Tbsp. sour cream

Salt to taste

Beer vinegar, for serving

Fennel Puree:

2 bulbs fennel, cored and finely chopped

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 tsp. granulated sugar

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Salt to taste

Fennel Salad:

1 bulb fennel, halved lengthwise and cored

Salt to taste

Oil, for seasoning

Beer vinegar, for seasoning

Spicy Nuts:

1 1/2 Tbsp. hazelnuts

1 1/2 Tbsp. walnuts

1 1/2 Tbsp. peanuts

1 whole clove

1 tsp. fennel seeds

1/2 tsp. dill seeds

1 pod star anise

3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

Sea salt to taste

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 325

Protein: 10 grams

Carbs: 18 grams

Fat: 26 grams

 

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Double Cheese Pita Pizza

cottage cheese pizza Picture courtesy of Cooking Channel

This cottage cheese pizza has everything you want and nothing you don’t. Since it starts with whole-wheat pita, it’s quick to assemble. With no need to worry about the crust, it’s no big deal to brown the sausage in a skillet before assembling the pizza.

The cottage cheese is then pureed until smooth, so it can be used like a white sauce. It’s topped with the meat plus mozzarella, spinach, and fresh basil.

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

4 oz. lean Italian turkey sausage

2 cloves garlic, grated

10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and roughly chopped

1 1/4 cups (10 oz.) low-fat cottage cheese

4 whole-wheat pita

1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 cup (4 oz.)  shredded part-skim mozzarella

1/2 cup fresh basil, torn

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 466

Protein: 41 grams

Carbs: 44 grams

Fat: 17 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE 

 

 

Dill & Cottage Cheese Bread

cottage cheese muffins Picture courtesy of Foodie with Family

For a fresh-baked bread that will bring everyone to the kitchen, you don’t need to be an expert baker. This flavorful loaf starts out as a no-knead yeast dough.

This recipe will also make amazing cottage cheese muffins. The ingredients are gently warmed on the stove and then mixed with flour. After the dough rises for a couple hours, it’s transferred to the baking pan to rise again while the oven preheats. What you’ll end up with is an incredible dill sandwich bread.

Serves 24 / Makes 2 loaves

Ingredients

2 Tbsp. yeast

1/2 cup warm water (plus a pinch of sugar)

2 cups (16 oz.) small-curd low-fat cottage cheese

1/4 cup milk

2 Tbsp. canola oil

2 Tbsp. granulated sugar

6 Tbsp. diced minced onion

1 Tbsp. dill seed

1 tsp. dried dill weed

2 tsp. salt

2 large eggs, beaten

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 133

Protein: 6 grams

Carbs: 22 grams

Fat: 3 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE

 

 

Macaroni and Cheese

macaroni and cheese Picture courtesy of Smitten Kitchen

To make a silky, rich cheese sauce, most mac ‘n’ cheese recipes start with a roux. But you can skip a step with this recipe by using cottage cheese instead. That makes this healthy mac and cheese a hit with beginner cooks and tired chefs alike.

You don’t even have to cook the pasta beforehand. Just blend everything together, except a little shredded cheese to sprinkle on top, and then stir in the uncooked elbow macaroni. Dump it into a casserole dish – don’t forget the remaining cheese – and bake for an hour.

Serves 8

Ingredients

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

1 cup (8 oz.) cottage cheese

2 cups whole milk

1 tsp. dry mustard

Pinch of cayenne

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (optional)

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 lb. extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated

1/2 lb. elbow pasta

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 388

Protein: 22 grams

Carbs: 19 grams

Fat: 25 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE

 

 

Berry Cottage Cheese “Ice Cream”

cottage cheese ice cream Picture courtesy of Abbey’s Kitchen

Healthy homemade ice cream alternatives have been all the rage, but most of them start with a base of frozen bananas because they’re so naturally creamy.

But with a mix of cottage cheese and frozen berries, two ingredients is all it takes to make a creamy, protein-rich frozen dessert at home. It’s even healthier than frozen yogurt since it’s low-fat with no sugar added.

Serves 1

Ingredients

2/3 cup 1% cottage cheese, lightly rinsed

1 cup frozen berries

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 216

Protein: 22 grams

Carbs: 23 grams

Fat: 3 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE 

 

 

Cottage Cheese Alfredo Sauce

low fat alfredo sauce Picture courtesy of Pinch of Yum

Real alfredo sauce needs Parmesan cheese – but maybe not quite as much as you thought.

In this recipe, half of it is replaced with low-fat cottage cheese. The result is just as creamy and flavorful as any other alfredo. Instead of adding a lot of fat, though, it’ll add over 10 grams of protein to your plate of pasta.

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 cup skim milk

1/2 cup (4 oz.) low-fat cottage cheese

1 Tbsp. cornstarch

1/4 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 cup (2 oz.) grated Parmesan

1/8 tsp. dried basil

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 102

Protein: 11 grams

Carbs: 7 grams

Fat: 4 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE 

 

 

Cheeseburger Pizza Pie Bundles

cheeseburger pizza pie Picture courtesy of Meal Makeover Moms

Make these savory cottage cheese pies as an appetizer, and your guests won’t be able to guess how simple they are to make.

And like the cottage cheese pizza, this recipe uses two cheeses so you can enjoy the best of both. By replacing most of the mozzarella, the final result also has less fat per serving.

Serves 6

Ingredients

3 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 clove garlic, minced

4 cups (6 oz.) baby spinach

1 lb. lean ground beef

2/3 cup pasta sauce

1 cup (4 oz.) part-skim mozzarella, divided

3/4 cup (6 oz.) low-fat cottage cheese

12 egg roll wrappers

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 452

Protein: 39 grams

Carbs: 44 grams

Fat: 12 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE

 

 

Lasagna with Cottage Cheese & Butternut Squash

lasagna with cottage cheese Picture courtesy of Amazingly Tasty

Cottage cheese can replace ricotta in any lasagna recipe, but there are more reasons than that to try this one.

First of all, the lasagna noodles don’t have to be boiled before you assemble the dish. And instead of tomato sauce, the lasagna is layered with butternut squash puree. You could also use pumpkin, and for extra fall flavor, a tiny pinch of fresh nutmeg.

Serves 6

Ingredients

4 cups (32 oz.) low-fat cottage cheese

1 1/4 cups (5 oz.) part-skim mozzarella

1 large egg

2 cans (15 oz. each) butternut squash puree

9 oz. (2/3 box) whole-wheat lasagna noodles

3 cloves garlic

Salt to taste

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 419

Protein: 38 grams

Carbs: 48 grams

Fat: 8 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE

 

 

Cottage Cheese Pie

cottage cheese pie Picture courtesy of Sarah’s Joys

You can use a blender, or go for the old-fashioned version that involves a strainer, some muscle, and patience. Regardless of what method you choose, you’ll be rewarded with a unique pie.

The name doesn’t sound as appetizing as pumpkin or key lime, but one bite proves it’s the perfect marriage of pie and cheesecake.

Serves 8

Ingredients

1 graham cracker crust

1 lb. cottage cheese

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 Tbsp. flour

2 large eggs

1/2 cup milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Cinnamon for sprinkling

 Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 276

Protein: 11 grams

Carbs: 36 grams

Fat: 10 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE 

 

 

Spinach Cheddar Casserole

cottage cheese casserole Picture courtesy of Dana Treat

If there’s a theme in these cottage cheese recipes, it’s to replace half the usual cheese – like cheddar or mozzarella – with it to lower the fat without sacrificing flavor. And that trick works especially well in a casserole like this one with eggs, cottage cheese, and cheddar.

It’s great for the breakfast or brunch table, of course, but this egg casserole is also filling enough to have for a vegetarian dinner.

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 large eggs

3/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and chopped

2 cups (16 oz.) cottage cheese

1 bunch green onions, chopped

1 cup (4 oz.) grated sharp cheddar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 341

Protein: 33 grams

Carbs: 17 grams

Fat: 17 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE 

 

 

 Cottage Cheese Salad with Za’atar

healthy cottage cheese salad Picture courtesy of Kalyn’s Kitchen

There are two kinds of cottage cheese salad: the kind made with flavored gelatin that come in pastel colors, and the ones that are actually salad.

This is the latter with cucumbers, tomatoes, green onion, and black olives. Cottage cheese is layered on top and sprinkled with za’atar seasoning. It’s an Eastern Mediterranean blend often using thyme, sumac, cumin, sesame seeds, salt, and black pepper.

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 small Persian cucumbers, sliced

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion

1/2 cup sliced olives

1 cup (8 oz.) low-fat cottage cheese

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp. za’atar spice blend

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 161

Protein: 8 grams

Carbs: 9 grams

Fat: 10 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE 

 

 

Grandma’s Mashed Potatoes

cottage cheese mashed potatoes Picture courtesy of Weekend Table

Adding cottage cheese to mashed potatoes is actually an old school technique, but back in the day it had nothing to do with wanting a low-fat alternative. It’s actually a way to boost the creaminess and richness in a bowl of mashed potatoes.

Nowadays, though, cottage cheese is seen as a nice way to balance out the sour cream and butter – although there’s still plenty of that. Of course, no matter why you want to give them a taste, cottage cheese mashed potatoes will be delicious.

Serves 10

Ingredients

2 1/2 lb. russet potatoes, quartered

1/2 lb. butter, softened and chopped

2 Tbsp. horseradish

4 Tbsp. reduced-fat sour cream

1 1/2 cups (12 oz.)  low-fat cottage cheese

3/4 cup whole milk

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Pinch of paprika

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 294

Protein: 8 grams

Carbs: 20 grams

Fat: 21 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE

 

 

Homemade Cottage Cheese

homemade buttermilk cottage cheese Picture courtesy of The Culinary Life

Need cottage cheese for a recipe, but don’t want to run out to the store? You can make it at home if you have milk in the fridge and vinegar, lemon juice, or liquid rennet – basically, anything that encourages the milk to curdle.

That’s why it’s even easier to make cottage cheese if you start with buttermilk. It already contains acid and is quick to curdle when heated up. All you have to do is set it on the stove until it’s about to boil and, once cool, strain out the liquid whey.

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 cups buttermilk

3 Tbsp. heavy cream (optional)

1/2 tsp. salt

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 137

Protein: 8 grams

Carbs: 12 grams

Fat: 6 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE

 

 

Cottage Cheese Taco Dip

cottage cheese dip Picture courtesy of Yummy Healthy Easy

A lot of cottage cheese dips are simple. Yet while they’re easy to make, they’re not so great at hiding the cottage cheese.

In this Mexican dip, cottage cheese stands in for queso fresco. Not only is it awesome as a dip with tortilla chips or veggies, but it’s also a great all-in-one topping for tacos and other Mexican food.

Serves 12

Ingredients

2 cups (16 oz.) low-fat cottage cheese

1 can (4 oz.) green chilies, drained

1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed

1 avocado, chopped

4 green onions, sliced

2 small tomatoes, chopped

1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce (or more to taste)

1/4 tsp. salt

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

Calories: 224

Protein: 14 grams

Carbs: 33 grams

Fat: 5 grams

 

GET THE RECIPE 

 

 

What did you think of these cottage cheese recipes? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

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  • Dude these recipes are amazing! The most creative thing that I’ve done with cottage cheese is add a scoop of protein powder to it. I can’t wait to try out the pancake one!

  • TD

    Not a fan of yogurt but I do love cottage cheese. I’ve had cottage cheese pancakes before and they were really good. And I’ve substituted cottage cheese for ricotta in several Italian recipes which turned out yummy. The scone and bread recipes here intrigue me.

    • Yep, cottage cheese is great. 🙂

      Try them out and LMK what you think!

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