Cottage cheese has taken the world by storm. Due to its’ subtle flavor and creamy texture, cottage cheese can be a simple way to increase protein in a number of different dishes. In this post, you will find simple cottage cheese recipes or ideas to increase your protein intake.
Swapping out foods like heavy cream, mayo, sour cream, or cream cheese for cottage cheese just makes sense. It’s not only high in protein, but calcium as well. If you’re someone who doesn’t care for cottage cheese, I promise you most likely won’t even know you’re eating it when combined in flavorful dishes.
Is Cottage Cheese Actually Healthy?
A cup of low-fat cottage cheese contains about 90 calories and 26 grams of protein! That’s more protein than a 4 oz. chicken breast. Cottage cheese is also an excellent source of calcium which is helpful for a large number of bodily process, not to mention our teeth and bones.
I love cottage cheese because it’s a simple way to boost your protein intake – whether you’re eating it for a snack or incorporating it into a meal. Further, cottage cheese is a great vegetarian protein option – as it’s considered a “complete” protein with adequate amounts of all the essential amino acids. All plant foods contain all 20 amino acids – but in less optimal amounts as compared to animal products (1).
If you’re a vegetarian or just someone trying to eat less meat, learning when and how to incorporate cottage cheese into your dishes could be a game-changer.
What are the Benefits of Consuming More Protein?
We need about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, minimum, to meet the recommended daily allowance. For a 150 pound person, that’s 55 grams of protein per day. For those who are physically active or looking to build muscle mass, the recommendations are significantly higher.
Further, research suggests that distributing protein throughout the day by consuming 20-30 grams of protein per meal helps with muscle protein synthesis, digestion, and absorption. For some, this might be a hard feat to achieve.
Even more, consuming meals higher in protein has been shown to increase satisfaction, and therefore, might contribute to less mindless snacking or eating throughout the day.
What Can Cottage Cheese Be Used For?
What’s so great about cottage cheese is that it is so versatile. Add it to eggs, make avocado toast, use it in replace of cream in a cream sauce, incorporate it into pasta sauces, soups, smoothies, dips, or just as a replacement for sour cream. Get creative, because the possibilities are endless.
If you’re turned off by the texture of cottage cheese, think about blending it for a smooth creamy texture. The bland flavor is hard to distinguish in most dishes – so you’re not likely to taste it.
Pro Tip: Blend the entire tub of cottage cheese until smooth and keep it in your fridge for future dishes. You can also buy whipped cottage cheese!
Simple Cottage Cheese Recipes
Here are 21 cottage cheese recipes to try- or use them as inspiration on how to customize your own recipes and meal ideas.
1. Cottage Cheese Scrambled Eggs
One egg contains about 6 grams of protein. It can be difficult to get the recommended 20-30 grams of protein with breakfast – that would be 3-4 eggs!
By simply adding a 1/2 cup of cottage cheese to your scrambled eggs, you’d be getting over 20 grams of protein. Plus, the cottage cheese adds that creamy, rich flavor and texture.
2. Cottage Cheese Avocado Toast
For an easy breakfast or snack, simply add 1/2-1 cup of cottage cheese to a slice of toast with your favorite toppings. Add honey and red pepper flakes for a sweet and savory snack.
Or make it into avocado toast. Spread cottage cheese on a slice or two of toast, place some avocado and a fried egg on top with some Everything But the Bagel Seasoning.
3. Cottage Cheese Fruit Parfait
Scoop 1/2-1 cup of cottage cheese (use whipped if you’re turned off by the texture) into a bowl with the fruit of your choice. Drizzle with honey. Add some hemp hearts for texture.
4. Cottage Cheese Pasta Sauce
Want to increase the protein content of your pasta sauce? It’s as easy as incorporating whipped cottage cheese with a jar of marinara sauce.
Or, it can be as complex as this butternut squash pasta sauce recipe which provides 20 grams of protein per serving when using Barilla protein + noodles. You could even add chicken to this recipe for a higher protein content.
5. Cottage Cheese Lasagna
Cottage cheese actually has more moisture than ricotta cheese, so it works perfectly in lasagna. Further, ricotta cheese contains a bit more fat and calories. You can replace the ricotta in any lasagna recipe using a 1:1 ratio for a lower calorie lasagna. However, it is recommended to use full-fat cottage cheese so it’s not too watery.
Try the Easiest Cottage Cheese Lasagna recipe from Midwest Foodie. Or, just take your favorite lasagna recipe and replace the ricotta with higher fat cottage cheese!
6. Cottage Cheese Mac and Cheese
This vegetarian high protein mac and cheese is similar to the pasta sauce recipe (both use butternut squash), and contains 28 grams of protein per serving. It’s a healthier dupe for traditional macaroni and cheese, and my 2-year-old even loved it.
This recipe is easily customizable, so feel free to recreate your favorite macaroni and cheese with cottage cheese as a bonus.
7. Buffalo Chicken Pasta in the Crockpot
This buffalo chicken crockpot pasta combines whipped cottage cheese with buffalo sauce to make a creamy, high protein pasta (48 grams of protein per serving)!
It’s super simple to make: perfect for a throw together meal that provides all the comfort of a delicious pasta.
8. Cottage Cheese Smoothie
This dark cherry cottage cheese smoothie tastes just like cheesecake, with 15 grams of protein without even adding protein powder.
Give it a try if you’re a smoothie person, or customize any of your favorite smoothie recipes!
9. Creamy Sausage Soup with Cottage Cheese
This creamy sausage soup is low carb, and high in protein. It’s similar to a Zuppa Toscana, but healthier – with spicy sausage, cauliflower instead of potatoes, and cottage cheese in replace of heavy cream.
This soup is not quite as heavy as the original, but has all the flavor.
10. Chicken Alfredo Spaghetti Squash
A lighter take on chicken alfredo with… you guessed it – cottage cheese instead of cream! This dish offers all the comforting flavors of Alfredo pasta while keeping things lower in calories and higher in nutrients.
With 43 grams of protein per serving, give this chicken alfredo spaghetti squash recipe a try! If you don’t like spaghetti squash, just substitute it with a pasta of your choice.
12. Bang Bang Shrimp and Rice
I usually make my bang bang sauce using mayonnaise, but was inspired to make a healthier version using cottage cheese. It turned out really delicious!
I used this Bang Bang Shrimp recipe and just replaced the mayo with whipped cottage cheese.
If you’re a vegetarian, you could even omit the shrimp or substitute with tofu or tempeh for a high protein meal!
13. Cottage Cheese Dips
Essentially, any dip that contains mayonnaise, cream cheese or sour cream can be made into a cottage cheese dip. I used whipped cottage cheese with hot sauce and garlic powder for a simple drizzle for roasted carrots.
- Buffalo Chicken Dip, like this one from Kelsey Smith
- Easy High Protein Queso Dip from The Balanced Nutritionist
- Combine a cup of whipped cottage cheese with a packet of taco or ranch seasoning for a high protein veggie dip
- Add whipped cottage cheese to salsa for a creamy salsa dip
- Make aioli or a spread for sandwiches or wraps by just adding some spices!
- This 5 Million Dollar Dip Recipe by The Recipe Critic
More Cottage Cheese Resources:
14. Cottage Cheese Ice Cream
Cottage cheese ice cream blew up on social media with people stating this healthy ice cream alternative actually tastes delicious.
Try this cottage cheese ice cream recipe from Feel Good Foodie with 3 different flavor variations! Full fat cottage cheese is recommended.
15. Cottage Cheese Cookie Dough
Another viral TikTok recipe – cottage cheese cookie dough. A protein-packed, healthier dessert. Try this cottage cheese cookie dough from Eating Bird Food. Or search TikTok for different variations of this viral trend.