Cottage Cheese Recipes and Nutrition Benefits - WTOP News (2023)

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Cottage cheese has always been a bit polarizing. Some people just can’t get over the lumpy texture. Others associate it with their grandmother’s food, jiggly gelatin salads or the old-fashioned “diet plate” featuring a scoop of cottage cheese on canned fruit.

Those days are over. Now cottage cheese is the newGreek yogurt. Or maybe it’s the newcauliflowerbecause there’s nothing those curds can’t do.

The Viral Spread of Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is being introduced to a new generation via TikTok, where #cottagecheese has racked up over 200 million views. Recipes with cottage cheese have gone viral, especially cottage cheese toast that is rivaling avocado toast in popularity.

Other TikTok creators are making a range of dishes with blended cottage cheese, which is simply whipping cottage cheese in a blender until it’s smooth and creamy. “Blended cottage cheese recipes” became a breakout search term on Google, meaning it has grown by more than 5,000% over the last year.

Blended cottage cheese is being used in dips, smoothies, pasta sauces, mashed potatoes, queso, salad dressings, pancakes, cheesecake, ice cream and other desserts.

[READ: Viral TikTok Nutrition Trends: Which Should You Avoid?]

Types of Cottage Cheese

Long neglected as a sleepy category, cottage cheese is now following in the footsteps of Greek yogurt with a slew of new innovations, including single-serve cartons with fruit on the bottom, snack cups with crunchy toppings and smooth cottage cheese without the curds.

Cottage cheese varieties range from fat free to double cream (6% milk fat) and include small or large curds, lactose-free and flavored, such as pineapple, blueberry acai, bacon-ranch, garlic parmesan and everything bagel seasoning.

One company, Kemps, is trying to introduce kids to cottage cheese with its new fruit-flavored smooth cottage cheese with addedprobioticsthat has twice the protein of most kid-friendly yogurts. Cottage cheese is also evolving into completely new forms, such as flavored dips and spreads from Canadian brand Natrel and frozen cottage cheese bars from Speka that are coated with chocolate or caramel.

Chefs are even making their own cottage cheese in-house and serving it in creative savory ways on menus, giving it an upscale image closer to its European cousin ricotta.

[Related:Red Dye in Foods: Uses and Health Risks]

Is Cottage Cheese Good for You?

What’s behind the cottage cheese craze? For starters it’s an impressive source ofprotein, actually providing even more than Greek yogurt. One cup contains 28 grams of high-quality protein.

The protein-packed attributes of cottage cheese have made it a favorite among athletes and exercise enthusiasts who are using cottage cheese as apost-exercise recovery snack. After all, cottage cheese contains casein andwhey protein, which are found inprotein powdersand shakes.

Long in the shadow of yogurt, cottage cheese offers a comparable nutrient package beyond protein — including B vitamins and the mineralscalcium, selenium and phosphorus. Cottage cheese also has alow-carbhalo, which appeals to theketocrowd, says Donna Berry, a food scientist and dairy foods expert based in the Chicago area. The whole milk (4% milk fat) small curd varieties of cottage cheese are especially popular, with some people comparing it to the inside of burrata cheese.

As afermented food, some varieties of cultured cottage cheese contain live microbes, which will be indicated on the label. Other brands are heat-treated after fermentation so they no longer contain live and active cultures.

[See: High-Protein Breakfast Ideas.]

What Is Cottage Cheese?

Similar to ricotta and feta, cottage cheese is a fresh cheese. That means it isn’t aged or ripened the way hard cheeses like cheddar or parmesan are.

It’s made by adding acid-producing starter cultures to milk, says Berry. The acidity causes the casein proteins to coagulate and form curds. The liquid whey protein is drained away. After the soft, small fresh curds are washed and drained, it’s added to cream and milk with some salt.

Slow cooking is involved at this stage to develop a desirable consistency, she says. Some overly processed brands of cottage cheese use gums and stabilizers to thicken the dressing. Many of the newer products leave out these fillers and make cottage cheese the old-fashioned way — or “what cottage cheese should taste like,” says Berry.

Believed to be one of the first cheeses made in the U.S., cottage cheese is thought to be named after the country homes where it was made from any left-over milk after making butter.

Ways to Enjoy Cottage Cheese

Some social media influencers are declaring cottage cheese thefood of 2023. If you’re ready to reconsider cottage cheese, here are some of the trending cottage cheese recipes to inspire you.

Cottage Cheese Toast

One of the biggest cottage cheese trends is cottage cheese toast. As a breakfast, light lunch or snack, cottage cheese toast can take a sweet or savory turn — adding berries andhoneyor topping with avocado, tomatoes and a poached egg.

Cottage cheese toast is frequently made with large slices of crusty sourdough or multigrain bread and sprinkled with everything bagel seasoning, red chili flakes, za’atar, flaky sea salt and freshly ground pepper, and then drizzled with hot honey, balsamic glaze orextra-virgin olive oil.

Here are some cottage cheese toast ideas from some of the creators on TikTok who have helped it go viral:

— Spread your toast with smashedavocado, cottage cheese, lemon zest, fresh dill, chili flakes and chili oil. Brittany Arnett @toasted.table, who created an entire series on #cottagecheesetoast.

— Top toast with a layer of cottage cheese followed by a grated hard-boiled egg, chopped chilis,arugulaand a drizzle of olive oil. Kelly Rizzo @eattravelrock.

— Spread multigrain sourdough toast with pesto and cottage cheese, then top with sliced tomatoes, flaky sea salt, black pepper, red chili flakes and balsamic glaze. Paige MacDonald @paigeejenna.

— For a pizza toast twist, top your toasted bread with warm marina sauce, cottage cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic powder, dried oregano, fresh basil and hot honey. Jamie Vespa @dishingouthealth.

Cottage Cheese Bowls

As a versatile canvass, cottage cheese has become a coveted foundation for ahigh-protein breakfastor lunch bowl. The cottage cheese can be spooned straight from the carton or blended in a food processor for a creamy base similar to a yogurt bowl.

— Add cottage cheese to a bowl and top with chopped cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red onion, kalamata olives, oregano and a drizzle of red wine vinegar. Mackenzie @nibbletonourish

— Top cottage cheese with sliced cucumber, cherry tomatoes, scallions, soft-boiled egg, smoked salmon, everything bagel seasoning and drizzle of olive oil. Ereka Vetrini @erekasfood

— Roast fresh green beans and strips of carrot with olive oil and za’atar; add to cottage cheese with fresno pepper sauce and freshly ground pepper. Justine Doiron @justine_snacks.

— For a breakfast bowl, top cottage cheese with berries, granola, peanut butter, honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Kelly Nardo @eatthegains.

— In a bowl of cottage cheese, add fresh raspberries, strawberries, small chunks of chocolate, sliced almonds and a drizzle of honey. Marina @allweeat

Cottage Cheese and Eggs

Cottage cheese is a popular pairing with eggs — combined with scrambled or poached eggs and used as an ingredient for #copycat baked egg bites, egg salad and deviled eggs.

— Whisk eggs with cottage cheese and scramble; top with fresh chives and serve with tomatoes and toast. Yumna @feelgoodfoodie.

— Combine cottage cheese with egg whites, chopped red onion, green onion, pico de gallo and shredded cheese for an omelet. Top with a corn tortilla. Teresa Parent @transformingteresamarie.

— Blend cottage cheese, eggs and shredded pepper jack cheese; add chopped ham, salt, pepper and paprika. Bake in muffin tins for egg bites. Leigha @leilulemon.

— For egg salad, add cottage cheese to hard-boiled eggs with Dijon mustard, lemon juice, freshly chopped dill, green onion, salt and pepper; serve on toast with sliced avocado and top with sliced jalapeno. Sarah Thomas-Drawbaugh @healthyishfoods

Cottage Cheese Dips

Dips are another popular way to enjoy cottage cheese, including with the curds or whipped in a blender to make it smooth. It’s rivaling hummus as a high-protein dip, and it’s being swapped for sour cream in dip recipes. Nacho Cheese Doritos dipped in cottage cheese also trended as a TikTok taste challenge.

— Blend cottage cheese with garlic, lemon juice, artichoke hearts, tahini, olive oil, salt and pepper. @joeywellness.

— Sauté cherry tomatoes in olive oil, garlic and hot pepper flakes; add cottage cheese with smoked paprika and cumin. Kasey Benavides @kb.rd.nutrition.

— Blend cottage cheese, avocado, fresh herbs, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Krista @hellofrozenbananas.

— Other creators are making simple cottage dips with za’atar and olive oil, powdered ranch seasoning, finely chopped pickles and pickle juice, grated cucumber and lemon juice, honey and chopped pistachios, and diced tomatoes, red onion and cilantro.

Blended Cottage Cheese

Here’s where it gets really creative. Whipping cottage cheese in a blender creates ahigh-protein ingredientthat is amazingly versatile.

— For ahigh-protein, low-fatcacio e pepe, blend cottage cheese with pecorino cheese, black pepper and salt until smooth; heat in skillet and add cooked pasta with a little pasta water. Jake Cohen @jakecohen.

— Combine cottage cheese with cheddar cheese, milk, diced chipotle peppers in adobo, garlic powder and salt; microwave and blend until smooth for an easy cheese sauce. Tom Walsh @stealth_health_life.

— For pancakes, blend together cottage cheese, old-fashioned oats, baking powder, vanilla extract and an egg. Pour batter on griddle. Lex @lex.alger.

— To make a simple cheesecake dessert, blend cottage cheese with fresh raspberries and vanilla extract until smooth; add to bowl and top with reduced-sugar raspberry preserves and granola. Ravleen @flexibleeatingdietitian.

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Cottage Cheese Recipes and Nutrition Benefits - WTOP News (7)

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What are the health benefits of homemade cottage cheese? ›

Cottage cheese is an excellent source of calcium, which plays an important role in maintaining bone health. People who get more calcium are less likely to develop osteoporosis. Cottage cheese also can provide: Blood sugar management.

What are the benefits of eating cottage cheese everyday? ›

Cottage cheese is an excellent source of calcium, a mineral that plays a major role in tooth and bone health, and in the prevention of osteoporosis. It also helps you to regulate your blood pressure and might even play a role in preventing certain cancers, such as prostate cancer.

What is the nutritional value of homemade cottage cheese? ›

Nutrition Profile

On the nutrition front, a half-cup serving of low-fat (2%) plain cottage cheese contains around 90 calories, 5 grams of carbohydrates, 12 grams of protein, and 2.5 grams of total fat. It also supplies essential vitamins and minerals like phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and vitamin B12.

Is it OK to eat cottage cheese every day? ›

Is It OK to Eat Cottage Cheese Every Day? Yes, cottage cheese can be part of a healthy diet every day. If you're sensitive to dairy, look for a lactose-free option like Green Valley Creamery. The versatility of cottage cheese recipes makes it easy to incorporate this protein-packed treat into any meal.

Is cottage cheese anti inflammatory? ›

Provides Anti-Inflammatory Effect

Research shows that consuming dairy products like cottage cheese can reduce inflammation. 9 Managing inflammation is key for reducing the risks of developing diseases like type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

What type of cottage cheese is healthiest? ›

The quality of cottage cheese is dependent on the quality of the milk it is derived from. Cornucopia's research findings show that the best choice is always USDA certified organic cottage cheese, which consists almost entirely of the wholesome, highly nutritious ingredient from which it was derived: organic milk.

Which is healthier yogurt or cottage cheese? ›

Greek yogurt has a slight edge in calcium vs cottage cheese calcium. A cup of Greek yogurt has 282 mg of calcium, while a cup of cottage cheese has 227 mg of calcium. Ultimately, both cottage cheese and Greek yogurt can be part of a healthy diet, and there isn't a clear winner overall.

Does homemade cottage cheese have probiotics? ›

Why it's good for you: Cheese lovers, rejoice: cottage cheese is a great pick for your gut. As with other fermented foods, cottage cheese often delivers probiotics (check the package labels for live and active cultures), and it's high in calcium, which is important for strong bones.

Is cottage cheese or Greek yogurt healthier? ›

Both boast impressive numbers that make them an excellent choice for a low-calorie, high-protein, and low-sugar breakfast or snack. Cottage cheese does have a slight advantage in terms of a little less sugar while the yogurt has slightly more protein per cup (22 grams for the yogurt and 19 grams for the cottage cheese.

Is it better to eat cottage cheese in the morning or at night? ›

Cottage cheese is an ideal choice for a late night snack because its high in protein and low in carbohydrates . In fact, it's ok to eat “full fat” cottage cheese, since 2/3 of a cup has less than 6 grams of fat, which ultimately will help you feel full and reduce cravings.

Why is cottage cheese a superfood? ›

It's high in many nutrients, including protein, B vitamins, and minerals like calcium, selenium, and phosphorus. If you're looking to lose weight or build muscle, cottage cheese is among the most beneficial foods you can eat.

When should you not eat cottage cheese? ›

When cottage cheese is starting to go bad you will notice pockets of water as a result of separation. While fresh cottage cheese has a clean flavor and smell and consistant texture, spoiled cottage cheese will smell damp, develop a yellowish color and begin to taste sour.

What goes with cottage cheese as a snack? ›

More Favorite Ways to Eat Cottage Cheese
  • Sliced bananas.
  • Crushed pineapple or pineapple chunks.
  • Berries—blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries or a combination.
  • Melon chunks or balls.
  • Fresh or canned peach slices.
  • Chunks of apple and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
  • Applesauce or apple butter.
Jan 11, 2023

What can I add to cottage cheese? ›

When you combine it with veggies, nuts or fruit, you get a satisfying yet healthy twist to an old favorite.
  1. Avocados with Cilantro & Tomatoes. ...
  2. Bananas & Pecans. ...
  3. Beets & Baby Romaine. ...
  4. Blackberries & Walnuts. ...
  5. Blueberries & Almonds. ...
  6. Figs with Pistachios & Cardamom. ...
  7. Granny Smith Apples & Cinnamon. ...
  8. Grapefruit with Mint & Honey.
Dec 22, 2014

Why is cottage cheese good for you at night? ›

Its low carbs content and high protein content make it effective. It also contains calcium that stimulates testosterone production and increase muscle mass. It helps you sleep better. This benefit comes from an amino acid called tryptophan which is found aplenty in cottage cheese.

Does cottage cheese heal gut? ›

It can help support gut health.

A number of cottage cheese brands include live and active cultures, aka probiotics. In addition to overall gut health, probiotics help keep your heart healthy and can even help boost your immune system.

Is cottage cheese good or bad for arthritis? ›

Low-fat milk, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, and kefir are all good dairy foods to keep handy in your fridge. Serve up three servings of dairy each day to help get in your daily calcium, vitamin D, and probiotic needs.

What is the best cheese to avoid inflammation? ›

Mozzarella also contains bacteria that act as probiotics, including strains of Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus fermentum ( 2 ). Both animal and human studies show that these probiotics may improve gut health and regularity, promote immunity, and decrease inflammation in your body ( 3 , 4 , 5 ).

Is 1% or 2% cottage cheese better for you? ›

The difference between nonfat and full-fat cottage cheese is about 30 calories per half-cup; the low-fat or 2 percent options have about 20 fewer calories. The savings in fat are similarly small, with low-fat (2 percent) cottage cheese supplying 2.6 grams (1.4 grams of saturated) per half-cup.

Which is healthier 2% or 4% cottage cheese? ›

Cottage Cheese: Low-Fat Usually Has More Protein Per Serving

If you're purely interested in protein content, lower-fat cottage cheese can have two to three grams more of protein per serving than a classic 4% milkfat version.

What kind of cottage cheese is best for weight loss? ›

Q: Which Cottage Cheese Is Best For Weight Loss? Ans: The best cottage cheese for fat loss is that which is made not from full-cream milk, but from low-fat milk. Also, cow milk contains high quantities of proteins. It gives you the protein your body needs to tone up muscles and keep them active while still burning fat.

Is it OK to eat yogurt and cottage cheese everyday? ›

Is It OK to Eat Cottage Cheese Every Day? It's fine to get a daily serving—or more—of cottage cheese. It's an ideal post-workout snack because it contains casein, slow-digesting protein that's used in some protein powders.

How do you make cottage cheese taste better? ›

1. Make it sweet
  1. Chopped pineapple, peaches, plums—heck, pretty much any ripe, soft fruit.
  2. Fresh berries.
  3. Honey/maple syrup.
  4. Jam and toasted nuts.
  5. Chopped apple and a dash of cinnamon.
Jun 19, 2017

Can you freeze cottage cheese? ›

Like other types of cheese, cottage cheese can be frozen to extend its shelf life and help it last longer. Unopened cottage cheese can last around 3–6 months in the freezer. On the other hand, cottage cheese that has been opened can be frozen for up to 2–3 months.

What food is highest in probiotics? ›

Here are seven foods high in probiotics:
  • Yogurt. Yogurt is made by culturing milk with bacteria that produce lactic acid, such as Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, although more strains can also be added. ...
  • Buttermilk. ...
  • Cottage Cheese. ...
  • Tempeh. ...
  • Sauerkraut. ...
  • Miso Soup.
Dec 9, 2022

Is cottage cheese good for your heart? ›

Notably, a ½ cup of low-fat cottage cheese has 12 grams of protein and only 2.7 grams of saturated fat, making it a great heart-healthy cheese option.

How much cottage cheese should you eat daily? ›

People like to eat cottage cheese as a taste but hardly you are aware that cottage cheese is a treasure of nutrients. Yes, just 100 grams of cottage cheese a day can help you to keep it energetic throughout the day.

Is cottage cheese healthier than mayonnaise? ›

Cottage cheese is white and creamy, but don't confuse it with mayo — it has way more nutritional value. Cottage cheese contains no cholesterol and beats mayo in the protein category. This creamy spread can be used in your favorite salad as if mayonnaise doesn't even exist.

Which is healthier cottage cheese or sour cream? ›

Sour Cream Substitute: Cottage Cheese

If you're looking for a healthy alternative to sour cream, cottage cheese is a great option. Cottage cheese has more protein than sour cream (about five times more!) and contains about half of the calories.

Which is healthier feta or cottage cheese? ›

Cottage cheese vs feta cheese

If you're watching your waistline, cottage cheese is the winner. it has less than half the calories of feta and one-quarter of the fat. But despite being the leaner choice, it has almost as much protein as feta, as well as one-quarter of the salt.

What foods speed up metabolism before bed? ›

Lose weight and sleep great by eating these healthy foods before bed!
  • Whey Protein Shake. ...
  • A Warm Bowl of Oatmeal. ...
  • Greek Yogurt with Berries or Cherries. ...
  • Half a Turkey Sandwich. ...
  • Egg Wrap. ...
  • Smoked Salmon Bagel. ...
  • Cottage Cheese and Fruit. ...
  • Peanut and Nut Butters.
Mar 9, 2022

What to add to cottage cheese before bed? ›

Cottage cheese and tart cherries.

Top ¾ cup of 2 percent cottage cheese with half a cup of tart cherries for a triple whammy: 22 grams of protein from the cottage cheese, a boost of sleep-inducing melatonin from the cherries and the calcium on cottage cheese helps your body make more melatonin.

What is good food before bed? ›

5 best foods to eat before bed
  • Cherries. Cherries, especially the tart Montmorency variety, are a natural source of melatonin. ...
  • Bananas. Bananas are rich in magnesium and have been found to significantly increase melatonin. ...
  • Walnuts. ...
  • Turkey. ...
  • Milk.

Why is everyone obsessed with cottage cheese? ›

One reason why cottage cheese is so popular is thanks to its health benefits. It's low in sugar and high in protein. (Just ask Ree Drummond about her health journey to eat foods with higher protein!) But that's not all, it's also extremely versatile in recipes that can be both sweet and savory.

Is cottage cheese good for the brain? ›

When it comes to brain health, low-fat dairy is generally the healthier choice. You can get milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, and other dairy foods in low-fat forms.

Is cottage cheese good for cholesterol? ›

Tips for Eating Cheese When You Have High Cholesterol

When you do cook with cheese, use lower-fat varieties like Swiss, cottage cheese, low-fat mozzarella, or nonfat cheddar, suggests Dr. Manaktala.

Is cottage cheese hard on your gut? ›

So those with particularly sensitive stomachs will want to avoid creamier varieties such as ricotta or cottage cheese at all costs. Sugar is the primary component of lactose that makes it difficult to digest, which means that aged, hard cheeses—which have a lower sugar content—are easier on the stomach.

Is cottage cheese considered clean eating? ›

Cottage Cheese – Technically, it's not clean. *gasp!* (Read the ingredient list). However, for many clean eaters, it is often included in day to day menus because it is such a fantastic source of low fat, non-meat protein.

What is the liquid on top of cottage cheese? ›

What are curds and whey? If you answered cottage cheese, you're right. The curd is the lumps and the whey is the liquid.

Is homemade cottage cheese high in protein? ›

Chenna /Cottage cheese is naturally rich in protein, but you can add other ingredients to increase the overall protein content. You get nearly 13 grams of protein in every 1/2-cup, serving of cottage cheese you eat.

Does homemade cottage cheese have protein? ›

A closer look at both these health trends revealed some surprising results: A 100-gram serving of full-fat cottage cheese contains 11.5 grams of protein and 4.3 grams of fat.

Does cottage cheese help gut health? ›

It can help support gut health.

A number of cottage cheese brands include live and active cultures, aka probiotics. In addition to overall gut health, probiotics help keep your heart healthy and can even help boost your immune system.

Which is a better probiotic cottage cheese or yogurt? ›

Probiotics. While Greek yogurt is more likely to contain probiotics—those microscopic gut-friendly bacteria—there are some brands of cottage cheese that also contain probiotics. Not all brands of cottage cheese contain probiotics, though, so be sure to read the label.

Can I eat cottage cheese and yogurt everyday? ›

Is It OK to Eat Cottage Cheese Every Day? It's fine to get a daily serving—or more—of cottage cheese. It's an ideal post-workout snack because it contains casein, slow-digesting protein that's used in some protein powders.

What has more protein eggs or cottage cheese? ›

Cottage cheese contains more protein than two eggs.

And that's just the protein in a personal-size cup of the stuff (5.3 oz)—in that size, those wannabe trendy cottage cheeses are weighing in at 16 to 19 grams of protein; eggs have about 6 g each.

Is cottage cheese good for your hair? ›

“Cottage cheese is a great source of calcium and protein. It also contains whey protein and casein, which aid strong and healthy hair. Cottage cheese is best consumed before a workout.”

What are the side effects of cottage cheese? ›

The side effects may be temporary, but if you frequently go on the cottage cheese diet and consistently consume too much sodium, serious problems may occur, such as: high blood pressure. increased risk of heart attack and stroke. heart failure.

Is cottage cheese good for your liver? ›

For example, choose low-fat cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, or feta in place of higher-fat cheddar cheese or cream cheese. Many dairy products contain vitamin D, a major nutrient that can aid in cleansing the liver.


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