Hey! This site is reader-supported and we earn commissions if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from our site.
Cottage cheese is a delicious form of creamy cheese that can be used as both the side of your meals or as an ingredient in an assortment of different recipes. However, when you are adhering to the recipe you may find that you are all out of cottage cheese. As such, if you’re following such a recipe then you may be wondering what the best cottage cheese substitute would be. Fortunately, though, we can help you out with some of the options found below.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is Cottage Cheese?
- 2 Why You May Need A Cottage Cheese Substitute
- 3 Cottage Cheese Substitute Options
- 4 Answered – The Best Cottage Cheese Substitute
What Is Cottage Cheese?
Cottage cheese is as you can likely guess a type of cheese. In particular, it consists of cheese curds that are incredibly fresh and have a mild taste. Often it will also be referred to as curds and whey due to the manufacture of this foodstuff involving the mixture of skimmed milk with calf stomach enzymes. The result of which being that some of the milk proteins will bond together as curds whilst others will remain separated as whey. However, due to the curds being the more pleasant tasting aspect of this combination, the amount of why will often be reduced by comparison.
From here, the curds will then be mixed with cream as this will help to improve the taste and provide a creamy texture. These will also come in a multitude of different varieties. Some of which include large-curd, small-curd, whipped, creamed, lactose-free, salt free, or reduced salt. Additionally, it can also be flavoured with other ingredients such as onions and chives, pineapple or habanero.
The result of which is that deliciously creamy cottage cheese can then be served or combined with other foodstuffs as part of a delicious snack. Some great options for such include the following:
- On toast
- With Grenola
- As A Salad Topper
- With Fruits
- With Vegetables
- As A Dip
- A Healthy Cream Cheese Replacement
Why You May Need A Cottage Cheese Substitute
Whilst cottage cheese is a delicious and incredibly versatile foodstuff, there is a multitude of reasons why you may need to replace cottage cheese with other ingredients. These can vary from dietary or religious requirements to simply wishing to alter the flavour of the dish that you’re making. For example, you wish to substitute it for a vegetarian or vegan alternative. Meanwhile, you may also be after more or less cheesy flavour.
As mentioned prior though it may also simply mean that you have run out of cottage cheese or simply couldn’t find it in your local supermarket or grocery store.
Cottage Cheese Substitute Options
As mentioned above there are a variety of different reasons why you may wish to substitute cottage cheese for another option. Naturally, you may have some ideas of your own that you wish to use as a cottage cheese substitute. However, you may also be unsure of what type of foods you should use as cottage cheese substitutes. Fortunately, there are plenty of choices and as such, when you’re looking for a suitable cottage cheese replacement you should be able to find something suitable for your own specific needs. In particular, some great options include the following options:
- Ricotta Cheese
- Cream Cheese
- Mascarpone Cheese
- Feta Cheese
- Greek Yoghurt
- Sour Cream
- Fromage Blanc
- Whipped Heavy Cream
- Egg Whites
- Cannellini beans
Ricotta is a type of Italian cheese that is often made from the leftover whey produced in the production of other curd cheeses such as Mozzarella or Provolone. Typically though, this will be specifically made using the milk from cows, sheep, goats or water buffalos.
Flavour-wise ricotta cheese is known for being quite mild by comparison to that of cottage cheese but distinctly more sweet. Meanwhile, the texture of ricotta cheese is incredibly similar to that of cottage cheese texture in that they’re both noticeably very creamy. However. this form of Italian cheese is distinctively more fluffy.
In particular, ricotta cheese will often be used for pasta recipes such as cannelloni or lasagne. Additionally, it can also be found in regular pizzas or calzones along with an assortment of baked goods such as brownies or cakes. As such, when you are substituting ricotta for cottage cheese then doing so at a one to one ratio is the perfect way to do so.
In a similar sense to the prior option, cream cheese is an excellent substitute for cottage cheese. In particular, it is a fantastic option to replace pureed cottage cheese or blenderized cottage cheese as it has a much smoother and creamy consistency. Although, it is noticeably thicker than your pureed cottage cheese along with being distinctly sweet as far as cheeses go.
As such, cream chees is often used to be desserts such as cheesecakes, along with pasta and baked dishes. Therefore it will make for a good cottage cheese substitute within these contexts. Especially, when you need something smoother. Once again, it will also work perfectly when exchanged in a one to one ratio.
Another type of Italian cheese that makes a perfect cottage cheese substitute is ricotta. Especially so when blended. The reason is that when you are looking for something that is requiring smooth pasteurized cottage cheese this will be perfect.
When you want to add some rich fattiness and decadence to the dish this is a particularly perfect option for a substitute cheese. However, when you are doing so, you may notice that the flavour is distinctively stronger than that of cottage cheese and is slightly heavier. That said though, a simple squirt of some lemon juice is a great method of making mascarpone cheese slightly lighter.
In particular, though, these will often be popularly used in a variety of both savoury and sweet dishes. In particular, desserts such as tiramisu or cheesecakes are commonly made with mascarpone. Meanwhile, for savoury dishes, meals like risotto will often include mascarpone, As such, when making dishes of this nature that call for cottage cheese then replacing it with mascarpone cheese is an obvious choice.
Feta cheese is a type of cheese that originates from Greece and is made using sheep’s milk. As such, it is incredibly rich in flavour whilst having a distinctively sharp taste. Additionally, though, the texture of feta cheese is distinctly crumbly.
As such, this is a type of cheese that is particularly great for being used for savoury dishes dips, salads, starters, spreads and pasta. With this in mind then, when using feta cheese as a cottage cheese substitute it is often best employed for use with savoury dishes. Although it may also work for certain dessert dishes as well though. To do so, you can combine feta cheese with heavy cream to accurately replicate the texture of cottage cheese.
Often a popularly used favourite substitute for cottage cheese, Greek yoghurt makes for a perfect option due to the nutritional similarities between the two substances. This is in the case of low sugars and calories whilst also being rich in proteins and calcium. Meanwhile, it also contains a rich abundant amount of probiotic bacteria.
Flavour wise, Greek yoghurt is a distinctively more tart than that of cottage cheese. Meanwhile, the texture of this option is very much more smooth than that of cottage cheese whilst also being much thicker in its consistency. However, when cottage cheese is pasteurized it will be very similar to that of Greek yoghurt.
As such, Greek yoghurt is a very appropriate option to use to replace cottage cheese for a wide variety of different recipes. Some examples of such include dips, desserts and dishes requiring some richness or that incorporate fruit. That said if you wish to avoid the tart flavour that Greek yoghurt will bring then incorporating some sour flavour into the recipe will balance it out.
One of the notable traits of cottage cheese is that it has a distinctly sour flavour. This is due to the presence of lactic acid within sour cream that is inherently sour in its flavour. As such, when you are attempting to replicate the sour flavours that are found within cottage cheese, then sour cream will be a perfect choice.
Texturally though, sour cream is known for being significantly more smooth in terms of texture than that of cottage cheese. As such, in order to replicate the texture more faithfully, then you should blend it with milk in order to replicate the consistency of sour cream.
Typically though, when you are using sour cream to replace cottage cheese then you are best to do so for savoury dishes rather than sweet ones due to the taste it brings. Additionally, the result will likely be more creamy and watery. As such. dishes such as dips, spreads, etc.
Similar to some of the options above, fromage blanc is a type of cream cheese that originates from France. Unlike that of cottage cheese, the fromage blanc will be slightly sweet yet tart in its flavouring. Often it will be made with milk or cream. However, when made with the latter, the overall flavour of fromage blanc will be improved.
Texturally though, fromage blanc will be incredibly different from that you would typically associate with something like cottage cheese. The reason for this is that the fromage blanc will be noticeably thicker and smoother, whilst also being slightly richer.
As such, this option is only really a good option when you are not seeking to perfectly replicate the texture of the cottage cheese perfectly. Additionally, whilst this option is great as a substitute in certain contexts it may be much more difficult to find than other similar cottage cheese replacements.
Whipped Heavy Cream
For something that is creamy in consistency like cottage cheese, then whipped cream makes for an excellent option as a substitute. However, this will make for an option that provides a much more light and airy consistency to the recipe. Additionally, whilst cottage cheese is known for its lumpy quality thanks to the cheese curds that are present within, meanwhile whipped heavy cream will be much more fluffy.
Flavour-wise, the whipped heavy cream will also be noticeably sweeter than that of cottage cheese. As such, the flavour of the resulting dish will be noticeably sweeter. Additionally, due to this substitute containing significantly more fat than cottage cheese, the flavour will also be noticeably richer.
With this in mind then, when using whipped heavy cream in the place of cottage cheese, it is often best used for dessert options. Some of which include cakes or to mix them with fruit. However, in certain sweet and savoury sauces, this will also make for a great option to use when making more light sauces.
Cottage cheese, along with the options that are presented above are in some way or another all dairy based. However, you may be lactose intolerant or wanting a dairy free option to replace the cottage cheese for a wide variety of other reasons. As such, an excellent option you can use to do so will be egg whites.
Of course, egg whites will taste noticeably different from cottage cheese. However, the texture of scrambled egg whites is similar to that of cottage cheese and such can make a great alternative side dish when simply trying to replicate the mouthfeel. For example, some scrambled eggs on toast with potentially some sort of sauce will make for a great substitute for cottage cheese on toast.
When incorporated into a recipe though, raw whipped egg whites will be a near-ideal option for you to use as a cottage cheese replacement. This is because they will bring some the liquidity to dish whilst also providing some fatty richness. That said though, it is recommended to use egg whites in this manner when the recipe will be cooked in order to reduce the risk of food poisoning.
Whilst, the above are all vegetarian safe options for choices to use, you may be in need of an option that will be vegan friendly. If so, then a great option that you can use outside of vegan cheeses is some hummus. If unfamiliar with it, hummus is a dip/spread that comes from the Middle East and is made from chickpeas, lemon, spices, and tahini.
Now, of course, hummus is differs in terms of flavour from that cottage cheese due to being quite savoury, nutty, lemony and garlicky. However, there are some similarities in flavour such as the creamy and tangy tastes,
However, the smooth and creamy texture of the hummus is something that is quite different to that of regular cottage cheese as it is light, fluffy and creamy yet also slightly oily. As such, it is a distinctly different option in many ways to cottage cheese but hummus can often perform the same role in a number of different ways.
That said though, it is best to use hummus as a substitute in more of a savoury context. Additionally, it may not be able to be used for an incredibly varied amount of dishes. Some great ways in which it can be used though include on toast, within ravioli pasta stuffing and in a myriad of other manners.
Another vegan-friendly option for you to use instead of cottage cheese is some tofu. In particular, the texture of crumbled tofu will make for a great option that is comparable to that of cottage cheese. Meanwhile, the flavour of tofu is incredibly mild but slightly nutty. Additionally, tofu can easily be seasoned with an assortment of other flavours. As such, it is a near-ideal option for replacing cottage cheese in a wide variety of contexts.
Whilst they are found in a variety of different firmness types, tofu can be blended to a similar texture as pasteurized cottage cheese. However, the more firm the tofu is, the less moisture it will contain. As such, when using the more firm variants then you may need to add a little extra moisture to the crumbled tofu.
Yet another option that is appropriate for both a vegan and dairy-free option is to replace cottage cheese. In particular, the mild flavour of these types of beans will make for a great flavour substitute that isn’t too domineering when used as a cottage cheese substitute. Meanwhile, their light white colour will also help to keep the aesthetic of the dish more in line with the item they are replacing where other types of beans would not.
In order to more perfectly use these as a substitute for cottage cheese though, you should of course process them as in their natural state they are very different in nature from the ingredient they will be replacing. As such, they can be pureed into an incredibly smooth paste such as with pasteurized cottage cheese. Meanwhile, they can also be pulsed in a food processor in order to provide the cannellini beans with a consistency more akin to that of how cottage cheese will typically be found.
Answered – The Best Cottage Cheese Substitute
As we have established above, there is a multitude of different cottage cheese substitute options. With that in mind then, there isn’t truly one best cottage cheese substitute but multiple different cottage cheese substitutes. The reason for this is that each of the above options will be best used for different contexts. As such, each of the options above will vary in texture, taste, appearance, aroma and overall mouthfeel.
That said then, the best option for cottage cheese substitute for your own purposes will greatly vary depending on your own needs and of course your own requirements. Some examples of such are sweet or savoury dishes or for lactose free and vegan choices. Ultimately then, the choice of which is best from the above will come down to your own discretion.