Cottage cheese is one of those foods that people tend to love or hate. I have been a huge fan since first discovering its healthy diet food status back in the 1970s.
Because of its mild flavor it is a very versatile ingredient. And, it is healthier than many other cheeses.
Cottage cheese has about 14 grams of protein in a 4 ounce serving, is a good source of essential nutrients such as calcium, and is low in calories provided you choose a low fat or nonfat variety. And I have great news for those following the Weight Watchers program. Nonfat cottage cheese has now been included on their Zero Points Foods List.
The benefits of cottage cheese go way beyond weight loss. This healthy ingredient is much more versatile than you realize! There are so many different ways you can use it. Here are 15+ of my favorite ways to enjoy this classic diet food staple and one of my favorite foods...
Favorite Easy + Healthy Ways To Enjoy Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is much more than a boring diet food. One of the more versatile dairy products out there, it can be enjoyed in so many ways - on its own, with fresh fruit or salad, on toast, as a vintage Weight Watchers "Danish" and in a wide variety of both sweet and savory dishes.
How Do You Make Homemade Cottage Cheese?
As a lazy cook, I've never considered making cottage cheese myself. You can find it at most any grocery story. I'm sure the fresh homemade version tastes amazing.
So if you're curious here's a Quick Cottage Cheese Recipe from Alton Brown at the Food Network.
Are you put off by the lumpy texture of cottage cheese?
To give your cottage cheese a creamy texture, give it a whirl in a food processor (affiliate link) or blender (affiliate link). Then it becomes a healthier alternative to sour cream with fewer calories in your favorite dip recipe or as a tasty topping for baked potatoes. This was a popular low fat alternative back in the "old days" before Greek yogurt came into vogue.
This smooth whipped cottage cheese is also delicious slathered on a bagel, or pancakes, with jam.
Wondering How Long Cottage Cheese Will Last?
Here's a helpful article outlining all kinds of facts about this fresh cheese, including how long it will last in the fridge after opening.
More Favorite Ways to Eat Cottage Cheese
#1 Serve it with fruit. A favorite way to eat cottage cheese is with fruit. It's a match made it heaven.
I love it for both breakfast and lunch during the summer. Just about any fruit will work - fresh, canned in fruit juice, or frozen. Delicious options include:
- 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
- Fill a halved peach or melon with cottage cheese for the ultimate "dieter's delight." It's a classic for good reason.
- Or get fancy and make this cottage cheese banana split
Check out these delicious cottage cheese breakfast bowls from Beth at Budget Bytes. Five creative ways are pictured in the following video: Apple Cinnamon, Savory Bowl, Blueberry Almond, Peanut Butter and Jelly, and Tropical Bowl
Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowl Video
#2 Mix it with nut butter. Stir a tablespoon of your favorite nut butter into a half cup of cottage cheese. Use it to stuff celery or spread on whole grain toast or crackers.
#3 Add it to smoothies. Blend it into your favorite fruit smoothie or green smoothie recipe for a high protein breakfast in a glass. This strawberry smoothie looks so delicious:
Cottage Cheese Smoothie Video
#4 Add it to pancake batter to make Cottage Cheese Pancakes, which is a great way to boost the protein content without sacrificing flavor.
#5 Make muffins. Stir into muffin batter to make blueberry cheesecake muffins like Kristina did over at Love and Zest or Cottage Cheese Omelet Muffins like Kristen at Slender Kitchen.
#6 Stir it into pasta. The cottage cheese gets warm and creamy and is especially good with lots of freshly ground pepper.
Cottage Cheese Alfredo Pasta Video
#7 Or use it instead of ricotta cheese in Lasagna recipes, Baked Pasta with Zucchini and Cottage Cheese in Casserole Dish or Mom's Easy Baked Ziti. or in place of some of the other cheese(s) in Baked Macaroni and Cheese.
#8 Or try this tasty low calorie Orzo with Cottage Cheese and Peas recipe...
Orzo with Cottage Cheese and Peas Recipe
- 2 cups low fat cottage cheese, at room temperature
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup minced scallions or chives
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- Black pepper to taste
- ½ pound orzo (rice shaped pasta)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Cook the orzo in plenty of boiling salted water until tender. While the orzo is cooking, place the peas in a colander in a the sink.
- While the water boils and orzo cooks, in a medium-sized bowl, combine the cottage cheese, salt, scallions, lemon zest, and black pepper. Mix until well combined.
- When the orzo is done, drain into the colander right onto the peas.
- Shake off the excess water and dump into the bowl with the cottage cheese mixture.
- Stir gently and sprinkle with grated parmesan.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
#9 Serve it on a baked potato with salsa. For an incredible quick, easy and healthy lunch or dinner, one of my favorite ways to eat cottage cheese I learned years ago from Weight Watchers.
#10 Spread it on toast. for a vintage Weigh Watchers "danish." I love cottage cheese toast made with raisin bread, then sprinkled with cinnamon and chopped walnuts. Or make this vintage "WW Danish".
#11 Spread it on thin slices of apple and sprinkle with cinnamon. Perfect for breakfast or a healthy after school snack.
#12 Add a spoonful while you're making scrambled eggs. It'll give you the cheesy flavor you crave with an extra dose of protein. Or try this light + healthy spinach and feta crustless quiche.
#13 Use cottage cheese as a substitute for sour cream. First buzz it in a blender (affiliate link) or food processor (affiliate link), with the tiniest bit of boiling water to make it make it creamy and then you can use it to make all kinds of skinny dips.
#14 Season it with your favorite spice blend. Lemon pepper, Mrs. Dash, Old Bay and Herbamare all work well. Spread on vegetables or whole grain crackers of stuff into celery or hollowed out tomatoes. (A favorite snack for Weight Watchers)
#15 Stir in some pesto with it. Then enjoy as a dip or spread for vegetables or crackers or stuffed into hollowed out cherry tomatoes.
# 16 Mix it with chopped vegetables or tuna, chicken or shrimp to make a salad. Subbing cottage cheese for mayo makes your salad a little healthier, because it is higher in protein and lower in fat. It makes a great dip or spread perfect with toasted whole grain bread, crackers, or vegetables. This Grandma's Cottage Cheese Salad is another great option.
#17 Make it Savory. Speaking of salad, here are a few more savory toppings and stir-ins to consider:
- Chopped roasted peppers, a drizzle of olive oil, and salt and pepper.
- A sprinkle of za'atar or everything but the bagel seasoning blend and grated cucumber or sliced scallion.
- Chopped tomatoes and cucumber, a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper is one of my favorite savory cottage cheese bowls.
- Combine cottage cheese with chopped scallions, a splash of hot sauce and salt and pepper.
#18 Make it Sweet. Use your cottage cheese for a refined sweet treat the way you might ricotta:
- Add a drizzle of honey, maple syrup, golden syrup, date syrup, agave or your favorite flavored syrup
- Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar or sweetener and cocoa powder/espresso powder
- A dollop of jam and sprinkle of toasted nuts is a simple way to satisfy your sweet tooth
A Simple Spread: Cottage Cheese with Olive Oil and Black Pepper
Food doesn't get much faster than this. This is best with large-curd cottage cheese, those small curd cottage cheese will also work. Put some on a plate, season with sea salt and coarse freshly ground black pepper, then drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil (affiliate link) over the top. Enjoy the finished product with whole grain bread or crackers.
*Points® calculated by WW. *PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT each plan's ZeroPoint Foods (Green plan, Blue plan, Purple plan) using the WW Recipe Builder.
More Delicious Cottage Cheese Recipes
- Cottage Cheese Pancakes (Simple-Nourished-Living)
- Cottage Cheese Recipes (Simple-Nourished-Living)
- Baked Pasta with Zucchini and Cottage Cheese (Simple-Nourished-Living)
- Cottage Cheese Waffles (SnackGirl)
- Healthy Sour Cream Substitute (TheYummyLife)
- Tuna, Cottage Cheese & Avocado Salad (RecipeDiaries)
- 25 Uses of Cottage Cheese (Devour the Blog)
- Cheesy Guacamole (The National Dairy Council)
Martha is the founder and main content writer for Simple-Nourished-Living.
A longtime lifetime WW at goal, she is committed to balancing her love of food and desire to stay slim while savoring life and helping others do the same.
She is the author of the Smart Start 28-Day Weight Loss Challenge.
A huge fan of the slow cooker and confessed cookbook addict, when she's not experimenting in the kitchen, you're likely to find Martha on her yoga mat.
This post contains affiliate links to products I like. When you buy something through one of my Amazon links or other (affiliate links), I receive a small commission that helps support this site. Thank you for your purchase!
Originally posted 9/17; Updated with new content, photos and videos 1/23
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This was surprisingly good. I doubled the lemon zest and used Ted onion instead of scallions or chives.
I love it with mango or peaches but can't wait to try it in pancakes, Thanks for these ideas
I love cottage cheese topped with lots of salsa (my favorite is Trader Joe's Pico de Gallo). On a baked potato also sounds great, but without the potato is even faster and easier. 🙂