Cottage cheese is a relatively common fresh cheese with a long list of health benefits. It can be beneficial as diet food and as a source of several important nutrients. If you don’t have access to any, try one of the cottage cheese substitutes below.
Table of contents
Your best bet: Ricotta cheese
Made from the remnants after making provolone and mozzarella cheeses, ricotta is a fresh cheese from Italy. Its name can be taken to mean re-cooked and the milk used to make it can come from a range of animals including goats, sheep, and cows. Ricotta cheese is best known for its use as an ingredient in lasagna, which is another dish that is also often made with cottage cheese. Its texture is similar enough to cottage cheese that you can use it in many of the same dishes. Ricotta has a similar nutritional profile to cottage cheese, so it will provide many of the same nutrients.
One drawback is that ricotta cheese is somewhat drier than cottage cheese, which is famous for being a moist cheese. As a result, you may need to add extra liquid to some recipes when using ricotta as your cottage cheese substitute. Ricotta cheese is also finer than cottage cheese and not as lumpy. Another big difference is that ricotta cheese can have more than twice the calories of some types of cottage cheese.
A decent second choice: Plain Greek yogurt
Because it is a creamy dairy product, plain Greek yogurt has a lot in common with cottage cheese. Even though it is not a cheese, Greek yogurt’s strong flavor profile allows it to play a similar role. Because Greek yogurt is not strained and therefore has much of its moisture, it shares cottage cheese’s wet consistency. Plain Greek yogurt has some nutritional advantages over cottage cheese, such as the fact that it has fewer calories and less sodium. It also has a little more calcium per serving. Greek yogurt is just as easy to find as cottage cheese, and its cost is similar.
One downside is that Greek yogurt won’t give you as much protein as an equivalent serving of cottage cheese. The tart flavor profile is also more noticeable than that of cottage cheese, which may not be ideal for some dishes.
In a pinch: Fromage blanc
The name fromage blanc is French and translates to white cheese. This cheese from Northern France is made with cow’s milk, which may be whole or skim. Fromage blanc has a mild taste similar to that of cottage cheese. While the authentic version is difficult to find outside of France, there is an American version. The traditional applications for fromage blanc are similar to those for cottage cheese — it is common to combine it with fruit. You can use it in savory dishes by mixing it with olive oil along with herbs and spices, and you can serve it with fruit just like cottage cheese.
Queso fresco translates to fresh cheese. One of the reasons that it works as a cottage cheese substitute is that it has not been aged and has a soft, crumbly consistency paired with a mild flavor. It is only partially drained, so it has much of its whey giving it a wet consistency like that of cottage cheese. Mexican cooks sprinkle it over enchiladas and include it in quesadillas.