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12 Creative, High-Protein Cottage Cheese Recipes

Marie Funk, MS, RD, LDN

Published in Nutrition

10 min read

February 23, 2024
cottage cheese toasts
cottage cheese toasts

For years, cottage cheese has been frequently celebrated as a versatile and nutritious ingredient. Packed with nutrients and rich in flavor, cottage cheese is a unique type of cheese that can be adapted into a myriad of healthy, flavorful recipes and also enjoyed on its own.

Beyond its creamy texture and tangy flavor, cottage cheese is a reliable source of protein, calcium, and other essential nutrients. With minimal carbohydrates, cottage cheese can also be a key part of many high-protein, low-carb diets.

Curious to learn more about the health benefits cottage cheese has to offer? Read on to find out—plus, check out 12 of our favorite high-protein cottage cheese recipes to try at home!

What is Cottage Cheese?

bowl of cottage cheese with fruit

Cottage cheese is a type of fresh cheese made from the curds of cow's milk that are drained and typically not pressed, allowing it to retain a moist and slightly lumpy texture. Due to its high protein content, mild flavor, and versatility, cottage cheese is a popular choice for those seeking a high-protein dairy product to richen their meal.

Cottage cheese is often favored by individuals looking for a lower-fat alternative to other cheeses. Here are some of the most common ways that people eat cottage cheese:

  • Plain: Cottage cheese is often eaten on its own as a snack, and it can be served with fresh fruit, honey, or a sprinkle of salt and pepper to enhance its flavor.
  • Savory Dishes: Cottage cheese can be used in savory dishes like lasagna, stuffed shells, or other pasta dishes, adding a creamy protein kick.
  • Salads: Many people enjoy combining cottage cheese with veggies in a salad to create a refreshing and nutritious dish with a creamy texture and a protein boost.
  • Smoothies: Cottage cheese can be blended into smoothies to add extra creaminess and higher protein.
  • Desserts: Some dessert recipes, like cheesecakes, muffins, and pancakes, call for cottage cheese to contribute to nutritional content, texture, and flavor.

Is Cottage Cheese Healthy?

Cottage cheese is often considered a healthy addition to most diets due to its high protein content, relatively low-calorie count. Here is the nutritional breakdown for a half cup (109 grams) of cottage cheese:

  • Calories: 107
  • Protein: 12 g
  • Total Fat: 4.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3.7 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0 g
  • Total Sugar: 2.9 g
  • Sodium: 396 mg

Cottage cheese can be a healthy and balanced dietary staple for many. It’s a valuable source of high-quality protein, which is essential for muscle maintenance and promoting satiety, and it’s also rich in calcium. Its protein content means that cottage cheese can also be a beneficial staple for weight loss

On top of this, cottage cheese is available in many forms, including low-fat or fat-free versions, and often contains probiotics. With a relatively low-calorie count per serving, cottage cheese is also a great option for those mindful of their daily calorie intake.

Try These Healthy Cottage Cheese Recipes

Whether you’re new to cottage cheese or have been a long-time fan, you may still be wondering about new ways to incorporate it into flavorful, nutritious meals. Fortunately, cottage cheese is highly versatile and commonly used in a variety of sweet and savory dishes. 

Here are our favorite healthy recipes to try out!

1) Cottage Cheese Scrambled Eggs

cottage cheese scrambled eggs

Cottage cheese scrambled eggs are a low-carb, high-protein breakfast that’s packed with flavor and requires very little prep time. Adding cottage cheese adds a creaminess to the dish that’s not only delicious but also more nutritious than other cheeses.

To fully balance this meal out, we recommend adding some veggies or a side of turkey bacon on the side.


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup cottage cheese
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
  • Ground black pepper to taste

2) Cottage Cheese Pancakes

With 25 grams of protein per serving, these cottage cheese pancakes are ideal for those prioritizing protein or on a high-protein diet. Differing from most traditional pancakes, these contain a balanced ratio of carbohydrates, protein, fat, and fiber that make for a nutritious and filling breakfast to start your day.


  • 1 cup cottage cheese 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup rolled oats 
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3) Cottage Cheese Cucumber Dip

Cottage Cheese Cucumber Dip
Source: Shutterstock

This cottage cheese cucumber dip is a healthier alternative to many other dips with a boost of protein from the cottage cheese. In addition, the low saturated fat content is suitable for low-cholesterol diets or those at risk of certain cardiovascular conditions.


  • 1⁄2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1⁄2 English cucumber
  • 4 green onions, cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

4) Cottage Cheese Salad Dressing

This cottage cheese salad dressing is a healthier alternative to other dressings and can be used in a variety of dishes, like salads, grain bowls, and more. With a small kick of protein and minimal carbohydrates, this is a valuable option for those on high-protein, low-carb diets.

You can also easily adjust the consistency by adding more water and blending it all together in a food processor!


  • 1 cup 4%-fat cottage cheese
  • ¼ cup water, plus more if desired
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs

5) Cottage Cheese Fruit Bowl

Cottage Cheese Fruit Bowl

Packed with nutrients, this cottage cheese fruit bowl is a great way to start your morning right. The almonds and cottage cheese provide a valuable source of protein and healthy fats, keeping you fuller for longer. It even contains seven grams of dietary fiber!


  • ¾ cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup each blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, sliced strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds
  • Drizzle of honey or maple syrup, optional

6) Cottage Cheese Overnight Oats

If you have a sweet tooth, cottage cheese overnight oats are a delicious and nutritious recipe that’s simple to make and easily customizable. With over 20 grams of protein, these are sure to keep you satiated and energized throughout the day. This recipe is particularly ideal for busy people who want to meal prep their breakfast the night before.


  • ½ cup old-fashioned oats
  • ½ scoop vanilla protein powder
  • ½ Tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup fresh berries
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ¼ cup full-fat cottage cheese

7) Creamy Cottage Cheese Pasta

Creamy Cottage Cheese Pasta

This creamy cottage cheese pasta is the perfect high-protein comfort food and makes for a quick and easy weeknight meal. Made with cottage cheese and ground turkey, this recipe offers a valuable boost in protein. 

Plus, the cottage cheese and marinara sauce mixture has a creamy, flavorful consistency that adds an overall richness to the pasta.


  • 8 ounces dry pasta of choice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 24 ounce jar marinara sauce
  • ½ cup whole milk cottage cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh basil, for serving
  • Fresh parmesan, for serving

8) Whipped Cottage Cheese Dip

This garlic & herb whipped cottage cheese dip is a healthier appetizer alternative and made from simple, nutritious ingredients. Containing 15 grams of protein per serving, this serves as a highly satiating side dish to serve with veggie dippers or pretzels to put out when guests come over. 


  • 1 pint cottage cheese
  • 6 large basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 small garlic clove, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper

9) Cottage Cheese Caprese Bowl

Cottage Cheese Caprese Bowl

A cottage cheese Caprese bowl is a quick, easy, and refreshing lunch option that’s packed with nutrients. The cottage cheese adds a valuable source of protein that makes this salad satiating, and it contains relatively few carbs, making this ideal for those on high-protein, low-carb diets. We recommend sprinkling in some nuts for added texture!


  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic glaze
  • Fresh basil, for garnish
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Black pepper to taste

10) Cottage Cheese Frittata

This cottage cheese frittata provides a significant source of protein, with around 21 grams per serving. It’s low in carbohydrates, which may be appealing to those following low-carb diets like keto. This recipe is also easily customizable depending on personal taste preferences, so don’t be afraid to make substitutions!


  • 1 link Italian chicken sausage, casings removed
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup 1% cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup chopped baby spinach
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

11) Cottage Cheese and Egg White Muffins

Cottage Cheese and Egg White Muffins

Cottage cheese and egg white muffins are another ideal meal prep option, and they can be easily customized to fit your taste preferences. Packed with protein from cottage cheese and eggs, this is a filling and nutritious option to start the morning. They’re also low in carbohydrates, which may be beneficial for those following a low-carb diet.


  • 1 cup baby spinach chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup baby tomatoes diced
  • 2 cups egg whites
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

12) Cottage Cheese and Ham Quiche

This creamy cottage cheese and ham quiche is packed with multiple sources of protein, guaranteed to keep you feeling full. Notably, this is a crustless version—meaning it contains fewer carbs than traditional quiche, which may be beneficial for lower carb diets. The ingredients can also be easily customized to match personal taste preferences.


  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups cottage cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup diced cooked ham
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions

Cottage Cheese vs. Greek Yogurt

Cottage cheese and Greek yogurt are both popular high-protein dairy products that can be worked into a variety of healthy diets. To get a better understanding of their nutritional content and whether they're right for you, here are the main differences between the two:

All in all, both cottage cheese and Greek yogurt can be part of a healthy and balanced diet, providing a valuable source of protein and nutrients. With similar nutritional profiles, the choice between cottage cheese and Greek yogurt depends on individual taste preferences, dietary goals, and desired texture.

Does Cottage Cheese Spike Blood Sugar?

Cottage cheese has a relatively low carbohydrate content and high protein content, which may be beneficial for individuals with diabetes. As a result, cottage cheese should not cause a significant impact on blood glucose levels. 

For people who are managing their blood glucose, here are some considerations to keep in mind when consuming cottage cheese:

  • Low in carbohydrates: Even though cottage cheese is naturally low in carbs, choosing varieties without added sugars can help further minimize the impact on blood glucose.
  • Protein content: Including high-protein foods in your diet like cottage cheese can help slow down the absorption of carbohydrates, leading to fewer spikes in blood sugar.
  • Portion control: While cottage cheese is generally a healthy option, portion control is still important for managing blood sugar levels, so it's important to be mindful of serving sizes.

Additionally, combining cottage cheese with other low-carbohydrate and nutrient-dense foods can help create balanced and diabetes-friendly meals. For instance, cottage cheese scrambled eggs or a cottage cheese Caprese bowl are nutritious, flavorful options less likely to cause blood sugar spikes.

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Victoria Eaton, RDN, LDN, IFNCP

Reviewed by: Victoria Eaton, RDN, LDN, IFNCP

Victoria began her career in the functional medicine space in 2015. She has extensive experience interpreting labs and supporting weight loss, gut imbalances, and chronic migraines. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in nutrition and dietetics from Missouri State University.

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