One time when my older brother and his family were visiting we had an impromptu lunch consisting of fruit and lunch meat sandwiches. I offered up some cottage cheese as a side dish, and my big bro grimaced in silence. I raised my eyebrows and asked out loud, “What’s wrong with cottage cheese?”. He sighed and said, “Nothing”, but then went on to explain how he is not a fan of the white stuff because when we were kids, he ate too much of it, and it grossed him out at the dinner table.
I laughed and nodded because he is right. I love cottage cheese. It is basically an independent food group for me. But, I also understand what my brother is saying. Cottage cheese can be off-putting. It has a horrible name, funky texture, and spoils somewhat quickly. Despite its flaws, I still eat it multiple times a week, if not daily. Fortunately I married into a family that also enjoys this dairy sidekick and over the years I have found and created a bunch of different recipes with cottage cheese as a key ingredient.
Just Add Cottage Cheese
There are so many dishes and sides out there that taste better when a person simply adds cottage cheese. I am talking way beyond the food service line staple of canned peaches with cottage cheese (which I have heard my brother-in-law state sustained him for every lunch his freshmen year of college). While tasty, canned peaches have nothing on fresh berries.
Cottage Cheese and Berries
- 1 cup fresh blueberries or raspberries or sliced strawberries
- 1/2 cup cottage cheese (*I prefer large curd, but to each their own.)
Combine these two ingredients and mix together for one yummy serving of fruits and dairy.
- 1 wedge iceberg lettuce (typically 4-8 wedges can be cut from a whole head of lettuce depending on size.)
- 3-4 green olives (sliced or whole)
- 2-3 slices of red pepper
- Two heaping tablespoon scoops of cottage cheese.
- A pinch of black pepper
This is a staple recipe at my in-laws’ for almost every holiday. Arrange the wedge of lettuce on a small salad plate. Top the wedge with olives, red peppers, and cottage cheese. Sprinkle pepper over it all and eat with a knife and fork. Simple and delicious.
I crave salads and have started adding cottage cheese in lieu of creamy dressings to be healthier. Huge chef salads with cucumbers, hard boiled eggs, carrots, tomatoes, are delicious, but instead of Ranch or Bleu Cheese dressing, I have started to add a half a cup of cottage cheese plus two tablespoons of salsa. Or if I am not feeling spicy, I use cottage cheese mixed with a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.
- 2 cups complete pancake mix
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup cottage cheese (well blended/pureed)
- 1 cup of fresh blueberries
- 2 tablespoons vanilla
- 1 tablespoons cinnamon
This sounds crazy, but adding cottage cheese to a pancake batter will give yummy flapjacks a rich buttermilk taste, without the actual need to include sugary buttermilk. Add water and well-blended cottage cheese (it should like milk) to “just add water” pancake mix. Stir well and then add in remaining ingredients. Cook and flip on griddle. All of my kiddos typically eat these pancakes without knowing there is cottage cheese in them. They also sometimes even forget to add syrup, because the pancakes are so yummy on their own.
If I had a four word limit for this post, they would have been: “Sriracha plus Cottage Cheese”. BOOM! That is it, mic drop. As if cottage cheese could not get any better, enter in the hot spicy goodness that is Sriracha. I eat this treat weekly with crackers. Wheat Thins are my preferred wafer of choice, but Triscuits, Ritz, baby carrots, and sliced cucumbers are also good pairings. Again, you’re welcome!
Sriracha + Cottage Cheese
- 1-3 tablespoons of Sriracha sauce (Depending on heat level expectations)
- 1 cup of cottage cheese
Combine ingredients in a bowl and stir together. It gets a strange, rust-colored look to it, but trust me the end product tastes delicious.
Cottage cheese can even gain territory with the popular after-school snack of “ants on a log” See below for the playful recipe that turns the brown log into a snowy white cottage cheese glacier. The Sriracha recipe above also tastes great smeared on stalks of celery heart.
Ants on a Glacier
- 1 clean stalk of celery
- 2-3 tablespoon scoops of cottage cheese
- 10-12 raisins
Spoon up and spread cottage cheese on the celery stalk then top with raisins. Easy, healthy, and especially friendly for those with tree nut allergies.
Brian’s Snack Dip
- 1- 24oz container of large curd cottage cheese
- 1-16oz container of sour cream
- Lawry’s or Morton’s seasoning salt (to taste)
Even football needs cottage cheese, or rather it makes a tailgate better. This recipe comes from my friend’s husband. It is great for big BBQs and social gatherings. Mix cottage cheese and sour cream together, then sprinkle in seasoning salt. My friend explained that this dip is fun because you can experiment with different flavors of seasoning salt. Lawry’s original salt seasoning is a spice rack staple, however their lemon pepper and fajita mix seasoning would also be good to try with this dip. McCormick Grill Mate’s Barbecue or Chipotle flavored seasoning would also be delicious. I enjoy adding in a bit of powdered onion soup mix for a french onion style taste. This dip is great with potato chips or crackers.
Cottage cheese packs a creamy punch and added dairy flair to a lot of dishes. Just ask my husband who will often use it as a topper on spaghetti. Do you have any fun recipes that include cottage cheese? Share them on our FB page or leave a comment on our website.