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is cottage cheese good for you?

Is cottage cheese good for you, and should you add this very trendy food to your daily diet? Many of my clients have asked me this question and if they should jump on the cottage cheese bandwagon. 

Cottage cheese has been around for centuries as a staple food, but more recently has gained popularity on social media due to various TikTok influencer trends. While it is not a magical food or the only food that you should eat, it is a weight-loss-friendly food with several health benefits.

Let’s dive into what cottage cheese is, its nutritional profile and calories, and how you can add it to your diet.

What is Cottage Cheese?

Cottage cheese is a fresh cheese curd product formed when an acid curdles milk. It is considered a fresh cheese, meaning it isn’t aged like Parmesan and Cheddar. It is most similar in taste and texture to ricotta cheese and can be used as a suitable ricotta cheese substitute in many recipes (I love it in lasagna, and think it actually tastes better than the traditional ricotta version).

Even though cottage cheese has more recently become a food superstar, it has been around for

Thousands of years. Its name dates back to the mid-1800s when it was made in farmhouses and cottages. The story is that there was an excess of milk from butter making, and people would use the extra milk to make cottage cheese.

Today, cottage cheese is enjoyed as a snack, on top of toast, and as an addition to various recipes.

How is Cottage Cheese Made?

Cottage cheese is made from fresh cow’s milk. The fat content of the milk used determines the fat content of the cottage cheese, which you’ll see on the product itself as full-fat, 1%, or fat-free.

There are two primary ways to make cottage cheese – using an acidic ingredient like lemon juice or vinegar, or a starter culture. Both methods cause the milk to sour and begin to curdle, and are done in various steps.

Cutting the curd

Once the milk has curdled, the whey is released by slicing the curd into small pieces using a knife or curd cutter.

Draining the whey

Once the curds are cooked and sliced, the whey (greenish liquid) is drained off. This leaves behind the curds.

Washing the curd

The curds are then washed, typically with cold water. This helps remove more lactose and gives the cottage cheese its characteristic fresh taste.

The final cottage cheese product is then packaged, refrigerated, and labeled for sale.

Cottage Cheese Nutrition Facts

Cottage cheese is a nutritious food low in calories and high in protein and other nutrients. The calorie content can vary depending on the fat content percentage, but the amount of other nutrients is essentially the same. Here are the basic facts for ½ cup of full-fat cottage cheese.

  • Calories: 111
  • Protein: 12.5 grams
  • Fat: 4.8 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 3.8 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Vitamin B12: 0.48 micrograms
  • Selenium: 11 micrograms
  • Potassium: 118 milligrams

Based on its nutritional profile, the calories in cottage cheese are low in comparison to the high nutrient content. This makes cottage cheese a great option if you’re looking for a nutritious food that is weight-loss-friendly. 

Biggest Benefits of Cottage Cheese

The biggest benefits of cottage cheese are its protein content and vitamin and mineral profile. The carbs in cottage cheese are also low if you are following a low-carb diet.

If you are a vegetarian or vegan, your vitamin B12 levels may be low. One ½ cup serving of cottage cheese provides 29% of your daily requirements.

I typically recommend full-fat or low-fat cottage cheese versus fat-free, as they will be more satiating (aka will curb hunger) with some fat. They also taste better and are less watery, making them a more versatile ingredient to use in recipes. 

Another tip – try to steer clear of any flavored cottage cheese or those with added syrups. These pack on added sugar and extra calories, and render the final product not as weight-loss friendly. 

If you’re having cottage cheese as a snack, it’s a much healthier option to add in your own fruit (and maybe a drizzle of honey!) for sweetness. You’re also adding fiber, as cottage cheese does contain any fiber.

Cottage Cheese Recipes

There are many ways you can enjoy cottage cheese, depending on your preferences. If you’re like some of my clients and don’t like the texture of cottage cheese on its own, there are many ways to sneak it into recipes. 

Here are 5 easy cottage cheese recipe ideas:

1. Cottage Cheese Pancakes


  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • Maple syrup, for serving


  • 1. Combine cottage cheese, eggs, flour, melted butter, baking powder, vanilla extract, and salt in a blender. Blend until smooth.
  • 2. Heat a non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat.
  • 3. Pour batter into the skillet to form pancakes. Cook until golden brown, then flip and cook the other side.
  • 4. Serve with maple syrup.

2. Cottage Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts


  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  • 1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • 2. In a mixing bowl, combine cottage cheese, spinach, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  • 3. Create a pocket in each chicken breast and stuff with the cottage cheese mixture.
  • 4. Heat olive oil in an oven-proof skillet. Sear chicken breasts on both sides until golden.
  • 5 .Transfer skillet to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

3. Cottage Cheese Fruit Bowl


  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
  • 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • A handful of chopped nuts (like almonds or walnuts)
  • A sprinkle of chia seeds or flaxseeds (optional)


  • 1. Place cottage cheese in a bowl.
  • 2. Top with fresh berries.
  • 3. Drizzle honey or maple syrup over the top.
  • 4. Garnish with chopped nuts and seeds if desired.

4. Cottage Cheese and Herb Dip


  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh herbs (parsley, chives, dill, etc.), finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil for drizzling


  • 1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth, drizzling in olive oil as needed to reach desired consistency.
  • 2. Serve with fresh vegetables or crackers.

5. Cottage Cheese Smoothie


  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 cup mixed berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, etc.)
  • 1/2 banana (preferably frozen for added creaminess)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or any other milk of your choice)
  • 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tsp chia seeds (optional, for added texture and nutrition)
  • A handful of spinach or kale (optional, for added nutrients)
  • A pinch of vanilla extract or a scoop of protein powder (optional)


  • 1. In a blender, combine the cottage cheese, mixed berries, banana, almond milk, honey or maple syrup, and vanilla extract (if using). Blend until smooth. If you find the mixture too thick, you can add a little more almond milk to achieve your desired consistency.
  • 2. If using, add the chia seeds and greens (like spinach or kale) and blend again until everything is well combined. Taste and adjust sweetness if necessary.
  • 3. Pour into a glass and enjoy immediately!

These are just a few ideas to get you started with using cottage cheese in your recipes. Its neutral flavor and creamy texture make it suitable for a wide variety of dishes!

Bottom Line

If you’re looking to add more protein or a healthy snack option to your diet, cottage cheese is a great option to try. It is low in calories and carbs and high in protein and nutrients, making it a perfect flat-belly food. 

If you have cottage cheese, opt for the full-fat or low-fat version versus fat-free, as it will be more satisfying! Enjoy cottage cheese with fruit as an easy snack or breakfast, or add it to sweet or savory recipes like smoothies to bump up the protein content.

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  1. Is it okay to eat cottage cheese every day? Yes, it’s completely fine to get in a serving once a day (about ½ cup). It is great as a post-workout snack for recovery or an addition to meals.
  2. Is cottage cheese healthy or fattening? Cottage cheese is healthy and is not considered fattening in moderation. It contains a balanced nutrient profile (even the full-fat version).
  3. Is there anything unhealthy about cottage cheese? Cottage cheese is a bit high in sodium, which may not be recommended if you have high blood pressure or need to follow a strict low-sodium diet.
  4. What are the benefits of eating cottage cheese? It is high in protein, low in calories and carbs, and high in vitamin B12, selenium, and potassium.