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16 Simple Ways to Substitute for Cottage Cheese

Here are 16 easy ways to substitute for cottage cheese when you’re in a pinch, plus several vegan and dairy-free options, too!

Cottage cheese is a popular dairy product and diet food due to its high protein content and low calories. The mild flavor of cottage cheese makes it a great base for many of our favorite recipes.

You can find it in pasta dishes, dips, and more. It has a unique, curd-like appearance and is rich in calcium and B-12. It was originally made from the leftover milk cottages from making butter, hence the name.

Cottage cheese is readily available, but if your store is out of stock or you happen to run out just when you need it, you may wonder what makes a good cottage cheese substitute.

Below are several great stand-ins you can use in a pinch, plus vegan and dairy-free options, too!

Cottage cheese drains on a cheese cloth inside a large kitchen sieve.

Common Ways to Substitute for Cottage Cheese

1. Ricotta Cheese

Shallow wooden bowl filled with ricotta cheese with green garnish and wooden spoon.

Ricotta cheese has a similar texture, taste, and production method when compared to cottage cheese. However, it’s more nutritious and richer in calcium, zinc and essential vitamins. It’s also slightly creamier and more easily spread, but does have more fat.

Use ricotta as a 1 to 1 substitute anywhere you would cottage cheese.

2. Fromage Blanc

Large mound of fromage blanc over cottage cheese on white plate with green garnish.

This cottage cheese replacement originates from northern France and is also called white cheese. You can think of it as a creamier, more buttery Greek yogurt. Fromage blanc makes a great substitute for cottage cheese in desserts and dips. Eat it with fruit or with seasonings for a savory spread.

Use as a 1 to 1 substitute.

3. Mascarpone

Wooden bowl filled with mascarpone cheese next to brown napkin and silver spoon.

This fresh Italian soft cheese has a stronger flavor than cottage cheese and is also higher in fat and calories. But it makes a great replacement for desserts. Blend it up to get a texture more similar to smooth cottage cheese and use it as a 1 to 1 substitute.

4. Greek Yogurt

Bowl of mixed berries next to two glasses of greek yogurt parfait.

Greek yogurt is high in protein and low in calories. You can use it for dips and spreads and even baked recipes. However, if you do use it for baking, consider lowering the water content of your recipe to compensate.

Use as a 1 to 1 substitute.

5. Sour Cream

Sour cream on two large wooden spoons next to green onion sprigs.

Sour cream is best to replace cottage cheese in savory recipes. It has a tangier flavor and it works great for dips and spreads. Use as a 1 to 1 substitute, but note your recipe will be more creamy and have a higher moisture content.

6. Kefir

Glass bowl of kefir cheese next to glass of kefir milk and honey dipper.

This cottage cheese alternative has a similar texture to yogurt and great health properties. It is much more liquid in texture than cottage cheese and doesn’t make a great replacement for baked recipes. But, it can stand in for dips, spreads, and toppings.

Use as a 1 to 1 substitute.

7. Whipped Heavy Cream

Large white ramekin filled with a mound of whipped heavy cream and mint garnish.

If you need a replacement for blended cottage cheese, whipped heavy cream can make a suitable replacement. It will be sweeter than cottage cheese and have a more airy texture.

Use as a 1 to 1 substitute for recipes with a light and airy consistency.

8. Cream Cheese

Cream cheese in a white bowl garnished with chives on wooden cutting board.

Cream cheese can work well to replace pureed cottage cheese and in recipes like cheesecake, though it has a stronger flavor and creamier texture.

Use as a 1 to 1 substitute.

9. Faisselle cheese

Glass cup of faisselle cheese with dark red pureed fruit on top.

This thick, creamy cheese works great in both sweet and savory preparations. You can use it to replace cottage cheese in dips and spreads with herbs and seasonings. And it’s also great for cheesecakes or with a drizzle of honey and nuts.

Use as a 1 to 1 substitute.

10. Feta cheese

Two blocks of feta cheese on a wooden cutting board next to crumbles surrounded by tomatoes and herbs.

Heavy cream combined with feta mimics the texture of cottage cheese fairly well, though it does have a sharper taste. Feta cheese is great for savory dips and spreads, but not suitable for desserts.

Use as a 1 to 1 substitute.

11. Mozzarella Cheese

Two large mozzarella balls on wooden cutting board next to pesto and basil garnish.

Mozzarella is a popular cheese that can stand in for cottage cheese in a pinch. You can use it on pizza and in lasagna and other savory, baked dishes.

Use as a 1 to 1 substitute.

12. Goat Cheese

Pile of goat cheese wedge and wheel on a wooden table with green garnish.

This soft and tangy cheese goes great with certain pizzas, salads, toast, and pasta. Goat cheese is a soft, reduced-fat cheese that is low in calories, making it a great replacement for the cottage variety.

Use as a 1 to 1 substitute.

Non-Dairy and Vegan Substitutes

13. Tofu

Glass bowl piled high with cubes of tofu surrounded by soybeans.

This soy-based vegan alternative food makes a great cottage cheese substitute. Tofu is high in protein and has great nutrient value. Mashed, soft tofu mimics the texture of cottage cheese really well and has a mild taste.

Use it as a spread or dip and to fill pasta, 1 to 1.

14. Egg Whites

Scrambled egg white with spinach over tomatoes and toast garnished with basil.

Egg whites are a great cottage cheese substitute for toast. They are highly nutritious and protein-rich just like cottage cheese. If you need to break up your healthy breakfast routine or simply run out of cottage cheese, use egg whites as a 1 to 1 substitute.

15. Hummus

Two carrots stick out of a bowl of hummus next to carrots on a table.

Hummus can replace cottage cheese for spreads and to fill pasta. This versatile vegan alternative is readily available in stores and can easily be made at home.

Use as a 1 to 1 substitute.

16. Red or White Bean Puree

Large mound of white bean puree in white bowl on yellow checkered kitchen towel.

If you need another vegan alternative or you’re in a pinch, pull out a can or two of red or white beans. Pureed beans will have a lower protein content, but are great for spreads and pasta fillings, especially ravioli just like hummus.

Use as a 1 to 1 substitute.

Recipes with Cottage Cheese

Here are some delicious and easy recipes that call for cottage cheese. Use these to try out your favorite way to substitute for cottage cheese, above.

Best Ever Lasagna Made With Cottage Cheese

Metal spatula rests on white baking dish with cut pieces of lasagna with melted mozzarella.

Healthy and Delicious Lasagna Zucchini Boats

Two lasagna zucchini boats and gold fork on a plate with fresh basil leaves scattered nearby.


Thursday 9th of February 2023

How about Ricotta for Cottage cheese in a Jello salad?

Jessica Ashcroft

Friday 10th of February 2023

I think that would be a great substitute!

Jo Ann

Monday 6th of February 2023

great substitutes


Sunday 4th of December 2022

Thank you so much for the Vegan alternatives. Just what I was looking for.

Jessica Ashcroft

Monday 5th of December 2022

Glad it helped Huguette!