With the rise of #FoodTok, one forgotten dairy favorite is making a comeback in a big way: cottage cheese. Once known for its polarizing reception, this versatile dairy product has gained newfound popularity with 252 million views under #cottagecheese. TikTokers are showcasing innovative recipes, turning this once-overlooked snack into a culinary sensation, from mac and cheese to toast to ice cream. But is cottage cheese worth the hype? We consulted dietitians to get their take on this trending ingredient and explore its health benefits, along with some mouth-watering recipes to try.

In this article
1 What Is Cottage Cheese?
2 What Are the Benefits?
3 So, is Cottage Cheese Healthy?
4 Recipes You Need To Try

Blended Cottage Cheese 101 “Blended cottage cheese is always gritty” or “I can’t get blended cottage cheese completely smooth” – As simple as it sounds – you simply need to blend it longer. 2-3 minutes should do the trick. If needed, microwave for 30-45 seconds before blending to make the process easier “Blended cottage cheese sauces always separate when I add them to pasta” – Most of the time – this is caused by 1 of 2 things. Either your pasta is way too hot, or the water content is too high. Fully strain cooked pasta, and let sit for 2-3 mins (so it isn’t extremely hot when adding sauce), then add desired amount of sauce to the warm pasta. – Avoid heating the sauce in an excessively hot pan. I recommend just adding straight from the blender without heating in a pan, and if needed microwave for 30-60 seconds BEFORE blending so that it is warm – IF the sauce does “separate” when you add to the pasta, remove from heat and let it sit for ~5 minutes. Then, stir the pasta continually and the sauce will actually re-constitute. Again, the separating issue typically is caused by excess heat or water content, but is resolved as it cools down a bit and thickens. I have countless blended cottage cheese recipes on my page – and they’re a great starting point to learn how to work with the ingredient. My favorite aspect of it is that it’s quite simply the easiest cheese sauce you can make – no sauce pan or flour needed, simply throw everything in a blender and you’re good to go. Done every time in 2 minutes or less. And of course – it also works great for “cheesecake” style desserts (which I have a few of on my page as well!) Entire batch of sauce 840 Cals 100g Protein 36g Carbs 40g Fat Makes enough for ~1 pound or 16oz of pasta! Ingredients: 450g 2% Cottage cheese 80g 2% cheddar (or cheddar of choice) 20g Parmigianno Reggiano* 30g Cheddar Powder** 150g milk Salt/Pepper to taste #blendedcottagecheese #whippedcottagecheese #cottagecheeserecipe #blendedcottagecheeserecipe #cottagecheese #cottagecheesesauce #cottagecheesepasta #stealthhealth

♬ Spanish Wine by Butter – Stealth Health Life

What Is Cottage Cheese?

Let’s explore the origins of cottage cheese. While its exact inception remains unclear (with people supposedly consuming variations of it for millennia), cottage cheese is believed to be America’s earliest cheese creation. Originating as a way to utilize surplus milk from butter production, it rose to fame in the 1970s as a trendy health food.

So, what exactly is cottage cheese? “Cottage cheese is a cheese type made from cow’s milk curds,” explained Mary Sabat MS, RDN, LD, a nutritionist and ACE personal trainer. “The curds form by adding acid or rennet to milk, causing it to coagulate and separate into curds and whey. The curds are then drained and often rinsed to remove the whey, resulting in cottage cheese’s creation.” Available in nonfat, reduced-fat, or full-fat variations based on milk fat content, cottage cheese’s mild, slightly sweet-salty flavor makes it a versatile addition to dishes without compromising taste, despite its characteristic lumpy texture.

If you were once averse to cottage cheese or are skeptical of the current #FoodTok trend, consider giving it a chance. The recipes are not to be missed.

What Are the Benefits?

As retro foods regain popularity, one may wonder if cottage cheese’s resurgence is backed by benefits or if it’s merely a passing fad. Dietitians give it a nod for its high protein, low glycemic index, probiotic-rich, and vitamin B-packed characteristics.

It’s high in protein and other nutrients

“Cottage cheese is a quality protein source, containing all essential amino acids crucial for the body,” Sabat stated. “Protein is vital for tissue building, immune support, enzyme production, hormone creation, and satiety.” A half-cup serving of low-fat (1% milk fat) cottage cheese provides 14 grams of protein, surpassing the protein content of two eggs. Additionally, cottage cheese offers essential nutrients like phosphorus (critical for nerve and muscle function, including the heart) and selenium (enhances immune function, aids hair/nail health, and supports a healthy thyroid), ensuring optimal body operation.

Furthermore, cottage cheese has phosphorus, which regulates nerve and muscle function, and selenium, which boosts the immune system and improves hair, nail, and thyroid health.

It has a low glycemic index (GI)

Following a low-GI diet may aid weight management, blood sugar balance, blood pressure control, cholesterol reduction, and risk mitigation for diabetes and cardiovascular issues. Cottage cheese’s low glycemic index means it doesn’t spike blood sugar levels compared to other dairy products, as explained by Edibel Quintero, a registered dietitian and medical advisor at HealthInsider.

It can help improve gut health

Certain cottage cheese brands contain live or fermented cultures (probiotics). These probiotics, beneficial microorganisms promoting gut health, aid in maintaining a healthy gut microbiome, enhancing digestion and gut function.

It may aid in reducing inflammation and boosting energy

“Cottage cheese is rich in B vitamins, especially B2 and B12,” Quintero noted. “Vitamin B2 assists in inflammation reduction and oxidative stress alleviation, while B12 is crucial for nervous system function, red blood cell generation, DNA synthesis, and food metabolism into glucose for energy.” This nutrient content suggests cottage cheese may support overall well-being through inflammation reduction and sustained energy levels.

It reinforces strong bones

Milk does a body good, as cottage cheese is a calcium-rich source beneficial for bone and teeth strength, particularly valuable for individuals with osteoporosis or aiming to prevent bone-related conditions, Quintero highlighted.

So, is Cottage Cheese Healthy?

The verdict? Yes and no, depending on individual dietary needs and lifestyle, such as lactose intolerance, dairy allergies, or vegan preferences, alongside cottage cheese preparation. “The healthiness of cottage cheese hinges on one’s dietary requirements and choices,” Sabat emphasized. “As a protein-rich animal-based food, it can be advantageous for protein intake increase or muscle maintenance, but opting for organic cottage cheese is crucial.”

Flavored, additive-rich, high-sodium variants can transform a nutrient-dense snack into a less healthy option. Consider potential sugar digestion or dairy casein issues, as some may find dairy inflammatory, leading to digestive discomfort. Ultimately, if dairy disagrees with you, it might be wise to skip cottage cheese. Otherwise, it can be a nourishing way to stay satisfied and obtain essential nutrients, whether enjoyed alone, as a dip, topping, or in various culinary applications.

Recipes You Need To Try

Take a cue from food influencers and wellness experts embracing cottage cheese on #FoodTok by trying out these delectable recipes.

1. @rachlmansfield’s Cottage Cheese Blender Pancakes


4-ingredient COTTAGE CHEESE PANCAKES! the pancake recipe we go to over and over again and the most popular pancake recipe on my website🥞 #cottagecheese #cottagecheesepancakes #breakfastideas

♬ Love You So – The King Khan & BBQ Show

2. @bakedbymelissa’s Cottage Cheese Toast


On repeat #food #recipe #fyp #fypシ #asmr #viral #learnontiktok #easyrecipe #tiktoktaughtme #foryou

♬ original sound – Baked by Melissa

3. @dzaslavsky’s Zucchini Cottage Cheese Lasagna


Part 2: Zucchini Lasagna healthylasagna cottagecheese cottagecheeserecipe zucchinilasagna

♬ original sound – DANIELLE

4. @nutritionbykylie’s Cottage Cheese Dip


If there’s one recipe you ever try from TikTok, let it be this one because it takes #cottagecheese #easyrecipe #highprotein #healthyrecipes #dietitian

♬ original sound – Kylie, MS, RD, LDN

5. @brittanyraetoday’s Cottage Cheese Pasta Sauce


He’ll hate me when he finds out but at least we have an honest review of the cottage cheese pasta sauce hack!!! #highproteinrecipes #lighteneduprecipes #nutrientdense

♬ Call Me Maybe x Whitney Houston by DARCY STOKES – darcy stokes

6. @feelgoodfoodie’s Cottage Cheese Ice Cream


Have you tried the viral #cottagecheeseicecream? There are so many fun flavor options you can do with it. What flavor should I try next? #highproteinicecream #cottagecheeserecipe IB: @lainiecooks

♬ original sound – Feel Good Foodie

7. @jakecohen’s Cottage Cheese Cookie Dough


COTTAGE CHEESE EDIBLE COOKIE DOUGH. I’m unwell, I know, but I need a steady stream of sweets throughout the day and lots of protein so I’m actually vvvvvvvv into a few spoons of this magic whenever my sweet tooth is acting up!! Very easy! Don’t try to bake it! Hope y’all are getting swole!!!! 🥰🥰🥰🥰 Cottage Cheese Edible Cookie Dough 1 pound low-fat cottage cheese 1/4 cup maple syrup 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 cups almond flour 1/2 cup vanilla protein powder 1 cup dark chocolate chips In a blender, combine the cottage cheese, maple syrup, and vanilla, then purée until very smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the almond flour and protein powder until well incorporated, then fold in the chocolate chips. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

♬ original sound – Jake Cohen


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