Adding cottage cheese to scrambled eggs makes a protein-dense, fluffy breakfast.

Whether it’s the texture, the taste or the debate of whether it should be considered cheese, cottage cheese often elicits polarizing responses on both ends of the spectrum. But despite its lack of prominent marketing and general tendency to get put on the back shelf, cottage cheese has recently started to gain popularity.

The main reason driving cottage cheese to its social media “trendiness” is its impressive nutritional profile. A 100 gram serving contains around 11 grams of protein — more than an egg! It’s also a great source of calcium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and sodium. Adding into consideration its probiotic traits, it may as well be declared a “superfood.”

Cottage cheese has always been this nutritious, yet it has only begun to gain popularity recently. A good guess as to why this is happening is that people are now discovering new ways to incorporate cottage cheese into meals as a protein supplement. Some recipes transform it to such an extent that you’d never know it was even there.

For those who have never tried cottage cheese before, the taste of it can be compared to that of less tart plain yogurt but perhaps a bit more salty. The exact flavor varies by brand, but overall, think of it as a milder plain yogurt with added texture.

So whether you’re looking to add some protein to your diet or you’re just a true and loyal fan of cottage cheese, give these recipes a try, and perhaps you’ll be impressed by this humble cheese.

Blending cottage cheese eliminates its curd-like texture, leaving it smooth and creamy.

The first time I saw cottage cheese stepping into the spotlight was no other place than TikTok. Here, cottage cheese was transformed into a high-protein ice cream which could be customized to be any flavor. The cooking blog, Eating Bird Food, explains how to make a peanut butter chocolate chip cottage cheese “ice cream” without an ice cream maker.

Another way to turn cottage cheese into a sweet treat is by blending it into a smoothie. This makes the smoothie creamier and gets rid of the texture of cottage cheese if that’s been throwing you off from trying it. Similar to the ice cream, you can pick whichever flavor you want for your smoothie — for example, a recipe for a raspberry banana smoothie can be found on the same blog.

For the already devoted appreciators of cottage cheese, here is a recipe that does not attempt to hide it but allows you to enjoy it in all its glory: a pineapple chia with cottage cheese breakfast bowl from Skinny Taste. Pineapple can be switched out for your fruit of preference and making this meal in a to-go container makes a perfect breakfast for a busy morning. 

A more savory take on cottage cheese also presents itself in the breakfast category, but more subtly. Try Skinny Taste’s scrambled eggs with cottage cheese, and you’ll be feeling like Superman with the amount of protein you will be getting (over 17 grams per serving!). 

To elevate cottage cheese to a more sophisticated level, cottage cheese can be incorporated into lasagna roll ups, another recipe provided by Skinny Taste, which presents an opportunity to enjoy cottage cheese for lunch or dinner. This recipe is vegetarian and takes less than an hour to prepare.

These recipes show the versatility of cottage cheese and how easy it is to incorporate into everyday meals. However, it is important to consider the texture you want for each recipe. For the ice cream, it is recommended that a full-fat cottage cheese is used to ensure creaminess and prevent the ice cream from freezing solid. Some cottage cheese brands have more moist and tender consistencies, while others can be very thick, almost like Greek yogurt. The size of curds also varies from very small to large. 

It may make you apprehensive to buy a full tub without knowing the texture and then ending up with something you don’t enjoy. From the brands I have found in nearby grocery stores, here are the descriptions I would give each one:

Good Culture is my absolute favorite. It is more on the thicker side with seemingly almost no moisture. They have varieties of fat content, small containers of plain cottage cheese and small containers of fruit-flavored cottage cheese. The curds are medium sized and vary in each batch. Even the low fat version is pretty creamy, and this is the brand I’ve seen used most frequently for the ice cream recipe. 

My next shoutout goes to Daisy cottage cheese. This one is quite the opposite of Good Culture; it has a lot of moisture and every kernel is identically shaped. They also have versions of varying fat content, and I would recommend this one if you want to eat cottage cheese plain or in a bowl with toppings. 

Knudsen’s cottage cheese (which can actually be found in huge tubs at Costco) is an in-between. It has moisture, curds of different shapes and sizes and decent creaminess. It does have other ingredients apart from just cottage cheese, which I find give it a distinct flavor. Their small containers with fruit jam on the side make a great to-go snack! 

So next time you’re in the dairy aisle, don’t pass by cottage cheese without considering the possibilities of how it could contribute to your recipes, snacks and nutrition.

A version of this article appeared on p. 12 of the February 29, 2024 version of the Daily Nexus.