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Substituting Cottage Cheese for Ricotta

Your classic Lasagna isn’t complete without ricotta; it is sometimes a tradition to make Lasagna with ricotta in some families, although this may be different in other families because we can also make Lasagna with cottage cheese. It is hard to tell which is more delicious.

Ricotta Cheese Nutrition Facts

Ricotta Cheese Nutrition Facts

If you are a lasagna, stuffed shell, or salad lover, you would be on team ricotta or team cottage. The debate has been on for a long time now: which is better, ricotta or cottage?

This article will tell you the difference between ricotta and cottage cheese, how they are made, and how you can use cottage cheese as a substitute for ricotta in some recipes.

What is Ricotta Cheese?

A very common question that gets asked is always, “is ricotta real cheese?”, well, only if you consider whey cheese to be actual cheese.

Ricotta is the product of leftover whey from other cow milk cheeses, and it can also be made from goat, sheep, or water buffalo’s milk.

Whey (liquid) is separated from the curds (solid) during cheese production; the whey retains very little curds in it. This is then heated to form a slightly thicker substance, where ricotta cheese gets its name from; Ricotta translates to (Recooked) in Italian.

What is Cottage Cheese?

On the other hand, Cottage cheese is made from curds with just a little way to keep the curds loose. It isn’t aged, and cottage cheese usually gets a creamy dressing that adds to the flavor, unlike other fresh cheeses.

This cheese comes typically in a soupy texture with a mild cream flavor. Cottage cheese is much healthier than ricotta, and it is ideal if you want a lighter cheese option for ricotta.

Uses of Ricotta in Recipes 

Ricotta cheese is known to have a smooth but grainy texture and can add a mildly sweet flavor to whatever it is added into. The only exception is ricotta Salsa which is similar to feta and has a salty flavor because it is salted and aged.

Ricotta cheese can give any ordinary pasta recipe a creamy, rich texture and hints of sweetness. It can even turn a simple stuffed shell recipe into something you want to eat every day, and it also goes well as a salad topping.

Below are some mouthwatering recipes that call for the use of ricotta;

  • Fluffy ricotta pancakes 
  • Italian lemon cake 
  • Chocolate chip ricotta ice cream
  • Baked tomatoes with chorizo and ricotta
  • Ricotta berry French toast casserole 
  • Zucchini and herbed ricotta flatbread 
  • Classic Italian lasagna with ricotta cheese
  • Tomato basil pasta 
  • Sun-dried tomato pesto
  • Baked ricotta cheese dip with garlic and thyme 
  • Ricotta Gnocchi 
  • Spinach and ricotta cannelloni
  • Quick rigatoni bake with ricotta, spinach and pancetta 
  • Green vegetable and ricotta tart with Parmesan crust
  • Ricotta and basil crepe manicotti

Substituting Cottage Cheese for Ricotta 

These two kinds of cheese are similar in appearance and texture, but they are different in flavor and many other aspects. They can be used interchangeably in some recipes, but not all. I will be looking into some recipes to easily swap cottage cheese for ricotta.

The cottage cheese flavor is slightly acidic and salty, while ricotta is mildly sweet, but they both have a creamy smooth texture and aroma, which can be useful if you are making a cream-based dish.

Cottage cheese is rich in copper and low in calories, making it a much healthier option for ricotta in some recipes. Below are some places you can use cottage cheese instead of ricotta.


In Lasagna 


The most popular dish that uses cottage cheese and ricotta interchangeably has to be Lasagna. The debate for which is better in Lasagna has been on for decades, and cottage cheese has started pulling in the numbers of late because of its nutritional values.

Most people looking to cut down calories will choose cottage over ricotta cheese in Lasagna.

Replacing ricotta with cottage cheese wouldn’t alter the taste of Lasagna. Instead, it would still retain a creamy texture and a delicious flavor.

Use the same quantity when replacing ricotta with cottage cheese.


You can easily grab some cottage cheese and make a swap if you have a ricotta omelet recipe but don’t have ricotta cheese.

Cottage cheese will seamlessly sit well in your omelet recipe if you don’t have ricotta, and it will make your omelet firmer because of its larger curds, rather than a softer, slightly runny whey cheese. You can freely add the same quantity of cottage cheese in place of ricotta, and you don’t have to worry about too many calories.


Cottage cheese would be an ideal spread in your banana bread or toast. Cottage cheese can be eaten on its own, so you don’t have to pre it before use.

But to make a deliciously creamy spread with cottage cheese, add some sour cream to a bowl of cottage cheese, throw in some chopped walnuts and any other ingredient of your choice, and voilà, you have a deliciously creamy spread.


In cheesecake


Cottage cheese is sure to make this delicious dessert a lot more delicious and healthier. Just follow the recipe to the letter, but when you use cottage cheese instead of ricotta, it is sure to make you full and keep your calorie counts in check.

The texture that cottage cheese brings to your cheesecake may even be better than that of ricotta, and you may want to stick to it, trust me.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can you eat ricotta cheese raw?

Ricotta cheese can be consumed raw and on its own, but it is usually found in baked or cooked foods. There aren’t any side effects to consuming raw ricotta.

What is the disadvantage of eating cottage cheese?

Cottage cheese contains lactose, which is not suitable for lactose-intolerant people because fresh unripe cheese contains more lactose than aged cheese.

When is the best time to eat cottage cheese?

The cottage is best eaten at night because it is high in protein, and it will keep you full throughout the night and reduce those late-night food cravings.


In summary, cottage cheese will work as a healthy replacement for ricotta in some recipes. If you don’t have ricotta, you might consider using cottage cheese if it fits into the recipe. Note that not all ricotta recipes can make use of cottage cheese.