Research suggests that more than 70 percent of Americans love to eat cottage cheese. The creamy, fresh ingredient, which is made from cow’s milk, is undeniably incredibly versatile: it’s often enjoyed with salads, or used as a dipping condiment, but it can also be eaten with waffles, fruit, and baked goods. It’s likely been enjoyed for centuries, and in recent months, it has experienced a new surge of popularity thanks to a #cottagecheese trend on TikTok. But what actually is cottage cheese? And is it possible for vegans to enjoy it, too?

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What is cottage cheese?

Cottage cheese is a type of fresh cheese, which means that, like ricotta, mascarpone, and mozzarella, it doesn’t need to go through an aging process. It’s a fermented product, made with the curds of cow’s milk and cream. It likely gets its name from old cottages, where it used to be made as a way of using up excess cow’s milk from the local farm.

RELATED: Fall in Love With Tofu With These 9 Cooking Tips and Must-Make Recipes

Is it possible to make vegan cottage cheese?

The key ingredient in traditional cottage cheese recipes is, of course, dairy, but that’s not to say it’s impossible to make a vegan version—far from it, in fact. A number of recipe developers have created dairy-free cottage cheese, which is just as creamy, tasty, and versatile as the original. In fact, in some cases, it’s even better.

“Before going vegan in 2011, I enjoyed pretty much all dairy products, but cottage cheese was at the bottom of the list. I always found the sour flavor a bit off-putting,” Lori Rasmussen, of the blog My Quiet Kitchen, notes. “But this vegan version? It’s actually delicious,” she wrote, referring to her own vegan cottage cheese recipe (which you can find below!). “This tofu cottage cheese leans more toward tangy than sour, but still has the familiar creaminess and curd texture you expect from cottage cheese,” she added.

Like Rasmussen’s version, most vegan cottage cheese recipes rely on tofu to get that familiar taste and texture. Other common plant-based ingredients include nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and plant-based yogurt.

5 vegan cottage cheese recipes to try

Want to learn more? Check out the recipes below!

VegNews.vegancottagecheese.myquietkitchenMy Quiet Kitchen

1 5-Minute, Nut-Free Vegan Cottage Cheese

As outlined above, this recipe from My Quiet Kitchen relies on tofu to get that familiar, curd-like texture. In fact, according to Rasmussen, “it’s eerily similar to classic cottage cheese.” Another bonus? It’s quick to make (we’re talking a matter of minutes!) and comes together with just four ingredients. It’s also packed with protein, and it’s gluten-free.
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VegNews.vegancottagecheese.rabbitandwolvesRabbit and Wolves

2 Vegan Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowls

If you’re looking to liven up breakfast, we recommend giving one of these vegan breakfast bowls a try. The cottage cheese is made with silken tofu, and it works beautifully with savory or sweet ingredients, just like the real thing. For sweet, combine it with a matcha berry peach crumble, or for savory, add ingredients like spinach, olives, and cherry tomatoes.
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cottage cheese it doesn't taste like chickenIt Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken

3 Silken Tofu Cottage Cheese

Again, this recipe calls for silken tofu, which is blended with ingredients like lemon juice and apple cider vinegar to get that perfect cottage cheesy texture and zesty flavor. It’s good for you, it’s quick to make, and it’s tasty. You can serve it however you like, but Sam Turnbull of It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken recommends eating it straight out of a melon. “Did anyone else ever used to eat cottage cheese out of a cantaloupe, or was that just a me thing?” she asks.
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Screenshot 2023-09-22 at 9.51.30 PMEla Vegan

4 Firm Tofu Cottage Cheese

Most vegan cottage cheese recipes call for silken tofu, but this one is a little different because it opts for firm instead. According to Ela Vegan, this is used “to create the texture and mimic the bigger curds of cottage cheese.” For the “wetter” part of the cheese, yogurt is used, while onion powder, white vinegar, and nutritional yeast work together to add extra flavor and tang.
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VegNews.vegancottagecheese.thecheekychickpeaThe Cheeky Chickpea

5 Plant-Based Yogurt Cottage Cheese

Again, this recipe from The Cheeky Chickpea opts for a combination of firm tofu and plant-based yogurt to mimic the texture of cottage cheese. After that, it just calls for lemon juice and lemon zest to get that desirable tangy, zesty flavor. “To customize the vegan cottage cheese base, add agave or salt, dried herbs, and garlic powder to create your desired sweet or savory flavor,” the blog notes.
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