Cream Cheese vs Cottage Cheese

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Cream cheese and cottage cheese are two types of soft cheese that are commonly used in the kitchen. Although both cheeses are delicious and versatile, they have different flavors, nutritional content, and uses. In this blog, we’ll dive into cream cheese vs cottage cheese and give you helpful ideas for using them in your cooking. Let’s get started!

Cream Cheese vs Cottage Cheese

What Are the Similarities Between Cream Cheese and Cottage Cheese?

Cottage cheese and cream cheese are both great for cooking and baking. Plus, they’re a good source of calcium and protein. They can also be used in all sorts of dishes, whether you’re making something sweet or savory. If you’re trying to cut back on fat, no worries – you can find a fat free or low fat alternative of both cheeses basically at any store.

Cream Cheese vs Cottage Cheese

Cream cheese is a smooth, creamy cheese made from a combination of sweet milk and cream. It has a subtly sweet milky taste, mildly tangy flavor, and spreadable texture that is perfect for spreading on bagels, toast, or crackers. Cream cheeses are also commonly used in bagels, salads, within a cake batter, and as a topping.

Cottage cheese, on the other hand, has a slightly salty and sour flavor and a lumpy, creamy wetness. While cream cheese retains most water, cottage cheese is drained after processing, leaving solid pieces in curdles. Cottage cheeses are often used in dips, pancakes, casseroles, and desserts and can be a substitute for ricotta cheese.

can you freeze cream cheese

Nutritional Content

Cream and cottage cheese have different nutritional profiles, and their nutritional content can vary depending on the brand. Here’s a comparison of the basic nutritional content of 1 ounce (about 28 grams) of regular cream cheese versus regular cottage cheese:

Cream Cheese

  • Calories: 97
  • Fat: 10 grams
  • Saturated fat: 5 grams
  • Cholesterol: 31.2 milligrams
  • Carbohydrates: 1.2 gram
  • Protein: 1.7 grams
  • Sodium: 91 milligrams

Cottage Cheese

  • Calories: 28
  • Fat: 1.2 gram
  • Saturated fat: 0.5 grams
  • Cholesterol: 4.8 milligrams
  • Carbohydrates: 1 gram
  • Protein: 3 grams
  • Sodium: 102.8 milligrams

Make sure to check the nutrition label to ensure the cheese you’re buying fits your dietary needs and goals!

To learn more about the health benefits and risks of cream cheese, check out Cottage cheese vs Cream cheese – Health impact and Nutrition Comparison.

How to Prepare These Soft Cheeses?

You can make a homemade cream cheese and cottage cheese at home, but the process can be a bit different for each.

First, here is how to make cream cheese from scratch:


  • 4 cups full-fat whole cow’s milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice


  1. The first step is curdling milk. Heat the whole milk in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat to a rolling simmer. Reduce the heat to medium and add lemon juice one tablespoon at a time, in 1-minute intervals, while stirring constantly.
  2. Keep cooking until the mixture curdles, which should take just a few minutes. Stir constantly until the mixture separates, with thick curdles on top and a green liquid on the bottom. Remove from heat.
  3. Place a cheesecloth-lined sieve over a bowl and strain the curd mixture through it. Allow it to strain and cool for 15 minutes
  4. Once cooled, transfer the curds to a food processor and process until they come together and are smooth and creamy, which should take around 3-4 minutes. Keep going if the cream cheese is still grainy.
  5. Add salt to taste and any herbs, garlic, or other flavors you like.
  6. Store the cream cheese in the fridge and use it for 7 days to 2 weeks.
4 min

Meanwhile, here are the steps in making cottage cheese:


  • 1 gallon of whole milk
  • 3/4 cup of white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt


  1. Heat the milk in a large pot over medium heat until it reaches 190°F.
  2. Remove your pot from the heat and stir in the vinegar (milk curdling process). Cover and let the mixture sit for 30 minutes.
  3. Place a colander lined with cheesecloth over a bowl. Pour the mixture into the colander and let it drain for 30 minutes.
  4. Gather the corners of the cheesecloth and rinse the curd under cold water for 3 to 5 minutes. Continue squeezing and moving the mixture until it has cooled completely.
  5. Pour the cheese from the cloth into a bowl and use a spoon to crumble it into small curds.
  6. Flavor cottage cheese by mixing in salt to your liking.

Uses of Fresh Cheese

Cream cheese and cottage cheese are two types of cheese that have different textures and flavors, and as such, they are used in different ways in recipes. Here are some common uses of cream cheese and cottage cheese:

Cream Cheese

  • As a spread: Cream cheese is often used as a spread on bagels, toast, crackers, and sandwiches.
  • In baking: Cream cheese is a common ingredient in desserts such as cheesecakes, frosting, and cream fillings for pastries.
  • In dips: Cream cheese is a popular ingredient in savory dips, such as buffalo chicken dip and spinach and artichoke dip.
  • In pasta dishes: Cream cheese can be used as a sauce base for pasta dishes, such as fettuccine alfredo.
5 min

Cottage Cheese

  • In salads: Cottage cheese can be added to salads for a boost of protein and creaminess.
  • As a snack: Cottage cheese can be eaten plain or mixed with fruit or nuts as a healthy snack option.
  • In baked goods: Cottage cheese can be used in baked goods such as muffins, pancakes, and quick breads to add moisture and protein.
  • In casseroles: Cottage cheese is a common ingredient in casseroles, such as lasagna and baked ziti, to add creaminess and protein.

Cream and cottage cheese can also be used in various other ways, such as in smoothies, omelets, and topping for baked potatoes. The choice between cream cheese or cottage cheese often comes down to the specific recipe and desired texture and flavor.

Ricotta Cheese Vs Cottage Cheese

Shelf Life

Cream cheese and cottage cheese can have different shelf lives depending on the brand and how you store them.

If you’ve got unopened cream cheese, it can last up to two weeks past the sell-by date as long as it’s stored at or below 40°F (4°C). Once you open it, make sure to eat it within 7-10 days. To learn how to freeze cream cheese, check out Can You Freeze Cream Cheese? A Detailed Guide.

Meanwhile, cottage cheese has a shorter shelf life than cream cheese. If it’s unopened, it can last up to one week past the sell-by date in the fridge. But once you open it up, it’s best to eat it within 5-7 days.

If you’re unsure if your cheese is still safe to eat, check out How to Tell If Cheese Has Gone Bad.

6 min

Can I Use Cottage Instead of Cream Cheese and Vice Versa?

In general, it is not recommended to substitute cottage cheese for cream cheese or vice versa, as they have different textures, consistencies, and flavors that can affect the outcome of your recipe. However, there are some cases where you may be able to make a substitution with some modifications.

If you are using cream cheese as a spread on a bagel or as a dip, you may be able to substitute cottage cheese that has been blended until smooth, or mixed with other ingredients like yogurt or sour cream to achieve a creamier texture. However, keep in mind that the flavor will not be exactly the same as cream cheese.

If you are using cottage cheese in a recipe that calls for cream cheese, such as a cheesecake or frosting, you may be able to substitute it with a blended cottage cheese. However, the resulting texture and flavor may not be exactly the same.

Enjoy Cottage Cheese and Cream Cheese

So there you have it – cream cheese and cottage cheese are both awesome cheeses that can be used in many different ways. Whether you’re all about that creamy, smooth texture of cream cheese or the more lumpy, grainy texture of cottage cheese, both can make your recipes taste amazing.

Next time you’re at the store, grab some cream cheese or cottage cheese and get cooking – you never know what deliciousness you’ll come up with!

To discover more delectable cheese recipes, check out Instant Pot Cream Cheese Chicken Breast, Easy Chocolate Turtle Cheesecake Recipe, Best Cottage Cheese Recipes, and Instant Pot Cranberry Cheesecake Recipe.

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