8 Cottage Cheese Brands, Ranked Worst To Best

assorted cottage cheese containers
assorted cottage cheese containers - Julia Collins/Tasting Table

As a very divisive breakfast item, cottage cheese is definitely a love-it-or-hate-it food. However, while it's typically eaten plain for breakfast (at least, that's when I eat it the most), there are ways to use cottage cheese in many other dishes at any time of day.

Blending cottage cheese makes it more versatile, giving it a whipped consistency perfect for a ricotta replacement in lasagna or for spreading on sandwiches. You can also incorporate this dairy product into a breakfast classic to discover that cottage cheese unlocks the creamiest scrambled eggs. More simply, try putting it on toast with some salt and a drizzle of olive oil.

While the story of how cottage cheese got its name reflects the ingredient's homemade roots, grocery stores now offer many different brands of cottage cheese in varied forms, all having their own unique twists. When shopping for cottage cheese, read the label to see its percentage of milk fat before purchasing it. The more milk fat, the creamier it should be — though that's not always the case. I decided to try out some of the most popular cottage cheese brands (making sure to buy products with similar milk fat percentages) to see which one was the best based on flavor, texture, price per ounce, and more; check out methodology details below for additional info on that. Ranked from worst to best, here are the cottage cheese brands that are worth buying, and the ones better left on the shelf.

Read more: 30 Healthy Snack Ideas That Won't Ruin Your Diet

8. Trader Joe's Organic Lowfat Cottage Cheese

Trader Joe's organic cottage cheese
Trader Joe's organic cottage cheese - Julia Collins/Tasting Table

Sadly, at the very bottom of this list is good old Trader Joe's, because the brand's organic cottage cheese missed the mark on literally everything. The taste was subpar, the curd size was basically nonexistent, and the texture was abhorrent. If you're on the hunt for a cold soup containing occasional dairy chunks with a taste reminiscent of cottage cheese, Trader Joe's organic cottage cheese with 2% milk fat is just the product for you.

Among the many things to buy at Trader Joe's, some are real hits and some are disastrous misses. This cottage cheese indubitably belongs in the latter category, and is not currently listed on the Trader Joe's website, leading me to believe that it's either entering or exiting the chain's product circulation. Either way, it needs to go.

I will note that I've tried Trader Joe's regular small curd cottage cheese with 4% milk fat, and it's not half bad. But the organic variety that I taste-tested was so appalling that Trader Joe's needs to place last in this ranking. In my region of New Jersey, I paid $4.29 for a 16-ounce container, resulting in a price of about 27 cents an ounce.

7. Daisy Low Fat Cottage Cheese

container of Daisy cottage cheese
container of Daisy cottage cheese - Julia Collins/Tasting Table

You're probably familiar with Daisy because of its sour cream, or maybe its dips. But did you know the brand also produces cottage cheese? Well, if you didn't, you're better off not knowing about it.

Right off the bat, this product had a funky smell not typical of cottage cheese (or dairy products in general, for that matter), and when I first opened it, there was a thick layer of liquid film on top. A small layer of liquid on top of cottage cheese is not unusual for any brand, as it's just part of the manufacturing process, but this amount of liquid was unappealing.

For a 2% milk fat product, this was surprisingly creamy, if that's what you're looking for. Personally, I don't love a creamy cottage cheese, and instead prefer more sturdy curds and a savory flavor instead of a sweet one — but, I didn't hold the creaminess against it. Rather, it was the fact that the thick liquid never quite blended into the rest of the product when I mixed it together, and there was a distinct flavor that made me put down my spoon after one mouthful. It was not pleasant, and almost a medley of umami and savory tastes that didn't make sense in this product. I paid $5.39 for 24 ounces (around 22 cents per ounce), so it's slightly cheaper than the Trader Joe's variety — but Daisy managed not to rank last because it at least resembled cottage cheese.

6. Great Value Cottage Cheese

Great Value cottage cheese container
Great Value cottage cheese container - Julia Collins/Tasting Table

Moving up the rankings just a little bit is Great Value, Walmart's in-house brand offering generic versions of every food product you could imagine. Sometimes these products are amazing, and save you a couple bucks compared to buying the name-brand alternative — but other times (and this time in particular), the Great Value brand misses the mark, and buying it ends up being a waste of money. On that note, Great Value's cottage cheese was a mere $2.94 for 24 ounces (just over 12 cents per ounce), by far the cheapest product on this list.

I had to sample the 4% milk fat version, because Great Value's 2% milk fat cottage cheese was sold out in my area, which is probably a sign that it's popular. However, in many regards the 4% milk fat version exceeded my expectations. This was a solid cottage cheese that delivered almost everything I'd expect of it. The texture was perfect — not too lumpy or saucy — and the curd size was optimal.

The only reason Great Value ranked this low was that it had absolutely zero flavor. I honestly don't know how the brand did it, seeing as all dairy has some type of flavor and smell, but this product had neither. This brand is perfect for you if you adore everything about cottage cheese except for its taste, but for me, cottage cheese without a nice flavor isn't worth buying.

5. Good & Gather Low Fat Cottage Cheese

Good & Gather cottage cheese
Good & Gather cottage cheese - Julia Collins/Tasting Table

Next on the list is Good & Gather, one of Target's in-house brands. I immediately appreciated how this cottage cheese didn't have that gross layer of liquid film that makes many people hesitant to try the product in the first place. Secondly, the price was $2.39 for 16 ounces, which is just under 15 cents per ounce, right behind Walmart in terms of how much bang for your buck you're getting. Good & Gather's 1% milk fat cottage cheese did a lot of things right, but it still has some things to work on, leaving it in fifth place.

I found the texture to be fine, and what you're looking for in a quality cottage cheese, but — and this is my personal preference — I thought the curds were a bit big. This may be nitpicking, seeing as everyone probably has different preferences for curd size, but I found it slightly off-putting.

The flavor, while pretty bland, wasn't nonexistent like the Great Value cottage cheese, so that landed it just above Walmart's brand in this ranking. Target's generic low-fat cottage cheese was fine, and I would pay four cents more per ounce to get a marginally better product than what Great Value had to offer, but this just couldn't beat out the next few higher-ranking brands.

4. Friendship Dairies Low Fat Cottage Cheese

Friendship Dairies cottage cheese
Friendship Dairies cottage cheese - Julia Collins/Tasting Table

Friendship Dairies (not friendship diaries) ranks just a hair above Good & Gather for seemingly tiny but significant reasons. First, I purchased a container of this cottage cheese from Wegmans for $3.79 for 16 ounces, which (do the math with me, people) comes to almost 24 cents an ounce, making it one of the more pricey cottage cheeses on this list. But, for the extra money, you do get some sorely needed extra flavor, following the extreme blandness of the last two brands.

This 1% milk fat cottage cheese had a very thin layer of film on top, which was fine. Considering that the curd size was perfect, the film mixed beautifully into the rest of the cottage cheese (something that cannot be said for every brand on this list), and it had actual flavor that I was so relieved to taste in this product.

But, the reason why this brand couldn't place any higher than fourth — along with it being expensive — was that I found the flavor to be as divisive as cottage cheese itself. It had absolutely the most unique flavor profile I that tasted out of every brand, and though I didn't mind it, I'm sure other people would find it a bit too sour for their liking. If you're bored with your usual cottage cheese brand, give this one a try and see if Friendship Dairies is for you.

3. Wegmans Nonfat Cottage Cheese

Wegmans nonfat cottage cheese
Wegmans nonfat cottage cheese - Julia Collins/Tasting Table

Coming into third place is none other than Wegmans' own brand of cottage cheese. This is how you do cottage cheese, people. Take notes: The texture, curd size, flavor, price, aroma, and everything about it was ideal. This is what your marker of a decent cottage cheese should be.

In the photo you'll see that I sampled the Wegmans nonfat cottage cheese, but off-camera I've also tried the organic 2% milk fat variety from the brand, and let me just say that both are fantastic. The 2% option is a bit creamier, as you'd expect, but it does things just right, as it is not soupy or overly creamy.

As for the nonfat cottage cheese pictured, I paid $2.79 for 16 ounces, coming to about 17 cents an ounce, which is right in the middle of the pack when it comes to price points. If you're curious about the flavor, I'll note that it's not overly strong, yet it's not minimal, either. The taste is dairy-heavy and savory, and actually a little bit salty (which I did not mind at all). The only reason the Wegmans brand of cottage cheese didn't rank higher is because the top two are simply unbeatable, and I will be repurchasing them. I will only repurchase this variety if the first two are out of stock.

2. Good Culture Low-Fat Classic Cottage Cheese

Good Culture cottage cheese
Good Culture cottage cheese - Julia Collins/Tasting Table

Good Culture is an aptly named brand, as I found its cottage cheese to be good, and also cultured (get it?). Immediately upon opening this product I could tell that it was going to be different from all the rest. Instead of a flimsy plastic container cover to peel off, I was met with silver foil under the lid, which was much easier to remove. Additionally, the packaging itself felt sturdier and more substantial than the containers for other brands.

When it came to factors of flavor, texture, curd size, price, and aroma, Good Culture's 2% milk fat variety had me rethinking everything I thought I knew about cottage cheese. It was perfect. The flavor is one that I enjoyed and will be coming back to in the future, while the curd size and texture were ideal. This product had no off-putting smell, and the price was $3.69 for 16 ounces, coming in at a smidgen more than 23 cents an ounce. That's obviously not at the cheapest end of the spectrum, but this wasn't the most expensive variety that I bought, either (looking at you, Trader Joe's).

For the quality of the product you're getting, the extra few cents are absolutely worth it. Good Culture only came in at second place because, sadly, there was a small layer of film on top. Though this liquid did mix into the cottage cheese well, the top place contender beat out Good Culture in that department.

1. Breakstone's Cottage Cheese

Breakstone's cottage cheese in bowl
Breakstone's cottage cheese in bowl - Julia Collins/Tasting Table

First place in this ranking goes to none other than Breakstone's. It actually makes my heart happy to write that, as I love the Breakstone's brand and can't wait to buy it again during my next grocery haul. If you thought Good Culture hit the mark on almost everything, well, Breakstone's is about to blow all of that out of the water. The texture? It's absolutely perfect, and everything you could ask for and more in cottage cheese, as it's creamy without being watery or gross, and the curd size is ideal.

In this product, there's no strange smell, no nauseating film on top, and the flavor is actually my favorite part about it. Breakstone's 2% milk fat cottage cheese has the perfect balance of tangy and savory that I think is universally appealing, and the brand even offers this in little individual-size cups, making it easy to eat this on the go.

And best of all? It only cost me $3.99 for 24 ounces at Target, making it less than 17 cents per ounce. I call that a win all around, and a first place victory for Breakstone's.


trio of cottage cheese brands
trio of cottage cheese brands - Julia Collins/Tasting Table

I ranked these brands of nutrient-rich cottage cheese based on a number of factors. First of all, the products I selected are widely available across the U.S. from big-name stores like Target and Walmart; while costs mentioned in this article were based on what I found at stores in my region of New Jersey, prices may vary based on location. Secondly, I aimed to purchase cottage cheese types with milk fat percentages of 2% from each cottage cheese brand (or as close to 2% as possible) to ensure that the products were as equally comparable as possible.

Once purchased, I taste-tested every brand on the same day, so that I could really compare all of them to each other, plain out of the container. For the ranking, the major factors included flavor, texture (cottage cheese should not be soupy), curd size (not too big, not too small), aroma, and price per ounce. I noted how much protein was in each container, but that was not a deciding factor in this ranking, as not everyone seeks out cottage cheese for its protein content.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.