Why Cottage Cheese Is Trending on TikTok — and 3 Unique Ways to Use It

We tried cottage cheese ice cream, cottage cheese pancakes and cottage cheese vodka sauce

<p>Getty Images/iStockphoto</p>

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Whether you love or you hate cottage cheese, one thing’s for sure: TikTok is in love with it.

Sometime this spring, cottage cheese recipes started bubbling up on the platform's For You Page. The hashtag #cottagecheese has already amassed over 252 million views — many showing TikTok creators sneaking the dairy product in several dishes to make for healthier treats. Think cottage cheese ice cream, toast, and more.

Its main benefit? Cottage cheese is packed with protein. According to the USDA, 1 cup of small curd cottage cheese contains a whopping 25 grams of protein.

We tried three iterations of the viral trend by adding blended cottage cheese to ice cream, pancakes and vodka sauce. Here’s our cottage cheese consensus and more background on the polarizing ingredient.

Cottage Cheese Ice Cream

There are tons of versions of cottage cheese ice cream swirling around TikTok, but perhaps one of the most popular options is the strawberry cream cheese flavor.

Popularized by creator @lainiecooks, whose post garnered almost 2 millions views, the fruity flavor calls for fewer than five ingredients.

For my version, I blended 1 1/2 cup of cottage cheese, thawed frozen strawberries and maple syrup with an immersion blender. The result was an ultra-creamy mixture.

The review: After stashing it in the freezer, I added some graham cracker crumbles as a garnish. The cottage cheese ice cream was very tasty and extra silky from the dairy base. It tasted just like the packaged cottage cheese and strawberry snack from the grocery store (a childhood favorite of mine!).

While I would definitely make this healthy dessert again, next time I’d take it out of the freezer sooner. I left mine in for around four hours, so it was slightly icy and took extra long to defrost and scoop out a creamy serving.

Cottage Cheese Vodka Pasta Sauce

I love penne alla vodka, but I’m not a huge fan of cooking with a lot of heavy cream. Cue cottage cheese! Naturally, I was really excited to use this substitute and was hoping it would live up to my expectations. Spoiler alert: It did.

“COTTAGE CHEESE VODKA SAUCE!!!" cookbook author Jake Cohen captioned his video, which garnered nearly 1 million views on TikTok. "Before you hate, this pan has like 112g of protein so I’m very into this swap for my fav comfort food!!”

To match a similar consistency to heavy cream, I blended 1/2 cup nonfat milk and 1 cup cottage cheese in a food processor. It turned out to be exactly like heavy cream: thick yet liquidy. Then I whipped up my pasta sauce, sauteeing yellow onions and garlic and then mixing in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, vodka and about 1 cup of the cottage cheese mixture.     

The review:  I’m never making penne alla vodka with heavy cream again. While I was initially worried it may have a more tart taste, this sauce with cottage cheese tasted exactly like the traditional creamy sauce — and was even more luscious. The taste is spot on but beware that the texture is slightly grainy.

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

This twist on the classic breakfast treat is certainly one of the most popular dishes across TikTok. Creator @lex.alger helped catapult the TikTok trend in March when her family’s favorite morning meal went viral, receiving 1 million views.

Taking her lead, I adapted my trial to include 1 1/2 cup cottage cheese, some oats, 3 eggs, maple syrup and vanilla extract. It certainly looked like traditional pancake batter.

The review: After flipping a batch on the stove, I went in for a taste test. My first observation was that the texture and flavor were reminiscent of lemon ricotta pancakes. My one gripe with my cottage cheese pancakes is that they took slightly longer to cook on the stove than a classic pancake since the dairy product was innately thick. Overall, my stack — sprinkled with cinnamon and doused in more maple syrup, of course! — did the trick on a lazy weekend morning

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