When you think of the ultimate comfort food, fettuccine Alfredo is too delicious to resist. Tender noodles coated in a silky smooth sauce are simple but still satisfy our creamy pasta cravings. And while there are multiple ways to prepare this dish, the one that recently caught our attention uses cottage cheese in the sauce. The reason? Cottage cheese can be replaced with butter and cream to create a lighter but still delicious version of creamy pasta sauce. Don’t get us wrong, we love enjoying traditional cream sauce in all its richness on occasion. However, when we want to be more health conscious, cottage cheese pasta fits the bill. Keep reading to learn the ins and outs of how this dairy superfood can be turned into a thick pasta sauce!
How Cottage Cheese Can Be Used as a Pasta Sauce Base
Cottage cheese is an unlikely ingredient for pasta sauce, but it really works wonderfully! When cottage cheese is heated, it forms a loose, sauce-like consistency. Curd, however, tends to remain intact because its high acid content strengthens the bonds within proteins, making it difficult for them to fully fuse together. Luckily, it’s possible to get a completely creamy cottage cheese sauce using a few simple tips (more on that later).
Why Cottage Cheese is a Healthy Swap for Pasta Sauce
Traditional creamy sauces like Alfredo (whether store-bought or homemade) rely heavily on butter and cream. While these ingredients create the sauce’s velvety consistency, they also add up in the nutrition department. One cup of traditional Alfredo sauce has about 387 calories, 39 grams of total fat, 4 grams of carbohydrates, and 6 grams of protein before tossing it with pasta.
Now if you take the Alfredo sauce and replace the cream and butter with cottage cheese, it’s a whole different story. The typical Cottage Cheese Alfredo recipe contains approximately 240 calories, 12 grams of fat, 12 grams of carbohydrates, and 18 grams of protein per 1-cup serving.
All that extra protein can do a lot for your health. “When you digest protein, your metabolism increases,” says Florence Comite, MD, founder of the Center for Precision Medicine and Health. “Casein milk protein is among the most bioavailable protein sources we consume, making it perfect for those looking to lose weight.” Dr. Comite adds that casein-rich dairy products, like cottage cheese, build up in the stomach when eaten, making you feel full. .
Overall, cottage cheese pasta sauce is a great way to enjoy the benefits of this dairy while still enjoying a hearty dish. (Click to learn more about the benefits of cottage cheese and how eating it regularly helped one woman lose 58 pounds!)
How to Make the Creamiest Cottage Cheese Sauce
To create a creamy, flavorful cottage cheese sauce, follow these tips from Norah Clark, professional pastry chef and creator of Yummy Tasty Food.
Choose cottage cheese with small curds. Opt for cottage cheese with small curds, as it reduces the amount of lumps in the sauce compared to types with large curds.
Mix in the cottage cheese. To create a velvety sauce, pulse the cottage cheese in a food processor or blender for about 30 seconds before mixing with other ingredients. The end result will be a cottage cheese with a creamy texture resembling ricotta cheese.
Adjust the consistency of the sauce. When making cottage cheese pasta sauce, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of milk or chicken broth to the mixture if it starts to become too thick. Then taste and modify as necessary to achieve your desired sauce consistency.
The Best Cottage Cheese Pasta Recipe Ever
For a delicious cottage cheese pasta sauce, follow Clark’s recipe below. All you need is 10 minutes and your cooked pasta is ready to toss before enjoying a quick and healthy weeknight meal! (Click for more ways to use these dairy products to make protein pancakes, cottage cheese bread and more.)
Cottage Cheese Pasta Sauce
1 cup small curd cottage cheese with 2% milk fat
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil
¼ cup grated parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Sprigs of fresh basil or parsley (optional)
2 to 3 tbsp. milk or broth (optional)
½ box of cooked pasta
Active: 10 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
Yield: 2 to 3 servings
Blend cottage cheese until smooth in a food processor, about 30 seconds.
Saute minced garlic in olive oil over medium heat until fragrant, 45 seconds to 1 minute. Add the cottage cheese mixture, stir 4 to 5 minutes or until heated through. Add milk or broth if the sauce becomes too thick.
Sprinkle with parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Remove the sauce from the heat.
Pour the sauce over individual portions of cooked pasta, add more cracked black pepper and garnish with fresh herbs (if desired). Appreciate!
This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your doctor before pursuing any treatment plan.