Are you making a lasagna dish? Don’t have any cottage cheese available? Or maybe you’ve recently cut out dairy and you need a non dairy option. If you can relate to any of these scenarios, then keep reading to see the best ways to substitute for cottage cheese in lasagna.
Lasagna is an Italian dish that is usually made with three delicious layers including a meat sauce layer, a cheese layer, and a layer of noodles which are assembled one on top of each other until the baking dish is full, then topped with extra cheese.
When it comes to lasagna, the cheese layer is traditionally made with ricotta cheese, but many people detest the texture and taste of ricotta and they tend to go for cottage cheese instead.
However, if you detest both cottage cheese and ricotta cheese or you’re out of the latter. If this is the case, you may be wondering if you can use other types of cheeses when you’re making a lasagna dish. Luckily, the answer is yes. Keep reading to see how below.
What to substitute for cottage cheese in lasagna
There are quite a few ingredients that can be used to replace cottage cheese when making a lasagna recipe. These include ricotta cheese, cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, goat cheese, sour cream, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, Queso fresco cheese, and cheesy nut sauce.
Easy substitutes for cottage cheese in lasagna
If you’re making a lasagna recipe with cottage cheese, it is usually the norm to first make a cottage cheese mixture that is used as the cheese layer for the lasagna.
A cottage cheese mixture usually includes cottage cheese, grated parmesan, eggs, and fresh herbs like parsley, salt, and pepper. All of these are combined to form a creamy, cheesy mixture.
As such, any substitute that will effectively replace cottage cheese in this scenario needs to be able to have similar characteristics so it can be used in a similar way. The cheeses that can work in this case include:
If you have no cottage cheese available, you may consider using ricotta cheese if you do not dislike the texture or taste.
Ricotta cheese is made from whey, unlike cottage cheese which is made from curds. Also, ricotta cheese has a flavor that can be considered slightly sweet compared to the somewhat salty flavor of cottage cheese. Both of those cheeses are soft and creamy, although ricotta cheese tends to be creamier.
Also, for the people who pay attention to macros and calories, keep in mind that ricotta cheese is richer and more calorie dense than cottage cheese.
As such, ricotta cheese makes a great creamy lasagna in the absence of cottage cheese. To use it, make your ricotta cheese mixture by adding, ricotta cheese, grated parmesan, eggs, freshly chopped herbs of your choice, salt, and pepper, and mix, then use it to layer any lasagna recipe.
Substitution: 1 cup of cottage cheese = 1 cup ricotta cheese
If you have it, plain cream cheese can also be used as a great sub for cottage cheese in lasagna. Plain cream cheese works because it is soft, creamy, and spreadable.
To use cream cheese in lasagna, it is best to make a cream cheese mixture by mixing together plain cream cheese, eggs, grated Parmesan cheese, fresh herbs, salt, and pepper. Then use it as your cheese layer for your lasagna.
Another cheese that is ideally used as a stand-in for cottage cheese in lasagna is mascarpone cheese. Mascarpone cheese is made from cow’s milk and has a fluffy, soft and creamy texture with a flavor reminiscent of sweet cream cheese and a sort of buttery feel.
If no cottage cheese is available, mascarpone can easily be used to make a cheese mixture for a lasagna. Because it is mildly sweet, always add a pinch of salt if used in a savory recipe like lasagna.
Substitution: 1 cup cottage cheese = 1 cup mascarpone
Another type of cheese that can be used to make a lasagna recipe is goat cheese. Goat cheese is made from goat’s milk and has a soft and crumbly texture and a tart flavor. Goat cheese makes a very unique and unusual, yet rich and creamy lasagna dish that is a twist on traditional lasagna.
Sour cream has a tangy and tart taste but a nice rich creaminess that makes it an ideal substitute for cottage cheese in lasagna. While sour cream is quite an odd cottage cheese alternative for lasagna, it can easily be made into a nice creamy, rich cottage cheese-like mixture with the addition of eggs, grated cheeses like Parmesan and mozzarella, fresh herbs, salt, and pepper.
While cheddar cheese is a hard type of cheese, it too can be used as a replacement for cottage cheese. Here are two easy ways cheddar cheese can be used to make lasagna.
- Cheddar cheese mixture
To make this mixture, add grated cheddar cheese, eggs, freshly chopped herbs, salt and pepper to a bowl and mix well. Then use this mixture as the cheese layer for any lasagna recipe.
- Béchamel + cheddar cheese
For this option, make a béchamel sauce and grab some grated cheddar cheese. Then use a layer of béchamel, topped with a layer of grated cheddar cheese as your cheese layer. This option makes for a creamy, cheesy cheese layer that is a great sub for cottage cheese in lasagna.
Another hard cheese that can be used to make lasagna if there is no cottage cheese available is Parmesan cheese. While it is hard, compared to soft cottage cheese it can be used in a few ways effectively.
- Parmesan cheese mixture
To make a parmesan cheese mixture, mix grated parmesan, eggs, herbs, salt, and pepper until homogeneous. Then use this mixture like you’d use a cottage cheese mixture.
- Béchamel + parmesan cheese
Make an easy béchamel sauce, grate some parmesan, layer each separately, and use these as a cottage cheese replacement in your lasagna dish.
Queso fresco cheese
You can also make lasagna without cottage cheese by using queso fresco cheese to make a cheese mixture. To make it, crumble some queso fresco into a bowl. Then add in some grated Parmesan, freshly chopped herbs, and an egg or two and mix well until properly combined. Once all this is done, use it as a cheese layer for any lasagna recipe.
Cheesy nut sauce (dairy free)
If you’re looking for a vegan option, you can make your very own cheesy nut sauce to replace cottage cheese. To make it you will need soaked cashews or macadamia nuts, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper, and water or plant-based milk. Place all these ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth, then use as a cheese layer for a dairy-free lasagna recipe. You can check out a full recipe for this cheesy nut sauce here.
Lastly, if you feel like it, check out this list of alternatives for ricotta cheese in lasagna. It lists some other useful ways to make lasagna without cottage cheese or ricotta cheese.
More cheese substitutes