Creamy Cottage Cheese Pasta is quick, easy, and secretly healthy. Made with 5 simple ingredients and ready in 15 minutes, it makes the perfect weeknight meal!

We also love this 15 minute caprese pasta and 8 ingredient lasagna with cottage cheese!

Cottage cheese pasta sauce served with pasta, cheese and fresh basil in a bowl with a spoon.

Dinner couldn’t get any easier than cottage cheese pasta. All you need is 5 ingredients, and this new comfort dish is on your table in 15 minutes.

Cottage cheese is at the top of everyone’s ingredient list right now. After much success with cottage cheese egg bites and cottage cheese ice cream, I decided why not add extra protein to a pasta dinner?!

The cottage cheese pasta sauce is rich and creamy without using heavy cream, and it’s packed with protein! Add it to your favorite pasta and treat yourself to a big bowl tonight.

Ingredients for Cottage Cheese Pasta

This cottage cheese pasta recipe makes a delicious, homemade sauce. It will definitely become a staple in our house. You need only 5 simple ingredients to make this pasta recipe!

Bow ties pasta, marinara sauce, parmesan cheese, cottage cheese, fresh basil.
  • Uncooked pasta: I used bow tie pasta but any pasta with crevices that can hold the sauce will work.
  • Marinara sauce: You can use my homemade marinara sauce or store bought marinara sauce. I recommend to buy one with less sodium, since cottage cheese contains sodium too.
  • Cottage cheese: Makes this pasta with cottage cheese extra rich and creamy. Sodium content varies, be sure to choose one with less sodium. Whole milk cottage cheese will make a creamy, smooth sauce where lower-fat cottage cheese won’t be as rich.
  • Parmesan cheese: Garnish cottage cheese marinara pasta with freshly grated Parmesan cheese for a salty, nutty taste.
  • Fresh basil: Tomatoes and herbs go together, and freshly chopped basil is my favorite for tomato sauce. Oregano or Italian seasoning work well too.

How to Make Cottage Cheese Pasta

Cottage cheese pasta is deliciously cozy and super easy to make. Here is a quick photo overview, there is a full recipe card below.

Step by step process how to make cottage cheese pasta sauce, cook pasta and mix it together.
  • Cook pasta: Add water and a bit of salt to a large pot and bring to a boil. Then add pasta and cook al dente, stirring occasionally. Follow package instructions, it should take 8-10 minutes.
  • Make cottage cheese sauce: While the pasta cooks, add marinara sauce and cottage cheese to a food processor or high speed blender, and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  • Combine: Drain noodles and add them to a large bowl, then pour sauce on top and gently stir.
  • Garnish and serve: Garnish pasta with cottage cheese sauce with lots of cheese, sprinkle with fresh basil and serve warm.

Tips for Best Results

Here are 4 things to remember when making cottage cheese pasta.

  • Don’t overcook the pasta: Your pasta should be al dente with a slightly firm texture, not mushy. I recommend checking it after 8 minutes.
  • Use short pasta with cavities: Small, textured pasta will hold onto the creamy sauce. Fusilli, penne, rigatoni, and farfalle would work well.
  • For super smooth sauce: Without white speckles, aka to hide it, blend the cottage cheese mixture in high speed blender or with an immersion blender.
  • Have sauce ready to go: This pasta dish relies on hot pasta warming up the sauce, be ready and mix it up immediately.
Close up of pasta made with cottage cheese and marinara sauce.

Variations

There are several ways to vary this easy cottage cheese pasta recipe.

  • Add veggies: Quickly sauteed and chopped broccoli, mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini or onions add color and flavor. You can also stir in frozen corn or peas for a quick solution.
  • Add protein: Make it a high-protein meat sauce with ground beef, ground chicken, or ground turkey. Quickly sauté meat, just plain, in a skillet and combine. Add sliced baked chicken breast, or keep it vegetarian with fried tofu, Instant Pot chickpeas, or canned white beans.
  • Use different tomato sauce: Mix it up with spaghetti sauce, meat sauce, pasta sauce, vodka sauce, or bolognese.
  • Add heat: Red pepper flakes or hot sauce add a spicy kick.
  • Add baby spinach: Chop and stir it into the hot pasta.
  • Use different cheese: Experiment with gruyere cheese, asiago cheese instead of parmesan cheese. Or use ricotta cheese instead of cottage cheese, it has more fat though.

How to Serve Pasta with Cottage Cheese Sauce?

Pasta is the ultimate comfort food. Perfectly cooked noodles in a rich, creamy sauce is all you need at the end of a hard day.

Serve cottage cheese pasta warm or cold! Cold is great in summer, like a pasta salad. Enjoy it as the main course paired with a delicious spring mix salad for a full summer meal.

I served it hot as a side dish alongside grilled bruschetta chicken, but baked caprese chicken with a piece of garlic bread would also be tasty.

How to Store

Store: Once the pasta has cooled, transfer leftovers to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Freeze: I do not freeze pasta, I find it does not freeze well and is watery and grainy once thawed.

FAQs

What is cottage cheese pasta sauce made of?

Cottage cheese pasta sauce itself is made of tomato sauce and cottage cheese, blended together until smooth. I used marinara sauce, but any tomato sauce will work. You can even try it with healthy alfredo sauce.

Can you put cottage cheese in pasta?

Yes. The cottage cheese makes a creamy sauce that’s a healthier alternative to traditional pasta sauces.

Does cottage cheese melt when cooked?

Cottage cheese does not melt as well as other cheeses when cooked. The high water content and curd-like texture prevents it from being as smooth as other cheese sauces. This recipe blends the cottage cheese with the tomato sauce to create a smooth, cheesy consistency.

Can I make it ahead?

Yes, make and refrigerate the cottage cheese pasta sauce. Then cook pasta, toss, garnish and serve.

More Cottage Cheese Recipes to Try

Check out all of our cottage cheese recipes!

More Pasta Recipes to Try

Cottage cheese pasta served in a bowl garnished with basil and cheese.
Cottage cheese pasta served in a bowl garnished with basil and cheese.

Cottage Cheese Pasta

Creamy Cottage Cheese Pasta is quick, easy, and secretly healthy. Made with 5 simple ingredients and ready in 15 minutes.
5 from 7 votes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 184
Diet Vegetarian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients  

Instructions 

  • Bring large pot with salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook al dente, stirring occasionally. Should take about 8-10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a food processor or high speed blender, combine marinara sauce and cottage cheese. Process until smooth. Set aside.
  • Drain pasta and add to a large bowl. Pour cottage cheese sauce on top and gently stir.
  • Garnish with cheese and basil. Serve pasta right away or warm.

Video

Notes

  • Store: Refrigerate pasta covered for up to 2-3 days.
  • Freeze: Do not freeze pasta as pasta generally does not freeze well.

Nutrition

Calories: 184kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 574mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: North American
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Hey Olena,

    I can’t thank you enough for sharing your recipes. I am a very poor cook, but find our recipes a “piece of cake!”

    We enjoyed this pasta for dinner, with your zucchini brownies for desert.

    Thanks again,

    Jennifer

    1. I’m so happy to hear this. I’m a good cook but have no time for complicated haha. Maybe one day.

  2. 5 stars
    I made this with a good store purchased marinara sauce. I didn’t have time to get the blender out, so I used my hand mixer. Since I was going to a family gathering on short notice, I made it then put everything in a glass baking dish, added some mozzarella on top, warmed it when I got to the party. EVERYONE raved about it. They liked the small chunks of 4% cottage cheese. I gave them your recipe!

    1. That’s so awesome to hear and thank you for sharing my recipe. It’s like lazy vegetarian lasagna aka bake. Yum!

  3. 5 stars
    Pasta cottage cheese is so yummy. I have made a lot of your pasta dishes and can honestly said I have found them easy to make. Fully of flavour and loved them all. Your recipes are so healthy. I have learned so much from getting your recipes, there is such a wonderful choice for everyone. Thank you looking forward to get more recipes to make. Keep up.the good work you are an amazing lady. THANK YOU..🍑🧀😋

    1. You made my day! Makes my job worth it. Glad you are enjoying my recipes this much. More pasta dishes are coming!

  4. OMG! I used to make something similar to this…! First time my husband’s mother (who was Chech) made it I remember the smell coming from the kitchen was so intoxicating… smelled soo good. I was asked if I wanted some but taking one look at it and went “uh, no thank you”! lol Well, the thought of trying it (thankfully) to be nice finally took over… tried it & wow… could not believe the flavor. However, my husband & his mother called it simply “Cottage cheese & noodles”! PLUS she cooked the red onion sautéed in butter first, set it aside while the bowtie noodles cooked. Then, when pasta was done, added the buttered sautéed onion to the pasta, stirred it & then added the cottage cheese, stirred that… pepper on top & whoa… so good. Just thinking about this now makes me want to go make it as I loved it so much. Both my mother-in-law & husband have passed so it will be a comfort food to me now when I make it.

    I will give your version a try for sure… and pretty sure it, too, will be a winner for me.

    Thanks ever so much for what you do… have enjoyed making (and eating) the recipes I’ve made from your site! Thank you so much!

    1. That sounds soooo delicious! Eastern European food is so simple and we cooked a lot with cottage cheese. I kind of smile seeing it being popular now haha. Hope you enjoy my version of cottage cheese pasta.

      1. 5 stars
        Yes, the recipe my mother-in-law made which I described to you in earlier comment was & is good! However, your Cottage Cheese Pasta is delicious, too. I made it with your Marinara Sauce as I had everything on hand. Sooo good. And, as always, still LOVE making your recipes ever since I found your blog some years back.
        And, looking forward to more pasta dishes, as well.

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