If you thought we were crazy when we made ice cream in a bag, then you’re going to think we’ve totally lost our marbles when we tell you we’re going to try making a cheesecake without a single drop of cream cheese.
Meet cottage cheese cheesecake—the latest mind-blowing viral recipe that uses an everyday container of cottage cheese in an unconventional way.
Normally, we would be skeptical of this seemingly sacrilegious adaptation of our favorite cheesecake recipe. But cottage cheese has recently proved itself a game-changer thanks to viral TikTok recipes like edible cottage cheese cookie dough and cottage cheese ice cream.
Needless to say, we have high expectations that this recipe made with cottage cheese will not disappoint. Keep reading for the simple recipe and our review of the results.
Can I Use Cottage Cheese Instead of Cream Cheese for Cheesecake?
Yes! While there’s nothing quite like a classic New York cheesecake made with cream cheese, you can, believe it or not, make a fantastic creamy cheesecake with cottage cheese instead. When pureed smooth, cottage cheese becomes incredibly thick and creamy, just like cream cheese. Making it a wonderful substitute for cream cheese when making a homemade cheesecake.
How to Make Cottage Cheese Cheesecake
This recipe makes one 9-inch cheesecake, which is about 10 to 12 servings.
1-1/2 cups fine graham cracker crumbs (about 12 whole graham cracker sheets)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
3 cups (24 ounces) full-fat cottage cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, room temperature
Optional toppings: Fresh berries, whipped cream, chocolate or caramel sauce
Step 1: Preheat and prep
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Prepare a 9-inch springform pan (here’s how to make a cheesecake without one) by spraying the bottom and sides with nonstick cooking spray and lining the bottom with a piece of parchment paper. Wrap the bottom exterior of the pan with foil to prevent leaks. Set aside.
Step 2: Make the crust
In a small food processor, combine the graham crackers (here are our favorite graham cracker brands), melted butter and sugar. Pulse until the mixture resembles wet sand and then transfer to the prepared pan. Using the bottom of a glass, press the crust evenly into the bottom and about one inch up the sides of the pan.
Bake crust for six to eight minutes, then remove and cool on a wire rack.
Editor’s Tip: You can try this cottage cheese cheesecake with other crust flavors. Try swapping the graham crackers for one of these other 11 ingredients you can turn into a crust.
Step 3: Puree the cottage cheese
Add the cottage cheese to a food processor or high-powered blender. Puree until smooth and creamy, then transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
Editor’s Tip: For best results, choose a full-fat cottage cheese. Reduced fat and fat-free varieties will contain too much liquid and impact the stability and texture of the baked cheesecake.
Step 4: Make the filling
Add the Greek yogurt, sugar, lemon zest, vanilla and salt. Beat together for one minute and then add the eggs, one at a time, blending until smooth after each addition. We like adding 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt to the filling since it lends the cheesecake a bit of that classic tang. If you don’t have Greek yogurt, you can substitute the yogurt for an additional 1/2-cup of blended cottage cheese. Just know that the cheesecake will have a more mild flavor.
Step 5: Bake
Pour the batter into the cooled crust, then bake for 45 to 60 minutes. The cheesecake is done when the center is just set, and the cheesecake jiggles slightly when gently shaken. Remove promptly to a cooling rack (keeping the outer ring of the pan on). Cool completely then chill for at least eight hours (or up to 24 hours) before serving.
Step 6: Serve
Cut the cheesecake into slices and serve plain or with toppings of your choice. Warm chocolate sauce, homemade salted caramel or fresh berries and whipped cream are all excellent options.
Here’s What We Thought
Yum! If you’re a fan of a light and fluffy cheesecake that isn’t overly dense, then cottage cheese cheesecake may just become your new favorite. If you’ve ever had a ricotta cheesecake before, this one is very similar in both taste and texture.
Beyond being delicious, what we love most about this easy cheesecake recipe is that it has all the great taste of a traditional cheesecake recipe but cuts back on both fat and calories while sneaking in an extra dose of protein thanks to the cottage cheese. Can you say hello, second serving!?