This vegan cottage cheese is a wonderful replacement for its dairy counterpart, mimicking the texture with harder curds and a softer ‘sauce’ and a neutral flavor. Plus, this recipe is dairy-free, lactose-free, gluten-free, low-carb, low-fat, and uses just 5 base ingredients.
Before turning vegan, I always loved using cottage cheese and ricotta for their texture and subtle flavor within dishes. I’d stir them into pasta, or use to top baked potatoes, or simply on toast for a quick snack, etc.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to find a store-bought cottage cheese substitute where I live- so I set about making a homemade version immediately. I knew that it had to mimic the texture – with harder and softer ‘curds, as well as compare in flavor too. Finally, this tofu cheese is what I came up with, and I hope you’ll agree that it’s pretty darn impressive in likeness to the dairy version.
With this keto cottage cheese being relatively high in protein and low in carbs, it makes for the perfect quick and healthy snack or added to a meal. Plus, this recipe can be used in almost all the ways you’d use its dairy counterpart – win-win!
Homemade Vegan Cottage Cheese In Minutes
Making this recipe couldn’t be much more straightforward and saves time and effort in comparison to its dairy counterpart.
When making traditional cottage cheese, it involves heating milk, adding acidity to allow the milk to curdle, gathering the curds, draining them (but not too much – for the liquid texture of cottage cheese), etc. In comparison, this recipe is made up of just a few simple steps that include crumbling tofu and combining ingredients together.
Like I said – this really couldn’t get much simpler, and you’ll have prepared this dairy free cottage cheese in minutes! Give it some hands-off time to chill, and that’s all that’s needed for this recipe.
Firm Tofu – Used to create the texture and mimic the bigger curds of cottage cheese.
Dairy-Free Yogurt – Used to mimic the ‘wetter’ part of the cheese. I prefer to use yogurt instead of something like silken tofu for superior flavor and so that the cottage cheese substitute doesn’t taste too much like tofu.
Onion Powder – To help add a little extra flavor.
White Vinegar – Will help to add the ‘tang’ of dairy cheese. You can also use lemon juice if preferred.
Nutritional yeast (optional) – Used to add cheesy flavor to plant-based recipes.
Salt – Needed for flavor, to transform the mixture from tofu and yogurt to a wonderful cottage cheese replacement.
Pepper (optional) – Once again, for flavor. Omit if you want to use this recipe for sweet purposes.
Fresh Chives – to garnish and add a little extra flavor. You can use your own favorite herbs if preferred.
The Step-By-Step Instructions
For the full ingredients list, ingredient measurements, and nutritional information, then please read the printable recipe card below.
Step 1: Crumble the tofu
- In a medium bowl, crumble the tofu with your hands or using a fork. Try not to make the pieces too small, as the texture is what we’re going for.
Step 2-4: Combine all ingredients
- In a separate bowl, combine all the other ingredients (apart from the chives) and stir with a whisk.
- Pour the wet mixture over the crumbled tofu and stir to combine. Taste the mixture and adjust the seasonings. You can do this by adding more salt, vinegar, nutritional yeast, onion powder, etc.
- Finally, add the fresh chives and stir and then allow the mixture to chill for at least an hour. Once chilled, the keto cottage cheese is ready to use!
How To Store
Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. Though it can be eaten after an hour of chilling in the fridge, it tastes even better the next day as the yogurt has time to almost ‘culture” the mixture and the flavor meld together.
I haven’t personally tried to freeze it, so I can’t guarantee success. I would imagine that the tofu inside would cause textural changes. If you give it a try, then let me know in the comments.
How To Use
There are tons of ways that you can use this homemade cottage cheese, including in many ways you would the dairy version.
Some of my favorite options include:
- Over a baked potato
- On homemade bread
- Use to top fresh fruits (plus a drizzle of syrup) – melon, peaches, pears, etc.
- Within a salad
- To top crackers with a little sweet chili sauce
- Dip into with veggies – like celery.
- Omit the chives and serve with berries and granola for a healthy breakfast.
And plenty more. Let me know in the comments what your favorite ways are to use this vegan cottage cheese.
- The dairy-free yogurt: You can use coconut yogurt, soy yogurt, almond yogurt, etc. You can also use vegan sour cream (cashew cream).
- This recipe can also be used in place of ricotta cheese and can be used within cooked pasta dishes, etc. Though, note – it won’t ‘melt’ in the same way that ricotta does.
- Be careful with how much nutritional yeast you add – too much can quickly overpower the flavor, and cottage cheese doesn’t have a strong cheesy flavor.
- You can season this spread how you like with your own choice of herbs, etc. Chives and parsley work particularly well. Alternatively, omit the herbs when serving in a sweet recipe.
- 1 serving is 2 tablespoons (28 g) and has 26 kcal, 0.7 g net carbs, 2.7 g protein, and 1.3 g fat.
If you give this vegan cottage cheese recipe a try, I’d love a comment and recipe rating below. Also, don’t forget to tag me in re-creations on Instagram or Facebook with @elavegan and #elavegan – I love seeing your recreations.
Vegan Cottage Cheese
- In a medium bowl, crumble tofu with your fingers or use a fork. Don't make the pieces too small, as we need them for the texture.
- Add the other ingredients (except chives) to a different small bowl and stir with a whisk.
- Pour the mixture over the crumbled tofu and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt/vinegar/nutritional yeast/onion powder, etc. to taste.
- Add fresh chives, stir, and chill for at least one hour. Enjoy on bread or baked potatoes!
- Dairy-free yogurt: You can use coconut yogurt, soy yogurt, almond yogurt, etc. You can also use vegan sour cream (cashew cream).
- Omit the fresh chives, pepper, and most of the salt, when serving in a sweet recipe.
- Read the blog post for serving suggestions, storing information, and step-by-step photos.
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