While you’ll often find yogurt and cottage cheese next to each other down the dairy aisle, there are notable distinctions between the two. This article uncovers the primary differences between these two dairy products to help you decide the right one for you!
Keep reading for an in-depth comparison of yogurt versus cottage cheese.
Yogurt vs. Cottage Cheese
Below you will find a comparison of whole milk yogurt to cottage cheese.
Overall, cottage cheese has more calories, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium compared to yogurt. However, cottage cheese has a lot more protein.
Keep in mind that the nutrition facts will vary based on brand, fat (fat-free, low-fat, etc.), and other factors. View the nutrition facts on the product label for the most accurate information.
Dannon Plain Whole Milk
|Cottage Cheese –
|3/4 cup (170g)
|3/4 cup (170g)
A review of the ingredients of yogurt versus cottage cheese (see below) reveals a lot about why their nutrition facts differ.
Plain regular whole milk yogurt is simply made with milk that has cultures added to it to ferment the milk sugar (lactose).
Cottage cheese is also made with milk. However, it also contains cream and salt as primary ingredients. The addition of cream is why cottage cheese is higher in calories, cholesterol, and fat. Furthermore, the addition of salt is why cottage cheese is higher in sodium compared to yogurt.
Yogurt – Cultured Milk.
Cottage Cheese – Cultured Skim Milk, Cream, Salt.
Ingredients will vary based on brand.
For example, other ingredients you might find in cottage cheese include thickeners like guar gum, carob bean gum, and carrageenan. In yogurt, you might find carrageenan, gelatin, modified food starch, and pectin. Of course, yogurt is also often flavored with fruit and other flavorings.
Yogurt – Plain yogurt has a distinct tangy flavor that is both creamy and slightly acidic. It has a pleasant and refreshing taste that is often described as mildly sour, similar to a subtly tart or tangy sensation on the palate.
The texture of plain yogurt is smooth and velvety. It provides a creamy mouthfeel that is neither too thick nor too thin.
Cottage Cheese – Cottage cheese has a unique taste and texture that sets it apart from other dairy products.
Its flavor is mild and slightly tangy, with a subtle hint of sweetness. The taste can be described as creamy, somewhat salty, and slightly sour.
Its texture is frankly unforgettable with it small, tender, and moist curds. The curds are soft, yet they maintain a slight firmness.
The taste and texture of yogurt and cottage cheese can vary depending on factors such as the brand, fat content, curd size (small vs. large) for cottage cheese, added flavors, and other factors.
Below you will find the popular types of yogurt and cottage cheese found at most major U.S. grocery stores. This information should help you further understand the differences between these two dairy products.
- Regular Yogurt: Regular yogurt is made by fermenting milk with live bacterial cultures. It has a creamy texture and a slightly tangy flavor. Regular yogurt is available in different fat content variations, such as full-fat, low-fat, and fat-free.
- Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt is a strained yogurt variety that has a thicker and creamier consistency compared to regular yogurt. It is made by straining out the whey, resulting in a higher protein content and a denser texture. Greek yogurt is often favored for its versatility in both sweet and savory dishes.
- Skyr or Icelandic: Skyr is an Icelandic-style yogurt that is also strained like Greek yogurt, making for a thick and creamy texture. It has a milder flavor compared to Greek yogurt and is typically high in protein while being low in fat.
- Plant-Based Yogurt: Plant-based yogurts are made from non-dairy alternatives such as almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, or oat milk. These yogurts are suitable for individuals who are lactose intolerant or follow a vegan or dairy-free diet. Plant-based yogurts offer various flavors and textures, but they may differ in terms of taste and consistency compared to dairy-based yogurts.
- Drinkable Yogurt: Drinkable yogurts are liquid forms of yogurt that are designed to be consumed on the go. They come in different flavors and can be a convenient option for a quick and refreshing source of probiotics and nutrients. They have become popular with kids due to their taste and convenience.
- Probiotic Yogurt: Probiotic yogurt contains specific strains of live bacteria that are beneficial for gut health. These yogurts are marketed for their potential digestive and immune health benefits, as the live cultures are believed to support a healthy balance of gut bacteria.
- Flavored Yogurt: Flavored yogurts are any variety of yogurt that has been sweetened and flavored with ingredients like fruit, honey, or other natural or artificial flavorings. Any of the above types of yogurt may have flavor added to them.
- Full-Fat Cottage Cheese: Full-fat or 4% milkfat cottage cheese provides the most flavor in terms of its creaminess. It is also best for maximizing the nutrients in cottage cheese such as protein.
- Low-Fat or Reduced-Fat Cottage Cheese: This type of cottage cheese is made with reduced fat content. It is suitable for those who prefer a lower calorie or lower fat option while still enjoying the creamy texture and flavor of cottage cheese.
- Non-Fat or Fat-Free Cottage Cheese: Non-fat or fat-free cottage cheese has the lowest fat content among the various types. It is suitable for people following a strict low-fat or calorie controlled diet. However, it may have a slightly less creamy texture compared to regular cottage cheese.
- Small-Curd Cottage Cheese: Small-curd cottage cheese is characterized by its small, fine curds. It has a smoother texture compared to larger-curd varieties. Look for small curd cottage cheese if the texture of cottage cheese is an issue for you since this variety will be the smoothest.
- Large-Curd Cottage Cheese: Large-curd cottage cheese has larger, more noticeable curds compared to other types. It offers a slightly firmer texture and a more rustic appearance. This type of cottage cheese is one for people who appreciate the unique texture of this type of dairy.
- Organic Cottage Cheese: Organic cottage cheese is made from milk sourced from organically raised cows. It is produced without the use of synthetic hormones, pesticides, or antibiotics. Organic cottage cheese provides a natural and sustainable option for those seeking organic dairy products.
The following shows the primary uses for yogurt and cottage cheese. Many of the uses overlap but pay attention to the details when you go to use them. For example, while they both are commonly used in baking they may be used in different ways in recipes.
These are seven ways that yogurt is typically used:
- On Its Own: Yogurt can be enjoyed fresh from the container as a quick and nutritious snack. Simply scoop some yogurt into a bowl and savor its creamy texture and tangy flavor. You can also add a sprinkle of granola, nuts, or fresh fruits for added crunch and sweetness.
- Topping: Yogurt can be used as a topping for a wide range of dishes. It pairs well with breakfast options like pancakes, waffles, or oatmeal. You can also use it as a creamy and tangy topping for soups, baked potatoes, or chili.
- Smoothies: Yogurt is a fantastic ingredient for adding creaminess, thickness, and tang to your smoothies. Blend yogurt with your favorite fruits, vegetables, and a liquid of your choice (such as milk, water, or juice) for a refreshing and nutritious beverage.
- Dressings & Sauces: Yogurt can be used as a base for making creamy dressings and sauces. Mix yogurt with herbs, spices, lemon juice, or vinegar to create a flavorful dressing for salads, wraps, or dipping sauces.
- Baking: Yogurt can be a great substitute for other ingredients in baking recipes. It adds moisture and richness to baked goods like cakes, muffins, and bread. Yogurt can also be used in marinades or as a tenderizer for meat.
- Dips & Marinades: Yogurt-based marinades are excellent for tenderizing and flavoring meat, poultry, or vegetables before grilling or roasting. Yogurt can also be used as a base for creamy dips, such as tzatziki.
- Substitute for Sour Cream or Mayonnaise: Yogurt can be a healthier alternative to sour cream or mayonnaise in various recipes. It can be used as a topping for tacos, baked potatoes, or as a base for creamy salad dressings or dips.
Here are some common ways that cottage cheese is used:
- Direct Eating: Scoop cottage cheese into a bowl and season it with a sprinkle of salt, pepper, or your favorite herbs and spices. You can also drizzle a bit of olive oil or honey on top for added flavor.
- Topping: Cottage cheese can be a nutritious and creamy topping for various dishes. Add a dollop of cottage cheese to baked potatoes, soups, or chili for a creamy and protein-rich addition.
- Blend It Into Smoothies: Cottage cheese can be blended into smoothies to boost their protein content and create a thicker, creamier texture. Combine cottage cheese with your favorite fruits, vegetables, and liquids in a blender for a nutritious and satisfying smoothie. Add your favorite protein powder for a high-protein beverage perfect for muscle building and recovery.
- Incorporate It Into Salads: Add cottage cheese to your salads as a protein-packed ingredient. It pairs well with leafy greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, and other vegetables. You can also mix it with herbs and use it as a dressing or as a substitute for higher-calorie dressings.
- Baking: Cottage cheese can be used as a substitute for other dairy ingredients in baking recipes. It adds moisture and a creamy texture to baked goods. Try adding cottage cheese to pancakes, muffins, cakes, or even cheesecakes for a unique treat.
- Dips & Spreads: Blend cottage cheese with herbs, spices, or other flavorings to create savory dips and spreads. It works well as a base for vegetable dips, sandwich spreads, or a healthier alternative to creamy dressings.
- Savory Dishes: Cottage cheese can be used as a filling or ingredient in savory dishes like lasagna, stuffed pasta shells, or casseroles. It adds a creamy and cheesy element to the dish.
- Healthier Desserts: We often talk about the not so healthy desserts here at The Dairy Dish. Theses are treats like ice cream cookie sandwiches or mint chocolate chip ice cream. However, cottage cheese can be incorporated into dessert recipes to create healthier alternatives. Use it in recipes like fruit parfaits, smoothie bowls, or as a substitute for ricotta cheese in cheesecakes.
Lactose is the sugar found in dairy. People who do not produce enough of the enzyme lactase in the small intestines may have difficulty digesting lactose and can be classified as lactose intolerant.
Research has revealed that most people with lactose intolerance can tolerate up to 12 grams of lactose at one time or 18 grams consumed over the complete day. So, how much lactose is in yogurt and cottage cheese?
Regular low-fat yogurt has about 5-12 grams and Greek yogurt has about 4 grams of lactose per 6-ounce serving.
Cottage cheese (2% milkfat) has around 3 grams of lactose in 1/2 cup (source).
Based on the above, both yogurt and cottage cheese have the potential to be suitable for people with lactose intolerance as long as they are consumed in moderation. Greek and Skyr yogurt are best while higher fat cottage cheese is typically lower in lactose compared to low or fat-free varieties.