Creamy Tomato Cottage Cheese Pasta

4.98 from 171 votes

This high-protein cottage cheese tomato pasta sauce only requires 5 ingredients, a high-speed blender, and your favorite pasta!

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In just under 20 minutes, you can have a protein-packed, meat-free meal with this creamy Cottage Cheese Pasta! This recipe only requires 6 ingredients – pasta, tomato sauce, cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, a little butter, and a dash of red pepper flakes for a little kick. Pair it with a light side dish, and you’ve got a delicious meal that’s guaranteed to satisfy!

Cottage Cheese Tomato Pasta in a pot garnished with fresh parsley.

Table of Contents

  1. Why you’ll love this cottage cheese pasta sauce
  2. Cottage cheese pasta sauce ingredients
  3. How to make pasta sauce with cottage cheese
  4. Tips for making the best creamy cottage cheese pasta
  5. Popular substitutions & additions
  6. What to serve with cottage cheese tomato pasta
  7. How to store & reheat cottage cheese pasta
  8. Frequently asked questions
  9. More pasta sauce recipes:
  10. Creamy Tomato Cottage Cheese Pasta Recipe

If you’re looking for an easy, weeknight meal, this creamy tomato pasta with cottage cheese is perfect. What’s great about this recipe is you just have to cook the pasta, followed by blending the cottage cheese and marinara sauce together, and then simply toss your cottage cheese sauce in with the warm pasta to heat up. That’s it!

Why you’ll love this cottage cheese pasta sauce

  • Packed with protein. Pasta sauces aren’t usually a go-to for protein, but each serving of this cottage cheese tomato pasta has about 17 grams of protein!
  • Great for lunch! Whether you make this recipe fresh or ahead of time for leftovers, you’ll love how quickly and easily it comes together. Pair with a house salad or toss in another protein that cooks quickly for a fully loaded lunch to keep you going throughout the day.
  • Customizable: You can tweak the recipe to your liking. Want to add more vegetables? Go ahead. Prefer a different type of pasta? No problem. This recipe is a great base to get creative with.

Cottage cheese pasta sauce ingredients

  • Cottage cheese: Whole milk cottage cheese is preferred as it makes a much more creamy and smooth sauce. You can use lower-fat cottage cheese, but the flavor won’t be as rich.
  • Marinara sauce: Any marinara sauce will work, whether homemade or store-bought.
  • Parmesan cheese: Use freshly grated Parmesan for a sharp, nutty taste that blends well into your cottage cheese tomato sauce.
  • Butter: A few tablespoons of butter adds richness and helps to create a smooth and creamy consistency for your sauce.
  • Red pepper flakes: For flavor. Add more for a little extra heat.
  • Pasta: I use fusilli pasta, but any pasta will work!
Ingredients for recipe: marinara, parmesan cheese, cottage cheese, red pepper flakes, butter, and cooked pasta.

How to make pasta sauce with cottage cheese

  1. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions making sure to reserve some of the pasta water. Add the pasta water to a blender with tomato sauce, cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, melted butter, and crushed red pepper.
  2. Blend until the pasta sauce is smooth and creamy.
  3. Pour the sauce onto the cooked pasta in the pot.
  4. Toss until combined and the sauce has heated through.
4 image collage making recipe: 1- sauce ingredients in a blender, 2- after blending smooth, 3- sauce added to pot with cooked pasta, 4- after combined.

Tips for making the best creamy cottage cheese pasta

  1. Don’t skip adding the pasta water to your sauce. The starchy water can help thin your sauce if it gets too thick, and it can also help the sauce adhere better to the pasta.
  2. Choose your pasta wisely. Fusilli is fantastic in this recipe because its twists and turns hold onto the creamy sauce well, but other textured pasta like farfalle, penne, or rigatoni would work well too.
  3. Use any blending equipment you have. I use my favorite high-speed blender to blend my cottage cheese sauce, but you could also use a food processor or immersion blender.
  4. Have your pasta sauce ready to go. Make sure your pasta sauce is ready and waiting to be mixed into the hot pasta as soon as you drain it. The sauce is relying on the hot pasta to heat it through. If you find that your sauce did not get warm enough for your liking, you can heat it on medium-low for 5 minutes.
  • Add veggies. Just like most pasta dishes, adding more vegetables can really bulk up your meal! Try adding sauteed spinach, zucchini, mushrooms, or any other veggies you like to your pasta.
  • Add protein! If you’re looking to make this a more complete meal and want to include a main ingredient, try adding baked tofu, chickpeas, or white beans for a vegetarian option. You can also add in ground beef, chicken, or turkey.
  • Switch up the cheese: While the recipe calls for cottage cheese, you could also experiment with ricotta for a slightly different flavor and texture. Or add in some cream cheese for an extra level of creaminess.

What to serve with cottage cheese tomato pasta

Cottage cheese tomato pasta in a serving bowl with garnishes and a little extra parmesan. Pot of pasta nearby

How to store & reheat cottage cheese pasta

Allow the pasta to cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge. This pasta is perfect for leftovers! Reheat on the stove with a splash of water or broth until heated through.

How long will creamy tomato sauce last in the fridge?

Cottage cheese pasta will last in the fridge up to 4 days.

Can I freeze tomato sauce with cottage cheese?

Freezing is not recommended, as the texture and quality may be negatively affected. Cottage cheese tends to become watery and grainy when frozen and thawed, resulting in an undesirable consistency. Enjoying your pasta fresh or refrigerating any leftovers for a few days is best.

Frequently asked questions

My noodles came out soggy; what did I do wrong?

Make sure to cook the pasta just to al dente, to avoid mushy noodles. The pasta will continue to cook when you add the sauce.

Do I have to blend the sauce?

You don’t have to, but you’re going to want to. The cottage cheese needs to be blended in order to smoothly incorporate into the sauce. Otherwise it will be chunky.

Does cottage cheese melt when cooked?

Cottage cheese does not melt like some other types of cheese when cooked. It has a high moisture content and a curd-like texture, which prevents it from melting into a smooth, gooey consistency. This recipe blends the cottage cheese into the tomato sauce for a smoother consistency.

Cottage Cheese Tomato Pasta with a fork lifting up a bite.

Cottage cheese tomato pasta is a delicious and wholesome dish that brings together the creamy goodness of cottage cheese with the robust flavors of marinara sauce. It is a comforting and satisfying meal that can be prepared quickly, making it perfect for a satisfying and protein-rich option.

More pasta sauce recipes:

If you try this feel good Cottage Cheese Tomato Pasta recipe or any other recipe on Feel Good Foodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! It helps others who are thinking of making the recipe. We would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots, share it on Instagram so we can repost on Stories!

Creamy Tomato Cottage Cheese Pasta

This high-protein cottage cheese tomato pasta sauce only requires 5 ingredients, a high-speed blender, and your favorite pasta!
5 from 171 votes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 393
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Video

Ingredients
  

  • 16 ounces fusilli pasta or pasta of choice
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 cup whole-milk cottage cheese
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter melted
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Chopped parsley for serving

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water, drain and return the pasta to the pot, covered.
  • Place marinara sauce, cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, melted butter, crushed red pepper and pasta water in a high speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes.
  • Transfer the sauce on top of the cooked pasta and toss until combined and heated through. Serve immediately with more red pepper flakes and chopped parsley, if desired.

Notes

Storage: Allow the pasta to cook and store in an airtight container in the fridge up to 4 days. Reheat on the stove with a splash of water or broth until heated through. 
Tips:
Add pasta water to your sauce. The starches in the pasta water when blended with cottage cheese creates a smooth sauce that is less likely to break down.
Use any cottage cheese. Whole milk cottage cheese will be much more flavorful and add richness to your pasta. If you’re making blended cottage cheese pasta sauce for the protein punch, you’re in luck because both low fat and full fat cottage cheese has about the same amount in each serving.
Add veggies. Just like most pasta dishes, adding more vegetables can really bulk up your meal! Try adding spinach, zucchini, mushrooms, or any other veggies to your protein pasta sauce!
 

Nutrition

Calories: 393kcal, Carbohydrates: 61g, Protein: 17g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 23mg, Sodium: 486mg, Potassium: 344mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 439IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 126mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine American
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Pastas

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Comments

  1. I’m in my late 70’s,, back in my childhood, mom made this on some fridays during lent,,,I loved it so much she made it during the week also. To change the flavors, she added any meat plus veggies. Always gives me a big hug and memories

  2. Mine curdled in spite of careful grating of real parm-reg and thorough blending. But it corrected itself w a few minutes of stirring and simmering over low heat and a pat of cold butter. I found it very bland – even though I had added garlic and dried oregano. Maybe bc I used passata instead of marinara sauce. I even added thick tomato paste. Maybe I missed the traditional way of making my tomato sauce from scratch and/or no meat flavour. Thanks.

    1. So sorry this didn’t come out as you expected. I agree, since Marinara has lots of seasoning while passata has almost none, I assume that is why it was a bit lacking in flavor.

  3. Delicious, easy on a busy weeknight, and everyone in our family enjoyed it including my two picky sons! I pureed all the sauce ingredients first (minus the pasta water) before gently heating them up in a saucepan. (If you try to combine cold dairy with hot liquids, the dairy will frequently curdle.) I also added sauteed sweet Italian sausage and doubled the amount of sauce. I didn’t have to use much water to thin it a bit. The flavor was very reminiscent of my homemade lasagna but in a fraction of the time, and nobody had a clue I used cottage cheese to make the sauce creamy. They were very surprised! Next time, I might turn it into a baked dish with a layer of mozzarella in the middle and some buttery Italian breadcrumbs on the top. 🙂

  4. We tried this tonight exactly as written (I used a can of Muir Glen Organic pizza sauce as the marinara because the flavors are so good) and it was so amazing, I had to leave a thank you comment! Opted to add roasted zucchini for extra veggies which was delicious. All three of my kids loved it too (and two of them usually prefer butter pasta to tomato sauce). They added extra cheese and chopped pepperoni, so it was “pizza pasta”. This will be something we make regularly from now on. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I was feeling lazy and skipped the blending of ingredients… so I missed out on the creaminess. Next time, I’ll try it that way.

    Despite skipping this important step, the dish was delicious and super easy to make.
    For health’s sake, I substituted olive oil for butter.

  6. How do you prevent the cottage cheese from getting clumpy or lumpy once you place the hot pasta and sauce together?

    1. This separated! It also curdled when I added it to the pasta. Yes I blended it. I only had dried grated Parmesan so don’t know if that was a problem and it just melted into a layer on the bottom of the pot, which had a bit of pasta water in it from the pasta which I didn’t measure but I saw it in a other recipe *pasta water is NOT in the ingredient list above so missed it in the blending list. Thankfully my daughter liked it. It made a lot. I added a large clove of garlic to the blender along with fresh basil leaves and olive oil for the butter.

      1. Yes, you need to make sure you are grating your own parm. The prepackaged shredded/grated parmesan has anti-caking agents added and does not melt or incorporate.

  7. I fixed this for supper tonight. I did use fat-free cottage cheese though. The blend was just fine. I use Zenbe yellow pea pasta and paired it with meat free crispy nuggets. A perfect supper for one. Delicious!!

    1. OH MY GOODNESS…goodly goodness !
      I am always up for a pasta dish and if it can be done easily and be packed with protein …count me in.
      I tried this dish last night with some friends who are excellent cooks (unlike me…thus the name Burntsidedown) and we LOVED this creamy cottage cheese pasta.
      Easy to make✅
      Delicious✅
      High in Protein✅
      Vegetarian friendly✅
      Kids will LOVE air✅
      Minimal ingredients ✅

      This will be made over and over again. Thank you for this and all your delicious recipes. You make cooking seem pleasurable.