Why Is Cottage Cheese Trending Again? The Genius Hack Behind the Spike
One simple step popularized on TikTok is making your grandma's favorite snack cool again.
Cottage cheese has long been associated with retro food fads and relegated to the sphere of jello salads, canned fruit, and bright red maraschino cherries. But now, seemingly out of nowhere, it's having a resurgence. Bowl after bowl of the thick, cultured cheese float across my 'For You' page and Instagram feed. I reached out to a few companies to see if they had noticed it, too.
Sheryl Kesey Thompson, the co-founder of Nancy's, an Oregon-based brand that sells cottage cheese nationwide, shared her thoughts. "Cottage cheese used to be viewed as the side salad your grandmother plated on lettuce and topped with canned pineapple. Today, the benefits of cottage cheese have come to light for many folks, especially Gen Zers and millennials...These younger generations are driving the interest."
"We love seeing Millennials and Gen Z find exciting ways to make [cottage cheese], like whipped, on toast, in smoothies, and more. [We have] experienced robust growth in recent years as a result of this shift too," said Jesse Merrill, CEO and founder of Good Culture, another cottage cheese brand.
When you think about it, it's not hard to see why. In cottage cheese, Gen Z and millennials have found a new and exciting alternative to the tired Greek yogurt trend. It's a neutral canvas that can go sweet or savory, and seamlessly integrates into younger cooks' routines, especially in an age of bowls and fancy toasts—this ain't your grandma's cottage cheese.
But one trick really piqued interest and even hooked the curd haters: blending.
Why You Should Make Blended Cottage Cheese
The biggest hurdle most people have to overcome when it comes to cottage cheese is the texture. That's certainly been the case for me—I know it's a nutritious dairy product I should incorporate into my diet, but I just can't get past the mouthfeel and the curds. That's why, when this hack first popped on my feed last spring, I actually considered eating cottage cheese for the first time in my life.
Since then the trend has only taken off, peaking on Google Trends in late summer-early fall and again in January. The latter is unsurprising considering its reputation as a healthy, protein-packed snack (cottage cheese has, on average, between 12-14 grams of protein to Greek yogurt's 10-11 grams).
"Blended cottage cheese recipes" was a breakout search term on Google in the last year, meaning that the search traffic on the topic grew by more than 5000%. One scroll on a social media app like TikTok or Instagram will confirm the popularity of the trend.
What's more, the internet seems to have an infatuation with blending cheese. First, it was whipped ricotta, then it was feta, and now the latest trend in appetizers on TikTok is whipped Brie. Cottage cheese is, after all, cheese, so it's not hard to see why younger generations are going for the smooth stuff.
How to Make Blended Cottage Cheese
Blended, or whipped cottage cheese is made by simply placing cottage cheese in a food processor or high-speed blender, and blending it for anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute or two, depending on your desired consistency. The longer you blend, the thinner it will get.
From there, you can take it in any direction. Many creators have posted videos adding a little sweetener and fruit for a blended cheesecake effect, or cocoa powder to mimic chocolate mousse. Others have gone savory, adding the whipped cottage cheese to scrambled eggs, creamy pasta dishes, and dips. Once blended, cottage cheese bears a striking resemblance to sour cream or Greek yogurt, and has such a mild flavor, it could easily substitute anywhere you'd normally use those.
Once you wrap your head around it, cottage cheese is incredibly versatile in recipes. Don't know where to start? Try blending the batter for these cottage cheese pancakes, a favorite of Allrecipes' staff member Diana Moutsopoulos. She says, "I've been making [these] for years and my kids love them, too. I purée it all in a blender so there are no cottage cheese chunks."