I have something big for you. For years, you’ve clamored for a dairy-free cottage cheese recipe. If you have the 2nd edition of my flagship book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook, then you’ve already been rewarded with my favorite one. But today, I’m sharing that AMAZING recipe (if I do say so myself) with all of you here.
What makes this dairy-free cottage cheese so great? Well for starters, the taste. It even won over a family of cheese lovers. But as a bonus, this recipe is also super fast (5 minutes!), super easy (yes, beginner friendly), and quite inexpensive to make. It’s also very versatile. It works fabulously in lasagna and other casseroles, I personally love it atop toast, and it’s also great on pancakes, salads, etc.
Dairy-Free Cottage Cheese that’s Almost Too Good to be True
Unlike so many dairy-free cottage cheese recipes, this version doesn’t contain nutritional yeast or nuts, it doesn’t require fermenting or soaking, and it doesn’t taste lemony – not one little bit. It has a seamless, delicious taste on its own, and in recipes. That said, I want to quickly address some anticipated FAQs for this dairy-free cottage cheese alternative.
Does it Really Taste Like Cottage Cheese?
I think it tastes better! But during the testing process, testers did report that yes indeed, it’s pretty darn close. Not identical, but a great swap indeed. The tofu provides just the right curd consistency, miso is the key to that cheesy umami, that touch of salt deepens the taste, and the mayo gives it fluid creaminess and flavor that ties everything together. There really are just four ingredients, aside from water, so I do not recommend leaving any out. They’re all key in this recipe.
Where Can I Buy Miso?
Believe it or not, most major grocery stores sell it. It’s refrigerated, and might be with probiotic foods, in the deli case, or in the refrigerated case by the produce department. Natural food stores and Japanese markets often sell a few different types and brands. I’m not loyal to any particular brand, but do like to use a white or light miso in this dairy-free cottage cheese recipe.
Is it Cost Effective?
By my calculations, this entire recipe costs $2.88. It might cost a little more with a vegan or specialty mayonnaise – closer to $3.25. But that’s still pretty cheap! It makes an amount very close to a 16-ounce container of cottage cheese – just 1/4 cup shy.
Is Dairy-Free Soy-Free Cottage Cheese Possible?
I know some of you would love a soy-free option. Their are soy-free miso and mayo products available, but tofu is a little trickier. There are a couple soy-free tofu products on the market, but they are elusive. You can reportedly make tofu from any bean, or even chickpea flour. However, I’m not sure how those would work or taste in this recipe. And I’ve yet to find a great tofu alternative for making this dairy-free cottage cheese.
Can I Make Lower Fat Dairy-Free Cottage Cheese?
As mentioned in the recipe notes, you can use low-fat mayonnaise. I prefer real mayonnaise in this recipe for optimal taste and consistency. But if you are used to light mayo, then it might still taste perfect to you. Using light mayo will reduce the fat to about 6.2 grams per serving, and the calories to about 80 calories per serving. I have not tried yogurt in place of the mayo, so I can’t guarantee taste if you opt to substitute an unsweetened, plain dairy-free yogurt. Brands can vary widely in taste, and will influence the flavor.
I Have Your Book, but Haven’t Seen this Recipe. Where is it?
There are over 250 recipes in the 2nd edition of Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook, so it can be easy to miss some! This is the “Cottage-Style Cheeze” recipe in the Cheesy Alternatives recipe chapter. Please note this recipe is not in the 1st edition. I perfected it for the 2nd edition specifically.
Special Diet Notes: Dairy-Free Cottage Cheese Alternative
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, optionally egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, peanut-free, optionally vegan, vegetarian, low carb, and keto-friendly.
- 12 ounces organic firm tofu
- ½ cup regular, vegan, or light mayonnaise (see Mayo Note below)
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon white miso
- ⅜ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Drain and press the tofu, using a tea towel or paper towels, to remove any excess water. Put the drained tofu in a medium bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, water, and miso until smooth. Whisk in the salt.
- Scrape the mayonnaise mixture onto the tofu and thoroughly mash it together. It is ready when you have small tofu chunks and a cottage cheese-like appearance.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The flavors do meld a little more after a few hours of refrigeration.
Mayo Note: Classic, natural, mayonnaise produces the most seamless taste and results (like Best Foods Real Mayonnaise - used to calculate the nutrition facts). But I have successfully tested this recipe with light (for lower fat) and vegan (for egg-free) mayo, too. If using vegan mayo, start without the water, and add in only as much as needed. Some vegan mayonnaises thin out easily. If you opt to use a specialty mayo, like one made with avocado or olive oil, keep in mind that these will have a more pronounced taste.