While cottage cheese has a reputation for pairing well with chives and crackers, the fresh curd cheese also has a sweeter side. It's a common ingredient in sweet noodle puddings, sweet muffins and cinnamon rolls. If you don't have cottage cheese, you still have options.
Ricotta cheese and cottage cheese are often suggested as substitutes for one another. If ricotta's higher fat content makes it a poor choice for your baked dish, either because of health or consistency considerations, the dairy product known as pot cheese has a drier consistency and lower fat content. Mashed tofu can also be used in some situations, if you choose milder, non-firm tofu cakes.
If your original recipe specifies blending cottage cheese until it reaches a smoother consistency, some products that are already silky in texture make good stand-ins. Sour cream, yogurt and the more expensive topping known as fromage blanc can be substituted for blenderized cottage cheese. Consider omitting lemon juice when it's in the original recipe, because yogurt and sour cream are more tart than cottage cheese. Mayonnaise is another possible substitute, provided it has a mild, rather than savory, flavor.
With a focus on food, nutrition, cocktails and the latest dining trends, Melissa J. has been a freelance writer for more than 15 years. Her specialties include articles for such publications as SF Chronicle and National Geographic Green Living, as well as blog posts for the hospitality industry. Her previous positions include newspaper staff reporter and communications specialist for a nonprofit agency.