This creamy cottage cheese pasta sauce is a delightful twist on the classic tomato-based sauce, with a smooth texture and lots of flavor!
Pasta is one of the world's favorite meals, with countless sauce variations to suit every palate. One such unique and delectable option is this creamy cottage cheese pasta sauce.
This rich sauce is a delightful twist on the classic tomato-based sauce, offering a smooth texture and a burst of flavors. In this recipe, you'll find comprehensive information on the ingredients, substitutions, variations, tips and tricks, and more for making this delicious sauce!
So, let's dive into the world of cottage cheese pasta sauce and discover how to create this delicious pasta sauce at home!
If you're in the mood for more pasta, check out my recipes for Instant Pot Pasta with Jar Sauce and also my Creamy 15-Minute Instant Pot Pasta! They're super simple recipes the whole family can enjoy for dinner.
All you need for this recipe are some simple ingredients for a tomato pasta sauce along with some cheesy flavour from the cottage cheese and parmesan.
- Olive oil
- Red chili flakes (can be omitted for less spice)
- Garlic (omit or reduce the amount for a milder sauce)
- Canned diced tomatoes (whole canned tomatoes or fresh tomatoes can also be used)
- Fresh basil leaves
- Tomato paste
- Cottage cheese (smooth or chunky can be used, low-fat varieties are also good for this recipe)
- Parmesan cheese
See the recipe card for precise quantities and instructions.
The cottage cheese pasta sauce comes together in just under 30 minutes!
Begin by infusing the olive oil with garlic and chili flakes. To do this, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic cloves and chili flakes, stirring occasionally until the garlic is golden brown and the chili flakes have released their flavors into the oil.
Next, add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, and fresh basil leaves to the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer, partially covered, for 20-30 minutes. This will allow the flavors to develop and the sauce to reduce and thicken.
Then stir in the cottage cheese and parmesan cheese. The cottage cheese will add a unique creaminess to the sauce, while the parmesan will provide a delicious, savory note. Use an immersion blender to blend the sauce until it's smooth and creamy. This step will help to create a velvety texture that coats the pasta beautifully.
Finally, serve the sauce with your choice of cooked pasta, fresh basil leaves, and a sprinkle of fresh parmesan cheese on top. Bon appétit!
Hint: This sauce works well with long shapes of pasta that can hold more of the smooth, velvety sauce. Try fettuccine, bucatini or linguine pasta with this recipe!
Yes, you can use low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese if you prefer. Keep in mind that using full-fat cottage cheese will result in a creamier, richer sauce.
Yes, if you don't have an immersion blender, you can carefully transfer the sauce to a food processor or regular blender to blend until smooth. Just be sure to let the sauce cool slightly before blending to avoid any potential splatters.
Absolutely! You can make the sauce a day or two in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This can actually enhance the flavors as they have more time to develop.
Yes, cottage cheese pasta sauce can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Be sure to leave some room for expansion in the container.
As long as you serve the sauce with gluten-free pasta, the sauce itself is gluten-free. Just be sure to check the labels of your ingredients to ensure they are gluten-free, as some brands may contain trace amounts of gluten.
If you're looking to make some substitutions for this recipe, here are a few options:
- Olive oil - If you don't have olive oil on hand, you can use vegetable oil or another neutral oil as a substitute.
- Diced tomatoes - If you don't have diced tomatoes, you can use whole canned tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, or even whole tomatoes that have been roughly chopped.
- Tomato paste - If you're out of tomato paste, you can use tomato sauce or ketchup in a pinch, but keep in mind that this may alter the flavor of the sauce slightly.
- Dairy-free - You can replace cottage cheese with a non-dairy alternative like cashew cream or silken tofu.
There are plenty of ways to customize your cottage cheese pasta sauce to suit your taste preferences. Here are a few ideas:
- Spicy - For a spicy kick, add more chili flakes or even a dash of your favorite hot sauce.
- Meatier - For a meaty version, toss in some cooked ground beef, sausage, or shredded chicken.
- More herbs - If you're a fan of herbs, consider adding some fresh thyme, oregano, or parsley to the sauce.
- More flavor - Add some sautéed onions or bell peppers to the sauce for additional flavor and texture.
If you want to make an even creamier, lighter sauce, check out my recipe for a 15-Minute Instant Pot Creamy Pasta.
I used a cast iron Dutch oven pot to make this sauce but it isn't necessary. Use any large pot you have on hand, just ensure the sides of the pot are high enough to catch any splashes of sauce. Also, ensure that you have a lid to partially cover the pot while it simmers.
🍝 What to Serve with Cottage Cheese Pasta Sauce
This versatile sauce pairs well with a variety of pasta dishes and accompaniments. Here are some serving suggestions:
- Serve the sauce with your favorite pasta shape, such as spaghetti, fettuccine, or bucatini.
- Add some grilled or roasted vegetables, like zucchini, eggplant, or cherry tomatoes, for a delicious and nutritious meal.
- Serve alongside a crisp green salad with a simple vinaigrette for a light and refreshing side.
- Pair with garlic bread or crusty Italian bread for dipping and soaking up any leftover sauce.
For a complete meal, add some protein like grilled chicken, shrimp, or meatballs.
🍶 Storage and Reheating
Store any leftover cottage cheese pasta sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. If you've made a large batch, you can also freeze the sauce for future use.
To reheat the sauce, simply transfer it to a saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring occasionally, until warmed through. If the sauce has thickened too much in the fridge, you can add a splash of water or pasta cooking water to thin it out to your desired consistency.
👨🏻🍳 Top tips
- Good-quality Oil: Be sure to use a good-quality olive oil, as this will greatly impact the flavor of your sauce.
- Simmering: Don't rush the simmering process. Allowing the sauce to simmer for the full 20-30 minutes will help the flavors meld together and create a richer, more robust sauce.
- Sauce consistency: If you find your sauce is too thick, you can thin it out with a little water or pasta cooking water. Conversely, if it's too thin, let it simmer uncovered for a few more minutes to reduce and thicken.
- Tasting: Taste your sauce before blending and adjust the seasonings as needed. You may find you want to add more salt, pepper, or chili flakes to suit your preferences.
Cottage Cheese Pasta Sauce
- 6 Tbsp. Olive oil
- 4 - 6 cloves Garlic
- 1 tsp. Chili flakes
- 28 oz. Diced tomatoe
- 4 Tbsp. Tomato paste
- Salt flakes to taste
- Fresh basil leave
- ⅓ cup Full fat cottage cheese
- 2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
- 8 oz. Cooked long pasta, like spaghetti, fettuccine or linguine
- Fresh parmesan cheese
- Fresh basil leaves
- Begin by infusing the olive oil with garlic and chili flakes. To do this, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic cloves and chili flakes, stirring occasionally until the garlic is golden brown and the chili flakes have released their flavors into the oil.
- Next, add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, and fresh basil leaves to the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer, partially covered, for 20-30 minutes. This will allow the flavors to develop and the sauce to reduce and thicken.
- Once the sauce has simmered, stir in the cottage cheese and parmesan cheese. The cottage cheese will add a unique creaminess to the sauce, while the parmesan will provide a delicious, savory note.
- Use an immersion blender to blend the sauce until it's smooth and creamy. This step will help to create a velvety texture that coats the pasta beautifully.
- Finally, serve the sauce with your choice of cooked pasta, fresh basil leaves, and a sprinkle of fresh parmesan cheese on top. Bon appétit!