Do you miss cottage cheese on a plant-based diet? If so, try this vegan cottage cheese made with tofu! It's creamy, tangy, savory, and tastes just like the real thing, but with none of the dairy. Only 5 minutes of prep needed!
Since store-bought vegan cheese can be expensive and made with processed ingredients, I wanted to make my own version that's healthy and simple to whip up.
Fast forward to today, I can say that I've mastered the making of vegan cheese at home, and have plenty of recipes on my blog. From vegan mascarpone and cashew ricotta to vegan burrata and vegan cheese ball - these are all delicious and require minimal effort and ingredients.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Best taste - It's so similar to traditional cottage cheese! You'll be blown away by the flavor and texture!
- Easy to customize - Do you large curd cottage cheese? Or do you prefer small curds? Do you like yours a little sweeter, or is tangy more your style? This recipe is versatile and easy to adjust it to your taste preferences!
- Meal prep friendly - Whip up a batch at the beginning of the week to enjoy this tofu cottage cheese all week long! In fact, it tastes better with time!
- Silken tofu: This type of tofu is creamy, soft, and has a high water content. When blended, it gives you a creamy and smooth mixture, perfect as a base for our vegan cottage cheese! You can find it in the Asian section of most grocery stores.
- Firm or extra firm tofu: Yes, you'll need two types of tofu for this recipe. While silken tofu gives us the creamy base, this one will mimic the texture and curds you usually find in regular cottage cheese.
- Miso paste: It adds umami and a little funky undertone usually found in cheese, but since we're using a very small amount, it's not too overpowering.
- Nutritional yeast: Gives the recipe a cheesy flavor without making it overly salty.
- Apple cider vinegar: For adding tanginess and flavor. It can be substituted with white vinegar or more lemon juice.
- Lemon juice: Using two types of acid is key to balance out the flavors. It can be substituted with white vinegar.
- Salt: For seasoning to taste.
- Maple or agave syrup (optional): If you want to make your cheese slightly sweet, you can 1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup.
Scroll to the recipe card below for the full recipe and measurements.
How to make vegan cottage cheese
To a high-speed blender or a food processor, add silken tofu, miso paste, nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and salt.
If you prefer your cottage cheese on the sweeter side, add maple or agave syrup at this time.
Blend on high speed for 30 seconds, or until the mixture is completely smooth (no chunks of tofu should remain).
Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed—adding more salt or lemon juice to taste.
Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.
With clean hands, squeeze the firm tofu to get rid of excess moisture and pat it dry. Crumble it into the bowl and stir until all the pieces are well combined.
Refrigerate the vegan cottage cheese for at least 1 hour to thicken and absorb the flavor. Don't skip this step!
Finally, remove from the fridge, stir, and serve with anything you like!
- Adjust the size and amount of tofu chunks if desired. The best part about making this recipe at home is that you get to customize it to your taste. You can crumble the tofu finely, or leave bigger chunks if you like more texture. Replicate your favorite cottage cheese curd style with ease!
- Chill for at least 1 hour before serving. The cheese tends to be soft and slightly runny when you first mix it, but it firms up nicely in the fridge. The tofu also has time to soak all of the flavors and marinate.
- Drain the tofu well. You don't want to add extra liquid to the cheese or it will make it too watery. While you don't need to use a tofu press, make sure to drain your extra firm tofu with your hands to allow it to absorb the flavors.
This recipe tastes very similar to regular cottage cheese—it's creamy, tangy, savory, and has a cheesy undertone. It's the closest thing to regular cheese you can make at home with no special equipment!
Yes, but the texture will most likely change so keep this in mind. Transfer the cheese to a freezer-safe container and freeze for 1-2 months. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge before serving.
While tofu is essential in this recipe, you can try to replicate it without it.
For the creamy base, instead of the silken tofu mixture, you can use vegan Greek-style yogurt. For the tofu chunks, use my vegan cashew ricotta.
(Note that I haven't tried making it this way so I can't guarantee results).
Right now there are no dairy-free cottage cheese alternatives on the market. This is all the more reason to make this recipe! It's inexpensive, easy to prep, and made with pantry ingredients you probably already have at home.
This vegan version has a slightly salty and neutral flavor, which makes it great for customizing! You can add any of your favorite spices or fresh herbs to make it even more appetizing.
- Sweet: Add 3-4 tablespoons of maple or agave syrup, or blend the same amount of granulated sugar with the silken tofu. You can then use it as a sweet filling for crepes, or to top over pancakes or fresh fruit.
- Spicy: There are many ways to add heat to this recipe—using red pepper flakes (mild), stirring in a finely chopped chili pepper or two (medium), or blending in 1-2 teaspoons gochujang paste (hot) with the silken tofu.
- Smoky: Add ½ - 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika and/or ½ teaspoon of liquid smoke.
- Fresh herbs: Dill, basil, cilantro, and parsley will all be delicious in this recipe if you want to add a fresh element. I suggest adding 3-4 tablespoons of finely chopped mixed herbs.
- Fresh fruits: You can either blend fruits with the silken tofu or add pieces into the mixture at the end. Fruits that will go well in this vegan cottage cheese are berries like strawberries and blueberries, peaches, mango, cherries, etc.
- Garlic and chives: Stir 1-2 minced garlic cloves, alongside 3 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh chives as the final step of the recipe.
- Spices: Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, and cinnamon are some of the spices that can add great flavor to this cheese. Feel free to also add lemon zest for a pop of freshness!
This homemade vegan cottage cheese recipe can be added to both sweet and savory dishes! Here are a few ways I like to serve it:
- On toast with different toppings like fresh berries, blueberry jam, avocado slices, or cherry tomatoes and basil.
- As a topping to waffles and pancakes, or a filling to crepes.
- In vegan lasagna or pasta bake in place of ricotta.
- You can make a charcuterie board and serve this vegan cottage cheese as the main dipping sauce.
- Add it to overnight oats, oatmeal, or chia pudding for extra protein and texture.
- Assemble cottage cheese bowls and add any toppings that you like such as mixed berries, chopped nuts, and a drizzle of tahini or nut butter.
- Add it to baked goods such as vegan chocolate chip muffins or banana bread for moisture. Keep in mind that you'll need to adjust the ratio of the ingredients.
- Top it over salads like my summer blackberry salad or other vegan salads you like.
Basically, any way you like to serve dairy cottage cheese, you can swap with this vegan version!
Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 6 days. The mixture might separate and that's normal—stir well before serving.
More vegan cheese recipes
If you enjoyed this plant-based cottage cheese, you'll love these other vegan cheese recipes:
- Vegan Mascarpone Cheese
- Easy Vegan Burrata Cheese
- The Best Vegan Nacho Cheese
- Vegan Cashew Ricotta (Oil-Free + Soy-Free)
- Cranberry Vegan Cheese Ball
Vegan Cottage Cheese
- 14 ounces silken tofu, drained
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon white miso paste
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1-2 teaspoons maple or agave syrup, optional, if you prefer sweeter cottage cheese
- 14 ounces firm or extra firm tofu
- To a high-speed blender or a food processor, add silken tofu, miso paste, nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and salt. If you like your cottage cheese on the sweet side, add the maple syrup at this time.14 ounces silken tofu, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, 1 teaspoon white miso paste, 1 teaspoon salt, 1-2 teaspoons maple or agave syrup
- Blend on high speed for 30 seconds, or until the mixture is completely smooth (no chunks of tofu should remain). Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed—adding more salt or lemon juice to taste. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.
- With clean hands, squeeze the firm tofu to get rid of excess moisture and pat it dry. Crumble it into the bowl and stir until all the pieces are well combined.14 ounces firm or extra firm tofu
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to thicken and absorb the flavor. Then, remove from the fridge, stir, and serve with anything you like!
- Fridge: Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 6 days. The mixture might separate and that's normal - stir well before serving.
- Freezer: Transfer the cheese to a freezer-safe container and freeze for 1-2 months. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge before serving. (Note that this might change the texture of the cheese).