The Difference Between Ricotta and Cottage Cheese

There are more than 1,800 different kinds of cheese throughout the world. Ricotta and cottage cheese are some of the more popular and well-known types of cheese out there. The two cheeses seem similar in some ways; however, they have more differences than you may think.

Ricotta cheese and cottage cheese have different taste, texture, and ingredients. Ricotta is higher calories and fat content then cottage cheese. This is a large reason you see them in different dishes and paired with different food items.

Ricotta and cottage cheese also are high in protein and give a lot of vitamins and minerals to your body. Since the two cheeses are different, they are stronger in different vitamins and minerals, which we will cover.

Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta cheese originated in Italy and can be made from the milk of cows, sheep, goats, or water buffalos. The kind at the grocery store near you will more than likely be made from cow’s milk. Ricotta means “recooked” in the Italian language. Ricotta cheese is a creamier texture perfect for pastas and dishes on the savory side.

Ricotta is a dairy by-product. Ricotta is not technically a dairy product due to it being a solution to large amounts of whey. This was happening because so much whey was being created during the cheese making product.

Ricotta Cheese Nutrients

Ricotta is called a “whey cheese” being made from whey originally. In the United States of America, it is typically made from whole milk instead. Ricotta is high is calcium, zinc, cholesterol, and proteins. Ricotta is also high in Selenium, Vitamin A, and Vitamin B12, which helps give you energy. Selenium is important because it plays a role in protecting one’s body from free radicals and oxidative stress.

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is a soft, creamy, white cheese that is mild in flavor compared to many other cheeses. It holds a more minor flavor since it is a fresh cheese and doesn’t have to age. It is made from cow’s milk, including nonfat, and reduced fat milk.

Traditionally known as a diet food, due to it being low in calories. Cottage cheese is paired often as a snack or breakfast food with fruits, nuts, and seeds. This is due to its slightly acidic flavor it possesses, it pairs well with sweets.

Cottage Cheese Nutrition

Cottage cheese is a curd cheese has a lumpier texture with a mild flavor. You could also get different curd sizes from small to large. Cottage cheese can hold a large amount of sodium. If you eat a lot if it, you may want to get a low-sodium or sodium-free version. It also is high in sugars and proteins. This is because cottage cheese has a higher water content. Cottage cheese should be eaten in moderation with these factors, even though it is seen as a “healthy” cheese.


Ricotta and cottage cheese have dishes they are better in than the other, but they have a lot of similarities. The similarities are why people consider them so close to one another. Here is a list of some of their similarities:

  • They are “fresh” cheeses, meaning they do not go through a ripening or aging process to develop their flavor
  • They are primarily made from cow’s milk
  • They both had a rougher texture than most cheese
  • They are white in color
  • They are moist cheeses
  • High in vitamins
  • Rich in protein

Main differences

The small number of similarities aside, these cheeses could also not be more different. One cheese pairs better with sweets, the other more savory foods. Here is a list of their differences:

  • Curding: Cottage cheese curds and can have different sized of curds
  • Cottage Cheese pairs better with sweets
  • Ricotta pairs better with savory dishes, like lasagna and pastas
  • Cottage cheese is known to be a weight loss food for being low in calories
  • Ricotta is higher in zinc, calcium, and cholesterol
  • Cottage cheese is higher in sodium and sugar
  • Ricotta is a dairy by-product, unlike cottage cheese
  • They have two different textures, cottage cheese tends to be more watery


At the end of the day, you can use whichever cheese for whatever recipe you are planning. Ricotta is more suited for savory dishes, and cottage cheese is more suited for sweets. Their main differences come from their ingredients, texture, and ultimately taste. Cottage cheese is lower in calories and ricotta is higher in fat. This is an important difference to investigate if you are planning on following a diet.