clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

People Are Doing Really Weird Stuff With Cottage Cheese Right Now

Among the new recipes popping up on TikTok is one for chocolate chip cookie dough spiked with cottage cheese and protein powder that will help you “get swole”

Nutritional yeast, pepperoni, mustard, and fruit collaged on top of cottage cheese Lille Allen/Eater
Amy McCarthy is a staff writer at, focusing on pop culture, policy and labor, and only the weirdest online trends.

Back in January, I issued a call on this website to the dairy-consuming public to eat more cottage cheese. Cottage cheese is delicious, but its haters have long denigrated it to second-class status, placing it somehow beneath yogurt and other dairy-based snacks. Now, thanks to TikTok, more and more people are being converted to the gospel of cottage cheese. But they’re going about it in some really bizarre ways.

Last weekend, during one particularly long bout of TikTok doom-scrolling, I came across a number of videos featuring lithe influencers imploring their audiences to try a combination of cottage cheese and yellow mustard as a dip for raw vegetables. Maybe my brain was baked by the Texas heat or fried from scrolling overload, but I have to admit that I was intrigued. I already enjoy a sprinkle of lemon pepper on cottage cheese, so the thought of adding tangy mustard didn’t seem too ridiculous. I chopped a few mini sweet peppers and cucumber slices, then squirted a big dollop of French’s on a plate next to a spoonful of my favorite Good Cultures cottage cheese.


TASTE TEST: the viral mustard and cottage cheese plate with a ✨ that cheese plate ✨ twist! Influenced by @@TiffanyElizabeth | Weight Loss #mustard #mustardtok

♬ Wes Anderson-esque Cute Acoustic - Kenji Ueda

The resulting combination was… fine, if a little pungent? The zip of the mustard brings a nice contrast to the cottage cheese, but it’s nothing impressive. There’s almost too much tang for this combination to work thanks to the cultures in the cottage cheese, and you don’t get any of the spice that would come with a few lashes of hot sauce or a scoop of chili crisp.

This is not the only cottage cheese “recipe” going viral right now. Janelle Rohner, who’s mostly known for making weird sandwiches with bell peppers in the place of bread, describes her cottage cheese queso dip as the “hit of the summer.” She blends cottage cheese with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast and fajita seasoning, then swears it tastes just like the cheesy Tex-Mex classic. The fact that she’s dipping a whole raw cucumber into that concoction doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.

Tonya Spanglo, the woman behind many of the most popular WaterTok recipes, also frequently shares videos in which cottage cheese is a prominent player. Her video featuring a recipe for a pizza cottage cheese bowl, which involves a scoop of fat-free cottage cheese mixed with marinara, shredded mozzarella, and Italian seasoning topped with turkey pepperoni and chopped peppers, has racked up over 3.5 million views. There are other variations of the dish on Spanglo’s account, including guacamole spiked with cottage cheese and a “taco bowl” that she scoops with protein chips. There’s even a chocolate chip “cookie dough” spiked with cottage cheese and protein powder. In the description, creator Jake Cohen sends an encouraging note to his followers: “Hope y’all are getting swole!!!!”


COTTAGE CHEESE EDIBLE COOKIE DOUGH. I’m unwell, I know, but I need a steady stream of sweets throughout the day and lots of protein so I’m actually vvvvvvvv into a few spoons of this magic whenever my sweet tooth is acting up!! Very easy! Don’t try to bake it! Hope y’all are getting swole!!!! Cottage Cheese Edible Cookie Dough 1 pound low-fat cottage cheese 1/4 cup maple syrup 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 cups almond flour 1/2 cup vanilla protein powder 1 cup dark chocolate chips In a blender, combine the cottage cheese, maple syrup, and vanilla, then purée until very smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the almond flour and protein powder until well incorporated, then fold in the chocolate chips. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

♬ original sound - Jake Cohen

Of course, most of these recipes are not about how delicious they are, but how “healthy” they are. Many of the descriptions include “macros,” or details on the calories, fat, and other nutrients in the recipe. Almost all are tagged with “#weightloss” or “#healthyhabits” so people who are seeking out weight loss content can find them. Cottage cheese is inherently high in protein, and low-fat versions are generally low in calories, so it makes sense that they’ve ended up on the diet culture side of TikTok. This is how cottage cheese got its bad reputation in the first place. In the ‘90s, when the Atkins diet ruled the world of weight loss, too many people ended up eating gross cottage cheese substitutes for the foods they actually wanted to eat. If you don’t remember eating “pancakes” that were actually just fat-free cottage cheese and egg whites with zero-calorie maple syrup, consider yourself lucky.

But it doesn’t have to be that way! You don’t have to try to convince yourself that cottage cheese is queso or any other food. No one’s saying that you should eat a boring ol’ bowl of plain cottage cheese, but there’s no reason to turn it into something it’s not. Add fruit, add hot sauce, add whatever the hell you want. Just eat cottage cheese for enjoyment, not to deprive yourself of the foods you actually want, like real queso or real cookies, and you won’t find yourself in a situation where you can no longer stand to see the sight of it.