Creamy Cottage Cheese Pasta



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This high-protein cottage cheese pasta combines ground turkey and pasta with a creamy cottage cheese marinara sauce. It comes together in less than 30 minutes for a quick weeknight meal that the whole family will love!

Looking for a pasta dish that satisfies both your taste buds and nutritional needs? This creamy cottage cheese pasta recipe does just that!

Made with ground turkey and cottage cheese, this pasta dish offers a protein boost without sacrificing flavor. It’s a quick, delicious meal that’s perfect for quick weeknight dinners.

Cottage cheese pasta garnished with fresh basil and parmesan cheese in a bowl.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Protein-Packed: With ground turkey and cottage cheese, this dish packs in the protein, making it a great post-workout meal or filling dinner.
  • Quick & Easy: With a straightforward list of ingredients and simple steps, this pasta dish comes together in no time.
  • Flavorful: The blend of marinara sauce with cottage cheese brings a creamy texture and rich flavor to the dish.
  • Versatile: Feel free to substitute with your favorite pasta type or add in some veggies for extra nutrients.
  • Crowd-Pleaser: From kids to adults, everyone will love this comforting, yet healthy, pasta dish.
Ingredients measured out to make Creamy Cottage Cheese Pasta: marinara sauce, pasta, ground turkey, cottage cheese, salt, pepper, olive oil, yellow onion and garlic.

Ingredients Needed

  • dry pasta of choice – I used rigatoni for its ability to hold sauce well, but you can use any pasta you prefer. Some other good options are spaghetti, farfalle, fusilli and fettuccini noodles.
  • olive oil – used for sautéing the onion and garlic, and adds a rich, fruity undertone.
  • yellow onion – adds sweetness and depth of flavor when sautéed.
  • garlic cloves – brings plenty of flavor to the pasta.
  • ground turkey – a lean protein that makes this pasta dish satisfying and nutritious.
  • marinara sauce – I used Rao’s for its quality ingredients and robust flavor. Serves as the base for the sauce.
  • whole milk cottage cheese – adds creaminess to the sauce and brings more protein. I recommend using
  • salt and black pepper – for seasoning and bringing out the other flavors in the dish.
  • fresh basil – for serving, adding a burst of color and a fresh herbal note.
  • parmesan cheese – for an extra touch of cheesy goodness when serving.
Collage of four photos showing to steps to make Creamy Cottage Cheese Pasta: blending marinara and cottage cheese together, and then pouring into a pot with ground turkey and pasta.

How to Make

Cook pasta: Cook your choice of dry pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Once cooked, drain the pasta and set it aside for later use.

Sauté: While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté for 5-6 minutes, or until the onion becomes fragrant and slightly translucent. Season the onions with salt and pepper for added flavor. Add minced garlic and sauté for another 1-2 minutes to release its aroma.

Cook turkey: Add the ground turkey to the skillet. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to break apart the meat as it cooks, making sure it browns evenly and is cooked through.

Blend cottage cheese pasta sauce: In the meantime, place the marinara sauce and cottage cheese into a high-speed blender or food processor. Blend the ingredients until you achieve a smooth and creamy sauce.

Combine: Once the ground turkey is fully cooked, pour the blended sauce over it in the skillet. Add the cooked and drained pasta to the skillet and stir everything to combine well.

Serve: To serve, scoop a generous portion of the pasta into a bowl or onto a plate. Garnish with fresh grated parmesan and a sprinkle of fresh basil for added flavor and color.

Cottage cheese pasta in a large bowl garnished with fresh basil and parmesan cheese.

Substitutions & Notes

  • Pasta: If you’re looking to boost the protein content even further, you can opt for high-protein pasta varieties like chickpea, lentil or quinoa pasta. These alternatives often have a different texture but offer added nutritional benefits.
  • Ground Turkey: Feel free to swap out the turkey for other protein sources like ground chicken, beef, or even plant-based options like tofu or tempeh.
  • Marinara Sauce: Any tomato-based sauce should work in this recipe. If you have a favorite homemade version, go for it!
  • Herbs: Adding fresh basil, oregano, or even some rosemary to the sauce can add another layer of flavor.
  • Heat: For those who like it spicy, a splash of hot sauce or a pinch of red pepper flakes can heat things up.
  • Cheese: Apart from parmesan, you can try adding a little bit of mozzarella or even some feta for a different cheesy profile.
  • Want a thinner sauce? Save 1/2-1 cup of pasta water to add to thin the sauce out.
Cottage cheese pasta garnished with fresh basil and parmesan cheese in a bowl.

What to Serve with Creamy Cottage Cheese Pasta

This pasta dish is hearty and filling on its own, but it pairs wonderfully with a variety of sides to make a well-rounded meal. Here are some suggestions:

  • Salad: A simple green salad can add a refreshing contrast to the rich pasta. Try this Kale Caesar Salad for something tasty, yet simple.
  • Steamed Vegetables: Keep it healthy and simple with a side of steamed broccoli, green beans, or asparagus.
  • Garlic Bread: If you’re not too worried about carbs, a slice of garlic bread would complement the pasta wonderfully, soaking up any leftover sauce.
  • Wine: A glass of red or white wine is always a classic combination when it comes to pasta.
  • Fruit Salad: For a lighter side, consider serving a bowl of fruit salad. The natural sweetness can balance out the savory elements of the pasta.
  • Meatballs: This recipe already calls for ground turkey so you could either add meatballs or replace them with these tasty Baked Turkey Meatballs or these Lentil Meatballs for a vegetarian option.
Cottage cheese pasta garnished with fresh basil and parmesan cheese in a bowl.

How to Store

After you’ve enjoyed your delicious creamy cottage cheese pasta, you’ll likely want to save the leftovers (if there are any!). Simply let the pasta cool down to room temperature, and then transfer it into an airtight container. Store it in the fridge for up to 4 days. To reheat, you can either microwave it for a couple of minutes or toss it back into a pan on low heat until it’s warmed through.

More Cottage Cheese Recipes

More Pasta Recipes

Be sure to check out all of my cottage cheese recipes as well as the full collection of dinner recipes on EBF!

If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider leaving a ⭐ star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below.

4.97 from 29 votes

Creamy Cottage Cheese Pasta

This high-protein cottage cheese pasta combines ground turkey and pasta with a creamy cottage cheese marinara sauce. It comes together in less than 30 minutes for a quick weeknight meal that the whole family will love!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 8 oz dry pasta of choice, I used rigatoni
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 24 oz jar marinara sauce, I used Rao’s marinara sauce
  • ½ cup whole milk cottage cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh basil, for serving
  • Fresh parmesan, for serving


  • Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  • While pasta is cooking add oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add onion and saute for 5-6 minutes until fragrant and a bit translucent. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and saute 1-2 more minutes.
    Sautéed onion and garlic with salt and pepper in a dutch oven pot with a wooden spoon.
  • Add ground turkey to the skillet and cook, breaking apart meat with a spatula or wooden spoon until evenly brown and cooked through, about 6-8 minutes.
    A woman's hand using a wooden spoon to break up ground turkey in a large dutch oven with garlic, onion, and seasonings.
  • While ground turkey is cooking, add marinara sauce and cottage cheese to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
    Marinara sauce and cottage cheese blended in a blender.
  • Once turkey is cooked, pour the sauce over the turkey mixture, add cooked pasta and stir to combine.
    Pasta mixed with the turkey, and marinara and cottage cheese sauce in a large dutch oven with a woman's hand using a wooden spoon to mix it.
  • Add a scoop of pasta to a bowl or plate. Top with fresh parmesan and fresh basil, for serving.


Serving: 1/4 recipe | Calories: 603kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 889mg | Potassium: 973mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 11g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cottage cheese pasta
Did you make this recipe?Mention @eatingbirdfood and tag #eatingbirdfood!

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

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Recipe Rating


  1. This was amazing. I’m not a big ground turkey fan so I used ground chicken and added some defrosted petite peas while waiting for the pasta to finish cooking. And yes, rigatoni has got to be the best. It needs to be able to hold the sauce.

    1. YUM! I am so glad you loved this recipe and it turned out amazing for you, Lisa. Thank you for sharing your review + star rating, I really appreciate it!

  2. Hello! I just tried it, but when it enter the heat the sauce looks with clumps like it separated. How do you avoid that? Or is that normal?

    1. Hi Alina – I am not sure how that happened – unless your pan was super hot when you poured in your sauce mixture. I haven’t had this happen before. Did you change anything about the sauce?

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve recently started experimenting with cottage cheese, and this hit the spot! I reached my protein goal and stayed within my calories goal fully satisfied. I did use low fat cottage cheese and found the sauce still pretty creamy. Thanks!

    1. Amazing! This is so great, Gabrien. I am so glad you gave these a try and are loving them. Thanks so much for coming back and sharing your review + star rating, I truly appreciate it!

  4. 5 stars
    The whole family loved it! I doubled the recipe, and used Rao’s sauce. After tasting, I added oregano, basil, garlic salt, then split the meat/sauce in half and mixed with a traditional rotini and a red lentil (GF) rotini. This will be in a regular rotation. Love that it is tasty and adds protein to our meal. Thank you!!!

    1. AMAZING! I am so glad you and the family are loving this recipe, Holly. Thank you for sharing your review + star rating, I really appreciate it!

  5. 5 stars
    So easy and delicious!
    I already can’t wait to make it again. I used this to meal prep for my week and it reheats so well. I’m very full after eating it and it’s such a comforting dish.
    I doubled the recipe following the instructions provided but I did change one thing: I used one 24 oz jar of sauce (instead of two jars like it called for) and I highly recommend that. It came out to be the most perfect consistency for the sauce. I also used protein pasta and it worked well for this. 10/10 recommend.

    1. YUM! SO delicious. Glad you found this recipe and it turned out perfectly for your meal prep. Thank you for coming back and sharing your review & star rating, I truly appreciate it!

  6. Hi! I was curious what percentage of fat the ground turkey you used was – did you use 99% or 93%? I don’t cook with ground turkey a lot, so always get so confused on which is better or if it matters? Thanks for looking forward to making this!

      1. Thanks Brittany! I made this tonight and it was delicious! I appreciated that it was comforting food at its finest while still helping me reach my protein goal. I am here for the cottage cheese.

    1. Hi Carlie – I would recommend eating this fresh. You could possibly freeze the sauce, but I am concerned about the consistency of the cottage cheese changing the texture of the sauce. Hope you enjoy this recipe!