Creamy Cottage Cheese Pasta
Published Sep 27, 2023, Updated Nov 21, 2023
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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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- Cottage Cheese Cookie Dough
- Cottage Cheese Ice Cream
- Cottage Cheese Smoothie
- High Protein Cottage Cheese Oatmeal
- Frozen Cottage Cheese Bark
- Banana Cottage Cheese Pancakes
- Cottage Cheese Cookies
- Cottage Cheese Scrambled Eggs
- Cottage Cheese Salad
- Cottage Cheese Pancakes
More Pasta Recipes
- Chicken Fajita Pasta Salad
- One Pot Pasta
- Healthy Baked Mac and Cheese
- Vegan Mac and Cheese
- Creamy Pumpkin Pasta
- Poppy Seed Chicken Pasta Salad
- One-Skillet Enchilada Pasta
- Turkey Bolognese
- Ground Turkey Pasta
Creamy Cottage Cheese Pasta
- 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.
- 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.
- While ground turkey is cooking, add marinara sauce and cottage cheese to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Once turkey is cooked, pour the sauce over the turkey mixture, add cooked pasta and stir to combine.
- Add a scoop of pasta to a bowl or plate. Top with fresh parmesan and fresh basil, for serving.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.