Difference Between Cottage Cheese and Ricotta

The main difference between cottage cheese and ricotta is that when you taste cottage cheese, you get a creamy and a bit of a salty flavour whereas when you taste ricotta, you will primarily get a creamy taste followed by a slight sweetness.

It is true that both cottage cheese and ricotta can be used for a variety of recipes interchangeably; however, there are some distinct differences, especially in the texture of these two varieties of cheese.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Cottage Cheese 
     – Definition, Features
2. What is Ricotta
     – Definition, Features
3. Similarities Between Cottage Cheese and Ricotta
     – Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Cottage Cheese and Ricotta
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Cottage Cheese, RicottaDifference Between Cottage Cheese and Ricotta - Comparison Summary

What is Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is a type of cheese made from either whole, part-skimmed, or skimmed curds of milk. Cottage cheese is usually available in large-curd, medium-curd, and small-curd varieties. Sometimes, cottage cheese is flavored with pineapple or chives as well. Compared to ricotta, cottage cheese is grainier and has a lot more sodium. Generally, cottage cheese is consumed raw. It is also served with fruits as a healthy breakfast or as a dessert.

Cottage Cheese vs Ricotta

If you are craving lasagna or stuffed shell pasta, and if you are looking for a lower-fat alternative with little calories, you can easily use cottage cheese to your dish instead of ricotta. That will be a good option, only if you give less priority to the texture and the taste of the dish, prioritizing its healthiness. However, if you want your low-fat cottage cheese with a consistency similar to ricotta, you can always blend or strain the cottage cheese. However, unlike ricotta, you cannot use cottage cheese in making creamy cheesecakes due to its texture.

What is Ricotta

Inside a cheesemaker, milk or cream is usually set apart into whey and curd. The separated curd is used to make cottage cheese, while the whey separated is used to make ricotta. This leads cottage cheese and ricotta to be different in their textures, although they are quite similar in flavor.

Ricotta has a smooth but slightly grainy texture. However, unlike cottage cheese, it tastes a little sweet. American ricotta is a variety where whole or skim milk is being added to the whey. Therefore American ricotta is creamier and wetter in texture than the Italian varieties. In brief, compared to cottage cheese, the fat content and the amount of calories in  Ricotta  take a higher percentage.

Compare Cottage Cheese and Ricotta

There are many amazing culinary uses of ricotta. For instance, ricotta is a popular filling for pasta shells, ravioli, cannoli, manicotti, lasagna, and cheesecake.  You can also easily bake ricotta and use it as a great party appetizer.

Similarities Between Cottage Cheese and Ricotta

  • Both cottage and ricotta cheeses are frequently made using cow’s milk.
  • They are both fresh cheeses. Therefore, they don’t possess aged acridness.
  • Cottage cheese and ricotta are moist, soft, and white.
  • These cheeses have an equal concentration of phosphorus and potassium.
  • Both cottage cheese and ricotta cheese provide essential proteins for muscle growth.

Difference Between Cottage Cheese and Ricotta


Cottage cheese is a soft and lumpy cheese made from either whole, part-skimmed, or skimmed curds of milk while ricotta is a soft, unripened, whey cheese with Italian origins.


Cottage cheese is usually made using curds separated from milk or cream, while the whey separated is used to make ricotta.


When you taste cottage cheese you get a creamy and somewhat salty flavor, whereas with ricotta you get a  sweet-mixed creaminess.


Ricotta cheese has more calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and selenium, whereas cottage cheese contains more copper. Further compared to cottage cheese, ricotta cheese contains 76.9% less sodium.


Moreover, ricotta cheese has a higher amount of calories than cottage cheese.


Ricotta cheese is a little higher in proteins compared to cottage cheese.


The main difference between cottage cheese and ricotta is that cottage cheese has a slightly salty flavour while ricotta cheese has a slight sweetness to it. However, both cottage cheese and ricotta cheese are high in vitamins, minerals, and many other nutrients. Therefore, incorporating them into one’s diet, if done in moderation, would benefit his/her health.


1. Delany, Alex. “So, What IS Ricotta Cheese, Anyway?” Bon Appétit, 24 Apr. 2019.
2. Semeco, Arlene. “Why Cottage Cheese Is Super Healthy and Nutritious.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 25 Oct. 2019.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Bowl-food-wood-table-3366480” (CC0) via Pixabay
2. “Ricotta-cheese-eat-italian-food-5012650” (CC0) via Pixabay

About the Author: Anuradha

Anuradha has a BA degree in English, French, and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Master's degree in Teaching English Literature in a Second Language Context. Her areas of interests include Arts and Literature, Language and Education, Nature and Animals, Cultures and Civilizations, Food, and Fashion.

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