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Cottage Cheese Pasta is both delicious and super easy to make! Flavorful Italian turkey sausage is combined with pasta and a creamy cottage cheese tomato sauce. It can be on your dinner table in less than 30 minutes, making it perfect for busy weeknights!

Top view of a round white plate with short pasts with red sauce.
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Delicious cottage cheese pasta is a more nutritious take on creamy spaghetti sauce, and it’s so comforting and delicious! The sauce is made with a combination of crushed tomatoes and cottage cheese, blended until smooth and creamy. Then it comes together with Italian turkey sausage and your favorite pasta. Top with parmesan cheese and fresh herbs and serve with crusty bread for a crowd-pleasing meal the whole family will adore!

Summary

  • Super satisfying: This meal is loaded with protein! Between the turkey sausage and the cottage cheese, this pasta dish has 30 grams of protein per serving.
  • Warm, comforting, and delicious: Pasta is always a family-favorite dinner, and this one with flavorful turkey and a creamy sauce is next level. It’s requested on repeat!
  • Easy to make: Cottage cheese pasta is a simple dish to whip up and can be ready in just about 30 minutes. There’s minimal prep required, and other than boiling the pasta, everything cooks in one skillet, making cleanup a breeze!
  • Versatile: You can easily make this your own by using a different meat and/or adding in sautéed veggies, if you’d like. Plus, you can serve it with a number of different sides or just some garlic bread!
Closeup view of cottage cheese pasta.

Ingredients needed

This cottage cheese pasta recipe is made with simple ingredients that come together for one of the most mouth-watering meals! Here’s everything you’ll need:

  • Pasta: Use any favorite pasta variety you have on hand. Any shape of noodles will work!
  • Olive oil: For sautéing the garlic and browning the meat.
  • Garlic: A must for any pasta meal!
  • Turkey sausage: Italian sausage has plenty of added seasoning and turkey sausage is the leaner option.
  • Kosher salt & pepper: Brings out all of the delicious flavors.
  • Tomatoes: A large jar of crushed tomatoes for the base of the creamy marinara.
  • Smoked paprika: Adds a subtle smokiness to the sauce.
  • Cottage cheese: The magic ingredients that gives this dish a boost of protein while adding delicious creaminess.
Raw ground turkey in a bowl near other bowls of uncooked pasta, tomatoes, tomato paste, cottage cheese and olive oil.

How to make cottage cheese pasta

Cottage cheese pasta is super easy to make! Just a few easy steps and you’ll have an amazing family meal. Here’s the simple process:

  1. Boil the pasta: Cook the pasta according to package instructions, then once cooked to al dente drain and set aside.
  2. Brown the meat: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the garlic for 30 seconds, then add the sausage. Cook until the meat begins to brown. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  3. Blend the sauce: While the sausage cooks, add crushed tomatoes, paprika, and cottage cheese to a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Pour this sauce over the cooked turkey and simmer for 5 minutes.
  1. Combine pasta with other ingredients: Stir in the cooked pasta and remove from heat.
  2. Serve: Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with a sprinkle of parmesan, if desired.

Recipe notes

  • Cook pasta al dente: Do not overcook the pasta because it will get added back to the skillet with the cooking sauce and ground turkey sausage.
  • For maximum creaminess: Use whole milk cottage cheese to make your sauce plenty rich and creamy. Low-fat and fat-free varieties tend to be a bit watery and could make your sauce overly liquid.
  • Use crushed tomatoes: Be sure to use crushed tomatoes for a smoother sauce that has a thicker base.

Frequently asked questions

Does cottage cheese melt in sauce?

It might sound a bit strange to make pasta sauce with cottage cheese, but it blends really well with marinara to make a creamy, protein-packed sauce. Then, when the sauce gets hot, you won’t even notice that the sauce is made with cottage cheese.

Can I freeze cottage cheese pasta?

We do not recommend freezing this pasta recipe, or even the sauce alone. The dairy in the cottage cheese will cause it to separate once thawed and it won’t have the best texture.

How much protein is in pasta made with cottage cheese?

This particular recipe has a whopping 30 grams of protein per serving! You can find all of the nutrition details in the recipe card.

Cooked cottage cheese pasta in a large skillet.

Variations

  • Type of pasta: We typically use short pasta for this recipe like ditali, penne, or ziti. However, linguine or spaghetti would be great. Use whatever kind of pasta you like best. For a gluten-free meal, use gluten-free pasta.
  • Meat: Feel free to swap out the turkey sausage for other protein sources like regular ground turkey, chicken or beef.
  • Herbs: We typically garnish the finished dish with chopped fresh parsley, but you can also incorporate herbs into the sauce. Add some chopped fresh basil, oregano, or even some rosemary to the sauce.
  • Heat: Add a spicy kick with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes or a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  • Cheese: Want to make this extra cheesy? Sprinkle in a little bit of mozzarella or top with some crumbled feta at the end of cooking.

Serving suggestions

Add some sides to this cottage cheese pasta to give your meal a little variation. Here are some pairing ideas:

  • Salad: Keep this meal light with a fresh green side salad. Try this kale caesar salad and just omit the chicken.
  • Vegetables: For extra nutrients serve with a side of air fryer broccoli, sautéed green beans, or asparagus.
  • Bread: A slice of garlic bread or buttered sourdough bread would be the perfect complement to the pasta.

Storage recommendations

Cottage cheese pasta is great leftover for a quick and easy lunch the next day. Here is how to store leftovers:

  • In the refrigerator: Transfer cooled pasta to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • To reheat: Reheat leftovers on the stove over low heat or in the microwave. You may need to add a small amount of broth, water or milk to moisten and loosen the noodles.
Cottage cheese pasta served on a white plate.

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5 from 1 vote

Cottage Cheese Pasta

By: Rena
Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
top view of a round white plate with short pasta with red sauce
Cottage Cheese Pasta is both delicious and super easy to make! Flavorful Italian turkey sausage is combined with pasta and a creamy cottage cheese tomato sauce. It can be on your dinner table in less than 30 minutes, making it perfect for busy weeknights!

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 10 oz dry pasta of choice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb Italian turkey sausage meat
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 (24 oz) jar crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup whole milk cottage cheese
  • Optional: Freshly chopped parsley and parmesan, for serving

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta according to package instructions, then once cooked to al dente drain and set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the garlic for 30 seconds, then add the sausage. Cook until the meat begins to brown. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • While the sausage cooks, add crushed tomatoes, paprika and cottage cheese to a blender and process until smooth. Pour this sauce over the cooked turkey and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the cooked pasta and remove from heat.
  • Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with a sprinkle of parmesan, if desired.

Notes

Storage tips:
  • In the refrigerator: Transfer cooled pasta to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • To reheat: Leftovers can be reheated on the stove over low heat or in the microwave. You may need to add a small amount of broth, water or milk to moisten and loosen the noodles.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 488kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 30gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 1718mgPotassium: 301mgFiber: 8gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 1063IUVitamin C: 35mgCalcium: 54mgIron: 11mg

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

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
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