Best Cottage Cheese Brands, Ranked

What does good cottage cheese taste like? While cottage cheese can vary in creaminess, texture, and curd size to suit different uses, there are still some key things we look for in the best cottage cheese brands. Ideally, cottage cheese has a fresh, mild tang that isn’t overly sour or bland. We want curds that crumble on your teeth with that signature squeak. And, importantly, we want a creamy cottage cheese that isn’t, god forbid, too watery. 

If you’re not chronically online, you might not know about the current TikTok trend that has people dipping random foods in cottage cheese and mustard. It’s a sign of the times, because a year ago, if you asked anyone under twenty-five if they regularly buy cottage cheese, their answer would have probably been, “Ew. No.” But now, thanks to a dancing app (and what might have been a sleeper-agent marketing strategy by cottage cheese companies invading social media through bizarre [trends]), Gen Z is finally seeing the beauty of this crumbly, creamy, texturally off-putting but still highly addictive cheese. 

But cottage cheese is more than something you mix with mustard and dip your hot dog into, youths! It’s the perfect addition to your scrambled eggs. It’s a [piquant] pairing for your fruits and veggies that, frankly, livens up your breakfast more than plain yogurt. And as we widened our search for the best cottage cheese brands to update our original ranking, we wanted to take all of this into consideration. Because Gen Z? Their tummies hurt. They don’t just need the best cottage cheese brands—they need the best lactose free cottage cheese brand. Luckily, we’ve got all of that and more. From savory dishes to sweet desserts, here are the best cottage cheese brands to suit your culinary needs. 


Best Tangy Cottage Cheese

Best Tangy

Friendly Farms 4% Milkfat Small Curd Cottage Cheese

“This is like mozzarella mixed with Mexican crema,” remarked fellow taste tester Jordan Myrick. “Do I like cottage cheese now?” The piquancy of this one hangs in your mouth in a really pleasant way. Friendly Farms cottage cheese brings a noticeably enjoyable tang that’ll pair well with sweet fruits like pineapples, mangos, melons, and berries. This is a good cottage cheese for mornings, for sure. The texture is a little bit too wet, though, so it might not be for everyone. —Danny Palumbo

Credit: Ryan Martin / Instacart

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

Best Lactose Free Cottage Cheese

Best Lactose Free

Green Valley Cottage Cheese Lactose Free

Holy cow, this is some good cottage cheese. You’ve gotta have a pretty discerning palate to tell that this Green Valley is lactose free cottage cheese. Yes, it has a milder, lightly salted flavor that’s not quite as tangy and robust as the others on this list, but there’s no strange aftertaste that makes you go, “Hmm, something’s up.” It has more of a sour cream-like consistency, making it easy to spread on toast, baked potatoes, whatever you want (even hot dogs with mustard, if you’re following the TikTok trends). You aren’t getting punched in the face with flavor here, but you are getting a versatile cottage cheese with clean and organic ingredients. It’s perfect for folks with dairy-sensitive tummies who don’t have a million options to choose from. And look, we’re not just including this because it’s the best lactose free cottage cheese from our taste test—it’s also some of the best cottage cheese we tried, period. —Ariana Losch

Credit: Ryan Martin / Instacart

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

Best Fat Free Cottage Cheese

Best Fat Free

Trader Joe’s Organic Fat Free Cottage Cheese

When we sat down for a taste test to find the best cottage cheese that’s either low fat or totally fat free, we were stunned when a fat free version took the number one spot—a fat free version from Trader Joe’s, no less. Yep, TJ’s refrigerator staples can be hit or miss, but as Sporked editor-in-chief Justine Sterling put it, when TJ’s hits, it hits hard. This cottage cheese is fat free, yes, but it’s still good cottage cheese. It has big, creamy curds, a pleasant tang, and a nice fresh flavor. If you’re trying to consume less fat on a daily basis, give this stuff a shot. —Ariana Losch

Credit: Merc

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

Best Cottage Cheese Curds

Best Curds

Clover Organic 4% Milkfat

This is a more classic cottage cheese, if that’s what you’re looking for. It has firm, squeaky curds and a gorgeous texture. It’s also nicely salted, so there’s no need to add too much on your own if you’re going the savory route. A little black pepper—cottage cheese’s best friend, if you ask me—will do the trick to spice things up. There’s a buttermilk tang here that’s quite nice. The flavor is good, the curds are big, and the texture is the most cottage cheesy of the bunch. Points point points. Clover is a regional brand out in Sonoma, California, so it’s not available everywhere, but it’s certainly the best cottage cheese if you’re on the West Coast. —Danny Palumbo

Credit: Ryan Martin / Instacart

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

Best Versatile Cottage Cheese

Best Versatile

Organic Valley Small Curd Organic Cottage Cheese

This organic, small curd cottage cheese by Organic Valley is really hard to fault. The balance between creamy milkfat and bright tang is, to quote the youth, *chefs kiss*. The curds are pretty firm and small, which might not be everyone’s thing, but I personally like how they give you something to chew on and don’t immediately dissolve in your mouth. The consistency is so smooth, thick, and still creamy, I would literally put this on anything. Which, uh-oh. Keep the mustard away from me. —Ariana Losch 

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

Best Fruit Flavored Cottage Cheese

Best Fruit Flavored

Daisy Cottage Cheese with Peaches

Is it hard to add your own canned peaches or canned pineapples to a bowl of cottage cheese? Not really, but there’s clearly a market for fruit flavored cottage cheese. When we taste tested fruity cottage cheese, Daisy with Peaches was “just about perfect,” according to Justine. The peaches taste sweet and fresh, and the cottage cheese is a little bit savory, which makes it an excellent complement to the fruit. If you just can’t muster the energy to add fruit to your morning bowl of cottage cheese, this is the best cottage cheese for you. —Ariana Losch

Credit: Merc / Walmart

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

Best Creamy Cottage Cheese

Best Creamy

Lucerne 4% Milk Fat, Small Curd

This one is really thick and creamy—like, it sticks to the spoon almost like peanut butter. Lucerne has the strongest cream flavor of the bunch. It tastes almost like a rich panna cotta. Panna cotta is a creamy dessert that pairs best with fruit, and this Lucerne cottage cheese is in the same vein. It’s heavy and decadent, so spread it on toast with some jam or eat it with some berries. This is the best cottage cheese if you like it thick and want something that’s not a traditional, curdy cottage cheese. But, damn, it’s flavorful and good. —Danny Palumbo

Credit: Ryan Martin / Instacart

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

Best of the Best Cottage Cheese

Best of the Best

Good Culture Organic Cottage Cheese 4% Milkfat

Good Culture cottage cheese is intensely flavorful and complex. It’s tangy, it’s creamy, it’s salty, and, more than anything, it tastes fresh. It’s a little on the wet side, but it quite honestly doesn’t matter. Normally, when I think of cottage cheese, I think of big, squeaky cheese curds, but Good Culture has me rethinking everything. A cottage cheese this good that’s available nationwide? Huge win. —Danny Palumbo

Credit: Ryan Martin / Instacart

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

Other cottage cheese brands we tried: Knudsen Original Cottage Cheese, Great Value Lowfat Small Curd Cottage Cheese, O Organics Cottage Cheese, Kroger Whipped Cottage Cheese, Kroger Small Curd Cottage Cheese, Daisy Small Curd Cottage Cheese, Nancy’s Whole Milk Cottage Cheese, Sprouts Original Cottage Cheese, 365 Organic Cottage Cheese, Happy Belly Cottage Cheese, Lactaid Cottage Cheese


About the Author

Sporked Staff

The Sporked Staff tastes everything and anything. They are obsessive about groceries and finding the best of any type of food or drink, from frozen fried shrimp to Dijon mustard to gummy candy. And they're always on a hunt for the best new products. When they aren't eating professionally, they're eating recreationally. And often they're browsing grocery store aisles, just for fun.

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  • You gotta try Friendship Cottage Cheese. Both their 2% and their whipped blow Good Culture out of the water.

    Reply
  • Michigan brand is excellent (I prefer the small curd). Nice and thick almost like a whipped cottage cheese. I have found it at Meijer if you live in the Midwest.

    Reply
  • I know it’s just a regional store brand, but Giant Eagle’s is so good– salty and savory. I like the large curd, which is often thick enough to use as a spread if you want.

    Reply
  • I don’t know if it’s available outside the South, but Mayfield has the best tasting cottage cheese I’ve ever had.

    Reply
  • Have you tried the AE (Andersen Ericson) 2% small curd?? It’s as good or better than any 4%!
    It is my favorite chip dip!

    Reply
  • I love cottage cheese, especially with some real bacon bits thrown in. You should try it. However, I avoid the brands that use thickening agents.

    Reply
  • Dang nobody but me like cottage cheese? 😂 I have always gotten friendly farms when I bought plain, but I’ll have to try some of these recommendations. I highly recommend good culture with the mix ins especially the strawberry one. It’s low in carbs too 👌🏻

    Reply