Cottage cheese alfredo pasta is a lightened up, high protein version of your favourite pasta dish. Serve with broccoli, parmesan and cracked pepper for a delicious dietitian approved dinner!
Pasta served with a creamy sauce is my comfort food. I don't care if it's mac and cheese or cacio e pepe, I love it all.
With that being said, fettucine alfredo will always have a special place in my heart. It's the dish you loved as a picky eater, and still come back to as an adult. Now that nutrition is more of a priority in my adult life, I wanted to try a higher protein cottage cheese alfredo, and let's just say I was mindblown.
It's the "healthier" version that actually tastes good, and there's no butter or cream required. You'll to have to try it to understand!
Why This Recipe Is Dietitian Approved
- Lightened up. Traditional alfredo sauce is made with a ton of heavy cream and butter. Don't get me wrong, YUM! But for a day-to-day meal, I find it quite heavy. Making alfredo with cottage cheese is a simple swap to create a lighter sauce that's still cheesy and creamy.
- Balanced. Pasta can 100% be a balanced meal! Here we have protein from the cottage cheese and color from added broccoli. You can totally use a higher protein or higher fibre pasta if that's your jam.
- 30 minute meal. Feed your family, fast!
Cottage cheese. The internet's new obsession and mine too. You can use any fat percentage of cottage cheese you would like. My rule of thumb is the higher the milk fat, the creamier the sauce! I find 4% cottage cheese creates the most similar texture to a typical alfredo sauce, however the choice is yours.
Parmesan cheese. For that classic cheesy, alfredo taste!
Broccoli. Fresh or frozen broccoli will both work. If you are using frozen broccoli, simply thaw it prior to adding it into your pasta (no boiling required!). You don't have to include this, but I love the added fibre, colour and nutrients.
Pasta. Choose whatever pasta makes your taste buds sing. I used mafalda pasta in the photos. For a more fibre, I recommend choosing a whole grain pasta. For higher protein, go for chickpea pasta!
Spices, herbs and seasoning. I'm keeping it classic with salt, cracked black pepper, red pepper flakes and parsley.
Garlic. In pasta recipes, fresh garlic is always my recommendation for the most flavour.
Pasta water. Don't forget to reserve the pasta water! The starches and salt in reserved pasta water help thicken the sauce so it's smooth and glossy.
The complete ingredient list with measurements can be found in the recipe card below.
Cook pasta according to package instructions(don’t forget to salt the water), reserving ⅓ cup of pasta water for later. Steam broccoli until tender and immediately place in ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain, set aside.
To a food processor or high powered blender combine, olive oil, cottage cheese, parmesan cheese,garlic, salt and black pepper.
Blend until smooth.
Add cottage cheese sauce to a pan over medium heat. Add reserved pasta water and stir to combine.
Add cooked pasta and broccoli and stir until the pasta is fully coated in sauce. Garnish with fresh parsley and red pepper flakes for serving
Substitutions and Variations
To make gluten-free: Use gluten-free pasta.
To make vegan: Try my tofu alfredo!
To make nut-free: This recipe is naturally nut-free.
For a cheesier option, add shredded cheddar cheese into the sauce prior to adding the pasta and broccoli.
Leftover cottage cheese alfredo can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days in an airtight container. To reheat, add some milk to a saucepan over low heat, along with the pasta. This will help thin out the sauce. Stir until heated.
- For a creamier pasta sauce I recommend using 4% cottage cheese!
- Ensure the heat is not too high when heating the sauce. I recommend adding the pasta and broccoli as soon as possible and stirring frequently. This will prevent the cottage cheese from curdling and causing it to separate.
- If you forget to reserve the pasta water, you can add some water and a bit more salt. Your sauce may be slightly thinner, but still yummy.
Frequently Asked Questions
I do not recommend freezing this sauce, as it will separate once thawed due to the consistency of the cottage cheese.
Yes! If you would like to make it ahead of time, follow the instructions and add to a sealed airtight container in the fridge. It can stay fresh in the fridge for up to 4 days, then you can add the pasta and broccoli into the sauce in a saucepan over low heat until warm.
This recipe has 22g per serving. If you would like to add more protein, I recommend adding thinly baked chicken breast.
More Healthy Pasta Recipes
Switch up pasta night with these recipes!
PS. I love seeing my recipes in action! If you decide to make this cottage cheese alfredo, don't forget to snap a photo and tag me on Instagram- @nourishedbynic or leave a comment and rating below letting me know how you liked it!
Cottage Cheese Alfredo Pasta
- 250 g dry pasta
- ⅓ cup reserved pasta water
- 2 cups broccoli finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 500 g cottage cheese 4% creates the creamiest texture
- ½ cup parmesan cheese grated
- 2 cloves of garlic pressed
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup fresh parsley for topping optional
- Red pepper flakes for topping optional
- Cook pasta according to package instructions (don’t forget to salt the water), reserving ⅓ cup of pasta water for later. Steam broccoli until tender and immediately place in ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain, set aside.
- To a food processor or high powered blender combine, olive oil, cottage cheese, parmesan cheese,garlic, salt and black pepper. Blend until smooth.
- Add cottage cheese sauce to a pan over medium heat. Add reserved pasta water and stir to combine. Add cooked pasta and broccoli and stir until the pasta is fully coated in sauce.
- Garnish with fresh parsley and red pepper flakes for serving.