Salads and Dressings

Grandpa’s Favorite Cottage Cheese Salad


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Grandpa’s Favorite Cottage Cheese Salad

Grandpa's Favorite Cottage Cheese Salad in a red and white striped bowl
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Cottage cheese salad is tasty, easy to make, and substantial enough to make a light lunch on its own, well, maybe with some grainy crackers for extra crunch! This recipe is something you can make all year round. But in the summer, feel free to add some fresh veggies to it with reckless abandon!

In my Nebraska hometown, this was the number one favorite on the bountiful salad bar of a swanky old-school steakhouse. It was “the place” to go! They closed after about 60 years in business, but luckily, someone smuggled out the recipe somewhere along the way. Now you have it, too!

I admit it does not have the Instaworthy appearance of some salads, but you can be sure it will become a favorite once you dip a spoon in it for a taste. For those of us who grew up with this treat, it’s a happy, delicious trip down memory lane.

Questions I get about this recipe:

What kind of cottage cheese should I use? Any type works, but full-fat or 2% will have a richer flavor. Low-fat can be great for a lighter option.

Do I need to drain the cottage cheese? Up to you! Draining removes some moisture, making the salad lighter and preventing watery dressing. Leaving it undrained adds creaminess.

How can I make the dressing? Endless possibilities! Olive oil and vinegar, creamy Dijon mustard, ranch dressing mix, herbs and lemon juice, salsa or even Greek yogurt are all popular choices.

What vegetables should I add? Anything you like! Popular choices include cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, avocado, or radishes.

Can I add protein? Absolutely! Grilled chicken, shrimp, salmon, hard-boiled eggs, or nuts and seeds are all fantastic additions.

Can I make it ahead of time? Sure! Just avoid adding watery ingredients like cucumber too early, as they can make the salad soggy. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

It’s Super Easy To Whip Up A Batch Of Cottage Cheese Salad

ingredients laid out on a table for Grandpa's Favorite Cottage Cheese Salad
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First of all, there are no cottage cheese salad rules. This is supposed to be the original recipe from the legendary steakhouse, but do feel free to improvise. Some folks use a whole 16-ounce carton of cottage cheese and drain it before adding the other ingredients. I do not. I happen to love the cream in creamed cottage cheese!

It’s so simple! Chop the veggies, stir them into the cottage cheese, add mayo and sour cream, and season to taste! Then, let all the ingredients mingle and marry for a while in the fridge and boom! You have a delicious side dish or main dish to enjoy!

I suggest if you decide to add chopped cucumbers or tomatoes, add them just before serving because they will water down the salad as it sits. You can also add them on top of each serving as you plate it.

Experiment with Greek and Italian seasonings, or add some dry Ranch dressing. Substitute chopped peppers in any color for the pimentos. Since it’s your kitchen, you make the rules! Add to or leave out what you like, but you must try this salad!

Cottage Cheese Salad Is Good And It’s Good For You

Grandpa's Favorite Cottage Cheese Salad pinterest image.
Grandpa’s Favorite Cottage Cheese Salad

According to Medical News Today, cottage cheese is an excellent source of calcium. Calcium plays a major role in the health of your bones, teeth, muscles, skin, and nerves. It can help prevent osteoporosis. It also helps regulate your blood pressure and might even play a role in preventing certain cancers.

Talk about a win/win! Cottage cheese salad is a fabulously tasty way to add a plate load of nutrition to your diet!

Do you have any old recipes from eating at Grandma’s house? Did she ever give you cottage cheese to eat? My mom always served cottage cheese with a peach or pear half when I was growing up. I always loved cottage cheese! We’d love to hear your cottage cheese story! How about you?

Printable recipe:

Yield: 12 servings

Cottage Cheese Salad

cottage cheese salad

An old-fashioned creamy and refreshing salad that's full of flavor and totally customizable to suit your palate!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 12 ounces of creamed cottage cheese 
  • 1 Tbsp mayonnaise 
  • 1 Tbsp sour cream 
  • 1 Tbsp chopped pimento 
  • 2 tsp finely chopped chives 
  • 2 tsp finely chopped green onion 
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


    Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight before serving.

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