Cottage Cheese Can Enhance Your Mezze Platter's Tzatziki Sauce

Yogurt has been a key ingredient in Greek cuisine for centuries as the foundation for sauces, marinades, dressings, and even béchamel-like sauce. Over the past few decades, it has reached international acclaim, becoming a staple dairy and health food product in North America.

Its popularity has overshadowed cottage cheese as a favored breakfast food to pair with fresh fruit and a drizzle of honey or as a more protein-rich substitute for sour cream. However, cottage cheese deserves a comeback, and what better way to prove its worthiness than to use it as a substitute for Greek yogurt in a traditional Greek recipe?

Swapping Greek yogurt for cottage cheese in the classic mezze dip tzatziki will boost the sauce's flavor and texture. Once a source of distaste in American diets, the clumpy curds in cottage cheese provide a pleasant depth of texture that compliments the crunch of cucumbers in tzatziki sauce. Cottage cheese isn't as sour as yogurt, possessing a creamier flavor and a subtly cheesy, salty finish. The creamy texture and flavor add a savory twist that pairs wonderfully with earthy olive oil, fresh herbs, and the myriad of common tzatziki sauce accompaniments.

Furthermore, cottage cheese and Greek yogurt have similar nutritional values; Both have high protein contents, plenty of calcium, and are lower in calories and fat than other dairy products. Cottage cheese and Greek yogurt are similarly priced, so using it in tzatziki sauce will benefit your taste buds without stretching your grocery budget.

How to substitute Greek yogurt with cottage cheese in tzatziki

Cottage cheese has a thinner consistency than Greek yogurt despite its clumpy texture, so you'll need to make a few small ratio adjustments to a traditional tzatziki sauce recipe. Furthermore, you'll be using low-fat cottage cheese, which means it will be even thinner. You'll nearly double the amount of cottage cheese to Greek yogurt; for one cup of Greek yogurt, you'll use one and three-fourths cups of cottage cheese.

You'll also need to strain all the water from the shredded cucumber to avoid adding more moisture to the recipe. You can add fresh or dried herbs like dill and mint to cottage cheese tzatziki, but fresh herbs have more water content, which will further thin the sauce. While traditional tzatziki uses lemon juice to heighten the acidic tang, cottage cheese tzatziki calls for white wine vinegar. This will provide a more subtle kick and a bit of sweetness, making this a more unique dipping mezze than the original recipe.

Cottage cheese tzatziki is a novel and flavorful addition to your mezze spread that you can enjoy with fresh pita, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, and crudites. Of course, it pairs equally well with other traditional Greek mezze like dolmades, kofta, and souvlaki.