Differences Between Tofu & Cottage Cheese and Why It’s Important?

Rohit Panwar

A dietary shift from dairy to plant based products is growing rapidly which creates conflict between choices. Tofu vs cottage cheese is also part of such a clash. 

As a nutritionist, I am going to compare different aspects of tofu and cottage cheese. This will help you decide which form is better for you.  

Tofu vs Cottage Cheese: Know the Differences Before You Decide to Pick One

Here is a quick analyze of tofu vs cottage cheese based on various parameters: 


Soy Milk & Coagulant

Cottage Cheese

Dairy Milk & Lactic Acid


Mild & Soft

Cottage Cheese

Slightly Sweet


100 grams

Cottage Cheese

50-100 grams



Cottage Cheese



1.9 g*

Cottage Cheese

3.4 g*


4.8 g*

Cottage Cheese

4.3 g*


8 g*

Cottage Cheese

11 g*


350 mg*

Cottage Cheese

83 mg*


0.3 g*

Cottage Cheese

0 g*


Very Good

Cottage Cheese

Very Good


Noon & Evening 

Cottage Cheese

Morning & Noon


Very Good

Cottage Cheese

Very Good


Very Good

Cottage Cheese

Very Good



Cottage Cheese




Cottage Cheese




Cottage Cheese



Very Good

Cottage Cheese


*Source: USDA; Quantity defined is 100 grams

Tofu vs Cottage Cheese: Key Ingredients and Making Process

Tofu is also known as bean curd. It is prepared with coagulated soy milk. Nigari salt (magnesium chloride) or gypsum (calcium sulfate) are most commonly used as coagulants. Resulting curd is pressed with weights to form a block of tofu. 

Cottage cheese is made by curdling milk with an acidic substance, such as vinegar or lemon juice. Once the curds separate from the whey, they are drained and rinsed with cold water to remove any excess liquid.

Taste and Texture: Is Tofu the Same as Cottage Cheese?

Originating in East Asia, tofu looks like a cheese block from the outside. There are various types of tofu depending on its texture. It can be extra firm, firm, soft or silken tofu. It has a neutral and mild flavor which allows it to go well with many different tastes. 

Cottage cheese has a slightly tangy flavor. Its texture can also vary from smooth and creamy to chunky, depending on how it’s made.

What Is the Suggested Daily Intake of Tofu vs Cottage Cheese?

Tofu and cottage cheese both are nutritionally dense foods making them a great choice for adding to your regular diet. 

In general, the serving size of cottage cheese should be around half cup while for tofu about 100-150 grams is enough.

Comparing Tofu & Cottage Cheese Against Greek Yogurt, a Popular High Protein Option?

| Greek yogurt Vs Eggs |

| Greek Yogurt Vs Cottage Cheese |

Caloric Difference Between Tofu vs Cottage Cheese

In terms of caloric difference, tofu is generally lower in carloies than cottage cheese. However, the amount of calories in cottage cheese may vary with the kind of milk used for its production.

Remember that some varieties of cottage cheese may have added sugar or flavorings, which can increase the calorie count. Be sure to read the nutrition labels carefully before choosing the product.

Tofu or Cottage Cheese: Which Has More Carbs?

Each of us needs a different level of carbs depending on many factors including age, gender and activity level. If you are highly active throughout the day then you will need a high carbs diet. 

In comparison to cottage cheese, tofu has a lower amount of carbs in it. So, tofu would be a better choice for a low carb diet. 

What to Pick for Lesser Fat Content: Tofu or Cottage Cheese?

Tofu and cottage cheese are relatively low in fat. The amount of fat in cottage cheese can be reduced  by using low fat milk to make it. 

Tofu and Cottage cheese can come in a variety of fat levels. So, if you are watching your fat intake, be sure to choose non-fat or low-fat varieties of cottage cheese and silken of tofu.

Tofu vs Cottage Cheese Protein: Compare the Quality and the Quantity

Dairy and soy products both are considered as complete protein. A complete protein means it gives you all essential 9 amino acids, small compounds which create protein. This makes tofu and cottage cheese great choices for high-quality protein. 

In comparison to tofu, cottage cheese is more dense and thus has a higher quantity of protein. You can pick cottage cheese as a richer protein source.  

Can You Substitute Tofu for Cottage Cheese as a Calcium Source?

Calcium is a vital mineral which the body requires for various functions. It is especially crucial for children, pregnant and post menopausal women.

Compared to cottage cheese, the amount of calcium in tofu is quite high. therefore, if you wish to increase your calcium intake, choose tofu.

Which Is a Fiber Rich Option: Tofu or Cottage Cheese?

Fiber is a type of carbs which your body can’t digest. Fiber is needed to maintain digestive health, to control the sugar level and for much more. 

Plant based products are rich sources of fiber compared to animal based products such as milk and cheese etc. Even though tofu contains a small amount of fiber, it is still better than cottage cheese which doesn’t have any fiber. 

Nutritional Diversity of Tofu vs Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese has more protein whereas tofu is a low calorie, carbs and low fat food option. This makes it tough to choose one over the other on the basis of macronutrient. .

To compare the nutrition diversity, we must look at the micronutrients which consist of minerals and vitamins.

Tofu is a rich source of iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc. In terms of vitamins, except vitamin B2, tofu has more of them. Hence, tofu is more nutritionally diverse. 

What Is the Right Time to Have Tofu vs Cottage Cheese?

You can have tofu and cottage cheese any time of the day. Though I recommend having them for breakfast. It can keep your body full for a longer time and help prevent cravings. 

Tofu and cottage cheese both are also excellent options for a snack. It is better to consume them either in the morning or in the afternoon. 

Gut Health: Which Is Better, Cottage Cheese or Tofu?

Tofu contains small amount of fiber which makes it slightly more gut friendly than cottage cheese. 

However, cottage cheese is a fermented food and filled with gut flora bacteria. These good bacteria assist to improve gut health and support healthy digestion.  

How Do Tofu vs Cottage Cheese Affect Your Bone and Dental Health?

Both tofu and cottage cheese have many beneficial nutrients for your teeth and bones. Incorporating them into your regular meals and snacks can provide a wide range of advantages.

Tofu is a rich source of calcium, iron, copper and zinc which are important to maintain strong bones

Cottage cheese is rich in calcium and phosphorus, which are important minerals for maintaining strong teeth and bones. Additionally, it contains casein which can help to neutralize acids in the mouth and prevent tooth decay.

Tofu or Cottage Cheese: A Better Pick to Avoid Allergies

Tofu is a soy product and its consumption can lead to an allergic reaction if you have a soy allergy. Similarly if you are lactose intolerant then cottage cheese can cause allergy to you. 

In both cases, you must avoid these products to stay safe. However, compared to soy allergy, lactose allergy is more common. 

Which Is More Eco Friendly: Tofu or Cottage Cheese?

Dairy based foods are not the best options when it comes to sustainability. This is because of their large emissions and wasteful use of resources. 

On the contrary plant based foods have lower carbon footprint and they help to make earth a better place to live. Hence tofu is a better choice for the environment compared to cottage cheese. 

Is Tofu Considered Cheese by Vegans?

Vegan people don’t consume dairy products including cottage cheese or any other cheese. Many of them use tofu to make vegan cheese dip or scrambled cheese.

To make vegan cheese dip, silken tofu is the best type of tofu. For scrambled vegan cheese firm or extra firm tofu is a better choice. 

How Differently Can Tofu vs Cottage Cheese Be Used?

Tofu is a highly versatile soy product. You can add it to your fried rice, noodles, curries or eat it straight with soy or mustard sauce. You can fry, grill or stir fry to make it more delectable. Scrambled tofu is an excellent vegan substitute of scrambled egg. 

On the other hand, you can consume cottage cheese as a snack or as part of a meal. You can add it to your breakfast bowl with fruit and nuts or as a filling in lasagna or stuffed peppers.

I would like to conclude here that choosing between tofu and cottage cheese is a matter of your preferences and availability. 

Hope I’m able to clear your doubts regarding tofu vs cottage cheese and you are well informed now to pick the best one for yourself.  

Rohit Panwar

Hi! I'm Integrated Nutrition Coach Rohit Panwar. I hold twin Certifications from IIN, New York & SAFM, Massachusetts. I am a passionate vocalist of holistic lifestyle and have fully committed the past several years to educate & empower people towards their wellbeing. Despite a successful yet hectic corporate stint of 21+ years, I have prioritised nutriment in my life. I truly hope my personal journey from illness to wellness helps everybody reading this forge their own path.