Grab your favorite people and treat them to this rich, creamy Cottage Cheese Lasagna. It’s the tastiest way to say “I love you.”
Early last month, I found myself squished in a tiny counseling room at our local hospital, surrounded by my closest family. We were waiting. My mom was undergoing a heart cath, and the surgery had already dragged on longer than expected. My stomach had the requisite knot that seems to be standard for any hospital waiting room. The room was tense, broken up by nervous laughter and the welcome distraction of a happy, clueless one year old.
The Dr. finally walked in, and we all took a moment to search his face for clues. With kind eyes and a warm smile, he informed us mom was recovering after an unusually long and difficult surgery. What was supposed to be a routine heart cath to check for a blockage they weren’t even sure existed had turned into an arduous 3 1/2 hour effort to repair three severe blockages.
Our family sat, relieved and stunned, as the Dr. told us he was shocked my mom hadn’t had a heart attack weeks ago. She was an anomaly–a patient whose blood work came back normal, who almost passed two stress tests, and who would’ve been sent home that morning were it not for the unease and intuition of one of the doctors.
Instead, she had surgery. A difficult surgery, but a successful one. I consider it nothing short of a miracle that she didn’t have a heart attack, that they found the blockages when they did, and that they were able to be completely repaired. Holding my mom’s hand that night in the recovery room, I thought of all the cliche phrases you hear in a moment like that, and I felt everyone of them. Life is short and precious. Don’t take it for granted. It’s a gift, and not one we get to keep forever.
No one wishes for these kind of scares, but they do provide you with a conscious gratefulness, the kind you decide to practice rather than just passively feel. The next time you sit at the table together with your family, there’s a little more intentionality, a little more paying attention. Dad’s voice breaks during prayer, and when you raise your head, there’s a sheen in everyone’s eyes. You relish the smell of the dishes being passed, the easy conversation, the light in your mom’s eyes when your son gives her one of his rare, genuine, wet and sloppy kisses.
This Christmas, we’ll be serving mom’s cottage cheese lasagna, a dish she’s been making and sharing for many years. I believe it’s the best lasagna in the world, and that’s not just the post-crisis nostalgia and gratefulness talking. Mom’s lasagna has two things that set it apart from the rest of the pack, and of course, it’s all about the cheese. In this case, cottage cheese and Swiss cheese.
I know you cottage cheese haters are holding back a gag right now, but I promise there’s nothing offensive about cottage cheese lasagna. You don’t really taste the cottage cheese, but it gives the filling a less mushy, more creamy texture, which is something everyone, even the haters, will appreciate.
And then there’s the Swiss cheese. It’s a far cry from traditional, but it works really well. A blend of Swiss and mozzarella has all the sweet, nutty, meltiness a lasagna needs. Even if you’re a teensy bit weirded out by Swiss in your lasagna JUST DO IT. I don’t mean to yell, but it’s important.
Lasagna isn’t exactly known for being easy to make, but this Cottage Cheese Lasagna is definitely manageable for the holidays. I always think of the simmering, stacking, and sprinkling as a labor of love. A casserole dish full of meaty, cheesy lasagna always feels special and extravagant, first because it takes some effort to make and second because it’s unbelievably delicious and comforting.
This is the kind of meal that makes you want to gather your loved ones close, hold hands, say grace, and eat together. It’s the kind of dish that fills your belly and your heart. I’d love for you to share mom’s lasagna with your family, and come to the table this holiday season with eyes wide open to the blessings of being together.
Mom's Cottage Cheese Lasagna
This cheesy, saucy lasagna gets its wonderful flavor from a blend of beef, Italian sausage, three cheeses, and the secret ingredient, cottage cheese!
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 lb. Italian sausage
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
- 24 ounce jar your favorite pasta sauce (I like a marinara)
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
For the filling:
- 1 1/2 cups full fat small curd cottage cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
For the lasagna:
- 12 lasagna noodles
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups shredded baby Swiss cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
For the sauce and noodles:
- Combine the ground beef, Italian sausage, and onion in a large, deep sauce pan. Cook over medium high heat, breaking apart the meat with a spatula, until no pink remains. Drain any excess fat off the pan, then stir in garlic, pasta sauce, oregano, pepper, and salt. Heat through then reduce heat to low. Allow the sauce to simmer while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a fat pinch of salt and swirl of oil (this helps keep the noodles from sticking.) Add the noodles to the pot and cook for about 2 minutes less than the package directions. Drain noodles then lay them out on aluminum foil so they'll be ready to go later.
For the filling:
- In a medium bowl, stir together the cottage cheese, egg, Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Spread a very scant layer of meat sauce on the bottom of the pan. Top with 4 noodles laid lengthwise in the pan. Spread half the cheese on top followed by 4 more noodles. Spread half of the remaining sauce over the noodles. Spread all of the cottage cheese mixture on top of the sauce, followed by 3 more noodles. Finish with the remaining sauce and cheese. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until cheese is melted and browned.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 814Total Fat: 47gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 166mgSodium: 1601mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 4gSugar: 9gProtein: 53g
Please note nutritional information for my recipes is calculated by a third party service and provided as a courtesy to my readers. For the most accurate calculation, I always recommend running the numbers yourself with the specific products you use.
My Mom always made with cottage cheese and to this day, at my age of 65+, I have never tasted ricotta. Friends and neighbours always asked Mom to make lasagna when they were invited for dinner. Happy to know that others enjoy the cottage cheese.
I have been looking for this recipe for a while. I really don’t care for ricotta and it’s hard to find a recipe for a tasty lasagna with cottage cheese. This sounds like the recipe I used for years but lost. I have it back now and I thank you very much.
I’m baking this for tonight. I used to have a Cottage Cheese recipe and about 30 years ago switched to a Ricotta based one to be “authentic”. I woke up this morning wanting lasagne but realized I really don’t like ricotta. Hahaha. What took me so long? I can’t wait to try it.
Just like my grandma used to make! I know some people feel strongly about cottage cheese being wildly inappropriate in lasagna, but I don’t care! I don’t usually use meat subs, but I wanted to have a lasagna just like my grandma used to make, so I subbed the real meat with Impossible sausage and beyond meat ground not-beef, and it really was just like grandma used to make, and I couldn’t have been happier. Thank you!
I’m so glad you loved the lasagna. I agree, the cottage cheese is what makes this one so good!
I’m confused on where to put the Swiss cheese? Does it get mixed In with the filling or just go on the top. I’m going to make this on Christmas. I love lasagna but my husband hates ricotta so I’m so excited to try this out. Merry Christmas 🎄
Thanks so much for he recipe, making tomorrow… Thanks for your story and what looks to be a wonderful recipe, Thankyou and God bless!
I am going to try this recipe tonight, as my Mother made it this way as a kid. Keep up the stories, was nice to read. I feel sad that somebody (male/female) has to wake up to a miserable old Bear every morning to start their day. Hopefully at the very least they are a good cook?
This was my first time making lasagna from scratch and it turned out AMAZING! My boyfriend and our roommate absolutely loved it! 🙂
Are you needing attention or perhaps you are having a bad day? Your comment was totally rude and selfish. I think we have enough of that in society without reading personal attacks while reading recipe comments. I could have did without your nauseating comment first thing this morning. Thank you in advance for trying to be more sensitive to the feelings of others.
Pretty good lasagna. I just made it and had my first bite.
My mom made a similar recipe back in the 70s that I remember with fondness. I think yours might be a worthy replacement for the grand kids and great grand kids So they can have something to be nostalgic about.
This recipe was fabulous. Whole family totally loved it. Used fresh pasta so did’nt have to cook pasta. i am making another tomorrow to freeze.
Why do we need 87 pages of story before we get to the recipe. I don’t know you, so you are not my family….so therefore, I’m not interested in stories about your relatives. Write down the recipe and that’s it. Don’t need a novel to read when I should be cooking.
There are many reasons why food bloggers write stories or other content before their recipes, especially if, like me, they make a living developing and sharing free recipes on the internet. If you don’t like it, feel free to scroll on by and enjoy your free recipe OR, if scrolling is too difficult, grab a cookbook from your local library.
how many does this serve?
It should serve 8-10 people.
Can you make this the night before and refrigerate before baking?
Absolutely! I recommend bringing it to room temperature while the oven preheats, especially if you’re using a glass pan. Otherwise, just bake as normal!
Just a tip make your comments separate from the page it makes it so much harder to get your recipe
This recipe is so good! My lasagna hating husband loves it. Thank you for sharing it.
Next time I may make it with Bechamel sauce and add some fresh spinach.
I’m so glad! The bechamel sounds wonderful! Let me know how it turns out!
I’m sure that this is delicious but this dish can’t be labeled as a Lasagna. the Cottage cheese can be used as a base cheese but traditional Lasagna requires provolone, mozzarella or a combination of both. Using Swiss Cheese removes this dish from the Lasagna realm. A more appropriate name would be “Italian Casserole”
Yum! This recipe is really good! Followed step by step but added a bit more red sauce and a few more noodles. The swiss cheese….omg, dont skip it! Can’t wait for leftovers tomorrow!
Do you cover it while baking or leave it open? Thanks for the recipe
I bake it uncovered.
I’m confused about the layering order. Is it just me? Noodles, shredded cheese, and then noodles again?
This is SO yummy! Everyone devoured it and gave many compliments. The swiss cheese makes a really creamy addition and the flavor is so mellow in combination with the other cheese. Delicious!
Thanks so much for sharing! I’m so glad you enjoyed the Swiss cheese addition–I think it really makes this Cottage Cheese Lasagna special!
Do you cover you lasagna as you bake?
I do not. If it seems to be getting too brown you can cover it for the last 10-15 minutes, but I’ve never had an issue.
I’ve made this twice now. It started when I went to the store to get ingredients and they were out of both jumbo shells and ricotta. I nervously tried making this for my fiancé (he’s a chef) but it was a hit. I’ve made it twice now. Thank you!
So glad you both enjoyed it! Thanks for letting me know!
My husband bought oven ready noodles. I’ve never made a lasagna, will they work well for this recipe??
I made this recipe a couple of weeks ago. My grocery store did not have ricota that so many other recipes was calling for. This was my second attempt at making lasagna, my first attempt was horrible! But following your mom’s recipe, my second attempt was a million times better! Your mom knows what she is doing here! It is tonights supper once again, but I just wanted to stop by and say thank you so much! Lasagna is a favourite of mine but after my first attempt, I just stuck with frozen. So glad those days are over, thanks again! Well, I gotta go and put a lasagna in the oven lol
Yay! This makes me so incredibly happy. I’m thrilled you loved the cottage cheese lasagna. Thanks for coming back to let me know!
Love the recipe! Substituted ground turkey for the sausage, what great flavour! Have made this three times now and it was absolutely delicious every time.
Thanks so much for sharing this, will be a staple with me from now on.
I’m so glad you loved the lasagna recipe! Thanks for coming back to let me know!
This recipe is great! Since I found it, I use it all the time. Thanks so much for sharing!
This is my favorite lasagna recipe hands down. I have made it many times and I fall in love all over again each and every time. So much so, that I am wo dering if this recipe freezes well? If so any recommendations for cooking times and temps?
You can definitely freeze it! You can freeze the cottage cheese lasagna whole, unbaked, wrapped in saran wrap then foil. When ready to bake, remove the saran wrap then recover with foil. You can bake from frozen at 375 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours or thaw overnight in the fridge and bake for about 1 hour. Uncover and bake an additional 20 or so minutes or until cheese is browned and casserole is bubbly. NOTE: some pans might not do well with extreme temperature changes. For this reason, I always use a foil pan when I’m freezing a whole lasagna.
This was delish!! We have 2 cottage cheese haters in the house and guess what? They couldn’t even tell that was the cheese in there!!!(maybe it’s the less discerning palates of 10&3 year olds) 🤷
All loved it and I’m thankful there was enough for leftovers for tomorrow night!!!!! Thanks!!
The crispy curly edge noodles are the best part. I’ll fight you.
Hello Courtney, I love making Lasagna. I recently have got into a new relationship and I made him mine with ricotta cheese. He didn’t like it lol. He told me about using cottage cheese, so I thank you for this recipe I hope he loves it. I hope all is doing well. Dawn
I hope this cottage cheese lasagna is a hit for both of you!
Thank you so much! I felt a little stupid after I watched the video and saw it at the end. I’ve never made homemade lasagna in my life so I had no clue lol. Can’t wait to try this tonight!
No problem! I hope you loved it!
Where it says add cheese, just add a mixture of both cheeses. Good luck! I hope you love the lasagna!
Hey! I am about to make this lasagna for the first time, but I don’t see any directions that include the Swiss and mozzarella cheeses?
Really good recipe. I’ve been looking for a really good lasagna recipe with cottage cheese for a long time, and this is now my go to! I made it with vegetarian meat substitute and it was great.
That’s so great to hear! Thanks for coming back to let me know!
EXCELLENT RECIPE!!!! I was exhausted when I made this and I didn’t put the meat sauce down first and I didn’t have mozzarella so. Used kraft Mexican shredded cheese and this was awesome! It wasn’t greasy and had a great flavor! Definitely a new family favorite! Thank you for the recipe and God bless!
I’m so glad you enjoyed the Cottage Cheese Lasagna. Thanks so much for coming back to let me know. It always makes my day!
I would like to say thank you for your story it was very touching and I like your recipe.
May god be with you.
Thank you so much for your kind words. I really appreciate it.
Hi I just came upon this recipe and it sounds awesome for Christmas. My question is can I make it ahead and freeze it? And if so do I bake it and then freeze it and warm it on Christmas or just make it freeze it and then bake it that day?? Thank you
I made this a few days ago for a dinner party. IT WAS THE BEST EVER! Everyone raved. I will continue to make this recipe forever more when I make lasagna. I doubled the recipe because I have a large heavy gauge stainless steel lasagna pan. I doubled all the ingredients, except the meat…I used 3 lbs total (2 lbs hot Italian sausage, and 1 lb lean ground beef) and it was plenty meaty. I also made my own homemade butter and onion tomato sauce (a recipe I found on pinterest) that is unbelievably simple and fantastic. Also…my bags of shredded swiss cheese I bought were a gruyere cheese blend…even better! I followed the 3 layers exactly as directed. Also it needed to cook longer because it is bigger. IT CAME OUT beautiful and delicious! One of my guests remarked it was better then he had just eaten in Italy a month ago! Thank you for sharing!
Just tried this recipe last night and it was FANTASTIC! I cut the amounts in half (except for the egg) because there are only 2 of us. Baked it in an 8 x 8″ dish. Perfect in every way. Next time I will make the normal amount but bake it in two 8 x 8’s so I can freeze one. Thanks so much for posting this recipe Courtney.
Yay! I LOVE hearing that. My mom definitely has the magic lasagna touch, and it makes me so happy to be able to share it!
Hi I feel I use the egg in the cottage cheese do I have to bake he lasagne or can I put it in the fridge and bake it the next evening ?
Yep! You can let it sit overnight in the fridge.
Hope your Mom is doing well Courtney. This is the recipe I’ve been looking for and we’ll have it tomorrow. Happy New Year to you and your family, God bless.
Thanks for sharing your recipe and story of your family. So glad your mom came thru the surgery. My mom used to make cottage cheese lasagna (actually back then they had dry cottage cheese). I loved it! She passed away when I was 17 y/o, 46 years ago. Somethings I don’t remember about her cooking, just that it was good. A few years ago I found a recipe for Baked Ziti with cottage cheese. This is how I make it all the time now. Memories of my mom’s lasagna came flooding back to me. I am going to make your recipe for cottage cheese lasagna. Even though the swiss cheese (don’t like) freaks me out a little bit. (sorry for rambling on 🙂
My mother makes a lasagna that is very similar to this. She uses Kraft American Cheese instead of the swiss and it is called Birmingham Lasagna. It is my sons favorite meal
When my husband was in the service & we lived in Germany, Cottage Cheese was my only choice for Lasagna. It worked out so well that when we returned to the states I continued to use my favorite stand-by. I enjoyed the story of your mom´s health scare. I don´t know the time line but prayers to you & your family. Thanks for sharing. Beatrice Aird.
Thanks so much Beatrice. A year and a half later, my mom is doing very well. We are grateful. Thank you for your husband’s service. I’m glad you discovered the goodness of a cottage cheese lasagna!
Love the recipe! Very tasty and easy to make: I didnt have Swiss cheese on hand so I doubled up on Mozzarella and added about a cup more of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Also so glad the treating MD listened to his intuition and followed through with the surgery. Women do NOT always present the typical symptoms, nor do their lab results. Blessings to be grateful for and share in more memories together.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! And yes, we are so very thankful they didn’t send her home (that was the original plan!). It’s been over a year now, and my mom is doing well. Definitely a huge blessing!
Looks marvelous. Will be trying it soon!
i went to the store and got all the stuff for this today! ive been dying for a good lasagna recipe and this one looks amazing! (side note: my husband hates lasagna and this dish will be mine, allll mine to enjoy while he is out of town for work!-this girl is gonna get fat in the best way possible lmao! but i’ll probably be good and freeze some of it for next time..he works 2 weeks on/2 weeks off)
Thank you for the wonderful post. God bless you and your family.
You too! Thanks for reading!
Wow! Courtney, you sure know how to bring the tears to the eyes of your mom and dad!
What a heart wrenching post! We are so thankful also for God’s healing power and Doctor’s
expertise! And yes this lasagna will grace our table this Christmas with many fond memories
as we make new ones!! We thank God for you, Courtney and the whole family! Love you Mom
Thankful that your mom is going to be okay. May you all have many more family gatherings where they are thankful for one another.
Thanks so much. We pray for the same.
Thanks for the recies going to try this soon Carolann