Cottage Cheese Rigatoni Alla Vodka is Worth the Hype

cottage cheese penne alla vodka
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
4-6 servings

Cottage cheese has been a go-to ingredient in the online world of food trends, and for good reason! The long-overlooked cheese is velvety smooth, creamy and absolutely packed with protein. This recipe uses cottage cheese in place of the heavy cream for a twist on the classic vodka sauce. This lightens up the recipe and adds loads of protein to the dish. It comes together in under 30 minutes making it a perfect recipe for a weeknight!

Related: 15-Minute Cottage Cheese Pizza Toast is the Easiest Lunch Ever



Salt, to taste
lb rigatoni pasta
Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
shallots, minced
cloves of garlic, minced
tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Tbsp vodka
mL double concentrated tomato paste
cup pasta water
cup full-fat cottage cheese
Freshly grated parmesan cheese, for serving
Fresh basil, for serving


Ingredients for cottage cheese penne alla vodka
Step 1

Set a large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta until al dente. Be sure to set aside ½ cup of the salty, starchy pasta water.

Step 2

Meanwhile, to a heavy bottom skillet over medium heat add the oil, shallots, garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook until the shallots begin to soften, about 4 minutes.

Step 3

Season with a pinch of salt. Stir in vodka, tomato paste and pasta water. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, continuously stirring.

Tomato sauce in a skillet.
Step 4

Remove from heat and transfer mixture to a food processor or blender. Add the cottage cheese and puree until smooth.

Step 5

Transfer the sauce back to the pan and add the cooked rigatoni. Toss to coat.

Cottage cheese penne alla vodka in a skillet
Step 6

Finish with parmesan cheese and garnish with basil.

A bowl of cottage cheese penne alla vodka.

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