Pan-Fried Cottage Cheese Patties – Quick and Cheap Supper Recipe

If you’ve been around for awhile, you probably know that we are not one of those families who spends $50 a week on groceries.  This is at least in part due to the fact that my husband likes to have identifiable meat for supper.  And supper without meat at all is not even an option.  If I serve something like Broccoli Cheddar Soup with bread, he still wants to know when the main course is coming.

However, there are two meals that I can make without meat that everyone enjoys and feels like they actually ate after consuming.  One of them is a Cook’s Illustrated skillet Mexican spaghetti recipe (though my skillet is now too small to fix enough for all of us without using a second pan!), and the other is this, which you will probably think is quite weird:

Cottage cheese patties.

This is a recipe from Jeremy’s family, of Germans-from-Russia heritage.  I have no idea if it’s traditional in that culture or not; maybe some of you know?

It took me awhile to master the recipe.  Something about old recipes not really having detailed directions and never having even tasted the things known as cottage cheese patties made it a little difficult.

However, I recently cracked the code of cottage cheese patties with crispy outsides and velvety insides – and was super excited to be able to make a meal that fills us up for $5 or so!  These are very simple, and mix up in literally two minutes.  We serve them with a couple of vegetables as sides.

Here’s the recipe!  My instructions made this seem really complicated, but they’re not.  So, I’ve included “quick” instructions, too, in case my rambling about the details made you think they are more complicated than they are!

Cottage Cheese Patties Recipe

Recipe Type: Main Dish
Preparation Time: 2m
Cooking Time: 10m
Yield: About 15 cottage cheese patties


3 cups small-curd cottage cheese
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
Butter for pan frying


Quick Instructions:

Mix ingredients together, melt butter in hot pan and drop patties in. Cook until well-browned on both sides!

Detailed Instructions:

Mix cottage cheese and eggs together well. Stir in flour and salt until thoroughly combined – the batter will be quite thick, much thicker than pancake batter. If for some reason yours seems runny, add in more flour or they’ll be difficult to get off the pan.

Heat a large saute pan on medium high and melt 2 Tablespoons of butter in a large saute pan.  You will basically be pan-frying the patties, and they will not be fun to get off the pan if you don’t put enough butter in!  Sometimes I add in a tablespoon or so of olive oil.

Once the butter has stopped sizzling, drop the cottage cheese patties into the pan.  I usually use a heaping-full large soup spoon (the kind you eat with, not a ladle!).  Do not crowd the pan!  In my 11-inch skillet, I usually do about five patties.

Allow the patties to cook until the bottoms are brown and crisp – almost turning black.  You want the cheese to melt on the outside and form a nice crust (yes, cottage cheese does melt!).  You’re also wanting to cook them through, so if in doubt as to whether or not they’re brown enough, cook them a little longer.

Flip the patties and cook on the other side until brown and crispy.  Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate and serve!

For subsequent batches, you will need to add a little more butter or oil each time.  Try not to let your butter burn or your patties will taste burned.  If you are cooking a lot at once, you may need to wipe out the pan if you are getting too many burned bits.

Now tell me… Have you heard of cottage cheese patties before? Anyone know about their origin?

Linking up to the fabulous Tasty Tuesday recipe roundup at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam!



  1. Melissa says:

    I have never heard of this, but I have to say it sounds good. I doubt my husband will touch them if I tell him what they are, but maybe if I just make him blind taste-test?

  2. I’ve never heard of Cottage Cheese patties but I can’t wait to try them! Thanks for sharing the recipe! And thanks for the detailed instructions. They don’t make it sound difficult.

  3. Jennifer H. says:

    I love cheesy anything and have always been intrigued by the “toasted cheese” I read about in the Heidi books when I was a little girl. These sound kind of like that, so I’m excited to give them a try! And my husband sounds the same as yours, there are VERY few meals I can make that don’t involve meat as the main course. One of them is Cauliflower Soup by The Pioneer Woman, no meat required when I serve that! Another kind of odd meal, but super tasty!

    • Oh, my husband would love any recipe called “toasted cheese”! :) He likes to eat the browned bits from the pan after I cook the cottage cheese patties. They are kind of the best part!

      I haven’t tried her cauliflower soup but the rest of Pioneer Woman’s stuff is amazing! Off to check it out. :)

    • Sandra Bales says:

      Toasted cheese is actually what my Swiss family used to do when I was a child. We would build a fire at the beach and when it was hot, my dad would put a chunk of cheese on a long fork, hold it over the coals and toast the one side. Then when the cheese started to drip, he would scrape it onto a piece of toasted bread that was also toasted over the fire. It is delicious. My family now has “cheese on the fire” when we go camping.
      These cottage cheese patties sounds really good too. You could probably add some shredded carrots, green onions or red peppers to them too.

  4. Sounds interesting…worth a try! ;-)

    That spaghetti dish sounds yummy too! Where might one find THAT recipe? ;-)

    • It’s in the America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook (one of the few recipes that I don’t have online!). I tried finding it on their website but it’s not on there… Here’s an “adapted” version of the same recipe:

      Note: I use a full pound of pasta when I make it… They may have adapted the recipe to serve less; not sure. I use black beans in it for some protein, and sometimes put frozen corn in, too. It’s not my husband’s *favorite* but it’s quick, easy, and pretty cheap.

  5. Thanks Carrie! You saved my evening!!! I just moved here last week from Florida and attempted to make homemade bread for dinner only to discover the high altitude makes a big difference! Thanks for blessing me with a quick back up recipe. And what a delicious one too! Everyone who tried these loved them! I’m looking forward to making them again!!!! And seeing what recipes you’ll post next! :0)

    • Ah, yes – baking anything here can be a challenge (I haven’t figured it out, either!). Glad you enjoyed it!

      • Glad I’m not the only one..I’ve been here for 8 years and still can’t seem to get it right!

  6. Sharon F. says:

    OK, I renamed them “Toasted Cheese-cakes” and printed out the recipe. As soon as I buy cottage cheese, I’ll make them. Hmmm…wish someone would put cottage cheese on sale. Or is it, and I missed it?

    • I think 24 oz containers are still on sale at King Soopers for $1.88 – that’s about as low as they seem go to these days.

  7. Do you use regular white flour or will it work with whole wheat?

    • I use white but wheat would probably be fine. Whole wheat pastry flour would be awesome!

      • Thank you! I asked my husband if I could surprise him with something to eat that didn’t have meat and he said, “as long as it has protein!” … He loved them! I think we may try replacing the flour with oatmeal sometime :)

  8. Carrie, I just made these for dinner and I am in love! They totally remind me of an old Ukrainian rercipe my grandma used to make.
    Thank you! My 16 year old son even likes them!

    • Yay! The Ukrainian thing does make sense with what litle I know about the origin of the recipe! :)

  9. These look quite interesting and yummy. I didn’t used to like cottage cheese but it’s growing on me. My son actually loves it.. We ALL love melted cheesy things. :) Thanks for sharing!! Oh and your hubby sounds just like mine. Gotta have recognizable meat on the table. ;)

  10. these were so good! even my 1 year old and 3 year old liked them! i used reduced fat cottage cheese and they turned out perfect! Thanks for a great quick easy recipe!

  11. I’m glad you reminded your Facebook fans of this recipe again tonight…I am definitely putting it on my meal plan next week! We’ve been eating less meat, but I still find that I have to make something with a “main course” feel to it for my husband to think he’s full. These sound perfect!

    • Hope you enjoy it! My husband is chuckling and the people that have tried this recipe already and loved it! :)

  12. Tried these for dinner tonight — everyone loved them! I used whole wheat pastry flour and they turned out great. Thank you for sharing a yummy, inexpensive recipe!

  13. i come from a mennonite background so this is quite common (along side other “quick & cheap” dishes, lol), if you’ve never tried it i highly recommend it.

    • Ah, that totally makes sense – Jeremy’s family isn’t Mennonite but came from a community that had many Mennonites. Thanks for the info!

  14. My mom made these frequently growing up, but using oatmeal instead of flour- also after panfrying she would put them in the oven with a cream of mushroom soup gravy and bake until bubbly….hers had diced onion as well and Worcheshire sauce- YUMMY with mashed potatoes….still one of my favorite meals.

    • Yes! We love these and eat them all the time. I grew up Seventh Day Adventist. Many, like me are vegetarian. My husband wasn’t raised vegetarian but since I don’t cook meat he honors me by accepting that he will only get veggie meals at home, we too eat these with oatmeal instead of flour and we serve them with a mushroom soup and sour cream “gravey”

  15. Does anyone know if you can use fat free cottage cheese and a cooking spray like Pam to have a healthier alternative?

    • You could use fat free cottage cheese, for sure. You could try using a cooking spray like Pam instead of the butter, but I would only do that using a non-stick skillet – you’ll never be able to get the patties off a stainless pan with just cooking spray. I would guess that you won’t get great browning just using cooking spray, which is where a lot of the flavor is.

      If you try it, let us know how it tastes!

  16. I normally never cook unless it’s a super fast and easy. I think I could actually do this one. I’m gonna try this and let you know how it turns out!

    • fairly common in russian homes…

      My mom just made some today… Though i think she makes it more dessert. She adds a bit sugar and a good amount of raisins. To die for.

  17. Thank you so much. I am taking Isoniazid, and can’t have any aged cheese.
    I thought “fried cottage cheese”. I wondered if there was a recipe. Googled it and Voila!
    I will admit that I added a healthy dose of onion powder, minced garlic flakes, thyme and pepper.
    Really tasty. Cut the recipe down to 1/3, since it was just me, still made 4 good sized patties.

  18. Tara Larsen says:

    I just found you via Life As Mom and decided to give these a try. So good! Thanks so much for sharing. :)

  19. It is a very interesting variation of what we cook here in Ukraine. The dish is called syrniki. The difference is that we add sugar and raisins to the dough and the cooking process is a little different, so it makes those patties more of a breakfast kind of dish. Kids just love it! We cook a lot with cottage cheese, so I’ll try this recipie next time I have some on hands. Thanks!

    • My mother was born in Germany. She used to make a breakfast patty when I was a child she called it:
      (I have no idea how to spell it but it is pronounced ) KWAH COIL CHEN . She has since passed and I have looked everywhere but could not find a recipe in her things so here I am on the the web looking for something that comes close. Yours sounds much like it. It was a fried patty and I know she used cottage cheese and raisins. It was sweet, we used sugar or jam on top sometimes.
      I would imagine in Europe a lot of inexpensive recipes were adapted to different regions based on what ingredients were easily available, especially during WWI and WWII. With this base recipe I can perhaps get it close to what she made.

      Thank you for posting.

  20. Dear Carrie,
    Over years I have had culinary successes(on a domestic scale, that is) in different technics from Italian ravioli to Russian Rye bread with home-grown yeast and home-malted grain…My downfall was the cottage cheese patties that I grew-up with. I could not get the proportions right . And I can not THANK YOU ENOUGH for doing it for me .
    Just tried them with salmon in it and they turn out perfect. It will be our basic recipe with many variations to come.
    Love, Yulia

  21. Olga St. Pierre says:


    Being Russian, I grew up with cheese pancakes. I used to hate them when I was little, but with age, started to love them :) My mom always made them for breakfast or for supper as a main dish. They are sweet and served with maple syrup or strawberry jam or sour cream. Here in the US, I found that these are best made with farmer’s cheese. Both of my girls love them for breakfast or supper. I make them with a bit of sugar, vanilla sugar, 1 egg and flour. Thanks for sharing.

  22. Matthew McDaniel says:

    These are “blini” & yes we DO eat them here in Russia!

  23. My boyfriends mother used to make fried cottage cheese when he was little. She was from Vienna. He never got the recipe from her. He made them sound so gooooood! I can’t wait to try your recipe Carrie! We’ll see if they compare to what his mom made. Thank you. :-)

  24. Theresa says:

    These sound interesting!!! What would you serve with them? Some type of sauce? I would need to add a veggie to have with it but what???

  25. Candice says:

    I put raisens in mine and fry them in oil. Then they are topped with butter, sour cream and syrup.
    They are delicious this way. I’ve made them for years just like my Russia grandmother and her mother too.

  26. Candice says:

    I forgot to post 1 TB. of sugar in mix and NO salt..

  27. I have heard of these before, I read to my wife and they are mentioned in ‘Little Town on the Prairie’ by Laura Ingalls Wilder. My wife wants to try them, so I was happy to find your recipe.

  28. My ancestry is Lithuanian and my mother often made very similar “cheeseburgers” for our family for supper. It was one of my favorite meals when I was young. It has been many years since I have had them since she passed away over 40 years ago, and I forgot about them until I started reminiscing with my cousin, who reminded me of her mother making them. I am so excited to find this website! I believe she used a pressed or dry cottage cheese or farmers cheese, rather than the type with curds She dipped them in flour before frying them in oil, as I remember her taking a knife and using it to score criss-crosses on both sides, to help keep the flour on the “burgers”.

  29. these were good. I used 2% milkfat cottage cheese. They kind of taste like pancakes. I accidently bought large curd. I think next time I would get small (i usually do!). It didnt affect the patties, but i think i would have liked the texture better!

  30. I don’t know the history of these, but it reminds me of my friend’s “Cottage Cheese Fritters” recipe. It was from a Women’s Day magazine (1981). That recipe is served more like a dessert- it uses twice as much flour, plus a little milk, vanilla, and baking powder. They are supposed to be served with jelly. Both variants sound tasty to me. Cottage cheese is going on the grocery list…

  31. My grandparents came over from Poland (and Germany), I grew up eating these and have always loved them. My grandmother’s recipe sounds the same as yours. Sometimes she would add very finely diced onion to it. I really loved it like that. This will be dinner tomorrow night! Thanks for the blast from the past. :)

  32. Kosherspam says:

    This is a very easy version of an old Adventist recipe.
    Always good eats.

  33. my mom was of polish descent and loved these. she called them glomkis (or something like that). i lost her last year and will be making these soon for her. thanks for sharing.

  34. dixie hamwey says:

    My elderly neighbor told me about this dish. She hails fro West Va. And said they used ‘rotten cottage cheese’. I assume it may have been an economical incentive to use up as soon as possible. She had no recipe. She’s a little nostalgic these days so I will make her some from fresh cottage cheese. Along with the salt rise bread her nephew makes, she’ll love it! Thank you for the recipe.

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