Cottage Cheese Vs Paneer: What You Should Know

Is there a difference between cottage cheese and paneer? Or are these simply two distinct names for the same types of cheese?

Cheese, which is made from milk, comes in a variety of flavors and types that are prominent in many sweets. Cottage cheese and paneer are healthy cheeses with distinct characteristics and preparation methods. 

Let us take a look at this article, cottage cheese vs. paneer, where I’ll compare these two popular kinds of cheese – everything from their mode of preparation, their texture, to their nutritional benefits.

Cottage Cheese


Cottage cheese is a soft, fresh white cheese with little curds and a savory, creamy flavor. It has a mild flavor and a runny, creamy texture that is not homogeneous. Curdled milk is used to make it. Cottage cheese is sweetened by washing the curds after draining to eliminate residual acidity.


Paneer, often known as Indian cottage cheese, is a light cheese from India. It maintains its shape during cooking and preserves spices well, making it ideal for vegetarian dishes. It’s a fresh, cream-colored, and usually, unsalted cheese prepared traditionally from buffalo milk. However, nowadays, it’s more common to use a mix of buffalo and cow’s milk.

It’s a type of fresh cheese prepared by combining curdled milk with a food-based acid like lemon juice. The whey is then drained and pressed through muslin cheesecloth into a hard block of exquisite cheese. Want to make soft paneer at home? Here’s how to cook paneer.

Cottage Cheese Vs Paneer Difference


The flavor and usage of cheese are determined by its texture and consistency in different recipes. The moisture content and whey evaporated during the preparation method greatly impact how cheese feels. As a result, the finished product may be soft or granular in texture. 

The thickness or firmness of the paneer is the first thing that springs to mind when you think of its texture. The same may be said for cottage cheese in the United States and paneer in India. Both have a good texture, which is necessary when cooking many classic Indian paneer meals. However, it is their structure or shape that distinguishes them.

Cottage cheese has a crumbly texture and can be used to make Indian Paneer Bhurji and other similar recipes. It is classified as a fresh cheese, commonly known as an ‘underripe’ cheese. It’s a soft cheese with a mild flavor and a creamy consistency that’s easy to spread.

Cottage cheese is typically served with salads that include fresh fruits and vegetables because of its light and refreshing quality. Casseroles, dips, and sweets are all popular uses for it. Its unique curds give pastry dough a unique consistency, but you can mash it to a softer texture to suit your recipe.

Paneer, on the other hand, has a hard texture. If you’ve never had tofu before, it looks and feels precisely like it. It has an evenly compact look and a pleasing white color, with a slight green tint when prepared from buffalo milk and a faint yellow tint when prepared from cow’s milk. You can also cut the meat into cubes and use it to make kebabs.

The same cannot be said for cottage cheese in the United States. It has a tight, packed, and soft texture, a mild sweetness, and a weak acid flavor.

Paneer is used in a variety of Indian dishes, as well as other Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern dishes. Since this sort of cheese is mostly Lacto-vegetarian, it’s a good source of protein for vegetarians. Fresh paneer, on the other hand, is extremely adaptable and convenient to use in a variety of dishes. You may flavor it with salt and pepper and serve it with fresh veggies and fruits.

Nature of Preparation

The two products’ preparation methods are opposites, resulting in considerable variances between both. Cottage cheese is made from cow’s, goat’s, or buffalo’s milk and is made by the acidification process, which is activated by bacteria in the milk.

Different preparation methods have resulted in differences in taste, nutrient content, health advantages, perishability, and product popularity. Cheese is formed from milk that has been acidified. Bacteria are utilized to acidify the milk, allowing the cheese flavor to come through.

Paneer, also known as farmer cheese, is made by beating or pressing milk into a butter-like product with a higher level of likeness to cheese because of the sweet tasking element.

Cheese Emulsification Vs Paneer Emulsification

Emulsification is the method of splitting big fat molecules into little fat droplets to increase surface area for digestion or microbial activity and improve the result. Emulsification is frequently employed in the manufacturing of cheese, making it simple to make the product.


Furthermore, emulsification aids in the long-term stability of the products. Cottage cheese is emulsified, which allows it to last for a long time. If properly stored, it can be kept in the freezer for two to six months.

Since paneer does not undergo emulsification, it must be used within two to three days following manufacturing. To lengthen the life of the paneer, you can change the water every few days.

Cottage Cheese Vs Paneer Nutrition

The nutrient composition of the two items, both of which are home commodities for most Asian customers, is the second difference.

Cheese is well-known for its high protein content, which makes it an excellent diet for those trying to gain fat and muscle mass. Essential nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron are abundant in this sort of cheese. Therefore, cottage cheese promotes strong teeth, bones, healthy neurons, and heart muscles.

Because of its high protein content, it’s an excellent strategy to keep blood sugar levels in check. It’s also high in folate, a B complex vitamin that helps pregnant women with embryonic growth. Folate is also necessary for the body’s creation of red blood cells.

Furthermore, women who consume cheese during pregnancy have a lower risk of acquiring new neurological diseases. Cottage cheese is a high-protein, high-riboflavin food. The human body receives 11 grams of protein from 100 grams of cottage cheese.

Its fat content is determined by the type of milk used to make it. For example, if cooked with full cream milk, it will have high-calorie content. Cottage cheese made from cow’s milk has the highest protein content, so it’s still good for you even if you eat it uncooked.

Paneer pakoda

The nutritive value of paneer is similar to that of cottage cheese. It does, however, have a lower protein and calcium content. It also has low cholesterol and saturated fats content, making it good for people with heart problems and those on diets.

Paneer is consumed for its delicious taste, but it also aids in the reduction of cholesterol levels in the body. This cheese contains very little lactose, making it a great choice for lactose-intolerant people.

It is made up of high-quality protein that contains all of the key amino acids required for optimal human growth and development.

The cheese is gluten-free and contains sufficient calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, riboflavin, and vitamins. As a result, it assists in the development of tougher and denser bones and the prevention of osteoporosis.

Cottage Cheese Vs Paneer Calories

The nutritional composition of cheese, particularly its calorie count, is determined by the type of milk used to manufacture it. The calorie content of cottage cheese is determined by the amount of salt added and the amount of milk fat used.

Due to its low calorie and high protein content, cottage cheese aids in weight loss. When cheese is consumed, it causes a sensation of fullness, which leads to weight loss and calorie reduction.

Paneer, on the other hand, is widely regarded as a good vegetarian protein source. It has all nine essential amino acids necessary for tissue growth and repair, increased body immunity, and blood volume maintenance. Paneer is a healthy meal choice for persons with diabetes because of its low carb level.


Paneer cubes are versatile and can be used in a variety of Indian curries, as well as stir-fries. You can also use it to make Paneer Bhurji because of its crumbly nature. It can also be used as a topping on pizzas and salads.

Now, the cottage cheese does not appear to be typical paneer. There aren’t too many choices for this type of cheese in Indian recipes when it concerns cottage cheese. It can only be used to make Bhurji-style preparations.

Of course, it won’t compare to the flavor of fresh Paneer Bhurji, but it’s worth a go!

Cottage Cheese Paneer Recipe


Now you can make cottage cheese paneer at home! The cottage cheese paneer recipe is straightforward and can be made in less than an hour. Once you’ve started preparing it at home, you’ll want to do so on a regular basis. It is healthy, clean, and well-made.

  1. In a saucepan, heat the milk. Bring the water to a boil. Stir often to prevent the milk from sticking to the bottom of the container.
  2. In a mixing basin, whisk the curd until it is smooth.
  3. When the milk starts to boil, reduce the heat.
  4. Pour the milk over the smoothed curd. The milk should be stirred. It will begin to curdle.
  5. It will be entirely curdled after some minutes, and you will be able to see the greenish water separated.
  6. Pour the curdled milk into a basin with a strainer. You can strain the curdled milk using a soft cloth in the strainer.
  7. In the basin, the greenish water will be gathered. It’s referred to as “whey.” It is really nutritious and healthy. You can prepare buttermilk, knead the dough, create soup, dal, or kadhi, or make khandvi with it.
  8. In the strainer, the curdled mixture will be gathered. Place the strainer in a separate basin, cover it, and set it aside for 30-40 minutes to drain the extra water.
  9. If you wish to create a block, place the curdled mixture in a soft towel, wring out the extra moisture, form it into a rectangle and place a heavy weight over it for a few hours.

For Crumbled Paneer

Put the paneer in the strainer for a few hours or until totally dry for crumbled paneer. Fill a bowl halfway with the contents. Crumble the paneer with a fork.

  1. Remove the set paneer from the colander after 30 minutes, chop it into cubes, and use, as needed. The curd-based paneer is overly soft. Soak it in a bowl of fresh water and store it in the refrigerator. Change the water every 7 hours to keep it fresh. The paneer will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
  2. The paneer has been prepared and is now ready to use.
Paneer pakoda

Is cottage cheese and paneer the same?

Cottage cheese in the United States does not have the same texture or consistency as Indian Paneer. However, the flavor is quite similar.

Why is paneer called cottage cheese?

Paneer is known as cottage cheese since it is manufactured in the same way as cottage cheese, except for the pressing of the cheese.

Both of these cheeses are, as you may already know, fresh cheeses. That means they use almost the same method for heating and curdling milk after adding a sour ingredient. The only difference in texture is due to the cheese’s pressing.

Can you make paneer with cottage cheese?

Yes, you certainly can! To make the cottage cheese, simply cook it in ghee (or butter). When you fry it, you’ll see that it clumps up neatly. The paneer is then removed from the pan and squeezed to remove any extra melted butter, ensuring that it is fully dry.

Are cottage cheese and paneer the same thing?

No, they are not the same. Some say that the sole difference between paneer and cottage cheese is that the former is unsalted, whereas the latter is salted and may occasionally contain heavy cream. 

But we know that the process of making both the cheeses is quite different too.

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