Whether it’s tacos, soups, tostadas, or enchiladas—the wonderfully crunchy and salty cottage cheese is a fan favorite.
Cotija cheese is commonly confused with another popular Mexican item, queso fresco cheese, because of its similar appearance. This makes it quite difficult for the average consumer to find cottage cheese in grocery stores.
Which aisle is the best place to find cottage cheese in the grocery store?
You can find cottage cheese in the cheese aisle or grocery store section. However, if your local grocery store doesn’t have a dedicated section for cheese, your next best option is to look for cottage cheese in the dairy and egg section.
The reason many grocery stores (usually smaller ones that don’t have dedicated cheese aisles) put cottage cheese (and other types of cheese) in the dairy aisle is that it is a byproduct of milk.
Made from cow’s milk, this delicious Mexican cheese is available in fresh and aged (añejo) varieties. Both types of cottage cheese are salty, but the fresh variety is softer than the aged one, which is somewhat similar in texture to Parmesan cheese.
Where to find cottage cheese in other stores and supermarkets?
Unlike cheddar or mozzarella, it’s likely that many local grocery stores don’t have zesty Mexican cotija cheese in stock. Then what to do?
do not worry! We have compiled a list of popular supermarkets across the US, where you can easily find this cheese in fresh and aged form. You can also buy grated cottage cheese or go for a more traditional block.
You can easily find cottage cheese at your local Walmart. You should be able to easily find sliced and block varieties in the dairy and egg sections. If you can’t find a tour there, you can find it in the meat and cheese section.
Walmart also allows you to check cheese availability online before your trip to the supermarket. In addition, you can also buy cottage cheese online through the Walmart website, thus saving you the trouble of physically making a trip to the supermarket.
If you shop at Target, you can buy cottage cheese in the dairy section. Be sure not to confuse it with queso fresco. There are several brands of cottage cheese available at Target, so you have the freedom to buy your favorite.
When shopping at Target, another great and convenient option is to use the online inventory checker. This allows you to use the DCPI or UPC number to locate Cotija cheese at any target location.
DCPI and UPC numbers help Target manage its inventory. That way, you can enter the number to find out if different brands of that Mexican cheese are stocked at different Target locations.
Additionally, you can also use a delivery service to get the cottage cheese delivered to your home.
If Kroger is your supermarket of choice, all you need to do is browse the dairy and egg section to find cottage cheese. You can also find it in chopped form.
If you want to order cheese online at Kroger, you have two options – you can either pick it up or have it delivered to your doorstep. Online, you can also find different brands in the specialty cheese section.
At Whole Foods Market
You can find several brands of cottage cheese in the dairy and egg section of Whole Foods Market, in-store and online. You can find it in grated and wheel form.
A great feature on Whole Foods Market’s website is the “Find a Store” option, where you can see the price of different Cotija cheese brands based on your city and location.
This makes it easy for you to either order the product online or visit the nearest store in your area.
Another easy option to buy cottage cheese in just a few hours is to shop on Amazon. Amazon carries several brands of cottage cheese, including gluten-free varieties.
Finding cotija cheese at Mexican grocery stores
Since this cheese is a staple in many Mexican dishes, it makes sense to buy cotija cheese from a Mexican grocery store for authenticity.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt to shop at such grocery stores because it makes it easier for you to buy other authentic ingredients you need. Look for it in the cheese section or the dairy and egg section.
If you don’t know of Mexican stores in your area, you can search on Yelp and find the closest store to your location.
How to store cottage cheese?
We have discussed popular supermarkets where you can find cottage cheese, including those that offer online services. However, it is equally important to know how to properly store cheese once you have purchased it.
You can keep this fresh variety in the refrigerator for up to a month, provided it is properly wrapped in wax or parchment paper. When refrigerating, be sure to seal the cheese using an airtight container or plastic bag.
For an older cottage, you can do this and use it for up to three months.
Substitutes for cottage cheese
If you find it difficult to find cottage cheese, you can substitute it with the following substitutes:
- Queso Fresco: Another cow’s milk cheese, queso fresco looks a lot like cotija cheese but is much milder in taste.
- Feta Cheese: Like cotija cheese, feta is another crumbly cheese that works great as a topping. It has a similar funk to cotija and is readily available.
- Goat Cheese Crumbles: You can also add firmer goat cheese crumbles in place of cotija cheese.
Cottage cheese has gained popularity—thanks to its salty, crunchy texture. You can easily find it in the cheese or egg and dairy sections of grocery stores across the United States. It is also available in gluten-free varieties.
If you don’t have cottage cheese in your local supermarket and you don’t have a popular grocery store chain near your home, ordering cheese online is a great alternative.
If that doesn’t work, you can also search on Yelp to find the nearest Mexican grocery store and get the cheese from there.