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L’Auberge Chez François Herbed Cottage Cheese Spread

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This blend of cottage cheese, sour cream, garlic and fresh herbs makes an irresistible spread.

Bread topped with a cottage cheese spread.

(Photo by Alexandra Grablewski, Chronicle Books 2018)

My first job out of culinary school was as an apprentice at the acclaimed L’Auberge Chez François, a romantic French restaurant right outside of Washington, DC. If you’re from the area, you’ve likely spent a special occasion there. If not, just imagine an Old World style cottage in the rolling hills of Virginia, dining rooms appointed with cozy fireplaces and traditional Alsatian decor, an old-school French menu featuring the likes of escargots, foie gras, and Chateaubriand, and a whole lotta charm. It’s a very special place.

However, I found out pretty quickly that working there wasn’t quite as romantic as dining there. The restaurant has a large, European-style brigade kitchen with the chef at the helm and all the cooks “manning” their stations. Not only was I the only woman, at five feet two inches tall, I was also hopelessly undersized for the massive equipment that surrounded us. I had to get lifts on my shoes just to reach the plates over the stove—and don’t even ask about those fifty-pound sacks of potatoes! If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to cook in a restaurant kitchen, just imagine trying to juggle multiple orders in your head, cooking on four different burners with food in the oven at the same time, flames, sharp knives, hot pans, and the incessant stream of orders coming in and going out. It was terrifying!

I did eventually get the hang of it, and though I never once forgot what a privilege it was to work there, I have to admit that I’m much happier to be a guest at Chez François now. One of the nicest parts about dining there is all the unexpected treats that show up at your table throughout the meal, like decadent chocolate truffles after dessert, sorbets garnished with candied violets in-between courses, or my personal favorite, the Herbed Cottage Cheese Spread that comes with a basket of toasted garlic bread while you peruse the menu. It’s a blend of cottage cheese, sour cream, garlic, scallions, and fresh herbs that’s irresistible—the perfect beginning to an always perfect meal.

“This was beyond delicious. I served it for a girls cocktail night and then couldn’t stop eating the leftovers the next day…Three friends asked for the link to the recipe that evening!”


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L'Auberge Chez François Herbed Cottage Cheese Spread

This blend of cottage cheese, sour cream, garlic and fresh herbs makes an irresistible spread.

Servings: 2⅔ cups
Total Time: 15 Minutes


  • 1 pound 4% small-curd, cream-style cottage cheese
  • ⅔ cup sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced green onions or chives
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced parsley, plus more for garnish
  • Garlic bread or crackers, for serving


  1. Combine the cottage cheese and sour cream in a medium bowl and blend well. Add the remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly and adjust seasonings. Cover and chill well before serving. Serve with toasted garlic bread or crackers and garnish with fresh parsley if desired.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Serving size: About 1/3 cup
  • Calories: 95
  • Fat: 6g
  • Saturated fat: 3g
  • Carbohydrates: 3g
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 7g
  • Sodium: 368mg
  • Cholesterol: 20mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  • Could you serve this French baguettes? Plain? Or should I season French banquette, too ? Thanks

    • — Hazel on November 22, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Hazel, You definitely could serve this with a plain baguette, but I think it’s best with garlic bread.

      • — Jenn on November 23, 2023
      • Reply
      • Would it be ok to use French baguette to make garlic bread? Would it be too tough or too crusty? Is it recommended just to use it as it is? Thanks

        • — Hazel on November 23, 2023
        • Reply
        • Yes, definitely! A baguette will work beautifully; just warm through so that it doesn’t get too crusty.

          • — Jenn on November 23, 2023
          • Reply
          • Thanks!

            • — Hazel on November 23, 2023
  • Great recipe – thank you so much! Are we supposed to blend with a mixer or by hand? Do we leave curds visible?

    • — Liz on August 19, 2023
    • Reply
    • You just combine everything by hand. And, yes, the curds will still be visible. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on August 21, 2023
      • Reply
  • Wow. This is wonderful. Even my picky son enjoyed. Your recipes never disappoint and you are my go-to site!

    • — Darlene on July 27, 2023
    • Reply
  • So easy and delicious. I stirred it up in the cottage cheese container!

    • — Allison on April 6, 2023
    • Reply
  • YUM! I’ve been going to L’Auberge Chez Francois since I was 20 (I’m now 67) and my best friend’s grandmother treated us to dinner there. Going is like a mini-vacation to France and being treated like royalty. It’s a beautiful space and the service impeccable. The food is scrumptious and one of my favorites is this cottage cheese spread. I’m so glad you shared it because it is always a hit. Thank-you.

    • — Lisie610 on November 24, 2022
    • Reply
  • Jenn, would you recommend serving this as an appetizer with halved cut dates? Another idea would be a topping on salmon. What do you think please?

    • — Jeanie on November 16, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Jeanie, out of the two, I’d definitely opt for the salmon topping.

      • — Jenn on November 16, 2022
      • Reply
  • I’ve made this many times for parties and gatherings and it is always well recieved by those willing to try it (some people knock it without trying it because it’s cottage cheese based). Oddly enough, my toddler really loves it! He dips his crackers and veggies in it.

    • — corinne on September 26, 2022
    • Reply
  • I love this at Jacque’s Brasserie, tried your recipe and it just doesn’t taste the same, should it be blended more like in a mixer?

    • — Elizabeth Money on July 27, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Elizabeth, This is the recipe from the Chez François cookbook. I haven’t been there in ages…I wonder if they’ve changed it over the years? Did you use small curd, cream-style cottage cheese?

      • — Jenn on July 27, 2022
      • Reply
      • Have you ever tried blending the cottage cheese in a blender? What do you think about it?

        • — Sharon Kucera on January 15, 2024
        • Reply
        • Hi Sharon, I haven’t tried it and, while technically it would work, I think it may give the spread a weird texture.

          • — Jenn on January 17, 2024
          • Reply
  • We have been to L’Auberge many times over the years and we always looked forward to this treat. I tried this recipe for the first time last night and it was perfect and our guests loved it. I also made your garlic bread recipe and put it on a French baguette and used the garlic bread as the vehicle to eat this on. Thanks again Jenn!

  • Hi Jenn — how far ahead of time do you think this can be made?

    • Hi Ricky, I think you could get away with making it a day or two ahead. Hope you enjoy!

  • I would give this 10 stars! Outstanding! I served with crackers, sliced cucumber and sliced radish … it was devoured in 15 minutes and everyone asked for the recipe. Thank you Jenn for another winner. You have become my go-to cooking companion – I can rely on your recipes without reservation. Every single one is a winner! People are beginning to tell me I should quit my job and open a catering business!!! Thank you Jenn!

  • This recipe is fantastic!! We made it for a fun pre-Thanksgiving cocktail party and it was gone very quickly. The adults and kids all loved it. Easy to put together ahead of time. Nice and light, but lots of flavor. Highly recommend!!

  • Outstanding!
    We had this as an appetizer while grilling steaks last night. Then we spontaneously spooned what was left on the baked potatoes. We will never go back to plain sour cream for potatoes again.

  • I want to take this on a boat so the bread would not be very warm by the time we serve it. Is there anything else you think it would taste good on?

    • I think it would also be delicious on your favorite crackers. Enjoy!

  • Served this spread with your suggested herbed garlic bread and it was absolutely fabulous. Paired nicely with glass of cabernet sauvignon.

  • Oh my; love to hear your story of working at L’Auberge Chez Francois! We lived in Great Falls most of the ’80’s and dined there as often as we could. Loved the ambience and the food was such a treat! I’m definitely going to be making this recipe this week! Thanks for the great memories!!!

  • We discovered this recipe in your cookbook last year, and it is a firm family favourite!
    (Plus it’s so fun to pronounce)

    Just a quick question, please.
    I wondered whether you might be able to recommend a good garlic press?
    (I’ve just snapped through the blade of my sabatier, crushing garlic for fat Greek tacos!)

    Thanks very much again

    P.S. can’t wait for your new cookbook to come out!

    • Hi Savanna, Glad you like this! I like this garlic press. Hope that helps!

      • Hi Jenn! This link above goes to a can opener. Can you share the garlic press link again? Thank you!

        • Oops – sorry about that – I just updated the link! 🙂

  • Loved it! And friends asked for the recipe. The only thing I tweaked was a squeeze of lemon but it would still have been delicious without! I think I’m almost at a dozen Once Upon A Chef recipes tried. I’ve loved them all! I can’t thank you enough for helping me bring fantastic meals to the table for my family.

  • This is my “go to” quick appetizer!

    And especially before a heavier meal. It is light and tasty and I serve with crackers and cucumber slices.

    I love parsley, so I double the amount too! 🙂

  • This spread truly is heavenly! So easy to whip up, and perfect over fresh baked bread. I would recommend making a double batch as one batch is usually gone within 24 hours at our house. I honestly do not have any complaints and have consistently been impressed with this recipe.

  • I was thrilled to find this spread in the cookbook since L’Auberge Chez Francois is our go to for special occasions and this spread is always a wonderful starter! So happy I can now make it at home! Thank you!!!

  • This is simple and delicious. Very nice for a light snack or appetizer.

  • I made the L’Auberge Chez François Herbed Cottage Cheese Spread and it was magnificent! Now one of my absolute favorites. In the intro you talked about a basket of Chez François’ garlic toast with this dip. Do you have the recipe that I can try with the Cottage Cheese.
    Thanks very much,

  • You say: ” For best results, do not use low fat cottage cheese or sour cream.” The recipe calls for sour cream. So, just leave it out? What about mayonnaise?

    • Hi Ken, when I mention that in the recipe, it’s just to let you know that you will get a much creamier version if you use regular sour cream and 4% cottage cheese. I would not sub out the sour cream for mayo though. Hope that clarifies!

      • It does clarify. What you meant was… OR low fat sour cream. I have tried it with some mayo in the absence of sour cream. Seems to work. Used to visit Chez Francois but now it’s too far away.

        • — Ken Towe, in Georgia
        • Reply
        • My eyes are rolling so hard at this “correction”.

          • Haha mine too!

            • — Beth
  • Thank you for this. A friend from Hungary was visiting and he wanted to make us a something he thought we would enjoy on a hot evening. He stuffed cold, crisp green bell peppers with an herbed cottage cheese (he normally used quark, but wanted all American ingredients so cottage cheese seemed a good substitute). It was delicious. I have your recipe chilling in the refrigerator to pipe into mini peppers. Nice memory

  • It takes will power not to fill up on the Bibelskais and garlic toast.

  • I’ve made this recipe numerous times and love it. However I do find the garlic quite strong after it sits awhile in frig. I’ve cut back and may eliminate altogether next time and stick to only the alliums.
    I usually serve with Ritz or Triscuits.

  • We lived almost around the corner from L’Auberge, as we called it, for 17 years. I have so many memories of eating there, outside on their terrace with no reservations in the summer, driving there in a limo with a bunch of good friends so we could drink the wine with abandon, special dinners with friends now long gone. It sounds like it was quite a kitchen experience right out of cooking school. The owners seemed like nice people though. And you clearly were well trained! I love your recipes and never go wrong when making them. My friend used to wax poetic over the cottage cheese spread, and we always said we were going to reproduce it, but never did.

    • So glad you can relive a little of your experiences at L’Auberge with this spread! 🙂

  • Jenn, love this spread at Chez. I am really picky about my cottage cheese as there are so many textures. (some are way too dry for my taste). Do you have a preferred supermarket brand to share with me? Thanks Val

    • — Valerie Mccormick
    • Reply
    • Hi Val, I like Breakstones. 🙂

      • Beware of Breakstones these days. I purchased it on two different occasions, and it was very soupy and liquidy. It’s just not the Breakstones I have been buying for years. Anyone else having this problem? Maybe a pandemic problem?

  • I think this is my favorite food in the world. Another miracle from Jenn. I served this at Thanksgiving, along with many other delicious Once Upon A Chef treasures, including the Crack Nuts, Butternut Squash/Potato soup, and Brisket! ALL were huge hits. Thank you Jenn!

  • I bought the L’Auberge Chez François cookbook eons ago and this is still the favorite recipe.

  • Dear Jen,
    I have never begun crying upon finding a recipe, but I did when I saw this. Auberge Chez François was mom’s very favorite restaurant, and it was our go-to for the most special of occasions. (We all moved away from D.C. in the early 90s and I still miss Auberge.) My dear mom passed away in December after a long illness. But when I saw the recipe, the first thing that popped into my mind was “Oh! I have to tell mom I found the cheese spread recipe for Auberge!” Of course, that’s when the tears started falling. I am bucking up and making it for a dinner party we are hosting tomorrow night, and I will be toasting my mom with my champagne cocktail in one hand and baguette and cheese spread in the other. I think some of the magic of Auberge Chez François shines through in your recipes – it makes SO much sense to me that you learned there. Thank you, again, Jen for posting this.

    • Laura, I’m so sorry about your mom’s passing and hope you are doing okay. Glad you happened upon this recipe and hope that it brings back happy memories for you. What a lovely (and delicious) way to toast your mom. 💕

  • Would this dip be good with your ciabatta or focaccia recipes?

    • Yes, excellent!

  • I followed this recipe exactly as written and every one loved it. I made garlic bread and slathered it on that, but it was so good that I began going through the pantry to find other things that it would work (it would not have been very lady like for me to have eaten the entire loaf of bread). I highly recommend trying this, impress your family and friends at your next get together, but be sure to make copies of the recipe before hand cuz you will be asked for it.
    Thank you Chef for another great recipe!! I ordered your cook book and its now my favorite one!!!

  • I’ve shared this recipe with my PTA community because I think it’s such a winner. It’s great as an app, but also on roasted potatoes or other roasted veggies. It’s worth the calories of the full fat cheese and sour cream, too. Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe!

    • — Suzanne Hladky
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Can this dip be made the day before serving?

    Thank you.


    • Yes, definitely!

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