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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  • I’ve been to the restaurant several times and love this appetizer with the garlic bread (can you show us how to do that next!!? Please?)

    I thought this was great, but I followed the recipe exactly and mine came out a little too thick and lumpy for my taste. Next time I make it I think I will do a quick turn in the blender and use some cream to thin it out.

    I was so eager to try it I made it just for me and my husband and now I have a huge bowl of leftover dip in my refrigerator and no parties to go to this week. I’ll be baking the leftovers today into an breakfast casserole and into an egg noodle casserole dish. Will let you know how it turns out!

    • I made this again yesterday for Thanksgiving appetizer. This time I used Hood 4% Country Style Cottage Cheese. I blended half of the cottage cheese in a blender with 1/4 cup heavy cream and then mixed that in with the rest. I liked the result a lot — a creamier spread. Looking forward to the leftovers today 🙂

      • Glad to hear it — thanks for reporting back!

  • Hi Jenn. How many does it serve? We will be about 20 people.
    What type of crackers would you recommend?
    Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

    • Hi Tahera, It really depends on how many other appetizers there are. If you have a bunch, I think you’ll be fine. I love this with garlic toasts or baguette slices.

  • Hi Jen,
    Love all your recipes and bought your new book! Just love it!
    Quick question, I want to make your cottage cheese dip… I can’t find creamed cottage cheese.., any suggestions ?


    • Hi Fran, You can use large-curd cottage cheese if you can’t find small. Enjoy!

  • I made this last night for the first time. The only changes I made were to be a little heavy handed with the herbs (which is typical of me). It is GREAT!!! I made it to go with garlic bread like Jenn talked about. I will make this again and again!!!!

  • I really enjoyed this recipe. A nice, cool summer recipe where I was able to use some herbs from the garden. I’ve enjoyed it with garlic bread, pretzel chips, veggies, and a French baguette.

  • I loooooove this spread! It’s so fresh and yummy. Jenn, I got your cookbook for Mother’s Day (I’ve been raving about your site for awhile) and in the two weeks since, I have already made this twice… and have another tub of cottage cheese in the fridge ready to make it again, it is that addicting. I shared with my extended family on Memorial Day and it disappeared in a flash. I have adored every dish that I’ve made from your book and website. That garlic bread… oh my goodness, life will never be the same 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing your talent!

    • So glad you like this dip (and that you’re enjoying other recipes from the cookbook and blog)! ❤️

  • Jenn, you are too funny! This is a great recipe. On several occasions I helped a chef friend cater events. I don’t get it like you do. But, after peeling so many 40 pound bags of potatoes, I get it. Nice! Love your emails and looking forward to getting your cookbook when Amazon has it in stock!


    • — Chuck Spangler
    • Reply
  • Made this as part of my Thanksgiving appetizer set up. My husband, hater of cottage cheese, was scooping it up like a maniac! We added extra shallots, garlic and scallions – delicious!
    Thanks for making me look like a rock star again Jenn!

  • I love this dip – it’s different but has a light satisfying taste a nice addition to my Dip options.

  • Substituted Greek yogurt for the sour cream and it was delicious! Thank you for another great recipe.

  • Hi Jenn, I made this recipe tonight. It was fabulous! I hope you won’t be insulted, but I wanted to try this as an alternative to the heavy blue cheese and ranch dip for buffalo wings. I went against your advice and used 2% cottage cheese but used full fat sour cream. We grill our wings and this was THE perfect sauce. I will make this over and over, Thank you.

  • I made this as an appetizer for Thanksgiving and it was wildly popular! Thanks so much for this recipe! I can’t wait to get your cookbook- I pre-ordered on Amazon!

    • Glad it was a hit, Michele! And thank you so much for pre-ordering the book!

  • Thanks for the L’Auberge herbed cottage cheese recipe. We went after a long hiatus recently and the cottage cheese spread was a highlight and made me realize how I never eat cottage cheese anymore.
    So, before I found your recipe, I made a similar version, as a first go at it – just fresh garlic, onion salt, parsley . Next time, will definitely use the green onion for a savory breakfast version.
    For an appetizer, I’ll also add the sour cream…
    Beyond simple. And Yummy. Thanks….

  • This sounds really good. I’ll have to try it.
    It’s different than my family’s concoction of black olives (California type) and chopped pepperocini mixed in which we eat with potato chips usually.

    Your experience sounds like a nightmare and makes me realize I am lucky to just have the multiple pots on the stove with two orders going (my husband and I seldom eat the same meal). At least I don’t have to juggle orders coming in! Even getting two done at the same time is hard enough!

  • When you say to blend the cottage cheese and sour cream, is that by stirring or with a mixer?

    • Hi Kelly, you can just blend it by hand- no mixer necessary!

  • Love this quick and easy dip. Only got to the restaurant once but relish telling my guests where the recipe comes from. Its a winner and so easy to make. Many friends have asked for the recipe and so enjoy referring them to this site. The recipe comes out perfect as is.

  • I made up a recipe like this. I wanted a dip for crudities that had a fair amount of protein. I combine a 16 oz carton of 4% Cottage cheese and 8 oz sour cream and being lazy, I add a pkg of ranch dressing. I zap all this in a blender. If it is too thick, I thin it with some milk. Many times when it is hot, I have this dip and crudities for dinner. You can use any kind of salad dressing mix. There is a spicy ranch dressing called Fiesta Ranch that has a nice flavor. Not high brow, but it hit the spot. I thought I was being original. Oh, well. 🙂

  • My husband and I are totally addicted to the Roasted Broccoli with Chipotle Honey Butter. I have made it 4 times in the past two weeks. If George H. W. Bush could taste this, I’m sure he would change his opinion about broccoli.
    I love all of your recipes. Please keep them coming!

    • — Maureen A Siegel
    • Reply
  • I have a question re the tablespoon of green onion: I was cooking with a woman at a large gathering and when I saw her prepping the green onions and throwing out the bulb … I was suitably horrified! She told me she never uses that part of the onion! Jenn, seeing as this recipe only calls for a tablespoon of onion may I assume you use all bulb?

    • Louise, don’t be horrified but I never use the bulb either! (I think the onion taste is a little too strong in the bulb.) For this recipe, and when cooking with green onions in general, I use the dark and light green parts. Hope that helps!

      • The bulbs are wonderful, sauted and used in omelets, frittatas and quiche!

  • Can you substitute Greek yogurt for the sour cream to cut down on the fat?

    • Lorraine, for the best results, I’d stick with sour cream.

  • Is it good idea to put the cottage cheese in cheesecloth to squeeze out some of the moisture before using it in this spread?

    • Hi Dave, I don’t think it’s necessary unless your cottage cheese is particularly watery. Hope you enjoy!

  • Now, I love cottage cheese, so I knew I’d like this recipe…but, oh my gosh, be still my heart! This is incredible and has been my breakfast, on its own/without toast, for days now. This will definitely be a fridge staple. Jenn, I’m about to turn “Julie & Julia” into “Abby & Jenn” [vegetarian-remix] with all the great recipes!

  • So good! This is now my favorite way to use cottage cheese – such a healthy and delicious dip!

  • Would you be able to give me the nutritional count and what’s your opinion of using lower “fatty” ingredients? Thanks!

    • Hi Judy, The nutritional data has been added underneath the recipe. I can tell you that the lower fat ingredients don’t work nearly as well — I have tried it!

  • So pleased to learn from you. Loved the story and photos with this recipe.

    This sounds terrific and I’ll trying it soon!

  • This was beyond delicious. I served it for a girls cocktail night and then couldn’t stop eating the leftovers the next day. It really was better the next day as I didn’t let it rest long enough before serving. Three friends asked for the link to this that evening!

    • — Anna Satterfield
    • Reply
  • I believe that this recipe first led me to Once Upon a Chef–for that, I will be forever grateful! This is an elegant, subtle spread that won’t compete with the main course that follows. I like it for it’s simplicity and clean flavors.

  • I found your website by google searching a recipe for this spread about a year ago. I’m so glad that I did because it opened up the door to some amazing recipes that I have tried. The spread is one of my favorites. Chez Francios is sentimental to me as it is where my husband took me on our first date. I was worried it wouldn’t taste exactly the same as the restaurant but it indeed did. I did not modify it from your recipe at all. I would highly recommend it and it is usually the first thing to disappear when i have a dinner party.

  • I’ve been to this restaurant for anniversary dinners and love this spread. So glad to know how to make it for the 364 days between our anniversary dinners 🙂

  • Love the restaurant, love this spread! Thank you so much for the recipe. I made it today and was in heaven! I sliced up a baguette and served plain, untoasted slices and toasted garlic slices, either way it was delicious! Thanks again!

  • I had never thought to use cottage cheese as a spread, but this was light, fresh and delicious!

    • — Mandy Burkhart
    • Reply
  • I haven’t had the pleasure of going to this restaurant, but have heard about it from family who live in that area. This is a delicious do-ahead recipe. Very difficult to sample just one bite, then put it away for your guests! Thanks, Jenn!

  • I received rave reviews from my friends when I made the L’Auberge Chez Francois Herbed Cottage Cheese Spread!

  • This spread is wonderful. I also served it on garlic toast and my guests loved it.

  • Absolutely delicious spread with the garlic toast!!! Everyone loved it, once again.

  • Being a diabetic, I look for recipes just like this. 🙂

  • Nice recipe – making it this weekend for a “31” party.

  • I made this for friends this weekend and it was such a hit with the toasted bread! They loved it and were surprised to find cottage cheese was used in it! Thanks again for the great recipes

  • I made this for a New Year’s Eve party and it was such a hit! I had many people asking me about it! And I grew up in the DC area, so now I am dying to go back and go to L’Auberge Chez Francois! Thank you for the wonderful recipe and story to go with it!

  • love this dip!!

  • We love this restaurant (spend every anniversary there) and this dip is amazing. Thank you so much for letting us in on the recipe!

  • This is the best spread. I loved it when eating there and now I can make it!

  • The Carte Room downstairs at the Harvard Faculty Club used to serve a complimentary dip that tasted just fantastic, but the recipe was never revealed. Your list of ingredients sounds remarkably enticing and may just be the same dip. I’m dying to get the ingredients and try it out. I always had it washed down with a Heinekin, but I bet I could savor it all day long with various liquids.
    Thank you so much for at least my anticipation of great enjoyment.

    • Hi Elizabeth, I’m not sure if this is the same dip but it’s a wonderful and unique recipe…I hope you’ll try it and let me know what you think.

  • This was great! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  • My family and I have been going to L’Auberge Chez Francois since the mid-80’s. It is one of the most special places on earth!

    Thank you for posting this recipe. I’ll have to whip up a batch this weekend and dust off my copy of the cookbook as well.

  • Can you use yogurt instead of sour cream?

    • Marie, I’d definitely stick with sour cream.

      • I absolutely despise low fat cooking of any kind, but I have to say that Fage plain Greek yogurt, not the fat free kind, is amazingly good in cold recipes. You can’t heat it, but on a potato or in a dip it’s outstanding.

  • Thanks for telling the real behind the scenes story! I often toy with the idea of going to culinary school, having worked in many kitchens and restaurants. But then I remember getting yelled at by the pastry chef I worked for one summer, and every other chef for that matter, and I come back to reality. It’s got to be the closest thing to working on the floor of the NY Stock Exchange that there is.

  • Love Chez Francois and love this spread. Thank you!!

  • Working behind the scenes is never as romantic! 🙁
    Love the dip

  • Oh WOW! Bookmarked!

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