Any cottage cheese haters will be pleasantly surprised this holiday season as they discover our rich and decadent mac and cheese, savory bread pudding, stuffed mushrooms, and pumpkin-streusel cheesecake all share the same secret ingredient. Make sure to buy cottage cheese when shopping this weekend for the most delicious Thanksgiving ever.

From appetizers to the finale of the night, let cottage cheese play a role in your Thanksgiving menu. The fresh cheese curds will add a richness and decadence to your traditional recipes without extra oil and saturated fat. Cottage cheese is a great source of protein and will help keep your casseroles and stuffing moist.

Appetizers & Side Dishes:

• Stuffed Mushrooms
Mini-Spanakopitas
Hummus Spread
Curried Artichoke Dip
Corn Bread
Baked Mac and Cheese
Savory Bread Pudding with Goat Cheese

Dessert:

• Cheesecake with Cranberry Glaze
• New York Cheesecake
• Pumpkin-Streusel Cheesecake

Beyond these exact recipes, we recommend using cottage cheese in casseroles instead of creamed soups to provide the same texture and flavor with fresh ingredients instead of canned. Add cottage cheese to your favorite mashed potatoes for added richness and creaminess. Any mac and cheese recipe will be elevated with just a dollop too. If you haven't planned your Thanksgiving day breakfast, this Sweet Potato Breakfast Bake casserole can be made in advance for family—and with our secret ingredient, it will definitely be a hit.

 

This article originally appeared on CookingLight.com.