L’Auberge Chez François Herbed Cottage Cheese Spread

Tested & Perfected Recipes

This blend of cottage cheese, sour cream, garlic and fresh herbs makes an irresistible 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. It was 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 blend of cottage cheese, sour cream, garlic, scallions and fresh herbs that’s irresistible…the perfect beginning to an always perfect meal.

Note: At the restaurant, this is served as a spread but it’s also delicious on its own as a snack or side, like cottage cheese. For best results, do not use low fat cottage cheese or sour cream.

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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: 2-2/3 cups
Total Time: 15 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound 4% small-curd, cream-style cottage cheese
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 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

Instructions

  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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Reviews & Comments

  • 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?

    • — Ann on August 14, 2021
    • Reply
    • I think it would also be delicious on your favorite crackers. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on August 16, 2021
      • Reply
  • Served this spread with your suggested herbed garlic bread and it was absolutely fabulous. Paired nicely with glass of cabernet sauvignon.

    • — Kathy M. on July 11, 2021
    • Reply
  • 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!!!

    • — Carol Sayer on July 8, 2021
    • Reply
  • 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!

    • — Savanna Faith on June 18, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Savanna, Glad you like this! I like this garlic press. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on June 18, 2021
      • Reply
      • Hi Jenn! This link above goes to a can opener. Can you share the garlic press link again? Thank you!

        • — Kulia on July 29, 2021
        • Reply
        • Oops – sorry about that – I just updated the link! 🙂

          • — Jenn on July 29, 2021
          • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Ro on June 5, 2021
    • Reply
  • 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! 🙂

    • — beth snyder on January 30, 2021
    • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Maddie W on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • 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!!!

    • — Mary on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is simple and delicious. Very nice for a light snack or appetizer.

    • — Mary on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • 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,
    Ken

    • — Ken Grundborg on January 5, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Ken, glad you liked the dip! Unfortunately, I don’t have their recipe for garlic toast. If you have my cookbook, I do have a great garlic bread recipe in it. If you don’t own the cookbook but would like the recipe, let me know and I can email it to you.

      • — Jenn on January 5, 2021
      • Reply
  • 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?

    • — Ken Towe on September 1, 2020
    • Reply
    • 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!

      • — Jenn on September 2, 2020
      • Reply
      • 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 on September 2, 2020
        • Reply
        • My eyes are rolling so hard at this “correction”.

          • — CJ on November 21, 2020
          • Reply
  • 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

    • — Carol on August 17, 2020
    • Reply
  • It takes will power not to fill up on the Bibelskais and garlic toast.

    • — Bob Peterfs on May 21, 2020
    • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Jude on April 2, 2020
    • Reply
  • 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.

    • — Alene on January 16, 2020
    • Reply
    • So glad you can relive a little of your experiences at L’Auberge with this spread! 🙂

      • — Jenn on January 16, 2020
      • Reply
  • 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 on December 30, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Val, I like Breakstones. 🙂

      • — Jenn on January 2, 2020
      • Reply
  • 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!

    • — Eve on December 4, 2019
    • Reply
  • 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.

    Jan

    • Yes, definitely!

  • 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!

    • Hi Kathryn, Did you use small-curd, cream-style cottage cheese? If you have my book, there’s a nice garlic bread in it. I can email it to you if not…just let me know. 🙂

    • 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 🙂

      • — Kathryn on November 27, 2020
      • Reply
      • Glad to hear it — thanks for reporting back!

        • — Jenn on November 27, 2020
        • Reply

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