Vegan Ricotta Cheese Recipe
This vegan ricotta cheese recipe is easy, uses simple ingredients and perfect for everything from lasagna to pizza. The flavor is spot on!
This recipe was originally published on 11/18/13
This is the perfect alternative for any recipe that calls for traditional ricotta cheese. Dairy free ricotta made simply and with whole foods!
Whatever your reason for needing to cut dairy, its amazing to see what options are out there and what you can do with other ingredients to mimic the flavor and texture of items with dairy.
Is Lasagna Better With Ricotta Or Cottage Cheese
Is lasagna better with ricotta or cottage cheese? For a lighter lasagna, cottage cheese is the clear winner. Ricotta is creamier than cottage cheese, but also has a lot more calories. If you want to use cottage cheese, but prefer the consistency of ricotta, try straining or blending it to transform the texture.
Ingredients For Vegan Ricotta
Tofu is the key ingredient here. It does such a great job of giving this vegan cheese that great ricotta-like texture.
Im actually not a huge fan of tofu, and use it pretty sparingly. I much prefer the texture of soy-free Burmese chickpea tofu in stir fries and similar dishes.
But for this vegan ricotta, it actually works perfectly. I used extra firm tofu, to get the perfect fluffy texture. This is the exact brand that I used for this recipe!
Nutritional yeast is the other essential ingredient, because it adds that distinct cheesiness.
You can purchase it at most grocery stores in the health food section, or you can .
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How To Use Vegan Ricotta On Pizza
Before bakingadd desired toppings or any veggies you like. I usually dont like too many toppings, olives and basil or spinach. I wanted basil but when I went to Kroger, they had NO basil, can you believe that? Weird. So, I used spinach instead. Still yummy. I always use my favorite 5 minute pizza sauce.
BAKED and delicious.
The first bite into that delicious smooth and creamy ricotta had both my daughter and I so happy! I mean, look at that texture.
Macadamia And Cauliflower Ricotta
Upgrade your lasagne, take your cheese sauce to the next level, or up your manicotti game with this dairy-free ricotta. The recipe calls for macadamia nuts, steamed cauliflower, and seasoning. Itll offer vitamin C and B vitamins, too, so you can snack soundly knowing this cheesy, guilty pleasure isnt harming your health.
Find the recipe here.
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How To Store Vegan Ricotta Cheese
This vegan cheese can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week in an airtight container. It can also be stored in the freezer for about two months.
This dairy free recipe is one of my favorite vegan versions of ricotta because it has a legit cheesy flavor. Its one of the best vegan cheese recipes youll make!
Try using it to make a Vegan Lasagna packed with nutrients and lots of protein.
If you try this recipe, let me know what you think by leaving a rating on the recipe card and a comment below!
Can I Use Regular Whole Almonds
Raw slivered almonds are a much better choice because the skins have already been removed. You absolutely do not want almond skins in your ricotta, so whole raw almonds just wont work here.
If you want to blanch whole almonds and remove their skins, you could do that. But its quite a bit of work, and much easier simply to buy raw slivered almonds instead. Or use raw cashews instead.
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Simple Healthy Homemade Versatile
Besides, being simple, healthy, and relatively budget-friendly, this homemade vegan cashew ricotta contains no additives or preservatives, and its so delicious! You can use it for any Italian dishes, including pasta, ravioli, tortellini, lasagna, gnocchi, tomato soup, or whatever you love! Plus, it makes a great spread for homemade bagels, vegan Naan, toast, bread baguette, etc. its so versatile!
Can You Substitute Buttermilk For Ricotta Cheese
Cottage cheese, cream cheese, tofu, goat, and buttermilk cheese are the most common and readily available substitutes of ricotta cheese that make dishes as soft and delicious as ricotta. While Cream cheese is the best substitute for ricotta due to its similar consistency and creaminess.
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The Easiest Vegan Ricotta Recipe
Easiest Vegan Ricotta Recipe | How to make vegan ricotta from scratch Questa ricetta è disponibile anche in italiano
Making vegan ricotta at home from scratch is actually easy and highly rewarding. With just little ingredients you can create the easiest and creamier vegan ricotta cheese.
Ricotta is one of those Italian cheeses that, along with mozzarella is known and largely used all over the world.
Thanks to its creaminess, sweetness and softness, this cheese is very versatile and it finds its uses in both savoury and sweet dishes.
I dont believe theres anyone in there that doesnt know what Im talking about.
Being vegan or plant based means that the dairy version is off limits, as it is an animal product, like all other soft or hard cheeses.
However this doesnt mean that we must give up on this amazing product, actually we wont miss it at all thanks to the 100% plant recipe Im about to show you in this post.
Did you know?
Can Vegans Eat Mozzarella Cheese
Vegans can eat cheese that is comprised of plant-based ingredients like soybeans, peas, cashews, coconut, or almonds. The most common types of vegan cheeses are cheddar, gouda, parmesan, mozzarella, and cream cheese that can be found in non-dairy forms.
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Make Grilled Cheese Nachos And Pizzawithout The Milk
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Cheese is one of lifes great pleasures. If the dairy stuff isnt working for you, youve likely had to mourn that loss. Luckily, though, theres vegan cheeseand todays options are better than ever. Not only is there great vegan cheese on the market, but there are also great options for almost every type of cheese you can think of. Whether youre looking for shredded parmesan or cheddar, Swiss slices for your grilled cheese, or something else, you will almost certainly find something wonderful.To find the best vegan cheeses, be sure to read the ingredients list. Whatever youre shopping for, whether its dairy cheese or vegan cheese, I always tell my clients to read the ingredients list you cant pronounce or a lot of added oils, said nutritionist Berit Young, RDN. Read more about what to look for below.
Faqs And Tips For Making The Best Vegan Ricotta Cheese
Is there a vegan substitute for cottage cheese?
There arent any vegan products of the market for cottage cheese, but there are several different brands of vegan ricotta available. This recipe wouldnt be a perfect match, but you could use it as a substitute for cottage cheese.
What is vegan cheese made out of?
Vegan cheese varies depending on that flavor youre going for, but its typically made from tofu, coconut or nuts, usually with the addition of nutritional yeast or other seasonings to create a cheesy flavor. This recipe uses a combination of almonds and tofu as its base.
Can we freeze ricotta cheese?
I havent tried freezing it myself, but based on my knowledge of the ingredients, I think this recipe would be perfect for freezing.
How do you drain tofu?
Place the tofu between paper towels and set it on a baking cooling rack. Then place something heavy on top , and allow time for the water to drain out. You can also use a tofu press.
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How To Make Vegan Cottage Cheese
Full instructions and measurements are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. This is a summary of the process to go along with the process photos below.
- Place soaked cashews, lemon juice, coconut cream , water, white vinegar, salt, nutritional yeast, onion powder and garlic powder into the blender and blend until smooth.
- Crumble the tofu and add it to a bowl. Pour over the blended cheese mixture, add some chopped chives and fold everything together gently so you dont break up the tofu.
- Place into the fridge for at least an hour to firm up and then enjoy.
The Step By Step Instructions
Soak the blanched almonds overnight. Or for at least 6 hours.
Chefs note: If youre in a rush, you can use un-soaked almonds and use more water when blending. Though it wont blend quite as smooth.
Add the almonds and the rest of the ingredients to a food processor. Blend till smooth.
Chefs note: For quick almond ricotta then only add half of the water, to begin with, and increase the amount of water, if/as needed. This will stop you from having to drain the cheese at all.
Youll probably need to stop and scrape down the sides of the jug a few times.
Taste and adjust any of the seasonings as needed. I.e., more nutritional yeast for cheesiness, acidity with either lemon juice or ACV, more flavor with garlic/onion powder, etc.
Optionally, place the mixture in a cheesecloth or nut milk bag and let it drain for between 2-3 hours . You could also allow it to chill in the fridge to further set/harden, or use it immediately.
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Blending Scraping The Jug And Repeat
This is not a complicated recipe, but you must be patient and repeat the same steps a few times to achieve the right ricotta texture.
First, add the ingredients below into the blender:
- Slivered almonds it means thin pieces of blanched almonds with no almonds skin and golden-white color.
- Water tap filtered water, no need to use hot water.
- Unsweetened almond milk I found that the best vegan ricotta is made from a combination of water and unsweetened almond milk. The touch of almond milk adds the light sweet taste that mimics the classic ricotta cheese even more!
- Lemon juice
- Nutritional yeast for a light cheesy flavor, but you can omit this ingredient as ricotta is mild in flavor, and you dont expect a strong cheese flavor. Nutritional Yeast is a vegan-friendly ingredient.
Blend all the ingredients for 30 seconds, stop the blender, scrape down the sides of the jug with a silicon spatula and repeat!
You will have to repeat these steps 3-5 times until it forms a fluffy, creamy ricotta cheese with a grainy texture.
How Do I Substitute Cream Cheese For Ricotta Cheese
If youre looking for a sub for lasagna, though, reach for cottage or goat cheese instead. Cream cheese: Cream cheese is made with milk and cream, while ricotta is made with just milk. The lower fat content makes the latter cheese slightly less creamy. However, cream cheese can still be substituted for ricotta.
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The Two Bases For Making Vegan Ricotta Cheese
There are two main recipe approaches to making vegan ricotta cheese that we use all the time and truly recommend you give a try. One uses tofu as a base and the other one uses cashews. In this article, we present the recipe that uses tofu. You can get the cashew recipe here.
Personally, we prefer the tofu recipe because of its superior protein profile and much easier and quicker preparation, however, if youre willing to put in the time , the cashew ricotta cheese substitute is really to die for!
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How To Make Cashew Ricotta Cheese
Step 1: Its best to soak your cashews in water before starting. There are 2 ways to soak:
Why soak cashews? Soaking will help soften the cashews by plumping them up with water and helps the cashews blend easily. Soaking is also said to be beneficial for digestion and mineral & vitamin absorption. If youre in a hurry, you can still make this cashew ricotta cheese successfully without soaking. You just may need to add a bit more water while blending.
Step 2: Next, place cashews, water, lemon juice/apple cider vinegar, garlic, onion powder, salt, and pepper in a food processor/blender and blend until creamy. Place in a covered container and place in the fridge until ready to use. Or use right away in any recipe calling for ricotta cheese.
And thats it, vegan cashew ricotta cheese made easy and delicious!
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How To Use Vegan Ricotta
This dairy-free vegan ricotta substitute with tofu can be used in a number of culinary applications where you would use regular ricotta cheese or a store-bought vegan ricotta cheese substitute. Make your favorite lasagna recipe, or try a vegan spinach lasagna, calzones, and even pizza! Ravioli can return to the menu when homemade vegan ricotta is used as a filling, to which you can incorporate roasted squash, sun-dried tomatoes, or grilled artichokes. Appetizers such as crostini, stuffed mushrooms, and a garlic-herb creamy dip can be enjoyed with this tofu ricotta.
You can make endless variations on panini recipes with this cheese , serve it with vegetables, make little balls and roll them in mixed seeds for a fun play on a cheese-less cheese platter, or eat it plain on a bagel.
Choosing Tofu For Dairy
There are two major types of tofu: silken and regular tofu. They come in a variety of textures: extra-soft, soft, medium, medium-firm, firm, extra-firm, and super firm. Non-silken tofu is also known as regular tofu. This recipe specifically calls for extra-firm silken tofu. You may find that silken tofu is packaged differently than regular tofu, which means silken tofu may be in a different area of the grocery store. Because silken tofu does not require refrigeration, you may have to look harder to find it. You’ll also find both solid and crumbled varieties of silken tofu. The best option to go with is drained and crumbled. Although this recipe lists instructions to mash the tofu with a fork, buying it crumbled will help the remaining ingredients combine with it better, and create a more uniform consistency which some prefer with ricotta cheese. Some vegan ricotta cheese recipes call for blending, but this one does not. If you like a more smooth texture, you can blend the ingredients together.
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What Is Ricotta Cheese What’s The Difference Between Ricotta And Cottage Cheese
Ricotta cheese is an Italian soft cheese made from the leftover whey from other cheeses. It has a slightly gritty, but firm spreadable texture. Cottage cheese is made from milk curds and has a looser consistency with chunks of curd . The two share some similarities though, and can sometimes be used to substitute for each other, both in regular and vegan iterations.
To make this recipe more like a Vegan Cottage Cheese, follow the directions below. Then add ¼ cup unsweetened plant-based yogurt and ¼ cup water to a bowl and mix until blended. Pour the yogurt mixture over the vegan ricotta and fold together . You can also try using medium-firm or fresh tofu, which might better replicate the texture of cottage cheese.
What’s The Difference Between Almond Flour And Almond Meal
Almond flour is made from blanched skinless almonds and is super fine, powdery, soft and pale creamy yellow in colour. It has a mild, buttery flavour which is why it works so well in this recipe and in my vegan butter recipe.
Almond meal on the other hand is made with raw almonds, often with skins still on. It is coarser, harder and grainier than almond flour, slightly stronger in flavour and darker in colour with small brown flecks throughout if the skins were still intact.
Almond flour is found in almost all grocery stores and it will be clearly labelled on the bag that it is made from blanched almonds. I buy mine in bulk from Costco but Bob’s Red Mill is a popular brand of almond flour carried in most stores in North America. In the UK you can buy almond flour from Holland and Barrett.
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Agar Powder Or Gelatin
I prefer agar powder to thicken the ricotta because it has a clean taste and is vegan. While you can replace the agar with gelatin, the gelatin will leave a slight aftertaste.
Also, I recommend agar powder, but 2 tablespoon agar flakes can be substituted.
But keep in mind that different brands of agar flakes have different strengths. If using agar flakes, only use Eden brand otherwise,it may not thicken properly.
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