Easy Vegan Ricotta Cheese (decadent & healthy)

Easy Vegan Ricotta Cheese (decadent & healthy)

Did you know that velvety, rich, dairy-free ricotta was possible? And quick to whip up?! This easy vegan ricotta cheese recipe may just blow your mind too. Dare I claim that it is more delicious, flavorful, and cravable than its dairy counterpart? There… I just did;)!

What is Dairy-free ricotta made of?

Curious what to substitute for ricotta cheese? A plant-based version, of course! In addition to store bought vegan ricotta, homemade vegan ricotta is actually quite simple to make too.

Most often, plant-based ricotta is either made from tofu or nuts. The nuts give the rich and creamy flavor, the tofu the light and fluffy texture, so…I like to use both!

Other common vegan ricotta ingredients include nutritional yeast, sea salt, garlic powder, and lemon.

How do I use up ricotta cheese?

  • Perhaps the most obvious use for this cheese is in vegan lasagna, which is usually the impetus for making this recipe. You will have leftovers, so read on…
  • Try it in stuffed shells! When using in vegan stuffed shells, I like to add spinach to the vegan ricotta for added color, texture, and nutrition since shells tend to use so much ricotta!
  • Mix into tomato sauce for the perfect creamy pink sauce!
  • Use as a dip or spread with crackers/bread and fresh fruit.
  • Use in endless vegan appetizers, like my Vegan Puff Pastry Wreath with spinach and artichokes.
stuffed shells with vegan ricotta
stuffed shells with vegan spinach ricotta
lasagna using this rocotta!
lasagna: kids side with cheese, adult side with spicy sausage, mushrooms, and kale

Vegan Puff Pasty Wreath with spinach and artichokes

Do I need to soak cashews first for vegan ricotta?

No, for this recipe, I find that the raw cashews blend well and add a nice texture to the cheese. If you do not have a food processor or high speed blender, consider a quick soak for the cashews. See recipe for details.

This Cashew & Tofu Ricotta Recipe is:

  • Creamy
  • Tangy
  • Cheesy
  • Rich
  • Versatile
  • Easy to make
  • Dairy free
  • Gluten free
  • Lactose free

Can I freeze the leftover ricotta?

Yes, you can freeze this vegan ricotta recipe for up to 4 months in a freezer safe container.

If you enjoy this tofu and cashew ricotta cheese recipe, you may also like:

Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Vegan Ricotta Cheese

This easy vegan ricotta cheese recipe is so rich and decadent that it's hard to believe it is healthy too! Use in endless pasta dishes like lasagna, stuffed shells, or blend with tomato sauce for the perfect pink cream sauce.
Prep Time3 mins
Cook Time2 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: ingredient in main course, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: dairy free ricotta, tofu ricotta, vegan cheese, vegan ricotta
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 178kcal
Author: Jennifer Freedman

Equipment

  • food processor or high speed blender

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups raw cashews*
  • 14 ounces firm tofu packed in water, drained**
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup water

Optional Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon dry herbs of choice, like oregano, parseley, and/or basil
  • 8 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained or 2 1/2 cups fresh spinach

Instructions

  • Add raw cashews to food processor and pulse until fine, but not pasty. See video.
  • Add in all remaining ingredients (except spinach if you are using). Blend for 20 seconds. Open top and scrape the sides to get all ingredients into the cheese.
  • Blend for another 20-30 seconds.
  • If using spinach, be sure to squeeze out water. Then add and pulse until incorporated into cheese.

Video

Notes

This ricotta recipe is more than enough for one large lasagna or large dish of stuffed shells. How much leftovers really depends on how much you use. I often use about half of the cheese immediately and freeze the other half.
This vegan ricotta cheese freezes well in a freezer safe container for up to 4 months.
*If you aren’t using a food processor or high speed blender, you may want to soak cashews in boiling water 10 minutes first. Simply add enough hot water to cover about 1 inch over the cashews in a bowl.
**Tofu often comes in 14 ounce blocks, but some brands sell 16 ounce blocks. 
Ricotta cheese recipe calorie and nutrition label

I hope you agree that this is simply the best vegan ricotta recipe ever;)! I would SO appreciate it if you would rate and review below once you try!

Cheers!

-Jenn

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