Creamy, thick, and delicious, this easy Vegan Ricotta Cheese is ready in only 5 minutes for whatever deliciousness you have planned! It’s protein packed and low in fat, so use it liberally in lasagna, stuffed shells, and more, or even as a fun spread for wraps and sandwiches.
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Hey Internet, it’s still Vegan Cheese Week so I’m still bringing you … well, you guessed it: vegan cheese! Today I’m bringing you a vegan nut-free ricotta cheese, because you know nut-free is how I roll.
I mean, not ALL of my recipes are nut-free, but all the cheese recipes are. And I almost never use cashews because honestly they’re just expensive.
So I’ve actually been making this mock ricotta for ages and never shared it because it didn’t even occur to me. The other day we made pasta and decided we need some kind of flavoring for it, but didn’t feel like tomato sauce.
I forgot I had this recipe in my phone till I was browsing my Keep app and saw the vegan ricotta. I threw it on the pasta with extra lemon, freshly cracked black pepper, and some tomatoes and it was THE BEST THING. That recipe for Vegan Ricotta Pasta is also available today!
Anyway, from what I can tell, most vegan ricotta recipes out there are made from cashews or almonds. But you know me, I made it out of tofu.
Tofu ricotta is actually SUPER delicious, and you can make it creamy like a sauce, crumbly, or somewhere in between. I went with somewhere in between because that mimics dairy ricotta in my book.
Tofu is also packed with protein, much lower in fat and calories than nuts, and cheaper.
So let’s get on with this easy and quick recipe!
What You’ll Need
For this recipe you’ll need either firm or extra firm tofu. You can use a softer tofu but it will probably be more of a sauce, and will lose some of that texture.
If you have a medium block of tofu you could press it if you do want the texture.
For a cheesy flavor, you’ll need some nutritional yeast. If you’re looking for a lighter ricotta like I made use unfortified nutritional yeast. Fortified will work, but your ricotta will be yellowish. Still tasty, though!
To build out the flavor, I used a few flavor staples: lemon juice, onion powder, garlic powder, and a dash of salt.
Finally, to get a hybrid texture between saucy and crumbly, I added about 2 tablespoons of non-dairy milk (any will work, just make sure it’s unsweetened).
What Substitutions Can I Make?
I mentioned above that you can firm or extra firm tofu, and maybe medium if you press it. But what about other substances?
If you’re cool with nuts, try making vegan ricotta out of soaked almonds or cashews.
If you’d rather use seeds, try using soaked sunflower seeds.
This recipe will still taste good without the nutritional yeast if that’s not your thing, but it adds so much depth of flavor. If you’ve only tried nutritional yeast ON something, not mixed into something, try it like this. You might really like it, as the flavor is far different when it is mixed with other flavors like lemon and spices.
If you don’t have any fresh or bottled lemon juice, you can use any neutral vinegar like white vinegar, white wine vinegar, or rice vinegar. However, I’d highly recommend using the lemon juice as it provides so much brightness to the ricotta.
How to Make Vegan Ricotta Cheese
This cheese is SO EASY to make, I feel silly writing a section about it!
It’s easiest to make this ricotta using a food processor or blender (with a pulse option), but you can use a fork instead (as long as you’re using tofu and not nuts or seeds).
Simply add everything to the blender or food processor and pulse until it’s the texture you like. I like somewhere in between super crumbly and super smooth. Just a little textured, slightly spongy, and totally like the ricotta I used to enjoy so much.
To make with a fork, simply mash the tofu with the back of your fork in a bowl until its the texture you desire.
Scrape out the blender with a spatula and store this cheese in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 6 days. Use it in a dish or be like me and eat it with a spoon--no judgement here!
What to Eat Vegan Ricotta With
There are so many ways to enjoy this vegan ricotta cheese.
Perhaps my favorite is on top of pasta, surprise surprise. It’s great in classic dishes like lasagna, stuffed shells, or manicotti.
You could also do like I did and just throw it on whatever type of pasta you have in the house--penne for me--and serve it with extra lemon, freshly cracked black pepper, and some yummy sliced grape tomatoes! I’ve got a recipe for this vegan ricotta pasta if you’re interested.
Not feeling like putting it on pasta? Throw it on pizza, as a spread in sandwiches and wraps, or use it like sour cream on a potato or veggie bowl.
You could also spread it on toast with some jam or even avocado!
Come to think of it, I’d like to try stuffing an avocado with this ricotta! Sounds like an easy and tasty snack.
You could also go the sweet and salty route and serve it with fruit. You could stuff it in a cantaloupe like with cottage cheese, or even make it the sauce for a fruit / dessert pizza!
Other Vegan Cheese Recipes
If you’re looking for other vegan cheeses, I have a variety of easy and delicious recipes:
- Vegan Brie Cheese
- Vegan Goat Cheese
- Vegan Melty Mozzarella (my most popular!)
- Vegan Cheddar Wheel
- Vegan Feta Cheese
- Vegan Melty Cheddar
I even made a whole list of all my nut-free vegan cheese recipes!
As always, I hope you love this recipe--I know I do, and Mr. Zardyplants does too.
This vegan ricotta cheese is:
- And great in any pasta dish or as a spread, dip, or dessert topping!
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!