This Vegan Ricotta is creamy, flavorful, and made with cashews. This homemade, plant based cheese can be used to replace ricotta in any recipe!
What is ricotta?
Ricotta is cheese made from milk’s whey that’s left from the production of other cheeses. Because it’s made using animal byproducts, ricotta is vegetarian, but not vegan.
What is vegan ricotta made of?
Vegan ricotta can be store-bought (check Whole Foods) or homemade and can be made with a variety of different ingredients including tofu, almonds, and/or cashews. Today’s recipe is made with cashews, nutritional yeast, seasonings, lemon juice, and water.
Cashews make a great base for many vegan “cheese” recipes, because they’re relatively mild in flavor and can be blended into a creamy consistency.
- Cashews – the base for the “ricotta”. Roasted and salted cashews are used to provide a subtle nutty flavor and smooth consistency. Some recipes require soaking the cashews before blending, but because we’re using roasted cashews, that’s not necessary.
- Spices: Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Italian Seasoning, Basil – this simple seasoning blend adds an incredible amount of flavor and makes it perfect for using in any of your favorite Italian inspired dishes!
- Nutritional Yeast – a type of yeast that adds a “cheesy” flavor to the ricotta. Bonus: it’s a great source of vitamins, minerals, and protein.
- Lemon Juice – cuts through the rich flavor of the roasted cashews and adds just a hint of freshness and tang.
- Water – blends with the cashews to create a thick, yet creamy consistency. Add more or less depending on how thick you like your ricotta. Add more seasonings if more water is used.
How to make
Measure, blend, and serve! It doesn’t get easier than that.
- Blend cashews, salt, pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, basil, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and water in a high powered food processor until desired texture is reached.
- Thin with more water, if necessary, then taste and re-season, if desired. Use as desired and enjoy!
How to use
Ricotta is most commonly used in lasagna, but can be used in a variety of other ways:
- Vegan Lasagna – use it layered between the noodles, sauce, and vegetables.
- Vegan Lasagna Soup – dollop it on top of the hot soup for creaminess and richness!
- Pizza – dollop it over the sauce before adding vegetables and your favorite vegan mozzarella.
- Pasta – stuff it into noodles as a filling for homemade ravioli, manicotti, or jumbo shells.
- Crostini – spread it over a piece of toasted baguette and top with your favorite toppings: bruschetta, strawberry jam, roasted vegetables, fruit, and more!
How to store
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
To enjoy again, thaw in the fridge, if frozen, and use as desired.
Vegan Ricotta Cheese
Equipment for this recipe
- 2 cups roasted, salted cashews
- 1/2 teaspoon salt plus more to taste, if desired
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3/4 cup water plus more to thin, if necessary
- Place cashews, salt, pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, basil, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and water into a high powered food processor.
- Process, scraping down the sides as needed, until desired texture is reached.
- Thin with more water, if necessary, then taste and re-season, if desired.
- Use as desired and enjoy!
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*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.