This Easy Vegan Ricotta will fool anyone into thinking they’re eating real cheese! Made with only 3 ingredients (+ salt/water) and ready in 5 minutes. So fluffy, mild in flavor and luxurious in pasta or dolloped on pizza.
This plant based ricotta cheese tastes so much like the real thing it’s unbelievable, especially when baked into pasta like lasagna or stuffed shells. No one would guess it’s dairy free!
It’s mild in flavor, creamy and smooth but with a little nutty texture and SO easy to whip up. It seriously only takes 5 minutes to make, and there is no need to soak your nuts (read on for a nut free option).
You will love this cheese! It’s:
- Slightly tangy
- Creamy and rich
- Soy free (great if you have an allergy or are avoiding soy, I personally love tofu!)
- Fluffy and cheesy
Ingredients needed (with substitutions)
- Raw slivered almonds – These are my favorite option here, but raw cashews work as well. If you have a nut allergy and can’t use either almonds or cashews, you can substitute a block of firm tofu for the nuts, and simply add water as needed to blend.
- Fresh lemon juice – You need two tablespoons, from about 1 medium sized lemon. Please use fresh, not bottled.
- Garlic powder – For flavor. You could substitute a small clove of garlic.
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 won’t work here.
If you want to blanch whole almonds and remove their skins, you could do that. But it’s quite a bit of work, and much easier simply to buy raw slivered almonds instead. Or use raw cashews instead.
How to make vegan ricotta
There is no need to soak your nuts, so this recipe will literally take you about 5 minutes to make!
To a food processor (or high powered blender), add the almonds, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt and 1/4 cup water.
Blend until the nuts are broken down and the mixture is fairly smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Now add an additional 1/4 cup of water and blend. Add more water as needed until fluffy and smooth. There will still be a little grainy/nutty texture, which is good.
If using a blender
I prefer making vegan ricotta in my food processor, but a high powered blender will work as well. For the blender version, you may need to add more water so it will mix well. Also, I would not try this in a regular blender, only a high powered blender such as a Vitamix.
How to store leftover cheese
Store any leftover ricotta in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It can also be frozen, then thawed before using. You can enjoy leftovers in buddha bowls, burrito bowls, on toast, mixed into spaghetti or anywhere else that sounds good.
Where to use it?
Try using this dairy free ricotta cheese in lasagna, stuffed shells, dolloped on pizza or stirred into spaghetti sauce. Or make manicotti. For sweet recipes, omit the garlic powder. I think lemon ricotta pancakes are in my future!
Want more plant based cheese recipes?
- Stretchy Vegan Mozzarella
- Shreddable Vegan Mozzarella
- Vegan Cheddar Cheese
- Vegan Cream Cheese
- Vegan Cranberry Pecan Cheese Balls
Adapted from Minimalist Baker.
Easy Vegan Ricotta
- 2 cups raw slivered almonds*
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2-3/4 cup water
- To a food processor (or high powered blender), add the almonds, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt and 1/4 cup of water. Blend until the nuts are broken down and fairly smooth, then add an additional 1/4 cup water and blend. Scrape down the sides as needed.
- Add more water as needed until fluffy and fairly smooth. The texture will still be slightly grainy and nutty, not completely creamy and smooth. Feel free to add more herbs here, such as a teaspoon each of dried oregano and basil, or a handful of fresh basil.
- Now it's ready to be used anywhere you like, such as in Vegan Lasagna, Vegan Stuffed Shells or dolloped on pizza before baking. Enjoy!
- Raw slivered almonds are my favorite choice, but raw cashews work as well. If you can't have nuts, substitute a block of firm tofu, but add water only as need to blend until smooth.
- May substitute a clove of fresh garlic instead of garlic powder, if desired.
- Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in a covered container, or freeze if you won't eat it all before then.
Could you use almond flour?
I don’t think almond flour would work here, unfortunately. You need blended nuts to get that crumbly, spreadable texture.
Fabulous recipe!!!! My fam is Italian so I’m sooo excited to finally have a wonderful ricotta recipe. Can’t wait to use for stuffed shells, manicotti, lasagna, eggplant etc!! I’m going to try it on pizza too….
Sounds like fun to make this for your family! Glad you love the ricotta! Thank you for sharing your terrific review!
I soak the almonds in boiling water, drain and then place in the food processor. It makes the texture smoother if you desire a less gritty consistency.
If making cannolis with this recipe shouldn’t I leave out the garlic? And substitute with sugar?
Yes, that’s what I would do I think. Hope it works well, I haven’t tried that yet!
I have made this Ricotta Recipes many times and it has turned out delicious ! Non Vegans have preferred my Vegan Lasagna over the Regular Dairy type when put side by side:)
I use it to Stuff Shells as well and as a dip.
For extra flavor I do soak my almond silvers in Garlic Salt, Sea Salt , Pepper, and all spice with adding lemon before I blend.
I also added a2 ounces of Tofu for more creaminess-easier to spread on noodles.
The Original recipe is a great starting point or good just as is. I appreciate your recipes so much! I am new to cooking
vegan and you have been a god send! Kat
Hi Kat. Welcome to vegan cooking! Thank you for sharing your ideas, and for your kind review! Enjoy the recipes, and thank you for using them! Happy cooking1
My mom is making lasagna for Christmas and my vegan boyfriend will be coming for dinner. I decided to make a personal lasagna for him, so I’m super glad this recipe exists! I made it just tonight and even after adding more water, it still wasn’t very creamy, so I added some unsweetened almond milk and it came out much better than before 🙂
Used in your lasagna recipe and worked out perfectly 🙂 Also used cashews as that was all I had on hand.
Have you ever substituted almond meal or almond four for the almonds?
I haven’t, so I’m not sure if it would work or not. Maybe?
This is a real surprise recipe. Love it. I couldn’t believe my eyes as it became a ricotta! I seasoned mine as you suggested, good call.
I’m so glad to hear it came out good!!
I am using the recipe with a pasta dish from NYT and this time added a shallot along with minced garlic. After those ingredients were incorporated, I chopped fresh mint and added it along with a dose of olive oil – sort of following the NYT recipe. My goodness it is good. 🙂
P.S. Of course I added the lemon juice as well.
No problems with the recipe, but, i would appreciate a more exact measurement of how much a recipe makes. You stated 8 servings but that doesn’t tell me enough. Thanks
It makes about 2 cups total, hope that helps!
Tastes great! I used almost a full cup of water to get it to blend in my Vitamix. I may have used too high of a setting though. Added a tsp. each of oregano and sage (using in your butternut squash lasagna recipe). Flavor and texture are wonderful. Thank you!
I’m glad it worked out in the Vitamix, it can get a little thick! Thank you, hope you enjoy the lasagna. 🙂
This was so easy and SO delicious. I needed to add a little more water than the recipe originally calls for but thats it. It was perfect! I added it to my pasta and tomato sauce. Looking forward to adding it to my lasagna next!
I’m so glad it was delicious!