A good vegan ricotta recipe is a staple in any plant-based cook’s playbook. And this is our recipe for the best nut-free vegan ricotta. Make it easily in your food processor with more budget-friendly ingredients than cashew-based versions, and use it as a dairy-free ricotta cheese substitute in both sweet and savory dishes!
This post contains affiliate links. As Amazon Associates, we earn a small commission from qualifying purchases (at no cost to you). Click here to read our full policy about affiliate links. Thank you for shopping our affiliate links, as it helps us keep the free vegan recipes coming your way!
It’s so easy to make your own homemade vegan ricotta cheese. I’ve been doing it for years, and now I want to share my simple recipe with you!
Ricotta is a creamy versatile ingredient cooks use in both sweet and savory recipes in Italian cooking, so having a good dairy-free version is key for anyone looking to add more plant-based foods to their life.
When we went to create this nut-free tofu ricotta for the blog, I knew I wanted to make something as tangy and creamy and versatile as the “real thing”. And I think you’ll like the easy tofu ricotta recipe we came up with!
There are so many ways you can use this dairy-free substitute – as an appetizer spread with a sprinkle of crushed red pepper or chili powder and sliced baguette, used in stuffed pasta dishes like ravioli, stuffed shells or lasagna, and even in sweet recipes like ricotta pancakes and cookies!
Why This is the Best Vegan Ricotta:
- An easy recipe to make! Just add all the ingredients to your food processor and pulse a few times for a more traditional texture or blend for up to a minute for a decadent whipped ricotta vibe!
- It’s nut-free! A lot of vegan ricotta recipes are made with cashews or almonds. Our nut-free vegan ricotta is made from tofu, so it’s great for people with nut allergies!
- So versatile! It can be used in both savory AND sweet dishes. Use this tofu ricotta recipe to veganize all your favorite ricotta recipes – from vegan ravioli and stuffed shells to lemon ricotta pancakes!
Ingredients for Ricotta Vegan Cheese
You’ll need 7 simple ingredients to make this vegan ricotta cheese recipe:
- Firm tofu – We suggest pressing the tofu before using it to get rid of excess liquid.
- Nutritional yeast – This is a deactivated savory yeast that is common in plant-based cooking and adds a nutty, cheesy undertone to our tofu ricotta. It is not the same as brewer’s yeast or the yeast you use to make bread.
- Extra virgin olive oil – Use the good stuff here! We love the EVOO from Botticelli. It adds a rich flavor and fatty mouth-feel to our dairy free ricotta without using nuts.
- Miso paste – The mellow white miso paste from Miso Master is our favorite for this. It adds a subtle fermented cheesy flavor to our vegan ricotta!
- Lemon juice – Fresh is best, but bottled will also work!
- Apple cider vinegar
Substitution Options for Plant Based Ricotta
If you don’t have or can’t tolerate one of the above ingredients, here are our best substitution tips. Remember though, substituting any of the ingredients may lead to a varied degree of difference in the final product. Let us know in the comments if you try any subs and how they work out for you!
For the firm tofu: Extra firm tofu will work but it will create a thicker texture. If using extra firm tofu, I’d skip the pressing and just drain and use. Do not use silken or soft tofu.
For the nutritional yeast: Feel free to skip this or replace with 1 tsp ground mustard for a slightly different flavor.
For the olive oil: If you’re oil-free, feel free to skip this ingredient. It will create a less decadent texture.
For the miso paste: You could be able to get away with subbing some sauerkraut brine to get the fermented flavor. I know it sounds weird, but it works! You can also leave this out and up the ACV by 1-2 Tbsp. I’d taste it before adding the full 2 Tbsp though!
For the lemon juice: Feel free to sub more apple cider vinegar for the lemon juice.
For the ACV: Similarly, you can sub more lemon juice for apple cider vinegar. White vinegar and rice vinegar will also work.
How to Make Vegan Ricotta Cheese
First, add all the ingredients to a large food processor and process until smooth and creamy, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary. Then, take your time to taste and adjust seasonings.
If you like it slightly grittier, like regular ricotta cheese, pulse it 10-12 times to mix everything up and crumble the tofu. You can also just crumble everything into a large bowl with your hands and stir in the seasonings, but I don’t find this gets it to be as flavorful as using a food processor or blender.
If you want a super smooth texture and creamy ricotta (more like a whipped ricotta), blend for up to 1 minute on high until everything is smooth and a little shiny.
How to Use This Dairy Free Ricotta Recipe
Use this vegan ricotta cheese substitute to veganize all your favorite delicious recipes that call for ricotta cheese!
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Stuffed Shells
- Baked Ziti
- Rigatoni / Ricotta Pie
- Ricotta Pancakes
To create the perfect whipped texture for an appetizer spread, blend this ricotta for a little extra time! Serve it with baguette slices and sprinkled with any or all of the following: chopped olives, sun dried tomatoes, capers, minced garlic, fresh basil and herbs, crushed red pepper flakes, etc.
How to Store Leftover Plant Based Ricotta
In the fridge: Store any leftover ricotta in the fridge for 5-7 days in an air-tight container.
In the freezer: Freeze vegan ricotta in an airtight container (or use 1/2 cup Souper Cubes to freeze in perfect portions!) for up to 6 weeks.
Vegan Ricotta FAQ:
There are a variety of tofu-based or almond or cashew-based vegan ricottas available from companies like Tofutti and Kite Hill, among others at places like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods and other select stores. Our vegan ricotta cheese is made from tofu, mellow miso paste, and a few other simple pantry staples.
No. Traditional ricotta cheese is made using milk (buffalo, goat, cow, etc.) and by heating the milk until the curds and whey separate. The whey is then used to make ricotta.
Yes, Kite Hill brand almond ricotta cheese is made using almond milk and is vegan.
Our tofu ricotta recipe made with vegan ingredients or any store-bought vegan ricotta options are the perfect 1:1 sub for ricotta cheese in any recipe!
Where to Buy Vegan Ricotta Cheese
Of course stores like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s will have available options for vegan ricotta cheese, but you might be surprised what you can find at local stores like Publix, Acme, Kroger’s, WalMart, Target, etc. Check your local market and ask the dairy manager there.
More Vegan Italian Recipes
If you try this vegan ricotta recipe, I’d love to know what you thought and how you used it!
We’d love it if you took the time to leave a rating and review below when you’ve tried it. It helps more people find our recipes and we just love connecting with you!
Vegan Ricotta Cheese
A good vegan ricotta recipe is a staple in any plant-based cook’s playbook. And this is our recipe for the best nut-free vegan ricotta. It’s easy to make in your food processor, more budget-friendly than cashew-based versions, and can be used as a dairy-free ricotta cheese substitute in both sweet and savory dishes!
- 1 (16 oz.) package firm tofu, pressed
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp miso paste
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Add all the ingredients to a large food processor and process until smooth and creamy, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary.
- If you like a grittier ricotta, pulse it 10-12 times until everything is mixed up and the tofu is broken up completely. You can also just crumble everything into a bowl with your hands and stir in the seasonings, but I don’t find this gets it to be as flavorful as using a food processor or blender.
- If you want a super smooth and creamy ricotta (more like a whipped ricotta), blend for up to 1 minute on high until everything is smooth and a little shiny.
- Taste and adjust seasonings. Then, use in your favorite recipes as a 1:1 sub for ricotta cheese!
Serving Size:about 1/4 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 63Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 308mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 4g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated and may not always be accurate.