Vegan Ricotta is easier to make than you might think. All you need is 3 simple ingredients to make this creamy, tofu ricotta. It’s a fast protein-packed cheese alternative, with no nuts required!
Ingredients You’ll Need
How do you substitute ricotta cheese? You can use cashew cream if you need to avoid soy, but using tofu is much cheaper, and is a great source of plant-based protein.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Tofu (firm or extra-firm)
- Lemon juice
Yes, it’s that simple! I also usually add some dried spices, like basil and oregano, when I’m using it in a recipe like vegan lasagna or stuffed shells, but you can customize the flavor as you see fit.
Pro Tip: Did you know that white miso tastes like concentrated Parmesan cheese? You can add 2 tablespoons of miso to this recipe, for an extra cheesy flavor. In that case, I like to reduce the salt slightly. You can add more or less miso, to taste.
How to Make Dairy-free Ricotta
To make vegan ricotta, be sure to drain the tofu first. Unlike making baked tofu, there’s no need to press it here, since a little extra moisture won’t hurt anything.
Add the tofu to a large food processor (I use a 12-cup model), and crumble it in as you add it. You’ll also add in the lemon juice, salt, and any other dried seasonings you like.
Process for 30 to 60 seconds, until the tofu looks smooth, like ricotta cheese. Taste it, and adjust any flavoring as needed. I like to keep the flavor relatively mild, so it doesn’t overwhelm the recipe you plan on using it in.
Note: Don’t add too much lemon juice or fresh garlic if you’re making stuffed shells. I found those two flavorings overwhelming during my recipe testing trials. I enjoy adding fresh basil to this ricotta when making vegan lasagna, but it wasn’t as wonderful in the stuffed shells, for some reason.
How to Store It
You can store vegan ricotta in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. If you won’t use it all by then, you can also freeze it!
Frozen ricotta will keep well for up to 3 months. To use it again, simply thaw in the fridge overnight.
How to Use It
I use vegan ricotta in Vegan Lasagna (coming soon!) and Vegan Stuffed Shells, and any other recipe where you might normally use ricotta cheese. I want to try it in ricotta pancakes next!
Want to spice things up? Here are more ideas for adding flavor to this vegan tofu ricotta recipe.
- Miso. White miso tastes like a concentrated Parmesan cheese to me, so adding a small amount to this recipe can help with more of a “cheesy” flavor. Start with 1 tablespoon and see how you like it. I usually use 2 tablespoons in this for my Stuffed Shells recipe.
- Nutritional Yeast. This is often used in vegan cheese recipes to add more of a cheesy flavor. Try adding 2 to 3 tablespoons for extra oomph!
- Garlic or Onion powder. I don’t recommend using fresh onion or garlic in this recipe, unless you plan on sauteeing it first, as the flavor can become overwhelming in certain recipes. Instead, try using a 1/2 teaspoon of garlic or onion powder in this tofu ricotta, for extra depth of flavor.
- Fresh herbs. I love adding a big handful of fresh basil to this recipe, for more of a “pesto” flavor. You can add a little extra lemon juice and garlic in this case, too. It makes a flavorful addition to vegan lasagna.
- Spinach. I sometimes add 1 to 2 big handfuls of fresh baby spinach to this recipe, especially when making lasagna. It’s a great way to sneak in some greens, without any noticeable texture or flavor.
More Vegan Cheese Recipes
Need more dairy-free inspiration? Try these popular options!
- Vegan Nacho Cheese (my personal favorite)
- Cashew Queso (like Rotel dip)
- Vegan Alfredo (unbelievably good)
- Vegan Parmesan
- Vegan Cheese Sauce (Nut-free!)
Vegan Tofu Ricotta
- 1 (14 oz.) block extra-firm tofu (or firm; 397 grams)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano (optional)
- 1 teaspoon dried basil (optional)
- Drain the tofu well, then use your hands to crumble it into the food processor. Add in the lemon juice, salt, and any dried spices you like.
- Process until very smooth, about 60 seconds. Taste the ricotta, and adjust any flavorings as needed. You can use this in your favorite recipe right away, or store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
If you try this Vegan Ricotta recipe, please leave a comment below letting me know how you like it. And if you make any modifications, I’d love to hear about those, too! We can all benefit from your experience.
Reader Feedback: How will you use this tofu ricotta?
Questions and Reviews
Tried this tonight in my usual lasagna recipe to make it dairy-free for a neighbor who just had a baby. (She is eating dairy-free while breastfeeding at the moment.) I taste-tested the ricotta as I was prepping everything, and I think it’s awesome! Love the idea of adding fresh spinach to it, too.
I used it in a vegan lasagna and as a dip for the extra veggies, it was great both ways!