Vegan Ricotta is easier to make than you might think. All you need is 3 simple ingredients to make this protein-packed cheese alternative, with no nuts required!
Ingredients You’ll Need
Many vegan cheese alternatives rely on cashews, almonds, or nutritional yeast, but this creamy, tofu ricotta is nut-free and made with 3 simple ingredients: extra firm tofu, lemon juice, and salt.
You can add a touch of white miso for a Parmesan cheese flavor (see the Variations below) or some dried spices, like basil and oregano.
How to Make Vegan Ricotta
Start by draining the tofu. Unlike making baked tofu, there’s no need to press it since a little extra moisture won’t hurt anything.
Use your hands to crumble the tofu into a large food processor (I use a 12-cup model). 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. Keep the flavor relatively mild, so it doesn’t overwhelm the recipe you plan on using it in.
If you don’t have a food processor, you can also use a blender and blend briefly until smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides of the machine to make sure everything is mixed evenly.
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 do enjoy adding fresh basil to this ricotta when making vegan lasagna, but it wasn’t as wonderful in stuffed shells, for some reason.
How to Store It
Store leftovers 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 tofu ricotta will keep well in the freezer for up to 3 months. To use it again, simply thaw in the fridge overnight.
Depending on how you plan to use this tofu ricotta, here are a few additions to boost the flavor.
- Miso. White miso tastes like concentrated Parmesan cheese, 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, but you can add up to 2 tablespoons for a richer flavor.
- 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. Fresh onion or raw garlic can become overwhelming in flavor, but adding a 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder or onion powder to this tofu ricotta will add extra depth of flavor, without a lot of extra effort.
- Fresh herbs. Add a big handful of fresh basil to this recipe for more of a “pesto” flavor. You can add a little extra lemon juice and a pinch of garlic powder in this case, too. (Perfect for 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.
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes. Add up to a 1/4 cup of chopped sun-dried tomatoes when blending for extra flavor.
Vegan Tofu Ricotta
- 1 (14 oz.) block extra-firm tofu
- 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano (optional)
- 1 teaspoon dried basil (optional)
- Drain the tofu, 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 and star rating below letting me know how you like it.