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This quick and easy vegan ricotta cheese is made using cashews. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and tangy for all your dairy-free ricotta cheese needs.
What is Ricotta?
Ricotta cheese is typically made from whey, a leftover byproduct from the production of other cheeses and usually made from sheep, cow, or goat milk. However, it’s possible to make a similar product made completely from plants!
That’s right, you can make homemade ricotta cheese from a variety of things. Some make it with tofu or various nuts and seeds. This version is made with cashews.
The texture of ricotta is similar to cottage cheese but a bit lighter and less chunky. It’s less moist than cottage cheese but not as crumbly as feta. It falls somewhere in between in my opinion.
It has an acidic taste with a slight sweetness. You can achieve this flavor combination with a variety of ingredients.
Here’s what needed:
- raw cashews, soaked in hot water for at least 15 minutes
- unsweetened non-dairy milk
- lemon juice
- nutritional yeast (optional for additional cheesy taste)
- apple cider vinegar
- dried oregano (optional)
- agave syrup or maple syrup
How to make
It’s incredibly easy to make cashew ricotta. The most time consuming part is soaking the cashews. This is necessary to make sure the cashews blend more smoothly. Hot water, near boiling, is best for faster soaking times (15-30 minutes). Cold water will do but it will require soaking overnight. The cashews will swell so make sure to cover them fully with water with room to spare.
Once the cashews are ready you can drain them and transfer them to your food processor or blender. Add the rest of the ingredients except the milk and blend well, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. If the “cheese” is too thick, add your plant milk of choice (I used almond milk) or water until desired consistency is reached. It should become a thick paste. Adjust seasonings as desired.
How to Store
Store your cashew ricotta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to seven days. The liquid may separate, but don’t worry, just give it a good stir before serving! You can also freeze it for longer storage. Place in the refrigerator to thaw.
How to Use
Use how you would normally use ricotta cheese. Spread between layers of lasagna, use in stuffed shells, spread on toast or crackers, use as a dip, or place on top of salads. Check out this Summer Blackberry Salad with Cashew Ricotta.
More Vegan Cheese Recipes
Want more vegan cheese recipes? Check these out:
The Best Vegan Nacho Cheese (nut free)
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- Food Processor
- 1 cup raw cashews soaked in hot water for at least 15 minutes
- 1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk or water, as needed
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice lime juice works too
- 1-2 tablespoons nutritional yeast optional
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano optional
- 1 tablespoon agave syrup or maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Soak raw cashews in hot water for at least 15 minutes first. This helps them to blend more smoothly. Alternatively, you can soak cashews in room temperature water overnight. Make sure the water covers the cashews completely with a little extra room as the cashews will swell.
- Once the cashews have softened, place them in a blender or food processor and add the rest of the ingredients except for the milk. Blend well, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. If the "cheese" is too thick, add your plant milk of choice (I used almond milk) or water until desired consistency is reached. It should become a thick paste.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
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