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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!
Cashews are magical! They can make a yummy cashew cheese sauce for dipping or a creamy vegan crema for drizzling. And they can make a vegan ricotta cheese for pasta! Is there anything cashews can’t do?
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 vegan ricotta cheese from a variety of things that tastes similar to the real thing! Some vegan ricotta cheese recipes make it with extra firm tofu or various nuts and seeds. This version is made with raw 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.
This is the best vegan cashew ricotta cheese recipe. It’s:
- perfect for a plant-based diet
- has the best creamy texture
- easy to make
- dairy-free and delicious!
This easy vegan ricotta recipe only requires 8 simple ingredients. In fact, you probably have most on hand already. That’s what makes this the best vegan ricotta recipe, you can make it in a moment’s notice! Exact measurements are available in the printable recipe card below.
Raw cashews— soaked in hot water for at least 15 minutes to soften. If you can’t find raw you can also use roasted, just rinse of the salt and reduce salt from the ingredients if desired. Have a nut allergy? Use sunflower seeds instead.
Unsweetened non-dairy milk—any dairy-free milk will do. I used almond milk.
Lemon juice + apple cider vinegar—provide the acidity that ricotta cheese is known for. Plain distilled white vinegar works well too. You could even add lemon zest for some additional zing if you want.
Nutritional yeast—optional for additional cheesy flavor. It will give the cashew ricotta a pale yellow hue so if you want it to look more traditional you can leave this out.
Maple syrup—gives a slight sweetness. Agave syrup also works well.
Dried oregano—for seasoning. You can use Italian seasoning as well or fresh herbs. Fresh basil, oregano and parsley go great in this vegan ricotta cheese substitute.
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 a high-speed 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 a creamy 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 Serve
Use how you would normally use regular ricotta cheese. Spread between layers of vegan lasagna or on top of pasta, use in stuffed shells for a cheesy filling, spread on toast or crackers, use as a dip, or place on top of salads or a delicious addition. Check out this Summer Blackberry Salad with Cashew Ricotta.
The great thing about this vegan ricotta cheese recipe is that it’s so versatile and the perfect dairy-free substitute.
More Vegan Cheese Recipes
Want more vegan cheese recipes? Check these out:
- This vegan nacho cheese is nut-free and so realistic!
- Make this vegan cheeseball to impress guests at your next party!
- Top your next salad or bruschetta with this creamy vegan burrata cheese.
- Spread vegan mascarpone onto bagels or use it to make a vegan tiramisu!
- Make snack time more fun with vegan cottage cheese! You can dip it, spread it, or add it to meals for extra protein!
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Cashew Ricotta (Vegan Ricotta Cheese Recipe)
- Food Processor
- 1 cup raw cashews soaked in hot water for at least 15 minutes
- ½ 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
- ½ 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.1 cup raw cashews
- 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.2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1-2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons dried oregano, 1 tablespoon agave syrup, 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 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.1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
- Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to serve.