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Vegan Ricotta Recipe

This thick, buttery, creamy ricotta substitute can be used in both sweet and savory recipes!

Equipment

Blender, optionally Single Burner

Difficulty

Very Easy

Picture of vegan ricotta substitute with fruit and also on pizza.

Versatile alternative for ricotta that can be used hot or cold.


This recipe basically required a village to develop. I consulted several family members, our neighbors tasted in-between, and my poor husband had to try version after version. Ultimately my husband said this replacement for ricotta recipe was more flavorful than real thing in a good way!

Great for ricotta dessert ideas! And you can freeze it for later!

I always found the standard vegan substitutes for ricotta worked well instead of real ricotta for savory Italian dishes, but were not viable options for sweets and didn't taste much like ricotta in general. This vegan ricotta recipe gets the general sweet, creamy, butteriness of real ricotta along with a similar texture and consistency.



Substitutions?

Can I substitute the rice milk? Yes! It is best to substitute it with water. It will be missing some key flavors, but no other plant milk works very well in this recipe. If you substitute water you will also need to add another 1/2 tsp of maple syrup.


Can I substitute the corn? Yes, you can leave it out in exchange for another Tbs of butter, but the texture and flavor won't be as close. The corn really contributes to the buttery sweetness and gritty texture of the final product.


Can I substitute the mushroom water? If you don't have Porcinis you can just use water instead, but it will be missing a very subtle gaminess that adds depth.


Can I substitute the maple syrup? Yes, agave syrup will work in a pinch.


Can I substitute the vegan butter? No, this really needs the buttery flavor. The vegan butter also helps the ricotta become thicker after sitting in the fridge and contributes to a very minor amount of melting when the ricotta is cooked.


Can I leave out the salt? I do not recommend leaving out the salt.


Do not substitute more than one ingredient. It will deviate too much from the intended flavor and texture.


Money Saving Tip

You might consider getting your cashews from an Indian grocery store! You can also source cashews and dried Porcinis from online bulk sellers for cheaper.


Picture of porcini mushrooms steeping.

Put the dried porcini mushrooms in a small bowl and top with the 3/4 cup boiling water. Put something on top of the mushrooms to be sure they are fully submerged and let them steep for about 25 minutes.



Picture of the ingredients including cashews, corn, etc.


If you didn't soak your 1 1/2 cup of cashews overnight then put them in a small pan with enough water to cover them by 1/2 inch and bring them to a boil. Boil them for 20 minutes. I think boiled cashews work better for this recipe.


While waiting for those ingredients to finish, add the 6 Tbs rice milk, 2 Tbs canned sweet corn, 1 tsp maple syrup, and 1/4 tsp salt to a blender. If you are using soaked cashews instead of boiled, then melt your 3 Tbs butter before adding it. Melted butter blends a lot better.


If you boil your cashews rinse them first. Drain the cashews and add them to the blender. Add 2 Tbs of the Porcini mushroom water to the blender.



Picture of the ricotta substitute after blending.

Blend everything together until it is almost smooth, but still has a little visible grit. It will be very thick, so if your blender is struggling you can add water, rice milk, or melted vegan butter 1 Tbs at a time until just able to blend, but be careful not to water it down.



Picture of the final ricotta recipe.

Spoon into a bowl and enjoy!


What recipes use ricotta substitutes?

Ricotta can be used in main dishes, sides, and even desserts! Here are some ideas:

  • in Lasagna

  • Stuffed in Cannelloni or Manicotti

  • Stuffed in Shell pasta

  • on White Pizza

  • Cheesecakes

  • Served with Berries and Syrup

  • As a Snack with Fruit

  • Stuffed in Cannoli

  • and more!


Storage.

This vegan ricotta recipe will last in the fridge 4-5 days.


Can I freeze it? Yes! It will last in the freezer for 1-2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and stir before use. Do not microwave.


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