Vegan ricotta cheese that tastes so good, you won’t miss the dairy..I promise. This dairy-free ricotta recipe is easy to make, with just a few ingredients, and tastes incredible. All the texture and taste of traditional ricotta in a dairy-free ricotta cheese you will adore.
Want to eat more plant based meals, but you’re not ready to give up cheese? Guess what? You don’t have to! This vegan ricotta cheese is so creamy and cheesy you won’t miss the dairy version.
There’s no need to buy funky vegan cheese products that are loaded with ingredients you can’t pronounce. This recipe is made with REAL whole food ingredients, it’s easy to make and it tastes incredible. Cauliflower ricotta? Yea, it’s a thing and a tasty thing too!
As far as vegan nut cheeses go, this is one of the easiest and tastiest out there, and it’s so versatile. BONUS POINTS: This almond ricotta recipe is loaded with healthy ingredients, and nothing else.
You’re going to want to use this vegan ricotta cheese in all your favorite savory Italian recipes…you know, lasagna, zucchini rollatini, ricotta toast or pizza. I’m also loving it as a spread in my wraps and it’s divine as a sammie spread….the possibilities are endless.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Cauliflower: Adds bulk, nutrition and texture. Helps keep this recipe lower in fat, carbs and calories.
- Slivered almonds: Slivered almonds already have their skins removed…perfect for a creamy vegan cheese recipe. You could also use pine nuts, or soaked cashews. I like the ease and the flavor of the almonds and they’re also a more budget friendly choice.
- Lemon juice: Some sort of acid is needed. A good sub would be rice vinegar. A bit of lemon zest would also be a great addition to this recipe.
- Garlic: I use a microplane zester to help break down the garlic so it gets evenly distributed throughout the recipe.
- Olive oil: You could substitute water, or even some of the cauliflower cooking water for an oil free version, but I think it adds to the creamy texture and there is only 2 Tablespoons in the entire recipe.
- Italian spices: Oregano, thyme, sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper combine to give this vegan cheese all the flavor you would expect in ricotta.
Why you’ll love this Vegan Ricotta Recipe
- Delicious: Totally satisfying and cheesy, rich and creamy with perfect ricotta texture too.
- Easy: simple recipe, made with just a few ingredients.
- Versatile: Can be used in any recipe that calls for ricotta. Sweet or savory. Plus everyone can enjoy this dairy-free recipe.
- Healthy: Plant based, low in fat carbs and calories.
- No soaking: Make it when you want to…no need to think ahead.
- No soy: Oh, I love to use tofu in recipes like this blueberry tart, or vegan chocolate pudding, but for those who can’t do soy, this recipe is amazing.
- Plant based: Cheesy…with none of the saturated fat of regular cheese or the processed ingredients of store bought vegan cheese.
- Meal prep friendly: Dinner can be whipped up in a jiffy with a batch of this delish ricotta in the fridge.
- Budget friendly: So much less expensive than store bought vegan cheeses.
- Kosher for Passover: Oh, you’re going to use this in all the plant based meals you make….total game changer!!!
How to make The BEST Vegan Ricotta
First, you’ll steam the cauliflower. Start by cutting it in half, then breaking or cutting into florets. This will later get pulsed in the food processor so you can do a rough chop.
If you don’t have a steamer basket, that’s OK. Use a small pot, add the cauliflower florets and then an inch of water. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer, cover the pot and cook for 12 minutes.
Cauliflower should be tender when pierced with a fork, but not mushy. Drain cauliflower into a colander.
A food processor is the easiest tool to use for this recipe. Place steamed cauliflower, slivered almonds, zested garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper in bowl of food processor. Pour in 2 Tablespoons of the water.
Process until everything is uniformly chunky. Stop to scrape down the sides. Taste. You may want another teaspoon lemon juice for a little more tang. Pulse until desired consistency. You many need to add another Tablespoon or two of water for a creamy ricotta.
Your vegan ricotta cheese is now ready to use or can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a week or the freezer for up to 3 months.
Debra’s Pro Tips
- YOU DECIDE the texture you prefer. Leave the food processor running for a creamier texture, or continue to pulse only for a chunkier ricotta.
- Vegan Ricotta Cheese is AMAZING on a flatbread pizza, topped with olives and fresh herbs.
- Hello vegan ricotta spread on a cracker topped with berries and a drizzle of honey or date syrup…new fan over here.
- Freeze in one cup or half cup increments to use in your favorite recipes.
- I usually double the recipe for Passover use…sometimes a triple batch! For plant based passover meals, this is a must make recipe.
- A baked sweet potato stuffed with vegan ricotta and roasted veggies is an amazing and easy lunch or dinner.
- An extra teaspoon of lemon juice adds more flavor without having to add additional salt.
MEAL PREP AND STORAGE:
- SERVE: Use in your favorite ricotta savory recipes like lasagna, stuffed shells and zucchini roll ups. Try spreading some on toast and topping with sliced tomatoes and olives, or make it sweet by topping your crackers with vegan ricotta a few blueberries and a drizzle of honey. Use your vegan ricotta to stuff cannolis, use in pancake recipes or dollop on your grilled peaches.
- PREP AHEAD: You can steam your cauliflower in advance. Keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days before blending into ricotta. Vegan ricotta cheese is perfect for meal prep as it will stay good for 10 days.
- STORE: Store in airtight container in the fridge for 10 days or the freezer for 3 months.
- FREEZE: Use freezer safe containers, made sure to pack tightly to expel extra air trapped inside. Freeze for up to 3 months.
More Vegan Italian Recipes you will love:
Vegan Ricotta FAQs
Generally, the base of vegan ricotta is made from tofu, nut, seeds or plant based yogurt. To that base, lemon, garlic and herbs are added.
This vegan ricotta uses almonds as the base and I added cauliflower to this recipe for fiber and bulk that also provides extra nutrition and is low in calories and carbs.
Vegan ricotta, made with almonds and cauliflower can be frozen for up to three months. Make sure to use freezer safe containers and pack it in tightly to be sure there are no air cavities.
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Vegan Ricotta Recipe
- 2 cups cauliflower florets. about ½ head cauliflower
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and grated
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ¼ cup water
- Cut or break cauliflower into florets. Start by cutting cauliflower head in half. Then trim off the leaves and stem.
- Steam for about 12 minutes, until tender, but not mushy when pierced with a fork. If you don't have a steam insert for your pot, that's OK, just place about ½" water on the bottom of a small pot with tight fitting lid. Add the cauliflower and bring to boil. Cover, turn down the heat to medium and allow cauliflower to cook for about 12 minutes. Drain into a colander.
- Place steamed cauliflower, almonds, garlic zest, lemon juice, olive oil, spices and 2 Tablespoons of the water into the bowl of food processor. Pulse until well combined. Taste for seasoning. An additional teaspoon lemon juice or more salt or pepper can be added now. Scrape down sides, then process until creamy—but not TOTALLY smooth. Some texture is desirable for a ricotta look and taste.
- Vegan ricotta can be used right away. It will stay good in the fridge in airtight container for 10 days or the freezer for 3 months.