Recipe for Vegan Ricotta Cheese

Hello! Today I would like to share a vegan cashew ricotta recipe with you…

Those with no dietary restrictions or self imposed choices enjoy it, as do all the vegetarians and vegans that have tried it. I tried this recipe mixed into a ziti dinner for my family with success. While no one else in my family eats a vegan lifestyle, they are pretty open to trying new things and will always give me an honest review.

Before I tossed the ricotta, sauce and pasta together I asked my mom to try a spoonful of just the cheese… Now I’ve has this ricotta before and knew what to expect and thought it was just like it should be.  My mom who doesn’t like nuts much, was not a fan though she did say she thought she would like it mixed into something. Once the vegan ricotta was tossed together with the pasta and tomato sauce, all my family enjoyed it. I served it to my oldest and two younger brothers as well as my mom.

I also served it to a few friends at work, who used it in various ways. One put some vegan cashew ricotta in a calzone with fresh dairy mozzarella and thought it was great. Another friend spread it on some crackers with jalapenos, and thought it was a fantastic late night snack.

Planning the Vegan Cashew Ricotta Recipe

The cashews I bought for this recipe were whole, roasted and unsalted. I wanted to see if roasted cashews would work as well as raw because raw can get expensive. Turns out roasted cashews has almost the exact same flavor as raw cashews when soaked and blended. Yay for saving money!

 I bought one pound and 14 ounces of cashews (so almost 2 pounds) for $12 at Aldi. If I were to make all these cashews into vegan ricotta, I would have 32 ounces of cashew ricotta for around $15 (if you account for the extra seasonings added). My mom told me she gets a 30 ounce container of dairy ricotta for $9-$11. The price of ingredients for vegan cashew ricotta is comparable to store bought dairy ricotta.

I also used Red Star Nutritional Yeast Flakes from Publix. The flakes add lots of B6 and B12 vitamins, protein, iron, magnesium, manganese, cooper, fiber, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate and zinc! These incredible added nutrients are a big reason why I try to always keep some Nutritional Yeast around. Plus I am always trying to create vegan ‘cheesy’ foods in the kitchen and the nutty, mildly cheesy flavor from Nutritional Yeast is great for making vegan cheese substitutes.

You do need a food processor for this recipe.  If you have a heavy duty blender, that might work. But I’ve only ever used my processor (which I got for <$50 at Target) and wouldn’t trust my blender not to break. My food processor gets used regularly for cashew cheese, almond parmesean, black bean burgers, dressings and more! I will post these recipes at some point as well.

Ok now onto what you came for…

cueing the music Buh Buh Dah BUHHHH….

Vegan Cashew Ricotta Cheese

(Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-Free)

yield: 3 cups, 24 ounces

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  • 3 cups cashews (can be raw, or roasted, unsalted)- I did a soak overnight in the fridge for 8-10 hours
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon, 100% Lemon Juice
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
  • 2-4 Cloves Fresh Garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon Organic Italian Herbs (mine was a mix of thyme, basil, rosemary, marjoram and oregano)
  • To Taste- A pinch of salt and pepper, till it tastes like something you would enjoy
  1. Soak the cashews in enough water to cover the surface and submerge by 1-2 inches. If soaking in the fridge overnight, soak for 6-10 hours. If soaking for quick use, soak in fridge for 1-2 hours. Keep in mind the longer you soak the softer the ricotta will be.
  2. Drain the cashews. Using the food processor, mix the soaked and drained cashews into 1 cup of fresh water. Turn off processor and mix by hand with a rubber spatula to help incorporate. Then turn on processor and blend again.
  3. The mixture should look white, off white, and creamy with little to no large chunks. It will look textured. It should be thick and stiff, can add extra water if desired to be thinner.
  4. Add the lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic and seasonings slowly. Tasting every bit of the way to adjust to your taste buds liking.
  5. Make sure ricotta is fully mixed in with seasonings and prepare how you would like.

My suggestions are:

  • Ziti for family of 4-5 (1 160z box of pasta, 2 cups of cashew ricotta and 1 25 ounce jar of tomato sauce- all mixed together)
  • Stuffed Pasta Shells
  • Lasagna
  • Spread on crackers with a topper
  • Cheese for a Tomato Basil Bruchetta
  • Cheese for a Vegan Avocado Caprese Salad (ricotta, avocado, basil, light red wine vinegar and olive oil)

Now go make your own and let me know how you like it!

If you try this recipe tag me on Instagram- IG @gratefulleats

I hope you find this recipe simple and easy to follow, if I can make it easier please comment and let me know how! You can also leave comments on new foods you want me to make recipes for and try!

Namaste, from my heart to yours,

<3 Glitterfly Jessa

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