Showing is a vegan cashew ricotta cheese in a shallow blue bowl with a spoon in the cream. On the side, there are cherry tomatoes, a bottle of balsamic vinegar, capers, fresh basil and lemon. There is also a plate with sliced bread topped with the cashew ricotta, sliced tomatoes, basil leaves and capers.
Sauces, Dips and Condiments

Cashew Ricotta Cheese (Vegan & Easy)

This cashew ricotta cheese is very easy to make and so tasty. It will come together within 15 minutes (or less!) with only a few simple ingredients. And it tastes just like the real one!

I clearly love to make all types of homemade vegan cheeses. Once you learn a few tricks on how to mimic dairy products, then a whole world is opening up. And you won’t miss real cheese again!

Here on the blog, I have been sharing vegan cheesy recipes regularly. From Vegan white Queso dip, to White sauce for pasta and even Butternut squash Mac and Cheese, these dishes are among my most popular recipes and the ones I personally make over and over again for my family.

Because cheesy food is so good! And I’m so happy to add one more hard to resist vegan cheese recipe to the list.

What’s to love about this vegan ricotta?

  • Great texture: super thick and creamy
  • Deliciously lemony, a tiny bit sweet with a little hint of garlic
  • Easy to prepare
  • Soy-free, Dairy-free and naturally gluten-free
  • Healthy recipe using wholesome ingredients
  • So versatile!

Dairy-free ricotta cheese

This one might even be a new favorite. Being able to wrap up a healthy vegan ricotta within 15 minutes is a secret in the kitchen everyone should know!

And you can use it just as you would with regular ricotta cheese: from pizza, to lasagna, pasta sauces (so good as a simple creamy sauce for spaghetti with fresh basil and chopped cherry tomatoes) or simply spread over crackers or bread.

Showing is a vegan cashew ricotta cheese in a shallow blue bowl with a spoon in the cream. On the side, there are cherry tomatoes, a bottle of balsamic vinegar, capers, fresh basil and lemon. There is also a plate with sliced bread topped with the cashew ricotta, sliced tomatoes, basil leaves and capers.

What you will need to make this vegan cashew ricotta cheese?

  • Cashews: Either soak overnight or boil for a quick ricotta, softened and blended cashews are the base that reproduces that thick cheesy texture.
  • Nutritional yeast: Its nutty taste bring that complex flavor profile to any recipes mimicking dairy cheese. It’s essential!
  • Lemon juice: Regular cheese have a tangy taste which is brought here by fresh lemon juice. When combined to nutritional yeast, it makes for a perfect combo to get that delicious cheese flavor.
  • Salt and Garlic Powder: They will boost the flavor of the vegan ricotta. You can also use a small fresh clove of garlic instead of the powdered one. In this case, I recommend you crush it before adding to the food processor.
Ingredients needed to make this recipe: raw cashews, lemon, garlic powder, salt and nutritional yeast.

How to make this vegan cashew ricotta

Simply combine all the ingredients in a food processor and process until you reach your desired texture. It is that easy!

I love my ricotta pretty smooth, but if you are looking for a thicker or chunkier texture, then you can start with less water and add more along the way. How long you process it will also change the texture, so play with it and taste along the way to find what you prefer.

Personalize this recipe

This vegan ricotta is great as it is, but there are also many options on how to customize it.

  • For a Mediterranean twist: Try adding fresh dill or parsley, softened and chopped sun-dried tomatoes, chopped kalamata olives and lemon zest.
  • For an Italian version: Fresh basil, chopped cherry tomatoes, capers and a good drizzle of balsamic vinegar would make it a perfect base for an Italian recipe.
  • Mexican style: Swap the lemon juice for lime juice, add a hint of chili + cumin powder and fresh cilantro: use this mixture as a taco base or burrito filling with black beans.

Watch how to make it

How to use this vegan cashew ricotta cheese

  • Stuff it: This ricotta would be an amazing lasagna filling, just use it as you would with regular dairy ricotta. Also, try to stuff pasta shells with it and drizzle tomato sauce on top. Or add it to your crepe filling! Yum!
  • Spread it: Delicious simply on crackers or as a spread for sandwiches instead of mayo (goes well with sliced cucumbers and tomatoes).
  • Top or Dip it: Change things up and swap regular hummus for this ricotta to dip veggies in. I also love to top warm roasted vegetables with this cheese. Also, a generous dollop on a hearty salad will make it nice and creamy.
Showing is a vegan cashew ricotta cheese in a shallow blue bowl with a spoon in the cream. On the side, there are cherry tomatoes, a bottle of balsamic vinegar, capers, fresh basil and lemon. There is also a plate with sliced bread topped with the cashew ricotta, sliced tomatoes, basil leaves and capers.

Can I skip soaking the cashews?

I recommend you do not skip this step. It will help get the nuts nice and plump and more blend-able. If you forgot to soak them and need this ricotta extra fast, then boil them for 5 minutes.

Can I use a blender instead of a food processor?

Yes you can, but I find it easier to use a food processor. This ricotta yield a volume that’s not big enough for my blender to handle. I also find that a food processor helps keep a little texture to the ricotta, which I like.

How to store

Store in a air-tight container for up to 4 days.

Can also be frozen for up to 2 months.

Other vegan cheese recipes you might like

I hope you will love this vegan ricotta cheese as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let us know how it was.

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Cashew Ricotta Cheese (Vegan & Easy)

Make this cashew ricotta with simple wholesome ingredients and use it just as you would with regular ricotta. Stuff lasagna, add it to pasta sauces, simply spread on crackers or add fresh herbs to make it your own: this spread is so versatile!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time0 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Dip, Sauce, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cashew cheese, dairy-free, ricotta, Soy-free, Vegan, vegan cheese
Author: plantbasedjess

Equipment

  • Food processor

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup raw cashews soaked, see note
  • 3-4 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Instructions

  • Boil the cashews for about 5-10 minutes. Then, rinse and drain well.
  • In a food processor, add all the ingredients and process for about 1-2 minutes. Keep processing until you reach the texture of your liking (depending if you prefer a smoother or chunkier texture). You will have to take a few breaks scraping the walls.
  • Delicious in pasta dishes or spread in sandwiches or on crackers.
  • Keep in a air-tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Can also be frozen. Makes 1 1/4 cup.

Video

Notes

  • You will have to soak the cashews before making this recipe. You can either soak them in cold water for 8 hours (I soak them overnight) or for a quicker recipe, you can first boil water, remove from the heat and soak the cashews in the hot water for 10 minutes.

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