This homemade simple vegan ricotta cheese is made with only 8 simple ingredients and takes less than 10 minutes for a deliciously healthy plant-based cheese alternative.
Simple ingredients in vegan ricotta cheese
Making dairy free ricotta cheese is very simple and SO much better for your health than regular cheese. It’s made with…
- almond milk
- lemon juice
- firm tofu
- cashews or white beans (optional)
- spinach (optional)
The first batch of this recipe I made didn’t have either cashews or white beans, and it was good. You will notice they are not pictured above.
I decided to add just 2 tablespoons of cashews and believe they created a lovely creamy texture and flavor that I liked even better. However, they can be left out completely if desired.
White beans can be substituted for those avoiding nuts.
A blender or food processor is all that is needed for preparation. What I reeeally like is that absolutely no cooking is required.
Vegetarian ricotta lasagna
Vegan ricotta cheese is delicious used in other recipes like Spinach Black Bean Lasagna. For lasagna ricotta, I usually make a little different version by simply adding spinach.
The lasagna ricotta is made exactly the same way, except for the addition of spinach. I use a 10 oz. package of frozen, chopped spinach that has been defrosted and drained.
Once the main ricotta ingredients have been blended until smooth, simply stir in the spinach for a power-punch of flavor and texture–not to mention protein!
Then spoon it into the many layers with pasta, marinara sauce, spinach, and No-Cheese Sauce.
Sure, there are processed vegan cheeses available at most grocery stores, but have you read the labels on them?
Processed vegan cheeses are not healthy
FILTERED WATER, MODIFIED POTATO STARCH, CANOLA OIL, VEGETABLE GLYCERINE, TRICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, PEA PROTEIN, SEA SALT, NATURAL VEGAN FLAVOR, LACTIC ACID (NON-DAIRY), SUNFLOWER LECITHIN, ANNATTO EXTRACT (COLOR). POWDERED CELLULOSE ADDED TO PREVENT CAKING.–GoVeggie Mozzarella Shreds Label
Not exactly all natural, and one of the main ingredients is artery-clogging oil.
What is tofu?
Tofu or soybean curd is a food of Asian origin. Production of tofu involves soaking soybeans in water and creating soy milk, then curdling the milk using a substance such as calcium sulfate or lemon juice.
The curds are separated from the whey and usually packaged in block form. Most tofu brands offer a range of soft and firm varieties, which differ mainly in the amount of water retained.”–LiveStrong
Nutrition in tofu
Unlike most plant-based foods, soy is considered a complete protein, possessing all the essential amino acids. Tofu is thus a good protein source, due both to the amount and nature of the protein it contains.
The protein content is higher in firm types of tofu than in softer types. According to the Illinois Center for Soy Foods (ICSF), a 3-oz. piece of firm tofu has about 13 g of protein, compared with about 4 g in soft tofu. The Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG) puts the content of 4 to 5 oz. of tofu at 11 g.–LiveStrong
Is soy healthy?
Some people are not too sure about tofu, because it contains phytoestrogens. Turns out, phytoestrogens are very health promoting and are not at all like our body’s natural estrogen that can cause harm and lead to disease.
This makes so much sense, because the countries that consume the most soy, such as Japan and China, have the lowest rates of cancer and chronic disease. The short video below will explain the benefits of soy.
Other amazing vegan cheese recipes
Which vegan cheese sauce tastes the best?
There are so many different types of vegan cheese sauce. Each one has its own merits and can be used in different recipes. For instance, we love this cheddar flavor cheese sauce, as well as Sweet Potato Sauce mixed with salsa and on Nachos.
Plant-Based Vegan Starter Kits $27
- 2 Tbsp raw cashews or white beans, (optional)
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 Tbsp almond milk, or other plant milk
- 1-1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 12 oz firm tofu, drained
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 Tbsp Italian dry seasoning
- 2 Tbsp basil (and or one fresh basil leaf)
- 10 oz frozen, chopped spinach, thawed, (optional)
- salt & pepper
- Drain water from tofu block and press to remove water.
- Next, place all ricotta ingredients (EXCEPT SPINACH) into a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth. This will be a very thick mixture. If your blender has a tamper, using it will help. If not, stop and scrape down sides of the blender as needed until smooth.
- If making Spinach Ricotta, thaw spinach and drain as much as possible. I defrost mine on paper towels in the microwave. Then, I wrap it up in the paper towels and squeeze excess water juices over the sink or jar to keep for veggie broth seasoning.
- Transfer mixture to a large bowl and stir in the drained spinach. Continue tasting until you get the salt adjusted to your taste preference.
- Serve with crackers, cut vegetables, or use in recipes like lasagna.
Mori-Nu Tofu, Silken Style, Extra Firm, 12.3-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 3)
Vitamix 5200 Blender, Professional-Grade, 64 oz.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 158 Total Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 1g Carbohydrates: 16g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 1g Protein: 15g