This homemade vegan Ricotta Cheese is made with just 5 simple ingredients and in under 5 minutes! Use it as a filling, spread, and topping for a delicious plant-based cheese alternative.
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Most people would agree that there aren’t many good store-bought vegan kinds of cheese available. Especially for those new to the vegan diet and are looking for exact replicas of the cow milk based cheeses. With the exception of a few artisan brands that are available in select cities around the world, I would have to agree.
The good news is that after a year or two, cow milk cheese cravings go away. And the taste and texture of nut-based cheeses become incredibly satisfying.
Additionally, I am a firm believer that nut-based cheeses are best when you make them at home. On My Darling Vegan, you’ll find several of my favorite cheese recipes including my Cheddar Cheese Ball, Hemp Seed Parmesan, and Cauliflower Queso And today, I’m sharing another homemade cheese recipe.
Let me introduce you to my Vegan Ricotta Cheese.
Recommended Ingredients & Equipment
There are several plant-based foods that are a popular base for homemade vegan ricotta. I prefer cashews in this ricotta recipe because of the natural richness and creaminess of the nut. When blended together with some nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and salt you get a creamy nut-based cheese that is incredibly versatile and satisfying.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Raw Cashews – This recipe can also be made with blanched almonds or macadamia nuts.
- Nutritional Yeast – Nutritional yeast is a common food additive made from deactivated yeast and is common in vegan cooking. Read all about it below.
- Lemon Juice
You don’t need much to make impressive nut-based cheeses at home. However, you will need a food processor. Having a high-quality food processor is very beneficial for plant-based eating and especially when it comes to nut-based cheeses. (<<affiliate links)
Check out the full list of my recommended kitchen tools and gadgets.
What is Nutritional Yeast?
It’s only yeast in that it comes from the same fungi family; it does not taste, look, or work like baker’s or brewer’s yeast. Rather, it is bold in color and flavor. It comes in yellow flakes (see picture above) and has a DELICIOUS nutty cheesy taste. But that’s not all. It is also highly nutritious as it is full of B-vitamins, including the hard-to-get B12 vitamin.
Nutritional yeast is commonly added to foods to give it that nutty cheesy flavor such as popcorn, tofu pasta, cheese sauces, and nut-based cheeses. You can often find nutritional yeast in the bulk section of well-stocked grocery stores.
How to Make Cashew Ricotta
Step One – Soak the Cashews
First, the cashews get soaked in warm water for a couple of hours. This softens the nut and allows it to blend more completely into a creamy cheese texture.
Step Two – Blend the Ingredients
Drain and rinse the cashews. Place them in a food processor along with the remaining ingredients and blend it together for 1-2 minutes, until the mixture resembles cashew cheese.
Scrape down the side of the processor as you go.
Serving and Storing
Store this recipe in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It can also be frozen for up to 2 months. To use, gently thaw the ricotta in the refrigerator overnight.
More Vegan Cheese Recipes
Vegan Ricotta Cheese
- Drain and rinse the cashews.
- Place them in a food processor along with the remaining ingredients and pulse until the cashews are broken down and resemble ricotta cheese. Add a little water, one tablespoon at a time, if needed.
- Use immediately or transfer to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.