This is the best vegan ricotta cheese for creating dairy-free versions of your favorite Italian recipes! It's creamy, versatile, SO quick and easy, and amazing in everything from vegan lasagna to lemon ricotta pasta. Only 5 ingredients, 1 bowl, and 5 minutes to make a batch. Made with tofu, this vegan ricotta is rich in plant-based protein and contains no nuts, oil or nutritional yeast.
Why You'll Love It
This vegan ricotta is lightly adapted from the tofu ricotta recipe in Miyoko Schinner's book Artisan Vegan Cheese. Side note: with just a few tweaks it also makes the most amazing vegan cottage cheese.
For many years, almond ricotta was my go-to ricotta substitute. But over time my tastes (and tummy) have changed, and these days I prefer this lighter tofu version.
Plain vegan yogurt is the key ingredient that takes this tofu ricotta over the top. It gives it the perfect amount of creaminess plus that authentic, cultured, tangy flavor.
Non-dairy yogurt is usually pretty easy to find in well-stocked stores, but if your stores don't carry it don't worry! I have 3 different plant-based yogurt recipes you can make at home: tofu yogurt, almond yogurt, and cashew yogurt.
When you combine the firm tofu and yogurt with lemon, salt, herbs, and garlic it's seriously just too delicious! I hope you love it, too.
- Firm tofu - I prefer regular firm for this recipe because it's creamier and softer, but extra-firm works, too.
- Yogurt - whether made from oats, cashews, almonds, or soy, look for a plain, unsweetened vegan yogurt for this recipe. If you have trouble finding one in your local grocery store, you can always make your own. I have THREE yogurt recipes for you: cashew, almond, and tofu yogurt. To keep this recipe nut-free, go with the tofu yogurt, or try this super easy recipe for soy yogurt.
- Lemon juice - lemon adds a subtle and fresh tanginess and contributes to the overall cheesy flavor.
- Garlic powder - also adds a cheesy undertone and makes this taste more like classic ricotta. Feel free to taste the mixture first without it and then decide. Omit the garlic if you plan to use the ricotta in a sweet recipe (more on this below).
- Italian seasoning - the Italian herb blend I'm currently using contains the herbs listed below. If you don't have a pre-made blend on hand, use a generous pinch of oregano and smaller amounts as you progress down the list. Then adjust to taste.
- Salt - salt is critical for creating a cheesy flavor, even a mild cheese like ricotta. I used fine sea salt. Keep in mind that table salt it is much finer and saltier so you would need less.
See the recipe card below for quantities and printable recipe.
How to Make Vegan Ricotta
Aside from being healthy and tasting amazing, one of the other great things about this recipe is how simple and quick it is. No special equipment required!
- First, drain the tofu. Wrap a tea towel or paper towels around it, and lightly squeeze over the sink to remove some of the water. No need to fully press the tofu. Place it in a bowl with the other ingredients.
- Use a fork to mash the tofu and incorporate everything very well. Taste and adjust the amount of yogurt, garlic powder, salt, and Italian herbs, as desired.
Easy, right?! Enjoy now or refrigerate until ready to use.
Ways to Use Vegan Ricotta
Breakfast - enjoy with bagels, toast, muffins, and stirred into tofu scramble for extra creaminess.
Lunch - add vegan ricotta to pasta salads, green salads, sandwiches, and wraps for extra protein and a cool, cheesy element.
Snacks & Appetizers - it's also great on crostini and raw veggies and in vegan stuffed mushrooms.
Dessert - omit the garlic powder and dried herbs and reduce the salt, to taste. Add your favorite sweetener and serve with baked goods or fresh fruit. It's amazing paired with these air fryer peaches!
And of course, vegan cannoli is a must.
- Tofu - if you want something similarly creamy that can be used in sweet or savory dishes, check out this almond ricotta. It's just as easy and versatile.
- Lemon juice - you can experiment with replacing the lemon juice with a mild vinegar, but use less since vinegar is much stronger than lemon.
- Garlic powder - if you don't like garlic powder, there's no harm in leaving it out. You can also use minced fresh garlic, or use onion powder to taste.
- Nut-free - go for soy, coconut, or oat yogurt. Again, just make sure it's completely unflavored and unsweetened! For homemade, try this tofu yogurt recipe.
Like most homemade vegan versions of dairy products, this one is easy to customize depending on how you plan to use it.
With oil - if you include oil in your diet, add even more richness and flavor with a drizzle of olive oil.
For sweet recipes - for dessert recipes that call for ricotta, omit the garlic powder and dried herbs and reduce the salt by half. Taste and add a bit more lemon juice if desired.
Store vegan ricotta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. As it sits some liquid may separate. You can either stir it back in or strain it away.
Tofu ricotta freezes very well. Thaw overnight in the fridge before using.
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As always, I love hearing from you! Comment below to let us know your favorite ways to use this healthy vegan ricotta cheese!
5-Minute Vegan Ricotta Cheese
- There's no need to press the tofu, but we do want to remove some of the water. Drain the package, and wrap a tea towel or paper towels around the block of tofu. Holding the tofu over the sink lightly squeeze to remove some of the water. Place the tofu in a bowl with the other ingredients.1 (14 oz) package firm tofu, ½ cup plain, unsweetened vegan yogurt, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt or mineral salt, ¾ teaspoon garlic powder, ¾ teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
- Use a fork to mash the tofu and incorporate it with the yogurt and seasonings. Mash until the ricotta is as creamy as you like.
- Taste for seasoning, adding more yogurt, garlic, salt, and herbs, if desired. The tofu ricotta can be used now in a recipe or refrigerated for later use.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.