Best Vegan Ricotta Cheese Recipe with Cashews and Almonds

Today I’m excited to share with you my new vegan ricotta cheese recipe with a cashew-almond base. I’m not big on bragging, but I’m quite sure that this is the best vegan ricotta I’ve ever tasted, both in flavor and texture!

Any vegan who used to love cheese in their pre-vegan days would probably agree that ricotta cheese has a special place in the cheese hierarchy. It’s an important “building block” of so many delicious Italian-inspired dishes like lasagna, stuffed shells, all kinds of pastas, etc.

So what does one do about ricotta when they go vegan? Look for a perfect vegan ricotta cheese recipe, of course!

Vegan ricotta cheese recipe with almonds and cashews

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I’ve tried countless vegan ricotta recipes over the years, and while some of them were better than others, most of the time they left me missing the real thing.

Tofu-based vegan ricotta cheese recipes tend to be on the leaner side, so they often lack the creamy depth of flavor that the full-fat ricotta has.

Nut-based vegan ricotta cheeses tend to be creamier, but the texture can be hit or miss.

So in my search for a perfect vegan ricotta in the 5+ years since going vegan, I’ve made countless batches of vegan ricotta cheese recipes off the internet.

I used that ricotta in a variety of my favorite Italian recipes like lasagna, pizza, stuffed shells, etc. The flavors were often spot-on, especially when my homemade vegan ricotta was mixed in with other ingredients of each recipe.

But what about the texture? I was still on a lookout for the perfect vegan ricotta cheese that would taste and feel spot-on when eaten off the spoon.

Soy-free vegan ricotta cheese recipe - made from almonds and cashews

It still took me a while to get there.

Nut-based vegan ricotta recipes often yield cheese that’s either too smooth, or its ‘grit’ is a bit harder than that of the dairy-based ricotta. If you remember the texture of the latter, its ‘grit’ is rather soft.

So for a while there, I was trying to recreate that ‘soft grit’ with various degrees of success, until one day it hit me: I should try boiled slivered almonds!

Dairy-free soy-free vegan ricotta cheese recipe

This may sound bizarre, but it worked like a charm!

I got the idea to boil slivered almonds for vegan ricotta cheese from The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook by the brilliant Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Isa uses boiled almonds to make the filling for her arancini (stuffed italian rice balls).

I loved the perfect soft ‘grit’ of Isa’s ricotta recipe, but I wanted to make it a bit creamier so that it tasted just like the real deal off the spoon.

So I decided to make a liquidy cashew base with the ‘usual suspects’ of vegan cheese recipes like nutritional yeast, garlic and lemon juice.

The resulting vegan ricotta was ah-ma-zing! I used it in lots of recipes in the past year, and every time it got rave reviews both from vegans and omnivores.

Most recently, I made vegan stuffed shells for Rob’s birthday party, and our guests were thoroughly impressed.

Dairy-free vegan ricotta cheese recipe made from almonds and cashews

How to make vegan ricotta cheese

Making my vegan ricotta cheese recipe is actually quite easy!

You’ll need blanched slivered almonds, raw cashews, lemon juice, water, nutritional yeast, fresh or granulated garlic, and salt (see the exact proportions in the recipe below).

First, you boil the almonds for 30 minutes. While they’re boiling, you combine the rest of the ingredients in a blender (a high-speed one like Vitamix works great) and blend until smooth.

Lastly, you add the drained boiled almonds to the cashew mixture in the blender, and blend for a few seconds to let the almonds break down to form that familiar gritty ricotta texture.

How much almonds and cashews does this vegan ricotta recipe call for?

Since I posted this recipe, I’ve had readers comment that they have gotten different consistency (too thick or too watery) even if they follow this recipe exactly.

This most likely happens because slivered almonds can take up the same volume in 1 1/2 cup measure but weigh differently.

To fix this issue, we need to measure the nuts by weight.

I discovered that 8 oz of slivered almonds and 4 oz of cashews will provide the most consistent result for texture and thickness of the finished ricotta cheese.

Note that 8 oz of almonds and 4 oz of cashews will look a bit more than 1 1/2 cups and 1/2 cups respectively (the amounts listed in the recipe card below).

As for the rest of the ingredients, 1 cup of water listed in the recipe card will likely be enough. However, if you clearly hear the blender struggling (like it’s “spinning its wheels”), add more water, 1/4 cup at a time.

The rest of the ingredients don’t need to be adjusted since ricotta naturally has a milder taste.

How many calories are in vegan ricotta?

This recipe yields about 2.5 cups of vegan ricotta. If you use 1/2 cup as the serving size, it has 254 calories, with 20.8 grams of total fat, 2.4 grams of saturated fat, zero cholesterol or trans fat, 12 grams of carbohydrates, and 9 grams of protein.

For more detailed nutritional information, please refer to the recipe below. (Note: this nutritional data is approximate.)

Vegan ricotta cheese with almonds and cashews - a dairy-free ricotta cheese recipe

Isn’t it expensive to use both cashews and almonds in this recipe?

Sure, I’ll agree that using both types of nuts here can get pricey. Other vegan ricotta recipes, tofu-based in particular, can be easier on the wallet.

But consider this: if you’re making a special occasion dinner, or planning a nice meal to entertain vegan and/or omnivore guests, this recipe is 100% worth the money.

If your guests are not impressed, feel free to send me an angry email 🙂

If you’ve tried this recipe, I’d love to hear how it turned out! Give it a star rating below, pin it to Pinterest, tag @vegan_runner_eats on Instagram, or leave a comment.

Yield: 2.5 cups

Vegan Ricotta Cheese with Cashews and Almonds

Vegan ricotta cheese recipe with almonds and cashews

This vegan ricotta cheese recipe calls for raw slivered almonds and cashews to yield a delicious and versatile vegan ricotta that can be used in a variety of recipes. This dairy-free, soy-free vegan ricotta cheese will impress vegans and omnivores alike. *PLEASE READ NOTE BELOW for tips on achieving proper consistency.*

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 oz (1.5 cups or a little more*) blanched slivered almonds
  • 4 oz (1/2 cup or a little more*) raw cashews, soaked for 1-2 hours (no need to soak if using a high-powered blender)
  • 1 cup filtered water (plus a little more if needed)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1-2 garlic cloves OR 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)

Equipment:

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, bring about 4 cups of water to a boil. Add slivered almonds and boil for 30 min. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the rest of the ingredients in a blender (high-powered blenders like Vitamix work best, but regular is OK too). Blend until the mixture is smooth, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula as needed.
  3. Mix in the boiled almonds and blend for 20-30 seconds more, or until the almonds break down into a slightly gritty, ricotta-like consistency.
  4. Use right away in your favorite recipes, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Notes

* Weighing almonds and cashews for this recipe will provide the most consistent result for texture and thickness of the ricotta cheese.

Note that 8 oz of almonds and 4 oz of cashews will look a bit more than 1 1/2 cups and 1/2 cups respectively. 1 cup of water will likely be enough, but if the ricotta looks too thick in the blender (or if you clearly hear the blender "struggling" like it's spinning wheels), add more water, 1/4 cup at a time.

The rest of the ingredients don't need to be adjusted since ricotta naturally has a milder taste.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

5

Serving Size:

1/2 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 254Total Fat: 20.8gSaturated Fat: 2.4gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 6mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 4.5gSugar: 2.2gProtein: 9.2g

Please note that the provided nutritional information data is approximate.

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If you make this vegan ricotta cheese with cashews and almonds, please let me know how it came out! Leave a star review in the recipe card, or comment below.

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19 thoughts on “Best Vegan Ricotta Cheese Recipe with Cashews and Almonds”

  1. What would the weight of the almonds be? I’m still seeing 1 1/2 cups. I’m reluctant to try it and have it come out watery. Food processor? Or blender? I have a blender, but I don’t have a Vitamix :(, but my food processor is pretty beefy. Which would you recommend? Thanks much!

  2. love this recipe. when I made the it 1st time it came out perfect and tasted delicious, however the last 2 times i’ve made it, way to much liquid, it was like water. I thought i did everything exactly the same, apparently not. What could I be doing wrong ?

    1. Hi Teresa! It’s hard to say what went wrong, especially since it came out good the first time. Did you make it with white or brown rice? I usually make it with white basmati rice, and it works fine every time. But if I use brown rice, it will take much longer for all liquid to absorb.

      1. Hi Alina,
        I’m confused, I was referring to the vegan ricotta cheese recipe. I don’t remember using or seeing rice as an ingredient. Am I missing something?
        Thanks much

        1. Oh, I was confused too – my website backend doesn’t show me what post you’re commenting on if I’m looking on my phone, and I haven’t had access to my computer for over a week, so I thought you were commenting on my IP jambalaya recipe – it gets a lot of comments these days.

          Anyway, re: ricotta – it’s possible that the amount of almonds was a bit off. When we pack them in a measuring cup, it looks like there are 1.5 cups by volume every time, but because the pieces are so chunky (compared to, say, if you’re measuring flour), they may have more space in between one time, and less space another time.

          This happened to me too, actually – sometimes this ricotta comes out more watery. I need to measure it by weight, not volume, next time I make it, and update the recipe.

    2. I’m trying to recreate the Italian cookie, “Ricotta Egg Biscuits” for my husband. If I eliminate the garlic do you think this ricotta recipe might work in a cookie? The cookies tend to be a bit soft and crumbly in texture when you follow the traditional recipe. Thanks!

    1. I wonder if you could just blanch whole almonds and slip the skins off. The recipe looks wonderful and Thank you for adding calorie information even if only approximate. Lovely website

      1. Lisa & Alina, I didn’t worry about the skins. I just rough-chopped whole almonds since that’s all I had on hand, and boiled. The ricotta didn’t look as white, but I wasn’t worried about that. Tasted great.

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