The BEST Dairy Free Ricotta Cheese Substitute Recipe | Tastes Lovely (2024)

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by Natalie on August 23, 2021 — updated November 20, 2023 // 57 Comments »

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5 from 158 ratings

This easy and delicious 5-minute dairy free ricotta cheese substitute is vegan, keto, and tastes just like the original! Creamy, tangy, perfect ricotta! Use this tasty “cheese” in your favorite Italian recipes– from savory dishes to sweet recipes, this versatile cheese is the best substitute!

Table of Contents

What is Ricotta Cheese?


Ricotta cheese is a fresh, creamy cheese made from the leftover whey from the production of other fresh cheeses such as mozzarella cheese or provolone. The whey is reheated, and then lemon juice is added to cause the remaining proteins to form curds. These curds are then strained, leaving behind the soft, slightly grainy ricotta cheese.

Ricotta is known for its mild, slightly sweet flavor. It’s a versatile cheese that works well in both sweet and savory dishes. It is commonly used in Italian cuisine, appearing in dishes like lasagna recipes, cannoli, and stuffed pasta dishes. Additionally, ricotta can be enjoyed on its own, spread on toast, or used as a topping for fruits and desserts.

What Makes This Recipe Great

If you’re dairy sensitive, have lactose intolerance, or have a dairy allergy, missing out on delicious recipes leaves you begging for vegan alternatives that have similar texture, flavor, and versatility as the original. Dairy-free options at the store are often expensive and hard to find. Well, I have good news for you! Enter the most amazing dairy-free ricotta cheese alternatives: my Homemade Dairy-Free Ricotta Substitute!

To make dairy-free ricotta, you typically need blanched whole almonds, but I didn’t have any on hand. As I was thinking about it, I realized that almond flour is exactly that: super fine blanched whole almonds!

So, making it even easier for you, I have created the yummiest dairy-free ricotta cheese recipe using the almond flour you probably already have in your pantry! Add in just a few more ingredients, blend them up, and that’s it! The most excellent substitute for this favorite creamy Italian cheese

Use this ricotta substitute in your favorite recipes like Dairy-Free Keto Lasagna, this delicious Whipped Ricotta dip, dessert toppings, or any other savory or sweet recipes that call for ricotta cheese! It has the same smooth texture, similar taste, and is a 1:1 replacement for whole milk ricotta. That means, 1 cup of ricotta cheese = 1 cup of this dairy-free ricotta alternative!

Recipe Highlights

  • 5 Minute Recipe
  • Only 5 Ingredients
  • The perfect ricotta cheese substitute: Similar flavor profile, mild taste, and fewer calories!
  • 1:1 Replacement!
  • Versatile ingredient
  • Dairy-Free, Keto, and Vegan Diet Friendly

Watch The Recipe Video

Note: You can also watch this recipe video on YouTube.

The BEST Dairy Free Ricotta Cheese Substitute Recipe | Tastes Lovely (8)

Ingredient Notes

  • Almond Flour: Make sure you’re using almond flour, and not almond meal. Almond meal is made from whole almonds with the skin still on. All almond flour is made from blanched almonds. My favorite almond flours are the Costco Kirkland brand, Thrive Market, and Anthony’s.
  • Lemon Juice: You could use white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or lime juice in place of lemon in a pinch. Same quantities. I prefer lemon juice.
  • Nutritional Yeast: Nutritional yeast gives that “cheesy” flavor to this ricotta substitute without adding any dairy. No substitutes for this sadly. If you don’t have it, you can leave it out. It won’t have as much of a cheesy flavor, more of a neutral, mild flavor.

Recipe Step by Step

  1. In a blender, combine the almond flour, water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, kosher salt, and garlic powder.
  2. In your high-speed blender, blend on high for 60 seconds. Stop, scrape down and blend again.
  3. If needed, add up to another 1/4 cup of water (or more) to get your ricotta substitute to a smooth consistency. All almond flour moisture levels vary a bit. You want the consistency to be smooth and creamy like real ricotta cheese.
The BEST Dairy Free Ricotta Cheese Substitute Recipe | Tastes Lovely (9)

Expert Tips

  • How to Serve: Use as a 1:1 substitute for regular ricotta cheese. I love it on my keto dairy-free lasagna, or dolloped on top of pasta, as a dip, or dolloped on top of dairy-free pizzas. So many possibilities!
  • Storage: Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. Use within one week.
  • Heating: You can heat this in the oven as I do in my dairy-free keto lasagna!
  • Blender: I love my Vitamix. You *could* use your food processor, but it may take longer to blend and get it extra creamy.

Recipe FAQs

Can you freeze ricotta cheese?

I tried freezing this, and after thawing it was more crumbly. Wasn’t as smooth. But still edible! Worked fine with I made and froze a dairy-free lasagna using this ricotta substitute.

Is this also vegan ricotta cheese?

Yes! All ingredients in this recipe are vegan– no cow’s milk in this dairy-free alternative–so this is a great vegan ricotta cheese substitute.

Is this ricotta substitute keto-friendly?

Yes! There are just 2.5 net carbs per serving of this dairy free ricotta cheese substitute!

More Dairy Free Dips, Sauces, Dressings, & More!

Easy Homemade Dairy-Free and Vegan Pesto Recipe
Whole30 + Keto Caesar Salad Dressing (Dairy Free!)
Whole30 + Dairy Free Queso Nacho Cheese
Homemade Dairy Free Heavy Cream (Vegan!)
Dairy-Free Keto Whipped Cream
Keto Mint Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (Dairy Free!)

Did you love this recipe? Thank you! Please give this recipe a star rating and leave a review below. I respond to every one! Be sure to follow meon Instagram,Pinterest, TikTok, andFacebook. Tag me if you try a recipe!

The BEST Dairy Free Ricotta Cheese Substitute Recipe | Tastes Lovely (16)

Dairy Free Ricotta Cheese Substitute

Servings: 2 cups

Prep Time: 5 minutes mins

Total Time: 5 minutes mins

This easy & delicious 5-minute dairy free ricotta cheese substitute is vegan, keto, and tastes just like the original! Creamy, tangy, perfect ricotta! Use this tasty "cheese" in your favorite Italian recipes.

5 from 158 ratings

Print RecipePin RecipeLeave a Review

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 3/4 cup water, or more to desired consistency
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, from roughly 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Equipment

Instructions

  • In a blender, combine the almond flour, water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, kosher salt and garlic powder.

  • In your high speed blender, blend on high for 60 seconds. Stop, and scrape down and blend again.

  • If needed, add in up to another 1/4 cup of water (or more) to get your ricotta to a smooth consistency. All almond flours moisture level varies a bit. You want the consistency to be smooth and creamy like real ricotta.

  • Transfer to an airtight container. Will keep in an airtight container for 1 week.

  • Use as a 1:1 substitute for regular ricotta cheese. I love it on my keto dairy free lasagna, or dolloped on top of pasta, or as a dip, or dolloped on top of dairy free pizzas. So many possibilities!

  • As always, lots of tips, FAQs and substitution info in the Recipe Notes!

Notes

Almond Flour: Make sure you’re using almond flour, and not almond meal. Almond meal is made from whole almonds with the skin still on. All almond flour is made from blanched almonds. My favorite almond flours are the Costco Kirkland brand, Thrive market brand, and Anthony’s brand.

Lemon Juice: You could use white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or lime juice in place of lemon in a pinch. Same quantities. I prefer lemon juice.

Nutritional Yeast: Nutritional yeast gives that “cheesy” flavor to this ricotta substitute without adding any dairy. No substitutes for this sadly. If you don’t have it, you can leave it out. Won’t have as much of a cheesy flavor, more of a neutral, mild flavor.

Freezing: I tried freezing this, and after thawing it was more crumbly. Wasn’t as smooth. But still edible! Worked fine with I made and froze a dairy-free lasagna using this ricotta.

Heating: You can heat this in the oven as I do in my dairy-free keto lasagna!

Blender: I love my Vitamix. You *could* use your food processor, but it may take longer to blend and get it extra creamy.

Cuisine: Italian

Course: Condiment

Author: Natalie

Serving: 0.25cup, Calories: 163, Total Carbs: 5g, Protein: 4.3g, Fat: 5g, Fiber: 2.5g, Net Carbs: 3g

Did you make this recipe?Please Leave a comment and give this recipe a rating!

15 Minutes 5 Ingredients or Less Appetizers Dairy Free Fall Gluten Free Keto Low Calorie Paleo Recipes Snacks Spring Summer Vegetarian/Vegan Whole30 Winter

posted by Natalie on August 23, 2021

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    57 Comments on “The BEST Dairy Free Ricotta Cheese Substitute Recipe”

  1. Brian January 25, 2024 @ 3:54 pm Reply

    The BEST Dairy Free Ricotta Cheese Substitute Recipe | Tastes Lovely (17)
    Thanks for this recipe! I stopped eating cheese a year ago and this is perfect in a lasagna. What I did different was added a block of firm tofu that had been frozen then thawed. This gives it a perfect granular texture. To that I added just one large cup of Almond flower plus 3/4 cup of water etc. We were very pleased with the end result. Will do this again. The leftover bit I will use in scrambled eggs. Thanks again

  2. Bonnie Gassmann December 10, 2023 @ 4:07 pm Reply

    I made this with my dairy challenged daughter and served it to my very picky husband. He didn’t have a clue it wasn’t real ricotta in our lasagna. THANK YOU so much!

    • Natalie December 29, 2023 @ 8:22 pm Reply

      Love this! So so glad to hear that everyone liked it! I’m honored!

  3. Lisa M December 4, 2023 @ 7:45 am Reply

    Wondering if this would work in a cookie recipe that calls for ricotta??

    • Natalie December 29, 2023 @ 7:39 pm Reply

      I’ve never tried this, but it might! Baking is so tricky with swaps. If you try it and it works let me know!

  4. Bob December 1, 2023 @ 7:13 am Reply

    I used oat milk instead of water and it turned out fantastic. I made butternut squash and ricotta ravioli with this recipe and it was the best thing I’ve ever eaten without the pain I would normally get with regular ricotta. Thank you so much for this recipe.

    • Natalie December 29, 2023 @ 8:10 pm Reply

      I’m so honored!! Thank you so much Bob!

  5. Lesley September 27, 2023 @ 6:36 am Reply

    Could you bake this in a lasagna and freeze the lasagna? Would the ricotta hold up to be baked, frozen, and reheated at a later time? Currently 9 months pregnant and trying to prep a bunch of make ahead freezer meals before our first is born ☺️ thank you!

    • Natalie November 1, 2023 @ 9:47 pm Reply

      Yes, it holds up surprisingly well when frozen I am happy to report! It can get a bit grittier, but once baked in a lasagna it all melds together well. Great thing to stock the freezer with. Congrats on your first baby!

    • Ana Garza November 12, 2023 @ 12:41 pm Reply

      The BEST Dairy Free Ricotta Cheese Substitute Recipe | Tastes Lovely (18)
      This is an excellent dairy free ricotta substitute. I mainly use it for lasagna and baked ziti since a family member has a dairy allergy. It’s WAY easier than trying to rehydrate and blend blanched almonds, like some other recipes do. I do wish the almond flour I use was more finely milled – my ninja blender still can’t get all the grittiness out. Husband approved too.

  6. Brittany Keating September 11, 2023 @ 6:48 pm Reply

    Could I use regular flour if there is a tree but allergy?

    • Natalie November 1, 2023 @ 9:38 pm Reply

      No, sadly regular flour won’t work. Maybe tiger nut flour? I haven’t tried this, but that’s a great swap that is tree nut free.

  7. Dranny July 12, 2023 @ 8:33 pm Reply

    The BEST Dairy Free Ricotta Cheese Substitute Recipe | Tastes Lovely (19)
    Used this for a VERY old Zucchini Lasagna recipe to make it vegan for my daughter and it was perfect. I only had a cup of almond flour, so I added a cup of cashew meal and it totally worked. Next, I’m going to make it without the yeast and garlic and sub a bit of nutmeg and a teaspoon of honey or sugar to use with dessert recipes or to eat with berries.

    • Natalie August 8, 2023 @ 2:17 pm Reply

      So happy to hear this! Also, great tip on the cashew meal! Please let me know how your dessert version turns out- sounds delicious!

The BEST Dairy Free Ricotta Cheese Substitute Recipe | Tastes Lovely (2024)

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