I’ve been meaning to try and make a vegan ricotta for a very long time. Before going plant-based, spinach & ricotta lasagna was one of my favourite dishes. However, I never found a good ricotta substitute in the shop nor had I tried to make it myself. This resulted in me not eating those lasagna for the past 2 years. Well, it was about time I did something about it!
Vegan ricotta cheese made with cashews
he main ingredient of this vegan ricotta cheese is the cashew nut. I know, cashews are far from being a local ingredient in Europe. However, i honestly tried different bases and this is the only one that truly and entirely satisfied me.
You’ll find this ricotta perfect as a raw treat, or as an ingredient in your savoury or sweet recipe. Personally, I like to use it for lasagna and baked dishes in general. In sweet recipes, simply ditch the garlic, salt and pepper. You could also add a dash of lemon juice or some vanilla for taste.
With that being said, should you wish to try a local version of this vegan ricotta, I would advise you to use sunflower seeds instead of cashew nuts. Obviously, the result will not be the same, regarding taste and texture. But it will work just fine as part of a recipe (lasagna, baked dish, sauce). As a raw treat however, it did not make the cut for me, but feel free to give it a try if you wish so.
Vegan ricotta recipe
Soaking time: 8 hours or 20 minutes depending on the chosen method
Preparation time: 5 minutes
150g unsalted cashew nuts
The juice of a lemon
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp water
Salt & pepper to taste
The previous evening, soak the cashew nuts in some water. Cashews need to soak for at least 8 hours. However, if you’re in a hurry, you can quick the process by using boiling water. In that case, boil the water and let the cashews soak in it for 20 minutes.
Drain and rinse the cashew nuts. Place in a blender or food processor with all the other ingredients. I personally use an immersion blender and it works just fine. Mix / Blend for a few seconds. If needed, you can correct the texture with some more water. I deliberately use a small amount of water because I like the ricotta cheese to hold steady. Adjust the seasoning according to taste, if needed.
You’ll find all my savoury recipes on this page.