This dairy-free almond ricotta is creamy, tangy, easy to make, and tastes very similar to the real thing. All you need are just 5 minutes and 3 simple ingredients you likely already have on hand!
What's Ricotta Cheese?
Traditional Italian ricotta is a soft, moisture-rich, cheese made from reheating whey with lemon juice or vinegar and salt. It has a smooth but slightly grainy texture and a subtly sweet and tangy taste that isn't overly cheesy. Because of its simplicity, ricotta is actually one of the easiest cheeses to make dairy-free.
To mimic those similar flavors and textures in traditional ricotta, here's what I used:
- Blanched slivered almonds - blanched almonds have already been soaked and had their skins removed which leaves a great neutral-flavored base that's ever so slightly sweet.
- Lemon juice - added for tanginess.
- Apple cider vinegar - the addition of this with the lemon juice adds a bit more dimension.
- Water - to help blend and give it a creamy, spreadable consistency.
- Salt - to taste.
How to Make Almond Ricotta
It's incredibly easy to make. There's no soaking, heating, or culturing required, which means it comes together quickly. And because it's made in a high-powered blender or food processor, cleanup is minimal.
Just blend, scrape down the sides as needed, and adjust the salt and liquid to taste.
Make It Your Way: Substitutions & Variations
Please remember that recipes are just a starting point.
How can you make this vegan almond ricotta using what you already have? Here are some ideas…
- No blanched slivered almonds? - use raw macadamia nuts or make my cashew ricotta instead.
- No lemon juice? - lemon juice is preferred, but you can also use lime juice in a pinch.
- No apple cider vinegar? - use white wine or champagne vinegar or omit it completely.
What to Make With It
Ricotta is a versatile condiment that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. For sweet options, you can use it in or on pancakes or on toast with roasted grapes.
If going the savory route, make butternut squash lasagna or stuffed shells. Add a dollop to pizza, Margherita pasta, any kind of savory galette, or peach Panzanella salad.
You can make this vegan ricotta using either a high-powered blender or a food processor. Learn about the difference here. I do find a high-powered blender yields a creamier result, but if you only have a food processor, you can make it work.
Regardless of which kitchen tool you use, you’ll have to pulse/blend the mixture, stop to scrape down the sides and adjust the amount of water before you reach your desired consistency.
More Dairy-Free "Cheese" Recipes
- 2 cups blanched slivered almonds
- ¾ - 1 cup water
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice or substitute, see notes
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (optional) or substitute, see notes
- ½ teaspoon diamond crystal kosher salt, to taste reduce by half if using any other kind
- Add the slivered almonds, ¾ cup of water, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and salt to your blender or food processor.
- Blend/pulse the mixture, scraping down the sides as needed. Add more water, one tablespoon at a time until you've reached your desired consistency. Add more salt as needed, to taste.
- Spread on toast with roasted grapes, make stuffed shells, or add to pasta or pizza. This recipe makes about 2 cups of ricotta.