Tofu ricotta is a full-bodied, umami-rich addition to your vegan lasagna, stuffed shells, and mushroom pizzas. It’s made with just a few ingredients in the food processor, and comes together in only minutes. Vegan & gluten-free.
Come sit with me around the fire as we talk about the old days of veganism. When I went vegan in 2007, vegan cheese was sold in bright orange blocks with a vaguely jell-o like texture.
If you squinted, it had the appearance of cheese… It was less convincing once it landed in your mouth.
So instead of buying non-dairy cheeses from the natural grocery store, we’d make them at home.
There was flour-based queso for nachos.
And vegan ricotta was made with tofu and nooch.
Now we are living in the golden age of vegan cheese. There are high-end varieties for cheeseboards, slices for sandwiches, and shreds for tacos. And the taste is off the charts. I’m thrilled vegan cheeses have come so far.
But you know what? Sometimes I still enjoy the old school classics like today’s tofu ricotta.
It’s like listening to The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades. Those retro hits just feel good.
Making your own vegan ricotta at home is inexpensive, convenient, really fast, and downright delicious.
It has umami-richness from miso paste, tang from lemon juice, cheesiness from nutritional yeast flakes, and a fatty edge from tahini.
How to make it
To make dairy-free ricotta, grab a block of super firm tofu in vacuum packaging.
(I use the kind sold by Wildwood or Trader Joe’s. You can see the packaging in my post on favorite Trader Joe’s vegan products.)
Break it up into a food processor along with miso paste, nutritional yeast flakes, lemon juice, tahini, and salt.
Turn the food processor to low for a few seconds. Then scrape down the sides to incorporate anything that’s sticking. Process for a few seconds longer.
And you’ve got tofu ricotta!
For a family of two (not including cats), I usually make a half batch of this tofu ricotta. Just cut your block of tofu in half, and you can use what’s remaining for a vegan tofu scramble.
Make it your own
It’s easy to adjust this dairy free ricotta to suit your preferences. Make it your own by adding:
- Fresh or dried basil
- Minced garlic or garlic powder
- Granulated onion
What to do with tofu ricotta
Most of the time, I use tofu ricotta for vegan lasagna. It makes a great creamy layer along with lasagna noodles, spinach, fresh basil, zucchini, and/or vegan sausage.
I like to make mine in the air fryer. It’s ready in only 30 minutes!
Use tofu ricotta to stuff shells.
Or add dollops to pizza. It’s not going to melt, obviously. But it gives body to pizza with added creaminess and cheesy flavor.
Smear vegan ricotta onto crackers or toast. It plays nice with grilled artichoke hearts, olives, olive tapenade, and/or avocado.
- Use your hands to crumble tofu into food processor in chunks. Then add the remaining ingredients.
- Process at a low speed until everything is evenly incorporated. Stop once to scrape down the sides, so that all of the ingredients get mixed into the ricotta. You want the texture to be crumbly, not smooth. So don't over process. Time will vary depending on your food processor. However, you'll likely only need about 30 seconds.
- Remove from food processor. Use right away in pasta dishes or on pizza. Or move the tofu ricotta to a covered container, and refrigerate until you're ready to use it.
Want more vegan cheese ideas? Check out this round-up of the best vegan cheese for your every need.