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Cashew ‘Ricotta’ Cheese

Vegan Cashew Cheese – Thick and creamy, this versatile cashew ricotta cheese is ready in as little as 10 minutes and tastes fantastic! It’s the best vegan ricotta ever and can be used anywhere ricotta is called for!

head on view of vegan cashew ricotta cheese in a bowl sitting on a brown wooden cutting board with cashews scattered around

As vegans and those eating a plant-based diet, you will be thrilled to have this easy, vegan cheese in your culinary library! I absolutely love this stuff and so does everyone else who tries it, vegan or not!

Why We Love This Recipe!

Vegan cashew ricotta cheese tastes just like the ricotta I was accustomed to for many years before becoming vegan. It’s soy-free (no tofu) and a simple recipe with lots of possibilities. You can add your own tastes to this basic cheese by adding herbs and spices.

The ingredients for this vegan ricotta cheese are very common making it a great basic recipe for anyone starting out experimenting with vegan nut cheeses. Make yourself some fresh cashew ricotta cheese and taste and feel the difference compared to processed cheese products. You will not be disappointed!

  • Quick and easy to make
  • Healthy, dairy-free option
  • WFPB
  • Clean eating
  • & So incredibly delicious!

Use this vegan ricotta in Lasagna, Manicotti, or Stuffed Shells, as a topper for crackers or as a spread for sandwiches. I’ve even used it in a Persimmon Ricotta Scone recipe that came out wonderful (I omitted the pepper, onion powder, and garlic). You can use this with a few adjustments for any recipe that calls for ricotta.

If you are allergic to nuts or want a lower fat and calorie option, try this Tofu Ricotta.

cashew soaking in water in a glass measuring cup

How To Make Cashew Ricotta Cheese

Step 1: It’s best to soak your cashews in water before starting. There are 2 ways to soak:

  1. Soak cashews in cool water for 2 – 3 hours, drain, and rinse (this method is best for digestion).
  2. For a quick method of soaking, let cashews sit in hot water for 5 minutes, drain, rinse, and continue with the recipe.

Why soak cashews? Soaking will help soften the cashews by plumping them up with water and helps the cashews blend easily. Soaking is also said to be beneficial for digestion and mineral & vitamin absorption. If you’re in a hurry, you can still make this cashew ricotta cheese successfully without soaking. You just may need to add a bit more water while blending.

Step 2: Next, place cashews, water, lemon juice/apple cider vinegar, garlic, onion powder, salt, and pepper in a food processor/blender and blend until creamy. Place in a covered container and refrigerate until ready to use. You can also use it right away in any recipe calling for ricotta cheese.

And that’s it, vegan cashew ricotta cheese made easy and delicious!

top down, close up view, of vegan cashew ricotta cheese in a glass bowl on a round wooden cutting board

How To Use Vegan Ricotta

You may find yourself eating it right out of the bowl. Enjoy everywhere you would use ricotta cheese!

How To Store + Freeze

  • Refrigerator: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in a covered container.
  • Freezer: Cashew ricotta is freezer-friendly and can stored in freezer-safe containers for up to two 2 months.
top down view of vegan cashew ricotta cheese in a bowl with a knife with wooden handle, and crackers with blueberries scattered around

More Kitchen Basics Recipes!

If you try this vegan ricotta, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.



5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 64 reviews

A fabulous replacement for traditional ricotta. Use it anywhere you would use ricotta. This will be a welcome addition to your plant-based lifestyle!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 2 Cups, Serves 8 1x
  • Category: Condiment
  • Method: blend
  • Cuisine: Vegan


  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked
  • 1/2 cup water
  • juice of 1 large lemon or 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 12 tablespoons nutritional yeast, optional
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • himalayan sea salt & cracked pepper, to taste


Soak Cashews: First, it’s best to soak your cashews in water before starting. There are 2 ways to soak:

  1. Soak cashew in cool water for at least 2 hours in a bowl of water, covering the cashews about 2 – 3 inches of water as they will swell up.
  2. For a quick method of soaking, let cashews sit in hot water for 5 minutes.

Blend: Drain cashews and place all remaining ingredients into a blender or food processor, process until creamy stopping to scrape down the sides every few minutes. Taste for flavors adding any additional ingredients. Some like a salty ricotta so feel free to add as much salt as you want.

Chill: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for an hour or two, this will stiffen the mixture a bit. You can also prepare your dish straight away without refrigeration if needed. Refrigeration will thicken the mixture a bit. If it becomes too thick, add a tad of water and mix well.

Store: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a 5 – 6 days. To keep longer, store in the freezer for up to 2 months in a freezer safe container. Let thaw in the refrigerator. Give a good stir before using.

Makes approx. 2 cups

Serves 8 – 1/4 cup per serving


You could do just as well without the nutritional yeast if you don’t have it. I only added a small amount, probably pretty unnoticeable. I will be trying more next time to play around with it a bit. If you do add it, it will add a bit more cheesy flavor and some good nutritional value.

If you have trouble with the mixture blending on it’s own try this because it’s too thick, add a little extra water.

Allergic to nuts or want to keep it lower in fat and calories, try this Tofu Ricotta.

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  1. I had my doubts, but I tried it and it was so yummy. I still can’t believe it. I am going to use to make eggplant rollatini this weekend. Thank you.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      YAY, so glad it worked well for you! Enjoy your eggplant rollatini! 😋

  2. It was delish. While I used your ingredients, I increased the lemon and garlic to my taste. I’m making a spinach and mushroom lasagna with it, and was wondering if the flavor of the ricotta, would marry well with my homemade sauce. Well they compliment each other perfectly!
    I was wondering……..if you added tofu to the mix, will it give it more of the ricotta appearance, and not take away from the taste? Just thinking out loud Lol

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Cynthia! Yes, you can add crumbled tofu to the mix. Since its flavor is pretty neutral, it will just add texture.

  3. Can you use roasted and salted cashews as long as you soak them?

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Roasted cashews will yield a toasted flavor. For the most neutral flavor like ricotta, raw cashews are best. You can certainly switch it up if you don’t mind the enhanced flavor. Add salt as needed if cashews are salted. I hope that helps!

  4. Tasted delish! Used it in my zucchini Lasagna. Thank you for such a simple, tasty recipe!

  5. Jody Evangelista says:

    Best vegan ricotta! I make it once a month for our manicotti dinner.

  6. Jeff Manas says:

    Looks great! I can’t wait to try it.

    Is Himalayan sea salt the same as Himalayan pink salt?


    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yes, it’s the same. Enjoy!

  7. I was skeptical, but I made this with almonds. My mind is blown. I used this in a veggie calzone filling, and I missed nothing about dairy ricotta. This one’s a keeper, for sure. Can’t wait to try it in other applications, like pasta or dessert.

  8. I’m really wanting to try this, however the raw cashews available to me are chopped. I’m thinking the measurement will be off by not using whole cashews as you have done. Any chance I could get a weight (grams or oz) per cup of the whole ones, please?
    Thank you!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Great question, Terry! 1 1/2 cups of whole raw cashews weighs 210 grams or 7.8 ounces. I hope that helps. Enjoy the cashew ricotta!

  9. Kimberlynne Weiss says:

    How do you counteract the sweetness of the cashews? I’m having a hard time balancing the flavors to please everyone in my house!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      I have not had the same experience tasting sweetness in the recipe. I find it on the savory side with adding the onion and garlic powder and/or nutritional yeast when added. Maybe you can add more of the garlic and onion powder, along with plenty of salt (since cheese is naturally salty) and acid from lemon to see if that counteracts any sweetness you are tasting. I hope that helps!

    2. Betsy B Havard says:

      Are you using raw cashews? Or toasted? That could make a difference. When I eat raw cashews they don’t taste as sweet as the roasted ones you buy in the store.

  10. This recipe is perfection. I had my doubts as I’ve tried other V cheese recipes and they were just okay. I tasted it then couldn’t stop “tasting” it, it was so good. My family tried it and thought I went back to eating cheese. I used 2 garlic cloves, otherwise made as written using a food processor. Thank you for this amazing recipe of pure deliciousness!

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