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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. This stuff is truly delicious! Only complaint about the recipe is that it says it makes 2 cups. Mine came out to one. And 1 cup is definitely not enough for the big ass lasagna I’m making!

  2. I was craving a good creamy lasagna and there’s no vegan cheese options in my town. I must say I had no faith at all in these diy cashew cheese recipes but I decided to give it a try and…oh.my.gosh. it’s so good! I could easily fool someone and make them believe that I used dairy. Thank you!

  3. Idk what I did this time, I’ve made this a few times and for whatever reason the ricotta came out really really sweet this time. I soaked it and rinsed and didn’t heat until I boiled the ravioli. They came out sweet like a cannoli. 🤷‍♀️

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Sorry it didn’t turn out as usual for you, Dana! Not sure what could have happened. Did you change brands of cashews or use a sweetened non-dairy milk in place of water? I hope your next try is perfect!

  4. My go-to “ricotta” recipe! I It keeps well in an airtight container for leftovers over the course of the week. I sometimes like to stir in a bit of Daiya feta crumbles to the mix right before scooping a dollop over a bowl of vegan lasagna soup just for the purpose of texture. Other than that, I make it exactly as written! Thank you for sharing this game changer or a recipe!

  5. Ellen Keuling says:

    I am not vegan but I love this more than ricotta in my lasagna.

  6. Heather Casto says:

    Amazing!! Loved this!! So delicious

  7. Cashew “ricotta” cheese is excellent with my no tomato red sauce made with hearts of palm lasagna. Also I enjoyed the Almond parmesan.

  8. This ricotta is so good. I used it for stuffed shells. If I didn’t tell people it was vegan they never would have known. I will definitely make this again.

  9. I liked this SO much better than the tofu ricotta I usually make. The flavor was richer and actually seemed more like “the real thing” to me. I used a blender which required a little more liquid than the recipe calls for, so I added about 1/4c vegan sour cream. I think it helped the texture and flavor too.

  10. Patricia Pascale says:

    Made exactly as written. Excellent! Thank you so much, this made my lasagna super tasty.

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