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This creamy Cashew Ricotta is the perfect vegan substitute for dairy-based ricotta cheese. Use this dairy-free ricotta anywhere you would use traditional ricotta, such as in pasta dishes, on pizza, as a spread for crackers and more! Only 4 ingredients and just minutes are needed to make this plant-based cheese!
Get it? “Ca-shew!” You know, like “a-choo!”
Anyway, I saw a meme on Facebook…or maybe it was Instagram…I can’t remember…but the meme said, “Ca-shew: the sound of a nut sneezing.”
The things that amuse me…
like this wacky joke I made up about a peach. It goes…
A peach walks into a bar. The bartender looks up and says, “Oh, schnapps!”
Get it? “Oh, schnapps!” You know, like “Oh, snap!”
I’m just feeling a ’90s vibe right now so just talk to the hand, OK?
Alright, alright. I’ll stop. This is “nut” the time to fool around.
Get it? “Nut the time” instead of “not the time,” you know, because were talking about nuts…cashews to be exact. 😉
Cashews, as demonstrated in this recipe, are widely used in the vegan world to make not only dairy-free cheeses, but also cream sauces, soups, dressings and more.
So, what is cashew ricotta?
This cashew-based cheese mimics the consistency of dairy-based ricotta.
It is made by blending raw cashews that have been soaked to soften and then blended with other ingredients to create a similar texture and flavor to traditional ricotta cheese.
It’s perfect for vegans and those following a dairy-free diet.
How to Use This Dairy-Free Ricotta
You can use this cashew cheese anywhere you would use traditional ricotta, such as in savory dishes like baked ziti, lasagna, manicotti or stuffed shells.
It’s great on your favorite pizza too!
You can also spread it on crackers and top with freshly ground black pepper or herbs and enjoy as a snack.
It can also be used in sweet recipes such as vegan cannoli cream.
How to Make This Cashew Cheese
The first step is to soak your cashews. You can do this one of two ways: covered with cold water for 6-8 hours or covered with boiling water for 15 minutes.
As a person with limited patience, I usually opt for the second method. To boil water quickly, I use an electric kettle.
When the cashews are ready, drain and add them to a high-powered blender. I use the Nutri Ninja. Next, add water, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and salt to the blender.
Blend on high until cashews have been fully blended and no visible chunks remain, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.
The final product should be creamy with the consistency resembling traditional ricotta. Be careful not to overblend or the consistency will become paste-like.
Enjoy right away or refrigerate until ready to use.
For a nut-free ricotta cheese, check out our sunflower seed vegan ricotta.
- Cover cashews with boiling water and set aside for 15 minutes. You can also pre-soak the cashews in cold water for 6-8 hours, if desired.
- Drain and rinse cashews. If you are using the hot water method to soak your cashews, it's important to ensure they are rinsed under cold water so they are not hot when you add them to the blender/food processor as it will change the consistency of the ricotta.
- Add soaked and drained cashews to blender or food processor followed by water, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and salt.
- Blend on high until cashews have been fully blended and no visible chunks remain, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. The final product should be creamy with the consistency resembling traditional ricotta. Be careful not to overblend or the consistency will become paste-like. Enjoy right away or refrigerate until ready to use.
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