Vegan Tofu Ricotta Cheese (Nut-Free)
Vegan Tofu Ricotta Cheese, a plant-based (and nut-free!) take on traditional ricotta cheese using tofu, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and seasonings. Perfect for vegan lasagna and stuffed shells!
Love ricotta cheese but need a nut-free vegan version? Never fear! This tofu-based ricotta recipe is super simple and full of flavor – they’ll never know it’s actually vegan.
👉 Ready to learn how to make vegan ricotta cheese with tofu? Let’s do it!
- Extra-firm tofu: the base of this recipe, tofu is crumbled and seasoned to resemble traditional ricotta cheese
- Lemon juice: adds a tang of acidity found in traditional ricotta
- Nutritional yeast: adds color and a slight cheese flavor
- Garlic and onion powders: a dash of both garlic powder and onion powder add depth of flavor
- Salt: adds the salty and savory flavor or ricotta
- Recommended tools: food processor
🥣 How to make (step-by-step photos)
1️⃣ Step One: Drain and tear tofu
The first step in making plant-based ricotta cheese is to prep the tofu before blending.
To do this, simply remove tofu from the package and squeeze slightly to remove excess liquid, but do not press or dry.
Then tear tofu apart with your hands and place into a food processor or blender.
2️⃣ Step Two: Blend the tofu ricotta ingredients
Add the lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, and a pinch of salt with the torn tofu.
Pulse to chop the ingredients until they are well blended, using a spatula to scrape down the sides of the food processor to make sure the ingredients are all blended until smooth.
Then taste the blended tofu ricotta and add more seasonings, as desired.
3️⃣ Step Three: Chill the ricotta in the refrigerator (optional)
Next, if you have time, I recommend chilling the ricotta cheese after blending to help the flavors deepen.
To do this, store the tofu ricotta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a minimum of two hours (but up to 24 hours) before cooking or serving.
4️⃣ Step Four: Serve tofu ricotta
Serve the tofu ricotta cheese in plant-based takes on classic dishes like lasagna or stuffed shells, or use as a spread on bread.
❓ Recipe questions + quick tips
You can use nuts like cashews or almonds to make homemade vegan ricotta instead of tofu to make it soy-free. Check out my Vegan Cashew Ricotta Cheese recipe for a nut-based ricotta.
You can use medium firm tofu in vegan ricotta, but using soft or silken tofu is not recommended. You can the tofu crumbles to be a bit firmer to resemble traditional ricotta cheese.
💡 Ideas for serving
- As a spread. Add a smear of this tofu ricotta on bread and top with fruit and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup.
- In plant-based lasagna. Substitute traditional ricotta for this vegan ricotta for a plant-based take on lasagna.
- In vegan stuffed shells. Use this cashew-based ricotta in your stuffed shells mixture, like in our Vegan Stuffed Shells recipe.
🧊 How to store
- Refrigerator storage: Store this ricotta cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days before using. You may need to add more liquid (water or unsweetened plant-based milk) if the tofu begin to dry out when storing longer.
- Freezer storage: Store in a freezer-friendly container for up to two months. To thaw, remove to the refrigerator about 24 hours before using. Make sure to give it a good stir to recombine any liquid that’s released when thawing.
👉 More plant-based cheese recipes
Looking for more plant-based takes on traditional cheeses? Try my Vegan Cashew Ricotta Cheese.
Vegan Tofu Ricotta Cheese (Nut-Free)
- 1 food processor or high-powered blender
- 12 ounces extra firm tofu 1 block tofu
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 pinch salt to taste
- Prep tofu: Remove tofu from the package and squeeze slightly to remove excess liquid, but do not press or dry. Then tear tofu apart with your hands and place into a food processor or blender.12 ounces extra firm tofu
- Blend ingredients: Add lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, and a pinch of salt to the food processor with the tofu. Pulse to chop the ingredients until they are well blended, using a spatula to scrape down the sides of the food processor to make sure the ingredients are all blended until smooth. Taste the blended tofu ricotta and add more seasonings, as desired.12 ounces extra firm tofu, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon onion powder, 1 pinch salt
- Chill in the refrigerator (optional): This chilling step is optional, but will help to set the cheese and make it more sturdy when cooking. To do this, store the tofu ricotta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a minimum of two hours before cooking or serving to let it thicken and make it more like traditional ricotta cheese.
- Serve tofu ricotta: Serve ricotta in lasagnas, stuffed shells, or even as a spread on toast.
- Prep ahead: Make a big batch of tofu ricotta up to 4 days before serving or cooking.
- Leftovers and storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days before using. Freeze tofu ricotta in an airtight container or freezer-friendly bag for up to one month. To thaw, remove it to the refrigerator 24 hours before serving or using.
- Nutrition notes: This recipe uses only plant-based ingredients, which makes it suitable for vegan diets. This recipe is gluten free. Nutrition information is an estimate using only a pinch (about 1/8 teaspoon) of salt.