I love a good dairy-free ricotta and really like using cashews as the main ingredient. I used to make a fancier version of this cashew ricotta recipe with several ingredients, but then I realized that the extra ingredients weren’t making much of a difference for me. So I tried simplifying it and – whoa! – I like it so much better this way!
Simple, creamy, and easy to make, this two-ingredient cashew ricotta is delicious in recipes that call for ricotta cheese. I tried it in my Gluten-Free Butternut Squash Ravioli, and it was a game-changer!
Why This Recipe Works
When it comes to dairy-free ricotta, texture is key. You can’t have it too thin and runny; you need to keep that consistency of ricotta, which is slightly bumpy and thick. This makes soaked cashews the perfect ingredient, because after just 1 minute in the food processor, you achieve that perfect texture.
This recipe also works because it just takes two ingredients, plus a bit of water and you’re done!
There was a time that I honestly never thought I’d like a dairy-free ricotta until this one. I sort of always thought trying to make “ricotta” without actual dairy would just taste sad. But I’m happy to say that I was wrong, and not only that, but our whole family actually prefers it in many recipes over regular ricotta!
Ingredients for Two-Ingredient Cashew Ricotta
This has to be my favorite ingredient list!
- juice from one lemon
Cashews soaked in hot water and the lemon juice are all you need, plus about 1/4 cup of water. Salt and pepper are optional, depending on the recipe and what you’re using it for. But that’s it!
How to Make Dairy-Free Cashew Ricotta
It’s a simple process to make this dairy-free cashew ricotta. First, you soak your cashews in hot water for 5 minutes.
Next, you add the cashews to the food processor along with the lemon juice and 1/4 cup of water.
Process for 30 seconds, then stop the processor and remove the top so you can scrape down the sides with a spatula. Process for 30 more seconds, and that should do it. Stir in a little salt (optional) if you prefer, and that’s it!
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: My cashew ricotta is too thick (or too thin). What can I do?
Answer: This is an easy fix, thankfully: if it’s too thick, just add water by the 1/8 cup until you reach the consistency you need. You want it thick enough so that it doesn’t run. If it’s too thin, you can soak about 1/4 cup of cashews and add those to the processor. Repeat until you reach the desired consistency.
Question: Can I use other nuts if I don’t like cashews?
Answer: For this recipe in particular, cashews work best. Alternatively, you could make an almond ricotta, although the processing would be a bit different.
Question: Are there more ingredients I can add to this recipe?
Answer: You certainly can, depending on the flavor you want. Some people like to add onion and/or garlic powder to their cashew ricotta if using it in a lasagna, for example. Others like to add nutritional yeast, which can be used in some recipes in place of grated cheese. While it has lots of nutritional benefit, just know that adding the nutritional yeast will change the flavor significantly, so make sure you like it before adding it in.
Question: How do I store the cashew ricotta?
Answer: You can store your cashew ricotta in in air-tight container in the refrigerator for 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.