21 July 2012

Herbed Cashew Ricotta

Every once in a while I get a craving for ricotta cheese, but being cruelty-free, I don't indulge in dairy. I can't find any vegan ricotta in a 50-mile radius, so I decided to try and make my own version using cashews. If you haven't already tried it, raw cashews can make an astounding number of sauces and cheeses. I made a mayo-like creation with them as well as an alfredo sauce with them, both of which were spectacular. For this ricotta, I decided to add some herbs and use it for pasta with onion, garlic, and sauteed zucchini. SO GOOD! Dudes, you should totally give cashew ricotta a chance.

This makes a little over a cup of ricotta, depending how much water and fresh lemon juice you add.

What I used:
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 2 hours
  • fresh lemon juice - I used juice of 1 whole lemon, adding a little at a time and tasting often
  • fresh herbs to your liking (I used basil, dill and flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 small fresh clove of garlic (optional) 
  • 1tsp olive oil
  • salt
  • a little water to loosen up the cashew ricotta in the blender
What I did:
  1. Drain and rinse off your soaked cashews. Add them to your blender or food processor. 
  2. Add a couple TB of fresh herbs and the garlic(if using). Squeeze some lemon juice in and a splash of water. Whir until the cashews are mostly creamed with a little texture remaining. 
  3. Taste and adjust salt, lemon and herbs as needed. It should look something like this:

I let mine sit in the fridge, covered, for about an hour and the flavor got even better. Now, you can add it to an awesome dish, like this:


  1. I've made sour cream and alfredo sauce with cashews before, but not ricotta. I actually like this recipe for ricotta: http://thatwasvegan.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/the-best-tofu-ricotta/
    It lends itself well to lasagna, manicotti, or stuffed shells because it retains some of the same texture as dairy ricotta. But I like your recipe because it's very smooth. And you can nver have too many vegan ricotta recipes!

  2. This is super creative. I love cashew uncheezy sauce on nachos. My little food processor gets a workout that way!

    I love your blog title and header. You must be an artist!

  3. (Sent this once before so sorry if this is a repeat...)

    This is super creative. I love uncheezy cashew sauce for nachos. My little food processor gets a workout that way.

    I love your blog title and header. You must be an artist!

  4. This looks amazing! And I love your new blog design and look!

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. This sounds aweseome! I VERY much look forward to trying this ;)

  7. That looks wonderful! I just made my first cashew "cheese" last night and now I'm hooked.