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Ricotta Cheese {Dairy, Soy, & Nut Free}

Dairy free ricotta on left, cows milk ricotta on right

 

*Next time I make this I’ll post a better picture, this one is very sad 🙁

This recipe was actually way down on the list and several weeks away from getting posted, but we loved it so much I just had to jump the gun and share it with everyone!


The last time I tasted ricotta cheese I remember thinking to myself  “that just tastes like thickened milk!” Then a light bulb went off in my head… just thicken a dairy free milk to make ricotta – why didn’t I think of that before? So this week I bought some ricotta at the store so I could taste test my theory.

The verdict?

I was right! The thickened milk (with a few other ingredients) tasted just like ricotta! Admittedly, the real ricotta was a bit creamier but it still tasted almost exactly the same!

We loved this recipe and it was perfect in my grain free lasagna. I hope you love it as much as we do 🙂

**All brands of agar are different. Adjust amount to your brands strength. I always use the Eden brand agar flakes.

4.6 from 8 reviews
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Cups So Delicious Coconut Milk, Coconut Milk Creamer (Original), or Preferred Milk Alternative (Pick carefully, your ricotta will have the same taste as your milk. I like the SO Delicious creamer because it has such a creamy, neutral flavor)
  • ½ Tsp. Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Grapeseed Oil
  • Pinch Of Salt
  • 2 Tbsp. Agar Flakes (or ABOUT 1½ tsp. agar powder)**
Instructions
  1. In a medium-sized saucepan, mix together all of the ingredients above.
  2. Very slowly bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  3. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer 5 minutes or until agar is dissolved. Stir occasionally.
  4. Remove from heat and cool 10 minutes. Then, transfer to a sealed container and place in fridge until set, a few hours.
  5. Transfer mixture to a food processor and pulse until you get the desired consistency.
  6. That's it!!! You have ricotta cheese!!! Yaaayyyy!!!!!

 

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Comments

  1. You’re a genius! I can’t wait to try this!!!

  2. If I had no agar agar, and it is sooo expensive, could I use your theory and use gelatin to make this faux ricotta? What do you think? I am thinking that the agar agar is a natural gelatin right? I love the idea and the way your mind works, you have so many wonderful ideas. Just trying to use my pantry contents and watch my budget too.

    • J'Marinde says:

      Hi Dona;
      That would be my choice. I have done a lot o research on this and as I understand it, they can be used 1:1 when one has no agar on hand. Because of potential allergies, I prefer to use gelatin. I buy the one on AMZ – Great Lakes Unflavored Beef Gelatin, Kosher, 16 Ounce Can. It si a bit pricey, but it lasts for ever. I bought them when I got a good price on the doble pack, so I will have enough gelatin for YEARS! Another cheaper option is the Knox unflavored gelatin at the grocer. Hope thsi is helpful.
      See
      http://www.thekitchn.com/vegetarian-and-vegan-substitutes-for-gelatin-tips-from-the-kitchn-189478

      This looks like a FABULOUS recipe and I cannot wait to try it Thanks for posting ii!.

      • Nuyorican Mama says:

        Hi, I was so glad when I found this recipe. I’m making baked ziti for my daughter.

        I got the creamer you suggested. The Agar was way to expensive for me so I used Knox gelatin. I followed your recipe except for the lemon juice. I used apple cider vinegar, that’s all I had on hand.

        I used a qt of the creamer and followed the directions on the box. So, 1 qt creamer and 4 packets of gelatin.

        I refrigerated over night. I just took it out and put in blender for a bit. Looks and taste just like the real stuff.

        I AM SO PLEASED HOW THIS TURNED OUT.

        THANK YOU THANK YOU

      • Itaiiangirl says:

        Regarding the gelatin,many people using this recipe are vegan or vegetarian, so they don’t use gelatin.

  3. “C”- Thank you so much, I hope you like it!

    Dona Russell- I don’t see why gelatin wouldn’t work! But I don’t use a lot of gelatin so don’t know the best way to use it or the measurements. If you try it let me know how it worked!

    Thanks,
    Cassidy

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  5. Just found your blog through Allergy Friendly Wednesday. I also have a food blog featuring gluten, dairy and egg-free recipes. This ricotta cheese recipe has me very excited! I’ve been pondering how to make it dairy-free – now I know! I will definately try it! I’ve never used agar. Will I find it in the grocery store or specialty store?

    http://www.notmissingathing.blogspot.com

  6. I don’t have agar so I am going to try tapioca!

  7. Anonymous-
    Let me know if the tapioca works! I’d imagine gelatin (don’t know the amounts) would work too, it’s very similar to agar and is a powerful thickener.

    Thanks,
    Cassidy

  8. Hi. I just did this with tapioca and it did not work at all. I was just being lazy and didn’t want to go get the agar agar. Since I had tapioca on hand, I figured it was worth a try. And it was worth it…. it just didn’t work. I’ll have to pick up the agar next time I’m at the store!

  9. Hi Leyanna!
    Yeah, I wouldn’t recommend using tapioca or arrowroot to thicken it. The only other thing that might work would be gelatin but I haven’t tried it and don’t know the exact instructions for gelatin. Hope you give it another try!

    Cassidy

  10. Hi Cassidy! I had to go dairy free in October, and I have since gone completely grain free as well (eating paleo has been wonderful for my body). This ricotta recipe looks super… payday is tomorrow, so all I need is the agar… I think I see lasagna in my future!!! This recipe is brilliant!

  11. I’m having a hard time getting the agar flakes to dissolve. Any tips?

  12. anyone tried this with almond milk? i’m going to give it a try with coconut milk, but question: does it then have a strong coconut flavor? we use coconut milk most of the time, but some recipes i find almond milk, especially the unsweetened one, to be a better fit. all depends on taste you’re targeting and recipe (and if you have an almond allergy).

    would be interested in your thoughts, as I plan to make this spaghetti squash bake this week; however without the soy-based ingredients i used to supplement ricotta with last time: https://docs.google.com/document/d/17m_X2C1Oc-OO8nJn2cCCU23iaNvo0VfHJ12JEssBmp0/edit?usp=sharing&authkey=CPLXiNYN

  13. A. Nonymous says:

    I made this and followed your recipe word for word, using powder instead of flakes and adjusting the amounts as the recipe stated. When adding it to lasagna, I made a traditional lasagna alongside to compare. This turned out very runny. I used unsweetened coconut milk and added some onion powder and garlic, but the flavor was weird. My dairy eaters were happier with their dinner than us dairy sensative ones. I’m still searching for a soy-free, dairy-free ricotta substitute. I can’t give up on lasagna!

    • Hi Anonymous-

      If it was runny you should add more agar to thicken it up. If you notice, before the recipe I state that all brands are different so you should adjust the amount to your brands strength.

      If you want it to turn out exactly perfect use the Eden brand of agar flakes because this is what I always use to make the recipe it turns out as seen in the picture every time.

      Also, ricotta cheese has a very, very neutral flavor and if you added onion and garlic powder it would completely change the flavor.

      P.S.- See the comments on my lasagna recipe for other reviews on this recipe.

      Thank you,
      Cassidy

    • Hi Anonymous-

      Agar powder and agar flakes thicken differently, so that’s probably why it didn’t work for you – sorry.

      -Cassidy

  14. Vaughn Brinegar says:

    I am so excited to try your recipe! My twins are allergic to milk and peanuts. They passed their soy challenge today, which is why I was searching for a safe ricotta. I would love to make them a lasagna! Thanks again!

  15. Do you think soaking chia seeds in the milk will work as well?

    • Hi Mama654!

      I just can’t say for sure, sorry. I know chia seeds are a good thickener but I haven’t experimented a lot with it and don’t know how the texture would turn out. Let me know how it goes if you try it!

      xo,
      Cassidy

  16. Would this work with rice milk?

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  19. Wondering if nutritional yeast would thicken instead of using agar? Comments?

    • Cassidy says:

      Hi Mary, I don’t think nutritional yeast would work as a thickener -sorry!!! The only other thickener I can think of would be gelatin but I haven’t experimented with it so can’t give you measurements or instructions. Sorry again!

      -Cassidy

  20. Hi! Really happy to find your rcipe for a nondairy, non soy ricotta. Thing is, I don’t have a food processor nor high speed blender. What I do have is an imulsion blender (electric). Should still do the trick, right? Thanks.

  21. Traci Siegel says:

    Hi,
    My 15 year old son is now on a gluten-free and dairy-free diet by choice. He is a classical voice singer and feels this diet really helps his singing. I made this ricotta for a gluten-free, dairy-free eggplant parmesan recipe and it turned out great. Thank you so much. I look forward to trying other recipes.

    Traci

  22. What a great summer yummy treat. Thanks for sharing!

  23. just found this site – i was looking for recipes for “healthy” ricotta and found this – as a GF/WF/CF gal (and with autism too) – i’m going to try this recipe for sure!
    (ps – i just subscribed to your blog 😀 )

  24. Catherine says:

    Made this yesterday with almond milk and it turned out perfectly. Thank you so much for this recipe, it opens up a whole world of new recipes for me.

  25. J'Marinde says:

    When i checkthr not a spa=mer bod, my comment to Dona will not post.

  26. J'Marinde says:

    Now, of course, before I get a chance to edit the grammar, etc. it suddenly posts

    Sorry for all the misspelling and such. thanks for this GREAT recipe!

  27. (There is a question at the end of the comment) I have used this recipe a few times with good results. Today I was looking for a recipe for sour cream. I made the ricotta recipe using 2 cups of coconut cream (brand is Aroy-D). After it was set I added several teaspoons both of lemon juice and rice vinegar along with about 3/4 tsp of salt. I blended it using my immersion blender. It is DELICIOUS!!! The question is: do you think it’s possible to add the extra vinegar and lemon juice in the initial mixture just to cut down on the steps?

    I’m so excited about this recipe because, using the coconut cream, I was able to make it without any advance planning (no soaking cashews and no refrigerating coconut milk), which was important because I have a feeling I may need this tonight to help the kids cut the spice in our dinner . Thanks!!!!

    • Hi Shira, thank you so much for your comment!!! I really don’t know without trying it, but I’d imagine it would work. If you give it a go let me know how it turns out!

      -Cassidy

  28. Made this a few times for my daughters with dairy and soy allergies. I’ve done it with the coconut creamer and also almond creamer. Both have been winners in our house. I’ve used it for lasagna and my daughter’s newest favorite homemade raviolis. Great recipe!!! Highly recommended!!

  29. Great recipe, been looking for a alternative for a while. I add basil,oregano and garlic powder while cooking, turned out better than the store bought stuff. I used a potato masher and the consistency was spot on. Will definitely be making more.

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