Fool Your Family Ricotta

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Sick of plasticky, greasy vegan cheese?  Tired of feeding your family chemical-y storebought vegan cheese that no one likes and that looks like a genetically mutated monster?  Enter my vegan ricotta, which fooled… *drumroll*….

the whole Italian side of my family.

Every Christmas for two decades (and more), my mom made a vegetarian lasagna, with layer upon layer of decadent ricotta, homemade tomato sauce, and lasagna sheets.  It is our Christmas tradition and people get very upset if the lasagna is not present.

When I went vegan, everyone (me included) was sad that I could no longer partake in the lasagna.  Then I figured out how to make vegan ricotta which is so realistic a few members of my family have come up to me after eating it and remarked “I’m confused, I thought you were vegan; why are you making pasta with cheese?”

Go on, try it, and fool your family, too.

Vegan Ricotta

makes enough for one small pan of lasagna or approx. 3 dozen ravioli

  • 1 package (approx 1 lb) firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes (optional)*
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • fresh black pepper to taste
  • Italian dried herb mix to taste

1. In a spice grinder, grind cashews until fine.
2. In a food processor, blend cashews, tofu, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, nutritional yeast, basil, black pepper, and Italian herb mix until it forms a thick paste.
3. Adjust seasonings to taste.
4. Mangia, mangia!

*Nutritional yeast flakes can be found in health food shops in the US and UK.  I think it adds a nice cheesy flavour, but if you’re not a fan or if you live somewhere where you can’t obtain it, feel free to leave it out.

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6 thoughts on “Fool Your Family Ricotta”

  1. I’m trying this recipe today! I’m a lasagna LOVER. I am so excited to see how this recipe works out. In my experience so far with nutritional yeast, I didn’t like it in a mushroom risotto… I’m so nervous to add it to this recipe in fear that it will mess it up. Lol. I know I’m a spaz.

    • Please let me know how it turns out, I’m really curious to hear how it goes! I don’t think the nutritional yeast is very overpowering in this dish but if you find you don’t like it you can always try it without the nutritional yeast. Hope you enjoy! :)

      • Caitlin! Oh my goodness, it turned out absolutely delicious!!!! My boyfriend and I just scarfed down half of the pan. Deeee-LISH. Thanks for the great recipe! I’m already sharing it with my sister and non-vegan friends. : )

        • Yay!!! That is great Natalie! Thanks for sharing, and I’m so glad it turned out well and you guys enjoyed it!! :) Hope your friends and sister enjoy it too!


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