An easy, soy-free Vegan Ricotta Cheese recipe made with chickpeas and almond flour. (No tofu and no cashews!) It is quick to make, healthy, and oil-free. Plus it can be prepared ahead of time.
This easy vegan ricotta is thick, creamy, and deliciously cheesy. It only requires 5 ingredients (plus salt and water).
I find it is a great plant-based replacement for traditional ricotta cheese.
Plus it's dairy-free, soy-free, oil-free, gluten-free. And it includes protein and fiber, with no cholesterol.
Ingredients for Vegan Ricotta
For this recipe you will need:
- Chickpeas (garbanzo beans): Either use a 15 oz. can chickpeas, or about 1.5 cups freshly cooked chickpeas.
- Almond flour: I use natural, super-fine almond flour from Bob's Red Mill. The natural oils from the nuts helps to bind the mixture. Plus it provides a buttery, creamy texture and taste. (I have not tried substituting soaked raw cashews in place of the almond flour, but I suspect it could work just fine.)
- Nutritional yeast: This is what gives it a savory, cheesy flavor. You can add more if desired.
- Fresh lemon juice: A little acidity is essential to brighten and bring it all together. (You could also try substituting some apple cider vinegar, but I haven't tested this yet.)
- Garlic powder: Or roasted garlic or 1 clove garlic. (I love roasted garlic in this!)
- Salt: I use fine grain salt for this recipe.
- Water: You will add a little water to the mixture to help thin to desired consistency.
Preparing + Customizing
You will need a strong blender or preferably a food processor to blend this vegan cheese. (I use a food processor.)
Herbs: Before blending, you can also include fresh basil, dried basil (about 1/2 teaspoon to 2 teaspoons), or Italian seasonings if desired.
Roasted garlic + basil: My favorite variation to the base recipe is adding lots of roasted garlic and fresh basil. Very tasty!
This can be made 1-2 days ahead of time if desired. Simply prepare, then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
We find it keeps at least 4-5 days in the fridge. I have not tried freezing this recipe.
This dairy-free ricotta is a great condiment or flavorful spread. Try it in a variety of dishes such as:
- Vegan Lasagna (pictured below)
- Pasta dishes
- Cracker dip: If serving as a dip or spread, I suggest adding herbs and roasted garlic if available for even more flavor.
- Quesadillas, sandwiches, and wraps
- Stuffed shells or homemade tortellini: Try them filled with spinach + ricotta, then topped with tomato sauce.
- Dolloped on lasagna soup or Minestrone Soup
For more inspiration, also browse all sauce + seasoning recipes.
Vegan Ricotta Cheese (Chickpea Ricotta)
- 15 oz. can chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
- 1/3 cup almond flour (super-fine, natural)
- 3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (more/less to taste)
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. garlic powder (or fresh garlic or roasted garlic)
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup water (more/less to desired consistency)
- Optional: fresh basil, dried basil, Italian seasonings
- Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend. I start with about 3 Tbsp. water, then add more 1 Tbsp. at a time to achieve desired consistency. (It should be creamy, but very thick.) You will need to stop and scrape down the sides a few times between blending.
- Taste and adjust flavors if needed. (More salt, nutritional yeast, lemon, herbs, etc.)
- Enjoy immediately or refrigerate to let flavors combine further.
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
Sodium: This is omitted as I cannot provide an accurate number. I encourage you to calculate your own to provide a much more precise reading based on the exact ingredients, brands, and amounts you're using.
If you are enjoying this vegan chickpea almond ricotta cheese recipe, also check out:
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Looks delicious! (But wondering why people so ardently avoid soy.)
Thanks Lauri! Regarding soy, some people have allergies or prefer not to eat processed foods (like tofu) so I wanted to create a more unique alternative. I enjoy and consume organic soy in moderation like edamame, tofu, tempeh, etc. Hope you enjoy this if you give it a try!
This looks great but any suggestions if there’s a nut allergy? Maybe oat flour with some olive oil (I’m ok with oils). Thank you!
Hi Heather! I would love to find a suitable nut-free option for this recipe, but haven't tested it quite yet. Your idea of oat flour + olive oil is great thinking. Let me know if you give it a go! (And if seeds are okay, sunflower seed flour might work too.) I'll be sure to update when I test a nut-free version, as I strive to be accommodating to all diets. 🙂 Wishing you a great week! -Kaitlin