How To Make Almond Ricotta “Cheese”

How To Make Almond Ricotta "Cheese" {Beard and Bonnet} #glutenfree #vegan

Looking back at our life before we made the transition to a gluten free diet we really had a thing for Italian food. Stuffed shells, lasagna, white pizzas, and pastas made regular appearances on our weekly meal plans. I used ricotta quite a bit in all of those dishes and even used to make ricotta pancakes on the weekend. Since we know now that Kash and Todd also have dietary issues with soft cheeses and most dairy in general I try to eliminate it whenever I can. I really thought that ricotta studded recipes were a thing of the past for us until a few weekends ago when Todd and I attended the Valentine’s Day dinner at Real Food Daily in LA.

The second course served to us was a beautiful green and red salad piled high atop a fluffy white version of ricotta cheese! I was convinced it was some type of soy product and waited for the waitress to confirm my suspicions. To my surprise she said “No, it’s made with almonds!” I totally freaked out, I nibbled and tasted, I prodded the waitress for more information, and added all sorts of notes in my phone about texture, color, and taste. When we arrived home from our weekend getaway for two I began working to figure out exactly how I could make my own almond ricotta at home for my family.

It took a few tries because I tried to over complicate the process, but when I nailed a finished product that looked and tasted spot on it was actually the simplest recipe of them all. I just LOVE it when that happens! So far I have made an herb and lemon ricotta for dipping, dolloped my gluten free pasta and marinara with ricotta seasoned with black pepper and lemon zest, and have made a salad completely inspired by the one we had on Valentine’s Day that I will be happily sharing with you here next week.

Go ahead, break out your blanched almonds…we’re bringing ricotta back!

Step 1 & 2: Soak your blanched almonds overnight in filtered water. In the morning drain, rinse and combine in a high powered blender with the additional ingredients and blend.

How To Make Almond Ricotta "Cheese" {Beard and Bonnet} #glutenfree #vegan

All that you see in my blender are the soaked blanched almonds and filtered water. You can add acidopholus powder, which is a probiotic, but it is not necessary if you wish to leave it out altogether. I honestly couldn’t taste much of a difference in taste or texture between the batches I made with and without it. I simply tried it because one of the few recipes I found online for almond ricotta cheese used it and I thought it would be interesting to try. If you are allergic to milk proteins or are on a vegan diet and would like to add this ingredient to your “cheese” be sure that you purchase a vegan acidophilus powder as some of them are dairy free, but still contain casein.

Now that all of the ingredients are in the blender all you have to do is blend the heck out of it stopping to scrape down the sides once or twice until the consistency of your almond ricotta “cheese” looks like the picture below.

Step 3: Drain

How To Make Almond Ricotta "Cheese" {Beard and Bonnet} #glutenfree #vegan

Now that you have blended the blanched almonds and water line a fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth and set it over a bowl. Scrape all of the almond ricotta “cheese” into the strainer and allow the “cheese” to drain at room temperature for 8 hours. I placed mine in the microwave just so I knew there was no chance of little hands getting into it or dirt falling on it.

How To Make Almond Ricotta "Cheese" {Beard and Bonnet} #glutenfree #vegan

At the end of the 8 hour draining time you will have beautiful almond ricotta “cheese”! I made multiple batches of this “cheese” to make sure the recipe would work right for all of you and because I was so excited to cook with it.  I honestly have no way of telling you approximately how much excess liquid to expect to drain from your ricotta. I can say that the amount never equaled a tablespoon and after draining one batch for 8 hours there was no liquid at all.

At this point your ricotta is a blank slate. It doesn’t really taste like much, but that was always the beauty of real ricotta anyways. You can flavor your ricotta with honey or maple syrup for a sweet dessert style “cheese” or I am including my recipe below for a savory herb studded ricotta that is perfect for dipping veggies and crackers, stuffing shells, or layering up in your next pan of gluten free lasagna.

How To Make Almond Ricotta "Cheese" {Beard and Bonnet} #glutenfree #vegan

3.8 from 4 reviews
Almond Ricotta "Cheese"
Serves: Makes 2 cups
  • 2 cups raw blanched almonds, soaked in filtered water to cover overnight then rinsed and drained.
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • ⅓ teaspoon acidophilus, if desired but not necessary
  1. Combine the almonds, water, and acidophilus powder, if using, in a high speed blender. Puree until the mixture is smooth with some texture left to it, but there are no large chunks of almonds remaining.
  2. Place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and line with cheesecloth. Then add the almond mixture to the strainer and allow it to drain for 8 hours at room temperature.
  3. Add herbs and spices immediately to achieve desired taste for the recipe you are creating and store any unused ricotta in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
3.8 from 4 reviews
Savory Herb Studded Almond Ricotta "Cheese"
Serves: Makes 1 cup
  • 1 cup prepared almond ricotta "cheese"
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon kosher salt, depending on taste
  • ¼ - ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, depending on taste
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl and stir until completely combined.


    • Meg

      Yay Dixya! I am so glad that this recipe will bring ricotta back into your life. I was really amazed at how close it is to the “real deal”.It’s less watery than real ricotta which actually makes me a pretty happy girl;)

  1. Okay, so I just made homemade almond milk, and I had all the extra pulp. I thought, “Hmmm, I bet I can make the ricotta out of this by just adding a little more water and then whipping it together”. It’s currently draining, and I think it may have worked! Can’t wait to make “Ricotta” Pancakes tomorrow morning 🙂


  2. Sherala

    Hi there! I often make almond ricotta after making almond milk. The texture is so close to spot on and I feel clever for not wasting anything. Though I use drops of lemon juice & vinegar to give it a little tang, I’m excited to try your acidophilus method. Thank you for sharing!

  3. jody

    Wondering how the almond meal from the almond milk, cheeze came out. Did you ever find out?
    I love fresh almond milk so it makes sense to do two things at one shot if possible!!!

    • Meg

      Oh my gosh Judy! I totally forgot too try that. I have been making cashew milk for the past few months instead of almond milk. I will have to get on that asap!

  4. Jan

    This is NOT whole milk ricotta….this is almond pulp “ricotta.” Accept that fact.
    This is TERRIFIC! I am making lasagna tonight for dinner. I have not had lasagna for dinner in over six years. I am GF AND LF….bummer, I know. But now wonderful people like yourself, Meg, are helping me to enjoy the foods I love. Keep going!

    • Meg

      Hooray Jan!! I am so happy that you are going to enjoy lasagna tonight- it makes me want to happy dance for you! I hope you love our almond ricotta as much as we do and that your lasagna is everything you dreamed it would be. 🙂

  5. Sue Roscoe

    We were very pleased with the results. I used it for stuffed shells. And I added a little nutritional yeast and olive oil. You can see pics on Instagram at SUEZQ8. I make almond milk weekly so I will definitely try that suggestion as well. Thank you for the great recipe.

  6. Ricki

    My husband us lactose intolerant and would love to make him lasagna. Can you tell me how long the almond ricotta will last in the refrigerator? Thanks!

  7. Kayla

    This looks fantastic! Can’t wait to try it out! Do you think it would work if I start with ground almonds (bought it packaged that way and looking to use it up). I would be skipping a step, but maybe missing out on the moisture that comes with the overnight soak.

    • I would think that walnuts and Brazil nuts would work – you wont be able to get the peels off so the ricotta “cheese” won’t be pure white when it is finished though.

  8. Sabrina

    I loved this in lasagna! I made a huge batch and now I’m not sure what to do with the rest of the ricotta. Suggestions?

    • Girl, I haven’t had lasagna in SO long! It sounds so yummy. You can mix in fresh herbs and lemon zest for a killer dip for veggies and crackers. I like to season it with minced red onion, jalapeno and cilantro for a Mexican inspired sandwich spread too.

    • Joan J

      With real ricotta in the past I have mixed in a tiny bit of cinnamon and vanilla extract and dipped strawberries in it. Or mix simmered blueberries in. Should be delicous.

    • I have never tried freezing the ricotta Deanna, so I’m not exactly sure if that would work or not. If you give it a try let us know, we would love to know how it works out!

  9. Your recipe is much easier than i thought. Have you ever tried to make another version of it by adding two types of tofu (soft and firm) to make it creamy!? I think it isn’t a bad idea!

    • Thanks Lita!! I have never tried making vegan ricotta with tofu simply because I have a soy allergy, but I would love to know how it turns out if you give it a try.

  10. Shannon

    THIS IS MAGICAL! My hubby and I are both allergic to dairy. I was doubtful up to the very last, thinking I just wasted a bunch of money on almonds. I made lasagna last night and holy cow! COULD NOT TELL THE DIFFERENCE! Luckily I doubled it and making the rest to dip thinly sliced zucchini in. THANK YOU for this!

    • Yay Shannon!!! I am so happy for you and thank you so much for coming back to comment! I love this vegan spin on ricotta so much and make it quite often for us. We love it as dip, sandwich spread, etc. You name it we have probably slathered it with this.

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Meg van der Kruik is the writer, mother, photographer, designer, cook and creative spirit behind This Mess is Ours. After her infant son was diagnosed with a gluten allergy, she dedicated herself to learning to make meals the whole family would love. It’s a bit of a mess – cooking for a vegetarian and three meat-eaters with a range of gluten + dairy sensitivities, but she manages to bring them together every night around their little family table.