Ricotta cheese is versatile in sweet and savory dishes like pizza, tossed salad, creamy cheesecakes, pasta, etc. If you have used it once, you know how creamy and smooth ricotta is.
Now, you have a dinner party at home, and everyone will want your famous cheesecake. But when you look in your pantry, you find no ricotta cheese to use. Now, this is a mess you want to avoid being in!
However, you can replace ricotta with any of its substitutes and save your party. So, let’s jump in to learn the ricotta cheese substitutes!
What Can Be Substituted for Ricotta Cheese?
If you are looking for ricotta cheese substitutes, we have both dairy and non-dairy options. We know it can be hard to find suitable dairy cheese substitutes as a vegan, so we tried our best. All the alternatives give almost the same flavor as ricotta cheese. Still, you have to choose based on what you are making and what type of consistency the recipe requires.
Here are 16 top ricotta cheese substitutes for you to choose from.
Dairy Alternatives to Ricotta Cheese:
1. Créme Frâiche
Créme Frâiche is an excellent substitute for ricotta cheese if you make something savory. It is a little sour but not as tart as sour cream. It is processed to retain a higher fat content, giving it a smoother, richer, and creamier texture than ricotta. So, try it in your lasagna or a dip.
2. Sour Cream
Did you know sour cream is a distant relative of créme frâiche? Sour cream has a more thin consistency and contains fewer fats. Moreover, it gets its tangy and sweet taste from lactic acid, which makes it an odd substitute for ricotta, but it works! If you are making dips, salads, or baked potatoes, sour cream is the best substitute you can use. Read this article to know if you can warm up sour cream.
3. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese has lower calories and fats if you want a healthy option than ricotta cheese. Its texture is curdy and lumpy, just like ricotta cheese, but it has a creamy and sweet flavor. You can easily make pancakes and lasagna with it. But before adding it to anything, you can blend it a little to get a more light consistency.
4. Soft Mozzarella Cheese
Soft mozzarella cheese has a sweet and mild taste that works well in many dishes. Moreover, it is a suitable replacement for ricotta cheese because, technically, ricotta is made from mozzarella cheese’s whey. However, the consistency and texture are very different. But you should still use it in pizzas, pasta, and lasagnas.
5. Goat Cheese
Goat cheese is another ricotta cheese substitute that you may consider weird. However, fresh goat cheese has a similar consistency and measurement to ricotta. But aged goat cheese becomes tangy and hard, which is not a good substitute. So, if you have fresh goat cheese, replace it with ricotta cheese.
6. Cream Cheese
Cream cheese, as you know, tastes heavenly in cheesecakes. It is a popular type of cheese in America, and you will find it in many households. Its thick and creamy consistency also goes perfectly with lasagna, pasta, or baked items, just like ricotta. However, cream cheese does have a more tart flavor to it, which ricotta doesn’t.
7. Buttermilk Cheese
Buttermilk cheese is delicious and an excellent substitute for ricotta because of its texture. It is also curdy and lumpy like ricotta and goes well in pasta, baked potatoes, etc. However, it has an acidic and tangy flavor and is well-suited for savory dishes.
8. Fromage Blanc
Fromage Blanc is from France and is one of the best substitutes for ricotta cheese. It has a yogurt-like consistency with a milky, buttery flavor that goes well in making spreads, fillings, pizzas, and toppings. However, it is expensive to use as a ricotta cheese substitute.
9. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt may be your last choice if you can’t find any other substitute for ricotta. It is a much more suitable substitute for heavy cream or sour cream because it is more of a liquid consistency. However, you can strain it to get a similar texture to ricotta cheese.
10. Queso Fresco
Queso Fresco is a fantastic replacement for ricotta cheese because it has a similar milky taste and crumbly consistency. When you heat this Mexican-origin cheese, you get a soft, melty cheese that acts like ricotta cheese. So, use it in your soups, enchiladas, or baked casseroles.
You can replace ricotta cheese with mascarpone, and it will give the same mild, milky, buttery, and sweet flavor. However, be ready to get a tangy taste as it requires citric acid in its coagulation process. Moreover, you will need to dilute this creamier and fattier substitute to get a similar texture to ricotta.
Quark, also known as topfen, is a great alternative to ricotta cheese as it has a tangy yet sweet flavor. The taste and texture mix cottage cheese and yogurt, but if you chill it in the fridge, it will thicken up. You can use it in frostings, lasagnas, pasta, etc.
13. Pot Cheese
Do you know why pot cheese is named what it is? It’s because the cheese is made in a pot on a stove. Neat, right? It is another best replacement for ricotta cheese because of its crumbly, creamy, and soft consistency. However, the cheese is more on the firmer and drier side. So, if you want to use it in a recipe, add moisture by incorporating it with yogurt or eggs.
Here are some Non-Dairy Alternatives to Ricotta Cheese:
14. Coconut Cream
An excellent vegan substitute for ricotta is coconut cream. It has a mild, sweet, creamy flavor profile and watery consistency. You can easily soak coconut shavings into the cream to get a gritty texture like ricotta cheese. If you don’t mind a bit coconutty taste, coconut cream will work best as a vegan substitute.
You may know tofu as a replacement for meat, but it is also a good alternative to ricotta. It is truly a vegan’s best friend as it can soak up many flavors because it is bland. Mix tahini or olive oil and blend it up to give your tofu a more ricotta cheese-like taste and texture.
16. Cashew Cream Cheese
Cashews are not only delicious, but they also make a great ricotta cheese substitute. You can make vegan cashew cream cheese at home with just lemon, cashews, and nutritional yeast. Just soak your cashews overnight, then blend everything with a bit of liquid in the blender. Now you have your delicious ricotta substitute!
You may also like: 9 Best Substitutes for Milk in Cereal
Can I substitute ricotta cheese for sour cream?
The answer is yes! If you can substitute sour cream for ricotta, why not vice-versa. Just remember to get 13% fat whole-milk ricotta. However, it will not have the same gritty texture as ricotta.
Ricotta cheese vs. cream cheese?
Which cheese you are going to use depends on the type of recipe and dish you are making. Cream cheese is a soft, creamy, and richer cheese containing heavy cream and whole milk. On the other hand, ricotta cheese is less creamy and rich, with a grittier consistency.
Can I make ricotta cheese at home?
Yes, you can make homemade ricotta cheese, which tastes scrumptious. The best part is that the recipe has only four elements: whole milk, heavy cream, salt, and white vinegar. Your homemade ricotta will be quickly done in about one and a half hours.
If you have reached the end, you can now avert any ricotta cheese-related crisis at home with the substitutes you already have. We understand the texture and taste of ricotta cheese are hard to replace, but if you choose wisely from one of the substitutes, you can save your dish! Also, consider what the recipe requires when replacing ricotta with another cheese because the wrong texture can ruin it easily. Make sure to put all the love into your dish because that makes it more special!
Eva M. Smith is the owner of this website. She is a 4 year old mother of two kids and a professional chef. Eva loves to cook for her family, but being a working mom has a lot of challenges. From squeezing in time to do the groceries to make three meals for the day. Eva knows how challenging cooking can be without a kitchen game plan.
That’s why she perfected techniques of preserving staple ingredients and several foods so that you have something pre-cooked or pre-baked to use for an array of meals. And they do not come short in flavor! And she does not want to sacrifice flavor with convenience. That’s why she is the best person to ask.