Cooking dairy-free can be challenging sometimes, especially when you’re wanting a cheesy flavor. I finally discovered almond ricotta cheese and it has been so fun to learn to make and experiment with. It has changed the way I think about so many recipes now. I started making almond ricotta last summer and I keep finding yummy ways to use it. Lately, I have also been experimenting with crumbling it over recipes that are usually cheese topped (like shepherd’s pie!) and it works great. It still cooks up that yummy, crispy cheesy flavor.
One of our very favorite ways to use this is my Quinoa Ricotta Stuffed Zucchini, but the uses for it are really endless. I use it to make dairy free pizza. Ricotta stuffed shells. Stuffed peppers. And it’s delicious for a snack or for a light lunch with my favorite whole-grain crackers and some cucumber slices.
I tried a couple of different recipes for almond ricotta cheese, but didn’t love any of them. Some called for ingredients that I don’t keep on hand and others were more complicated in the process. I experimented until I found the perfect match. Everything I need for this recipe can be found in my pantry and it’s a simple, mostly one-step process. This version also uses less salt than the other recipes I’ve tried, so that’s a healthy bonus, too.
Making the ricotta is fairly quick, though you will need to soak the almonds, so be sure to allow time for that. Once the almonds are soaked, simply throw everything into the blender and blend until it gets smooth.
This makes about 1 and a half cups of ricotta cheese. It freezes well, and since I’m all about saving time, I love to whip up a double or triple batch and then freeze in smaller portions. I usually freeze it in 1 ½ cups portions, since that is what most of my recipes seem to use. I simply stick it in the freezer, then when I need it for a recipe, I can simply pull it out and defrost in the fridge until is soft enough to use.
Almond Ricotta Cheese
1-1/2 cups slivered almonds
¼ cup water
3 Tbsp coconut milk
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
½ tsp salt
- Soak almonds in warm water, 6 hours or overnight
- Drain the almonds, then place all ingredients into a high-speed blender. Blend for several minutes, until smooth and creamy. Stop and scrape sides of blender jar if necessary.