Ricotta cheese may or may not be vegan. It depends on the ingredients and how the cheese is made.
Traditional and authentic Ricotta cheese is made from cow, sheep, goat, or buffalo milk whey. The whey used to make traditional Ricotta cheese was usually obtained from the production of other cheeses. Hence, traditional Ricotta cheese is not vegan.
Today, the manufacturing process has changed. Ricotta is usually made with whole milk instead of whey.
Can Vegetarians eat Ricotta Cheese?
Yes. It is vegetarian. Why? Because it is free from animal rennet. Most ricotta varieties are soft and made without animal rennet. However, you must always check the ingredients before buying ricotta cheese, as some manufacturers may add rennet to give the cheese a particular shape and texture.
What is a Vegan Substitute for Ricotta Cheese?
Ricotta cheese is vegan when it is made from plant-based milk. It can be made using cashews, almonds, coconut milk/yogurt, and tofu. Other ingredients like lemon juice, garlic, nutritional yeast, and herbs are used to add flavor and texture to homemade vegan ricotta cheese.
Vegan Ricotta Cheese Recipe
- 2 paper towels
- Food processor
- 1 block extra firm tofu
- ⅓ cup nutritional yeast
- ¼ cup non-dairy milk (unsweetened)
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- Spread a paper towel on a plate and place tofu on it. Press tofu with another paper towel to absorb some water.
- Crumble the tofu, add it to a food processor, and pulse until it becomes powdery.
- Add the remaining ingredients and grind until the mixture is smooth.
- You can now use prepared ricotta in place of dairy ricotta cheese.
- Fat: 12g
- Saturated Fat: 2g
- Carbohydrates: 11g
- Sugar: 3g
- Protein: 22g
- Sodium: 1322mg
- Potassium: 573mg
- Calcium: 115mg
- Iron: 3mg
- Fiber: 2g
- Vitamin A: 118IU
- Vitamin C: 8mg
Vegan Ricotta Brands
Too busy to make vegan ricotta yourself? Don’t worry. There are plenty of brands selling vegan ricotta. The following brands make great-tasting and 100% vegan ricotta. However, you must always check the labels and ingredients before buying.
Kite Hill Almond Milk Ricotta Cheese Alternative
It is 100% vegan and gluten-free. The ingredients include almond milk (water, almonds), salt, enzymes, tartaric acid, and cultures. The cheese is soy-free, Kosher, and Non-GMO.
Kite Hill Ricotta is commonly available in stores and online.
The cheese has a rich and creamy texture, making it perfect for lasagna, pancakes or as a replacement for mascarpone in desserts.
Kite hill also offers spinach and almond milk ricotta ravioli variant. It is also 100% vegan and dairy-free. You can buy it here.
New roots is a famous European brand known for making vegan ricotta. You may not find its cheese in many US stores because it is a Switzerland-based brand.
Tofutti is another brand selling high-quality, 100% vegan, and tasty ricotta cheese. Its vegan ricotta goes by “Better than Ricotta” and is made with soy protein, brown rice, olive oil, and tofu. You can buy it here.
Cheddar cheese is not vegan, as it is made using milk and rennet. However, you can find some cheddar cheese varieties with plant-based milk and non-animal rennet.
No. Grana Padano is not vegan. It is made using milk and animal rennet. Both of these ingredients are a no-go for vegans. The presence of animal-rennet makes Grana Padano non-vegetarian.
Goat cheese is not vegan. It is made using goat milk. However, many vegan varieties in the market have texture and shape similar to goat cheese.
No. Authentic Parmesan cheese or Parmigiano-Reggiano is not vegan-friendly. It is made with cow milk and animal rennet. The good part is that many parmesan vegan alternatives are on the market.
Is Mozzarella Cheese Vegan?
No. Mozzarella cheese is not vegan. It is made with animal milk and rennet, making it unsuitable for vegans and vegetarians.
Is Tofutti better than Vegan Ricotta?
It depends on what you like. Some people make vegan ricotta better than commercial alternatives. Some prefer Tofutti and other brands over homemade vegan ricotta. It all comes down to your taste preferences.