Ricotta cheese is an integral part of many recipes, including lasagna, baked ziti, manicotti, and ravioli.
However, if you have to avoid dairy for whatever reason (or are following a vegan diet), you might not be able to make those recipes with ricotta.
In that case, what can you do? Some suitable substitutes should help you make your favorite Italian dishes!
Table of Contents
- What is Ricotta Cheese?
- What is Ricotta Cheese Used for?
- Substitutes for Ricotta Cheese in Lasagna
- Factors to Consider When Looking for Ricotta Cheese Substitutes?
What is Ricotta Cheese?
Ricotta cheese is one of the most commonly used cheeses in Italian cooking, but it isn’t cheese. Instead, ricotta cheese is made from whey. The watery part of milk is left over after the curds have been removed and made into other types of cheese.
And pressed into blocks with some salt and acid. It may be made from raw or pasteurized milk in various forms. Also, depending on how long it’s aged before use.
However, Ricotta cheese makes lasagna, but some people have trouble digesting lactose, which gives ricotta its creaminess.
Luckily, plenty of cheese alternatives will still give you the taste you’re looking for without the lactose! Here are some excellent options to try out in your following lasagna recipe.
Need Substitutes for Ricotta Cheese in Lasagna? Here Are Some Good Options!
What is Ricotta Cheese Used for?
Ricotta cheese is most commonly used in lasagna. But it can also be used in other Italian dishes like ravioli and manicotti.
However, it has a mild flavor and a creamy texture. That also makes it a good option for those who don’t like strong-tasting cheeses. It’s often made from cow’s or sheep’s milk, though you’ll find some versions made from soybean or rice milk.
Therefore, if you’re vegan or allergic to dairy products, you may want to look for vegan substitutes. Such as soy ricotta or almond ricotta.
Substitutes for Ricotta Cheese in Lasagna
Parmesan cheese can be great substitutes for ricotta cheese in lasagna. It has a similar flavor and can be easily grated, which makes it a good option if you’re looking to save time.
Plus, it’s a more budget-friendly option than ricotta cheese. If you’re looking for an even cheaper option, you could try cottage cheese. It doesn’t have the same flavor as ricotta cheese, but it’s still a good option if you’re on a budget.
Suppose you’re looking for substitutes for ricotta cheese in the lasagna that’s both vegan and dairy-free. Soy yogurt is a good option. It has a similar consistency to ricotta cheese, and it’s easy to find at most grocery stores.
Nevertheless, be sure to choose an unsweetened variety. Spread soy yogurt over the noodles in place of ricotta cheese. You may need to thin it out with a bit of water or non-dairy milk if it’s too thick.
If you’re looking for substitutes for ricotta cheese in lasagna, cashews are a good option. They have a similar texture and can be blended into a creamy consistency.
Plus, they’re packed with nutrients like protein and healthy fats. Just soak the cashews in water for at least an hour before blending them into a smooth paste. You can also add in some seasonings to taste.
You can make delicious substitutes for ricotta cheese in lasagna as coconut cream. Coconut cream is high in fat, so it will help to create a rich and creamy texture in your dish.
Plus, it’s packed with flavor that will complement the other ingredients in your lasagna. To substitute, use an equal amount of coconut cream in place of the ricotta cheese.
One of the suitable substitutes for ricotta cheese in lasagna is cream cheese. This will give your lasagna a slightly different flavor, but it will still be creamy and delicious. To make this substitution, use the same cream cheese as you would ricotta.
Cottage cheese has a similar texture to ricotta, so it makes a good substitute. It also has a milder flavor so that it won’t overpower the other flavors in your lasagna.
Therefore, If you’re looking for a healthier option, you can use Greek yogurt in place of ricotta. Greek yogurt is lower in calories and fat than ricotta, and it’s also packed with protein.
Many people might not think of using tofu as a cheese replacement, but it works well! Silken tofu has a similar consistency to ricotta, making it perfect for lasagna.
Plus, it’s packed with protein and is completely dairy-free. This is the way to go if you’re looking for a vegan option.
Soy and Nut Pints of Milk
These are for those with dietary restrictions or looking for a vegan option. Soy milk and nut pints of milk make excellent substitutes for dairy milk. Both soy and almond milk can be used in place of ricotta cheese.
However, you can also use cashew milk for a creamier consistency. At the same time, soy milk has a slightly different flavor than dairy milk. It is still relatively neutral and will not significantly alter the taste of your dish.
Therefore, Nut pints of milk tend to be sweeter than dairy milk. So you may want to adjust the amount of sugar in your recipe accordingly.
To make your Fromage blanc, drain yogurt overnight in a cheesecloth-lined colander. The next day, you will have a thick, creamy cheese that can be used in place of ricotta. It has a tangy flavor but does not curdle when heated as dairy-based cheeses.
Therefore, you can also substitute this into any recipe using fresh ricotta cheese. Goat Cheese: You can find goat cheese at most grocery stores and farmers’ markets.
And it is one of the best substitutes for ricotta cheese in lasagna because it tastes similar to the milder flavor of traditional ricotta.
However, the only downside is that it’s more expensive than other options on this list. Sour Cream: Sour cream is suitable as an ingredient in recipes and works well as a substitute for more decadent dishes. Such as lasagna or macaroni and cheese if you want to cut down on fat content.
Mascarpone is a thick, creamy Italian cheese. This makes it one of the excellent substitutes for ricotta cheese in lasagna. It has a similar flavor and texture and will also help keep your lasagna moist.
Other suitable substitutes for ricotta cheese in lasagna include cottage cheese, cream cheese, and Greek yogurt.
Ricotta cheese is the traditional choice for lasagna. Some excellent substitutes can be used if you’re in a pinch. One option is to use sour cream instead of ricotta. This will give your lasagna a slightly tangy, but it will still be delicious.
However, another option is to use cottage cheese. This will give your lasagna a creamy texture, similar to ricotta cheese.
Finally, you could use goat cheese substitutes for ricotta cheese in lasagna. This will give your lasagna a slightly earthy flavor that is unique and delicious.
Greek yogurt is one of the most popular substitutes for ricotta cheese in lasagna. It has a similar consistency and can be used in equal proportions. Make sure to use plain Greek yogurt and not flavored, as the latter can alter the taste of your dish.
One of the good substitutes for ricotta cheese in lasagna is buttermilk cheese. It has a similar texture and taste and can be easily found at most grocery stores. To make your buttermilk cheese, mix 1 cup of buttermilk with 1/4 cup lemon juice or vinegar.
And let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, then strain it through a coffee filter or cheesecloth. The cheese will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Pot cheese is a type of farmer cheese. It’s made by draining the whey from cottage cheese, which gives it a dryer, crumblier texture. Pot cheese can be used as substitutes for ricotta cheese in lasagna.
However, Pot cheese is a fresh cheese made from curdled milk. It has a mild flavor and can be used as substitutes for ricotta cheese in lasagna. Just like ricotta, pot cheese is high in protein and calcium, making it a healthy option.
Plus, it’s easy to find at most grocery stores.
Clabber cream is a type of sour cream that has been thickened and soured. It makes excellent substitutes for ricotta cheese in lasagna.
Therefore, to make clabber cream, start with 2 cups of heavy cream and 1/4 cup of buttermilk. Heat the mixture until it just starts to boil, then removes from the heat and let cool slightly. Pour into a glass jar or container and cover tightly.
And let the mixture sit at room temperature for 24 hours, then refrigerate for at least 8 hours before using.
Moreso, when you’re ready to use it, drain off any liquid that has separated from the clabbered cream. You can use it as is or add salt to taste.
Soft Mozzarella Cheese
Mozzarella is a good option because it melts well and has a similar flavor to ricotta. You can also use cottage cheese as a substitute, although it may be slightly grainier in texture.
Another option is to mix cream cheese and whole milk until you get a consistency that resembles ricotta. Finally, if you’re looking for a non-dairy option, you can try using tofu.
Quark or Toppen
Quark and Topfen are two popular substitutes for ricotta cheese in lasagna. Both have a similar consistency to ricotta, making them ideal for this dish. Quark is made from milk and has a slightly tangy flavor.
While Topfen is made from yogurt and has a slightly sweeter flavor, if you’re looking for a ricotta substitute closer to the real thing, quark is your best bet.
However, if you’re looking for something with a little more flavor, Toppen is an excellent option.
Bechamel sauce is a great option if you’re looking for a smooth, creamy sauce to substitute for ricotta cheese in lasagna. This classic French sauce is made with milk, butter, and flour and can be easily flavored to taste. Plus, it’s easy to make at home!
Factors to Consider When Looking for Ricotta Cheese Substitutes?
When looking for substitutes for ricotta cheese in lasagna, there are several factors to consider. First, what is the purpose of the ricotta cheese in the dish? Is it there for flavor, texture, or both?
Second, what other ingredients in the dish could complement a different cheese? Third, what type of cheese would work best as a substitute? For example, if you’re looking for a cheesy lasagna, you might want to try mozzarella or Parmesan.
Fourth, how much ricotta cheese is needed in the dish? If it’s just a tiny amount, you might be able to get away with using less of another cheese.
Fifth, what is your budget for this dish? Sixth, how much time do you have to make this dish?
Ricotta cheese is a critical ingredient in lasagna. But if you’re out or don’t have any on hand, plenty of substitutes will work just as well.
However, Cottage, goat, and cream cheese are excellent options. Just drain the cottage cheese and goat cheese before using them.
And use full-fat cream cheese for the best results. With these easy swaps, you can enjoy lasagna even when you don’t have ricotta cheese on hand!