ricotta cheese substitutes

8 Best Ricotta Cheese Substitutes: Perfect for Any Recipe

Made from the by-product of the cheese-making process, ricotta is a soft cheese that is mildly sweet with milky notes. It’s a staple ingredient in many Italian dishes, adding creaminess and flavor to pasta, lasagna, and more.

However, whether it is due to dietary restrictions or simply not having it on hand, there may be times when a substitute is needed. Don’t let this setback ruin your culinary masterpieces! Let us introduce you to some incredible ricotta cheese substitutes, from dairy-free solutions to nut-based ones, that can bring the same richness and texture to your culinary endeavors.

1. Cottage Cheese

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is a type of curd cheese that can be a great substitute for ricotta cheese in many recipes. It is also lower in fat and has more protein than ricotta. While ricotta cheese is known for its smooth and creamy texture, cottage cheese has a more curdled consistency and a tangy flavor. However, it’s still a viable option if you’re looking for a similar taste and texture to ricotta cheese.

When using cottage cheese as a substitute, a good starting point is to use it in an equal amount to the quantity of ricotta cheese called for in the recipe. This substitute works best in dishes where the cheese is mixed with other ingredients or pureed, such as lasagna or stuffed shells. If you want a smoother consistency, simply blend the cottage cheese in a food processor until smooth.

Suggested ratio: 1 cup ricotta cheese = 1 cup cottage cheese.

2. Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt

For individuals who are health-conscious, Greek yogurt is a fantastic alternative to ricotta cheese because of its higher protein content. It also has a sour flavor and a texture that is velvety smooth and creamy, akin to ricotta cheese.

You can use Greek yogurt to replace ricotta cheese in many dishes, such as lasagna, filled shells, and dips. Use Greek yogurt in the same quantity as ricotta cheese. Keep in mind that this substitute works especially well in dishes with lots of flavors so that the Greek yogurt’s tartness doesn’t overshadow the meal.

Suggested ratio: 1 cup ricotta cheese = 1 cup Greek yogurt.

3. Mascarpone


Mascarpone is made from heavy cream, which gives it a higher fat content and a sweeter, more luxurious flavor than ricotta. It is a versatile substitute for ricotta cheese, as you can use it in a number of delicacies such as lasagna, stuffed shells, and tiramisu.

To replace ricotta with mascarpone, just use an equivalent quantity in your recipe. Mascarpone’s rich and creamy texture can enhance the flavor of any food, making it an excellent choice for individuals who want a more decadent flavor. However, bear in mind that mascarpone is higher in fat than ricotta, so use it sparingly.

Suggested ratio: 1 cup ricotta cheese = 1 cup mascarpone.

4. Cream Cheese

Cream Cheese

Given that cream cheese is also derived from milk and has a similar consistency to ricotta cheese, cream cheese works well as a replacement. The biggest difference between the two, however, is their flavors. Cream cheese is sour and more acidic than ricotta cheese, but it still has a mellow, somewhat sweet flavor.

Since cream cheese is also adaptable, it may be used in a variety of recipes in place of ricotta cheese. It is frequently used in baked products and to make spreads and dips. You can substitute cream cheese for ricotta in equal proportion.

Suggested ratio: 1 cup ricotta cheese = 1 cup cream cheese.

5. Buttermilk/Buttermilk Cheese


Given the significant difference in consistency, you may not think of buttermilk when looking for substitutes for ricotta cheese. However, this dairy product can add sufficient moisture and a nice tang to baked items and savory foods. It is also lower in saturated fat and calories than ricotta cheese, making it an excellent choice for individuals watching their weight.

Buttermilk may be used in various ricotta cheese-based dishes, including lasagna, pizza, and baked goods. To replace ricotta cheese with buttermilk, start with a small amount to prevent your dish from becoming too watery. You can also easily make buttermilk cheese at home to get a similar consistency for your recipes.

Suggested ratio: 1 cup ricotta cheese = 1/2 cup buttermilk or 1 cup buttermilk cheese.

6. Silken Tofu

Silken Tofu

This plant-based food is a better option for those monitoring their weight because it is low in calories and fat. However, it should be noted that silken tofu has a milder flavor than ricotta cheese, which might affect how the dish tastes.

Ricotta cheese may be substituted with silken tofu in dishes like lasagna, stuffed pasta, and baked goods. Before using, just puree or process the silken tofu in a food processor or blender until you achieve a creamy consistency. You may also season the tofu with herbs, spices, and other flavorings to enhance or mimic the flavor of ricotta cheese.

Suggested ratio: 1 cup ricotta cheese = 1 cup silken tofu.

7. Blended Cashews

Blended Cashews

Cashew nuts can be blended into a smooth, creamy consistency to mimic the texture of ricotta cheese. They also serve as a healthier substitute for traditional ricotta cheese since they are an excellent source of protein and good fats.

If you wish to use cashews instead of ricotta cheese, soak them in water for an hour or more before blending them with a little milk or water to create a creamy, smooth texture. The end product may be used in lasagnas, stuffed shells, and dips. It should be noted that cashew cheese has a subtle nutty flavor and may not be the best option for dishes that require a pronounced cheesy flavor.

Suggested ratio: 1 cup ricotta cheese = 1 cup blended cashews.

8. Coconut Meat

Coconut Meat

Coconut meat, which is the flesh of the coconut, can also make a good substitute for ricotta cheese in certain dishes by blending it to create a consistency similar to ricotta. But unlike ricotta cheese, coconut meat will have a natural sweetness. It is also a source of good fats and a suitable option for those who are lactose intolerant or vegan.

To use coconut meat as a ricotta cheese substitute, simply blend it until it is smooth. After that, it may be added to both savory and sweet foods, including smoothies, soups, curries, and baked goods. For a unique take on traditional Italian fare, it can also be included in the filling for lasagna or stuffed shells.

Suggested ratio: 1 cup ricotta cheese = 1 cup blended coconut meat.

AboutRibana Hategan

Ribana is a certified pastry chef and passionate home cook who curates and develops recipes that are high on nutrition. She develops and tests cost effective, nutritious meals using quality ingredients to help people better their everyday eating experiences.