The day comes when you decide, for whatever reason, that cheese from animals is no longer a part of your life. And another day comes later when you realize that you want to make something that has ricotta in it, but ricotta comes from cows. Until today, my friends. Until this day. (I know this is not the first vegan ricotta recipe out there, I just like setting a dramatic scene right from the get-go).
My wonderful people, I present to you, Vegan Spinach Ricotta. Ok, ok, you got me, we’ve already encountered this recipe before, in Vegan Calzones and Protein-Packed Zucchini Roll-Ups. But recently I shared the Best Damn Vegan Lasagna, which features this dairy-free deliciousness, so I thought it deserved its very own post. Vegan Spinach Ricotta, you’ve arrived. Congratulations!
Reason #4512 why I shouldn’t write late at night. I end up addressing recipes in the first person.
Here’s what you’ll need to make Vegan Spinach Ricotta:
- Raw cashews (I now buy them in a 5 pound bag because they are ubiquitous in my cooking. That’s a big word).
- Extra-firm or firm tofu (it’s hidden, sneaky protein)
- Light miso (helps add the cheesy flavor)
- Nutritional yeast (again with the cheesy)
- Fresh basil or Dorot frozen chopped basil cubes
- Fresh garlic or Dorot frozen crushed garlic cubes
- Salt (duh)
For the sake of convenience, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Dorot frozen basil and garlic. They also have ginger, parsley, cilantro, and chili, which haven’t found yet, but maybe I wasn’t looking hard enough. These little cuties are so handy to have in the freezer whenever the urge to make vegan spinach ricotta strikes (and it strikes a lot).
First, pulse the raw cashews, miso, garlic, salt, and nutritional yeast in a food processor or blender until the mixture looks very fine and crumbly. This is important because you can easily tell that the cashews are all finely ground. It’s no fun to have a surprise bite of a big piece of cashew in something that isn’t supposed to have big pieces of cashew in it.
Next, add the spinach, basil, and tofu, and pulse until everything comes together, scraping down the sides of the food processor bowl once or twice if needed.
Ta-dah! It really is that easy. Besides calzones, roll-ups, and of course, lasagna, this stuff is FABULOUS stuffed into large pasta like cannelloni or shells, or thinned with a little water and tossed with pasta, or spread onto toasted baguette. You truly can’t go wrong. And, if for some reason you just can’t get on board the spinach train, leave it out and you’ve got….vegan ricotta. What, were you expecting something else?
It’s green. It’s good. It’s going to be in your belly. Well, it will be as soon as you make it. And when you do, tell me about it! No, seriously, I LOVE hearing about your culinary adventures. Hit me up on Instagram by tagging #passtheplants and @passtheplants, or leave a comment here. I get all giddy and excited, for reals.
And as for the Best Damn Vegan Lasagna – trust me when I tell you, it lives up to its name.
Vegan Spinach Ricotta
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 12 ounce package firm or extra-firm tofu (drained (1 package is typically 10-12 oz. it's ok to use a little less or more))
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach (or 1 cup frozen spinach)
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves*
- 2 cloves of garlic**
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon light miso (white (yellow, or chickpea))
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- In a food processor or blender, pulse cashews, garlic, miso, salt, and nutritional yeast until the mixture is fine and crumbly.
- Add the tofu, spinach, and basil and pulse to throughly combine until the mixture is finely ground and no large pieces of tofu or spinach are detectable..
- Use immediately or store in the refrigerator, covered, for up to a week. It won’t last that long.