Ricotta cheese is a luscious and extremely irresistible Italian cheese. Especially when fresh! Ricotta cheese is integral to Italian cuisine, so if you cook a lot of Italian, you might need ricotta cheese by your side.
In case you run out or you don’t realise that you forgot to purchase it, these 16 ricotta cheese substitutes might just save your cook. Keep reading to find out more about which one of these ricotta substitutes fits your need best.
In any case, don’t miss out on making a fabulous ricotta cheese recipe. Back in the day, I could eat the whole thing alone!
16 amazing ricotta cheese substitutes
No ricotta cheese at home? Not to worry! These 16 ricotta cheese substitutes will definitely save your recipe. However, first, let’s explore all there is to know about this Italian cheese.
Before we get into that, here are a few cheese substitutes you might want to consider for the future:
- Monterey jack cheese substitutes
- manchego cheese substitutes
- goat’s cheese substitutes
- asiago cheese substitutes
- fontina cheese substitutes
what is ricotta cheese?
Ricotta cheese is an Italian cheese which is known for its amazing creamy texture. That’s why it’s very widely used in hearty Italian recipes. As regards taste, it’s slightly sweet, acidic but with a grainy texture. I
t is in fact a whey cheese, generally made from cow’s, sheep’s or goat’s milk. Sometimes, the real ricotta is from Italian water buffalo. For this reason, there are many ricotta cheese substitutes.
Ricotta in Latin translates to ‘recooked’. So, basically what this means is that leftover cheese is recooked by the coagulation of protein. Simply put, you take a leftover cheese, cook the whey and then curdle it.
ricotta cheese history
Would you believe me if I told you that ricotta cheese goes all the way back to the Bronze Age? Historians found out that in the Bronze Age, people used to carry milk boilers, so cheese was a part of an ancient diet.
Furthermore, archaeologists have found bronze cheese graters. Ancient Romans apparently made ricotta cheese. There is evidence from ancient writers, as they wrote about rennet-coagulated cheese. There is speculation that this could be ricotta cheese.
Other historians argue that, back in the day, ricotta cheese was only consumed by the farmers who made it. This is because ricotta cheese is very perishable, hence it was difficult to sell on the market.
It’s only later that ricotta cheese made its way to the tables of Roman aristocrats.
ricotta cheese recipes
Many Italian and non-Italian dishes, both savoury and sweet, use ricotta cheese. For example, ricotta cheese can be used to make cheesecakes, and there is no better way to prove that than making this delicious chocolate cheesecake recipe.
Ricotta cheese is also essential when it comes to preparing the amazing Sicilian cannoli. Trust me, if you make cannoli with fresh ricotta, you’ll be eating this Sicilian dessert forever with your coffee!
In either case, some savoury dishes also include lasagna (instead of béchamel), dips, toppings for pizzas, topping for beetroot tart and more. You can also use ricotta to stuff a chicken breast. Just take a look at this chicken ballotine recipe.
Other Alternatives for Ricotta Cheese
Pot cheese is quite crumbly in texture so it’s a great alternative for firmer ricotta cheese. It’s extremely versatile and very high in protein.
tvaroh or tvorog
Similarly to topfen, this is one of the best ricotta cheese substitutes, especially if you live in Eastern Europe or Russia. In essence, tvaroh is actually a type of topfen. Tvaroh can be used in savoury and sweet dishes. It has a crumbly consistency, however you can also find smoother versions out there to fit your ricotta cheese recipe. In my opinion, this is one of the best ricotta cheese substitutes.
non-dairy substitute for ricotta cheese
Tofu, also known as silken tofu is your best bet! Especially when it comes to making pastas that require ricotta cheese. Tofu is plant-based so it’s very suitable for vegans. Go for silken tofu because it has the same consistency!