Apologies for the long delay since I last shared a recipe. My computer experienced a sudden hard drive failure and while I had thankfully backed up most of my essential files, I have been unable to access my photo editing software to get these almond ricotta pictures ready. I anticipate further delays until I do get a fully-functioning replacement machine..
I told you when I shared my fresh tomato marinara sauce recipe that I was inspired to make it as part of recreating an amazing pizza that I tasted. Well, homemade almond ricotta was another element on that pizza, so naturally, I had to figure out how to make that too. 🙂
This almond ricotta is actually quite similar to my baked almond feta, except that there’s no cooking involved, and I add more liquid to create a creamy ricotta-like consistency. That means that depending on how you season it, this recipe can be considered raw. (It’s also gluten-free, oil-free, paleo, etc…)
For the best cheese-y “tang” I recommend hunting down some good quality, UNsweetened nondairy yogurt for your almond ricotta. I use coconut yogurt, which has a very mild coconut flavor that doesn’t compete with the almond. I don’t particularly love the taste of soy-based yogurt (the other unsweetened type available in my area) and thus I shy away from it – but it’s up to you. In the recipe notes I offer a tested yogurt alternative which is still tasty, though I prefer the yogurt version.
I start with whole, skin-on almonds to make this almond ricotta but you can use already de-skinned almonds and skip the first soaking and peeling steps. (That means this might not be raw, though, if the almonds were blanched). I’ve included both a volume and weight measurement for the almonds, so that you can also substitute blanched slivered almonds or whatever almond form is available to you. (I wouldn’t suggest using almond butter, as you won’t be able to recreate the chunky texture of ricotta… but almond meal might work with a few tweaks!)
I’m sure it’s a little maddening that I’ve shared marinara and almond ricotta recipes that lead to nowhere, but rest assured, I have a delicious entree recipe coming soon (as soon as I have a working computer again…) that uses both of these components! (No, it’s not that pizza that I keep talking about.)
- 2 cups raw whole almonds
- 1/4 cup plain, unsweeted non-dairy yogurt
- 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 cup filtered water (plus more as needed)
Soak the almonds in hot water for a few hours to loosen the skins. The skins should then peel easily off of the almonds.
Soak the skinned almonds again in hot water for an hour or more to soften.
Add the almonds to a food processor along with the yogurt, salt, and water. Blend at a low speed until the almonds are finely crumbled and the other ingredients well-incorporated. Add more water and blend as needed to reach the desired consistency.
Adjust salt and add other seasoning to taste (see my notes for some ideas). Leftover almond ricotta will keep in the refrigerator for a week, and tastes best 8 or more hours after preparing.
YOGURT-FREE VERSION: Instead of the nondairy yogurt, use 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of yellow or white miso, 1 teaspoon of olive oil, and (optional) 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast.
SEASONING VARIATIONS: A dash of liquid smoke (for "smoked" almond ricotta); dried oregano or other Italian herbs; ground black pepper; 2-3 tablespoons olive oil (also creates a richer texture)
Some of my other recipes that would pair nicely with this vegan ricotta:
Pizza-stuffed Spaghetti Squash (use dollops of the ricotta in addition to, or instead of, the cashew mozzarella)
Broccoli Rabe Stuffed Shell Bake (use to stuff the shells)
Roasted Eggplant Risotto with Capers and Basil (add a few dollops of almond ricotta at the end of cooking, reducing the coconut milk by a little bit)