Vegan & Soy-Free Ricotta Cheese

Vegan and Soy-Free Ricotta Cheese -- Epicurean VeganI am so excited to share this recipe with all of you! Having to give up soy is a little less traumatic now that I’ve come up with a delicious soy-free ricotta cheese. After I made the switch from no wheat and no soy, The Seventh Grader wanted stuffed shells. Of course. And . . . like the power of suggestion, I wanted stuffed shells in the worst way. So I couldn’t use my go-to riotta cheese, nor use regular jumbo shells. Thankfully, I found these “Grand Shells” from Tinkyada.

The ingredients are simple: brown rice, rice bran, and water. They’re a little smaller than the typical flour-based jumbo shells . . .

. . . but it’s not a big deal. They also don’t fold over like regular shells do either. Again, no biggie. Also, cooking these are a bit different. Bring water to a boil, add the shells and cook 1-2 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover, and let the shells sit for 20 minutes. The shells definitely aren’t mushy like some brown rice pasta can be. In fact, they’re pretty al dente—almost too much. If you want them a little softer, I’d leave them for 25-30 minutes. Overall, very impressive! I thought they were delicious.

So onto the ricotta. This recipe makes quite a bit—great for a big pan of lasagna. Feel free to half it for a small portion, otherwise, it makes almost 4 cups.

1 C blanched almonds
1 C cashews
1 C cold water
1/8 C olive oil
3-4 Tbs lemon juice
1/3 C nutritional yeast
1 C fresh basil
1 Tbs fresh rosemary
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/3 C Daiya cheese,  Mozzarella flavored

I threw the cashews in a bowl of water while I blanched the almonds. Soaking the nuts are not necessary, unless you have the time and want a really smooth ricotta. Add them to the food processor.

Vegan and Soy-Free Ricotta Cheese -- Epicurean Vegan

Add the water, oil, and lemon juice. Puree until smooth. This may take a few minutes to get it real smooth, especially if you opt not to soak the nuts overnight, which I did not. It just depends on your preference. I happen to like the nutty texture.

Vegan and Soy-Free Ricotta Cheese -- Epicurean Vegan

Next, add the basil, rosemary, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, salt, pepper. Blend until well combined. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cheese.

Vegan and Soy-Free Ricotta Cheese -- Epicurean Vegan

I had some jumbo shells as well as tofu-ricotta in the freezer, so for the guys, I made them regular stuffed shells. Since I don’t have celiac disease and not concerned with cross-contamination, I combined both in the pan.

Vegan and Soy-Free Ricotta Cheese -- Epicurean Vegan

Layer on some sauce and Daiya cheese and you’re good to go. Bake covered for 25 minutes at 375.

Vegan and Soy-Free Ricotta Cheese -- Epicurean Vegan



  1. vegansistah2011 says

    This is great! I try me best to follow a gluten-free vegan diet which can be a challenge. My guy follows a gluten-free/soy-free vegan diet to dining out and cooking is an interesting process. I’m new to veganism, but I’m looking to cook for us more – this recipe is definitely next on the list. Thanks!

    • epicureanvegan says

      Thanks! Yeah, I’m beginning to see how being a vegan, soy-free and wheat-free can be–especially eating out! I find that Mexican food is the most conducive to that, but I’m already missing the sesame tofu from my favorite Asian restaurant! :-( Let me know what you think about the ricotta–thanks for stopping by!

  2. Jennifer says

    I just wanted to say that i tried this recipe out and loved it. I thought i would have to give up ricotta cheeze due to i didn’t want to make it with tofu or buy pre tofu made. When i saw this recipe i thought my prayers have been answered. I will be making this over and over and over again. Thank You so much.

    • epicureanvegan says

      Thanks! I’m glad you liked it. Since I went soy-free, I see how difficult it is to find cheese and sauces that don’t contain soy, but it’s pretty amazing how many things you can make with nuts. I definitely didn’t want to give up lasagna or stuffed shells! :-)

  3. Cynthia says

    You are my hero! I have given up soy and wheat and thought I was going to have to give up food like this! You saved me!

    • epicureanvegan says

      There are a number of vegan cheeses on the market, but without looking at all of their ingredients lists, I couldn’t tell you. You could easily omit the Daiya all together in this recipe actually.

  4. ritzoniyah says

    Im so glad to see a soy free cheese recipe online that actually taste amazing. I just wanted to clarify the point about soaking nuts. Its actually really important to soak any nut you eat because of the enzyme inhibitors that naturally exist. Eating unsoaked nuts causes inflammation in the intestines and sometimes acid reflux. Just something to keep in mind.

    • Epicurean Vegan says

      Thanks! I never noticed any problem with eating unsoaked nuts. I would think just having a handful of cashews or almonds would be pretty unappetizing if I had to soak them first.

      • ritzoniyah says

        Hi again. Yea I actually agree with you. Thats why a lot of raw foodist dehydrate them after soaking. But for your lovely recipe that isn’t necessary. There’s a lot more to the whole unsoaked nuts besides how it makes you feel. But there’s tons of info online you can research. This isn’t the forum to spill all I know. Thanks for responding.

        • Epicurean Vegan says

          Thanks for letting me know–I’m always up for learning something new! I know that folks with certain digestive issues like diverticulitis, ought to steer clear of nuts, as I imagine they can be hard on the system. I’ll certainly look into it–thanks!

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