Have you ever been so in love in love with Ricotta Cheese? I have to admit, I am a big fan of its creamy and grainy texture that I am almost using this in all of my recipes.
But then, I started to realize that I already had my fair share of this Italian fresh cheese and the worst part is, I think I am starting to put a lot of extra calories in my dishes with too much ricotta, plus I can no longer use this cheese to my mother who just switches to being vegan.
Well, I guess this is the right time to move ahead with my choices of cheese. So I went on a mission to find the best substitutes for Ricotta Cheese and guess what? I stumbled upon some incredible alternatives that could make your dishes fun.
Are you excited to know what these are? Then please keep on reading below.
Best Substitutes for Ricotta Cheese
I know you are wondering what this ingredient is doing on this list, but you will be surprised to know how versatile tofu is.
If you’re a vegan, I’m sure you’d be glad to know that you can use tofu rather than Ricotta Cheese since both have similar grit, wateriness as well as consistency. Tofu is a very versatile ingredient and is being widely used among vegan recipes by those people who have given up meat in their diet; the bonus is that it is a super healthy food.
Tofu will definitely give your regular lasagna a little twist or you won’t even probably notice it. And if you’re going extra, why don’t you add some more life to your dish by adding other herbs like basil?
Yogurt, which is probably everyone’s favorite source of protein, is not just a healthy, refreshing and nutritious snack, but you can also use it as Ricotta Cheese substitute.
What’s great about yogurt is that it is light in calories as well as fat compared to almost every cheese. Plus, it is full of essential nutrients like B12, potassium and so much more. I'd also like to mention about probiotics, but things could change once you start burning yogurt in your oven. All of these friendly bacteria that could help your digestion will be up for a rough ride.
But take note that yogurt comes in various flavor so make sure you give it a try first and check if it is okay with your taste before using it. You can also use plain yogurt for best result or you can even make your own yogurt.
#3. Bechamel Sauce
Bechamel Sauce belongs to the five mother sauces of French cooking. It has been considered as mother sauce since it has been the basis of several other sauces. This sauce is mainly composed of flour and cooked butter, which when combined is referred to as roux, it will then be mixed with a little cream or milk.
What’s great about Bechamel Sauce is that it allows you to have much greater control over its consistency; if you want it to be bit runnier, you can just add some more milk and if you want something thicker, take it easy with the milk. This also holds up to longer cooking time that you can minimize the risk of ending up with burned food that always happens to me whenever I am using ricotta.
#4. Goat Cheese
Among all the substitutes I mentioned on this list, goat cheese is perhaps the one that comes closest to actual ricotta. Though it is a little tangier, it is almost the perfect alternative when it comes to texture, the feeling Ricotta leaves in your mouth and definitely, both have the same sharp flavor.
This is most likely because there is goat’s milk in ricotta too! I know you might say I’m a little bit cheating to call it as a substitute, but goat cheese is a popular choice in most parts of Italy where cow’s milk is a little bit difficult to find.
But I have to warn you, goat cheese melts faster than ricotta so this may cause problems with recipes that require longer cooking times.
#5. Cottage Cheese
Here’s another dairy product that closely similar to ricotta cheese. In fact, its name cottage cheese is interchangeably used with ricotta cheese outside Italy due to its very close resemblances.
Both kinds of cheese have the same texture and flavor. Though ricotta comes in a creamier and smoother consistency, so you might need to process the cottage cheese first in the blender or just simply rub it through the strainer before you begin using it in your recipes that are heavily dependent on the consistency of ricotta.
What I like about cottage cheese is that it is a low-calorie, low-fat alternative that has the closest flavor feel to ricotta. So if you are trying to cut off your calorie intake, cottage cheese is definitely your great choice. However, it also has a lower content of calcium. So if you are into a calcium-rich diet, you might want to add some dairy ingredients to compensate like mixing in other cheese or milk.
#6. Pot Cheese
Just like goat and cottage cheese, pot cheese comes from the dairy tree; it is also known as dry curd cottage cheese. And just like ricotta, it contains some whey, making it a possible substitute.
Pot Cheese is one of the substitutes for ricotta cheese that works well in lasagnas or whenever you are stuffing pasta shells. Since it comes from the dry curd, this cheese is even firmer and drier compared to its predecessor cottage cheese. So if you want to replicate the smooth texture and consistency of ricotta, then I suggest you keep on adding moisture to your dish. You can simply do this by adding a little cream.
What I like about pot cheese is that it allows you to cutoff on your fat intake since it contains smaller fat as well as salt. What’s even more is that is that it is also rich in protein, so if you are into muscle-building then this is a great alternative.
However, you might find it difficult to find pot cheese in the stores near you since it has not always been commercially available. But don’t worry, you can always make your own pot cheese.
Do you know that you are helping the environment every time you are using ricotta cheese? This is because ricotta is being prepared by using the leftover of cheese-making called whey, which could have been otherwise harmful to the environment when disposed into the sewers. Well, that sounds like a good news, isn’t it?
But if you run out of this Italian fresh cheese while making something like lasagna, there’s no longer need to get worried as we now know that there are plenty substitutes for ricotta cheese. Isn’t that comforting?
How about you? Have you tried any of these substitutes? How did it go? Let me know your experience at the comment section below. I would love to hear from you.
And please don’t forget to share this article with your friends too.