Have you ever found yourself absolutely out of ricotta cheese when making mouth-filling dishes and stuck with the thought that what you can substitute for ricotta cheese?
Take a deep breath as I’ve listed the 7 best ricotta cheese substitutes for all the recipes to get you out of this trouble.
But what is a good substitute for ricotta cheese?
Cottage cheese, cream cheese, tofu, goat, and buttermilk cheese are the most common and readily available substitutes of ricotta cheese that make dishes as soft and delicious as ricotta. While Cream cheese is the best substitute for ricotta due to its similar consistency and creaminess.
If you have started searching in your refrigerator just after reading the names of substitutes, take a few more minutes and see either cheese you are going to use is right for your health or not.
Here you will get all about ricotta cheese and its substitutes, your health concerns, and most importantly nutritional profile of each substitute.
What is Ricotta Cheese
Ricotta cheese is an Italian light, soft and spongy cheese with a full creamy taste and grainy texture. Ricotta, which means ‘recooked,’ is made from ‘whey’ that is the leftover liquid from other cheese production.
It is generally made from cow’s, sheep’s, or goat’s milk, but mostly available cheese pack at stores would be of cow’s milk. You can use it in different savory and sweets from lasagna, pizza toppings, dip to cheesecake, and salads.
7 Best Ricotta Cheese Substitutes for Your Recipes
Here are the best 7 substitutes for ricotta cheese that give perfectly the same taste as ricotta without spoiling your recipe, and you can easily get these substitutes in your refrigerator.
- Cottage cheese
- Cream cheese
- Goat cheese
- Sour cream
- Queso fresco
- Buttermilk cheese
1. Can You Use Cottage Cheese Instead of Ricotta?
You can use cottage cheese as a substitute for ricotta cheese because of its mild taste like ricotta. You can easily make lasagna as delicious as with ricotta or prepare cheese fillings.
An important thing to consider before substituting is that ricotta is of smooth consistency as it is prepared from whey, but cottage prepared from curd and is lumpier, so blend it thoroughly before use. You can use a sieve to drain excess liquid whey from cottage cheese.
How to Substitute Cottage Cheese for Ricotta Cheese?
1 cup of cottage cheese = 1 cup of ricotta cheese
Is Cottage Cheese Good for Your Health?
Cottage cheese is good for your health even it is more beneficial than ricotta cheese due to its less fat content. 100 grams of full fat cottage cheese provides only 4.3 grams of fats while the same amount of ricotta gives 12 grams of fat (1).
So, you can easily use cottage cheese in your recipe, even if you are weight conscious.
Cottage cheese is fresh and mild clumpy cheese with a deliciously creamy taste that you can use without being worried about your weight gain for its low-fat content.
2. Can You Use Cream Cheese Instead of Ricotta Cheese?
The best substitute for ricotta cheese is a cream cheese that you can use in different dishes. Cream cheese is super soft and smooth, having a thick texture. It is slightly less fluffy than ricotta, but you can blend it before use to have a lighter texture and make it fluffier.
Cream cheese is rich in fats than ricotta cheese. Ricotta is made from milk only, while cream cheese is made from a combination of cream and milk.
How to Substitute Cream Cheese for Ricotta Cheese?
1 cup of cream cheese = 1 cup of ricotta cheese
Is Cream Cheese Good for Your Health?
The cream cheese gives the extra benefit of low lactose (2). If you are lactose intolerant, unable to digest lactose in dairy products, you can still take cream cheese as it contains only 2 gm of lactose per ounce that is not dangerous (3).
Cream cheese is also good for your vision because of its significant amount of vitamin A and carotenoid antioxidants (4).
Cream cheese is a soft and creamy fats rich cheese made from a combination of milk and cream. It is good for the eyes, and lactose intolerant people are safe to use it.
3. Can You Substitute Goat Cheese for Ricotta Cheese?
Fresh goat cheese is an acceptable substitute to make dessert toppings as fresh and yummy as with ricotta cheese. Goat cheese, also called ‘chevre,’ is creamy, fluffy, and has a mild flavor slightly stronger than ricotta cheese.
You can use it in salads, pasta, and over fresh fruits. Aged goat cheese is not good to be used as an alternative to ricotta for its firm consistency and strong taste.
How to Substitute Goat Cheese for Ricotta Cheese?
1 cup of goat cheese = 1 cup of ricotta cheese
Is Goat Cheese Good for Your Health?
Goat cheese is good for your health for its probiotic effect that helps your body in many ways (5).
Goat cheese is also a great choice for individuals sensitive to digest cow milk ricotta. If you are concerned about your weight, goat cheese helps in reducing hunger and promotes fullness (6).
Goat cheese also called ‘chevre’ is a fresh, mild, and creamy cheese that contains probiotics and is even good for cow milk sensitive people contributing to weight loss.
4. Can You Use Sour Cream Instead of Ricotta Cheese?
Sour cream can be used instead of ricotta cheese and serves as a good substitute. Sour cream is a fermented dairy product with a tangy taste and a thick, slightly grainy texture.
It serves as an excellent ingredient for baking products, garnishing, dressing, and topping for cookies and cakes. Sour cream also adds a dynamic flavor when combined with extra spices and herbs.
How to Substitute Sour Cream for Ricotta Cheese?
1 cup of sour cream = 1 cup of ricotta cheese
Is Sour Cream Good for Your Health?
Sour cream is good for your health and serves as a great keto-friendly food option for its high fat and low carbohydrate content. This is the first rule of a keto diet in which the body is forced to use fats for energy instead of glucose, and sour cream comes with this tremendous benefit (7).
Sour cream is tangy flavored cream with a slightly grainy texture that can be used in different dishes and is keto-friendly for its low carbohydrate and high-fat content.
I have saved you from a trouble and combined all the substitutes in one infographic below along with the amount that you can use in place of ricotta cheese.
Can You Substitute Tofu for Ricotta Cheese?
You can easily use tofu as an alternative to ricotta cheese in pasta, filling in the lasagna, and for other baking purposes. Ordinary tofu is tougher, but silken tofu suits the best as it has ricotta like consistency and texture. It has a slightly egg-like flavor that is lost in baking.
Before using tofu, must press it to drain excess liquid and then blend or mash to get the same consistency as ricotta cheese.
How to Substitute Tofu for Ricotta Cheese?
1 big block of Tofu = 1 cup of ricotta cheese
Is Tofu Good for Your Health?
Tofu is a soy-based product with naturally healthy plant compounds and is the best if you are allergic to dairy products and prefer a vegan diet. Tofu also contains fewer calories and fats but is high in protein and contains all the amino acids your body needs (8).
Tofu is made from soy milk having a mild egg-like taste and is available in blocks that provide complete protein and less fat. It is best adapted to a vegan diet.
Can You Use Queso Fresco In place of Ricotta Cheese?
Queso Fresco is one of the creamy and fresh substitutes of ricotta cheese with mild, salty, and milky flavor. It can be grated and crumbled over dishes for its dry, grainy, and breakable structure.
You can cut a slice to spread over bread or substitute for ricotta in soup, lasagna, salad, fruit toppings with honey, or use in fillings. You can also enjoy its milky taste with a bite.
How to Substitute Queso Fresco for Ricotta Cheese?
1 cup of Queso Fresco= 1 cup of ricotta cheese
Is Queso Fresco Good for Your Health?
Be aware before using Queso Fresco and buy the one which is prepared from pasteurized milk. The cheese prepared from unpasteurized milk may weaken your immune system. Infection may result in high fever, nausea, diarrhea, and even miscarriage among pregnant women (9).
Queso Fresco is a fresh, creamy, and mild cheese with a milky flavor that can be easily grated over dishes but must be used the one which is prepared from pasteurized milk.
Can You Put Buttermilk Cheese In place of Ricotta Cheese?
Buttermilk cheese serves as a great replacement for ricotta cheese in pasta filling and cheesecakes for its mild taste, just like ricotta. It is quite soft and rich in nutrients providing vitamins to the body.
If you ever find buttermilk cheese not available at your nearest store or in your refrigerator, you can easily make it with buttermilk. Just pour it into a colander lined with cheesecloth and press until the desired consistency of the cheese is attained.
How to Substitute Buttermilk Cheese for Ricotta Cheese?
1 cup of buttermilk cheese = 1 cup of ricotta cheese
Is Buttermilk Cheese Good for Your Health?
Buttermilk cheese serves as a healthy food option, but you must take care if you are lactose intolerant. As this cheese is directly produced from buttermilk, it may cause bloating, gas, or diarrhea that are common symptoms of intolerance (10). In this case, you may enjoy tofu or other low lactose cheese and avoid such problems.
Buttermilk cheese is soft with a mild taste that can be produced from buttermilk and provides essential nutrients but may cause symptoms in lactose-intolerant individuals.
Here I have also researched and listed ricotta cheese and it’s substitutes’ nutritional content comparison (per 100 grams) so that you can select the best one as per your diet.
Ricotta Cheese and its substitutes' nutritional content comparison (per 100 grams)
|Substitute||Calories||Fats (gm)||Carbs (in gm)||Proteins (in gm)||Vitamins|
|Ricotta Cheese||180||12||8||14||A, D, C and B-6|
|Cottage Cheese||162||4.3||6.5||28||B-12 and B-6|
|Cream Cheese||340||34||4||6||A, D, C, B-6 and B2|
|Goat Cheese||360||30||0.1||22||A, D, C and B-6|
|Sour Cream||192||21||3||2||A, D, C and B-6|
|Tofu||76||5||2||8||A, D, C and B-6|
|Queso fresco||310||25||3||20||A, D, C and B-6|
|Buttermilk cheese||180||9||17||11||A, D, C and B-6|
What Can I Use Instead of Ricotta Cheese in Lasagna?
If you are short of ricotta cheese and looking for an alternative, cottage cheese serves as the best substitute in lasagna for its delicious taste and similar texture.
Other cheese like tofu, goat cheese, sour cream, and queso fresco also add flavor to lasagna and make it soft and creamy.
What Is the Best Vegan Ricotta Cheese Substitute?
Tofu is the best vegan ricotta cheese substitute that is primarily based on soy milk. It is a plant-based cheese replacement with multiple healthy plant compounds.
You can easily use it in baked dishes like lasagna, cannelloni, or even chile Rellenos for similar flavor and ricotta like texture. You can also add fresh herbs and spices to make it more enjoyable.
Is There A Non-Dairy Substitute for Ricotta Cheese?
Tofu or soy-bean curd is a well-known non-dairy substitute for ricotta cheese that you can easily use if you avoid dairy products.
Regular tofu is hard and tough that needs careful handling, while silken tofu or Japanese-style tofu is soft, creamy, and has a similar consistency, just like ricotta. You can use this substitute to make vegan-friendly lasagnas or stuff in shells and pasta.
Can You Substitute Greek Yogurt for Ricotta Cheese in Baking?
Plain Greek yogurt is more than simple yogurt and can be used in baking as a substitute for ricotta cheese.
It is creamy, rich yogurt from which excess water and lactose are drained during processing, and it serves as a healthy source of more carbohydrates and less sugar. You can easily use it to make pasta sauce, lasagna, or other desserts.
Now you are all up with the best ricotta cheese substitutes for your recipes and can happily try with dessert and baking food items. Don’t forget to tell us which alternative of ricotta cheese made your day by giving ricotta like deliciously creamy taste to your recipes.
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