Food & Cooking

What Are The Best Ricotta Cheese Substitutes?

A fresh, mild, creamy white cheese with a bit of sweet taste and soft texture, ricotta cheese was initially made by traditional Italian cheese makers. From Italian pasta dishes to desserts, ricotta offers a unique flavor profile that everyone's palate will surely crave for. 

Ricotta doesn't have much flavor. It's like grainy cream cheese and is slightly crumbly. Many health benefits can be gained by eating some of it, such as vitamins and minerals, calcium, carbohydrates, cholesterol, and protein.

Ricotta Cheese Substitutes

Bad news: You've got no ricotta cheese in the store or at home. 

Good news: There are considerably substitutes for ricotta cheese that are simple to do, helping you get the similar consistency and flavor profile.

Here's our list.

1. Cottage Cheese

If you're looking for a low-fat substitute, then I recommend you to try the cottage cheese. Its texture and flavor are similar to that of ricotta cheese, which is why it is being used interchangeably with ricotta outside Italy. Dieters prefer cottage cheese as their low-calorie, low-fat alternative. 

However, it offers low calcium content. If you want to gain more calcium with cottage cheese, you may add some milk or other dairy ingredients or blend in any cheese variations.

2. Fromage Blanc

Another low-fat substitute, Fromage blanc is a fresh cheese, buttery, delicious and less firm, with the consistency of thick yoghurt. It is hard to find and quite expensive, so you'll only find it in some kitchens. But, it is still a favourite ricotta cheese alternative due to the tasty and flavorful taste it offers as a dessert topping. 

It boasts a slightly mild, sweet and pungent flavour profile, and can be used as a cheese spread and in preparing sauces. 

3. Clabber Cream

The best ricotta substitute for pasta, clabber cream (also called clotted cream) grasps the taste of the cheese. Thick and creamy, this ingredient is a yellowish cooked cream mainly famous in England as a scone topping. 

If you're planning to make clabber cream from pasteurised milk, add some spoonful of commercial clabber cream, buttermilk and sour milk to milk. You can still enjoy spoons of your favourite dish without ricotta cheese – clabber cream will save your day! 

4. Sour Cream

One of the most common ricotta alternatives in kitchens, sour cream makes delicious dips, tops baked potatoes and thickens sauces. Similar to yoghurt, it also softens and tenderizes baked goods. 

Also, sour cream is also used as an adornment for potato, chilli crisps and servings of vegetables and fruits. It is a favourite ingredient in some sweet dishes like cakes, cookies, and scones. 

5. Tofu

Want a non-dairy and vegan substitute for ricotta cheese? Consider the versatility of food tofu. Although a horrible name for some, tofu mimics the flavour, texture, and consistency of ricotta when mashed. 

Use it in your favourite recipe, such as lasagna recipe, and you will get a milder taste or real ricotta. Another thing, it makes a better base as you are allowed to blend in other flavours (e.g. basil) to make the dish very enticing. 

6. Buttermilk Cheese

For filling substitute, buttermilk cheese offers a delectable, negligible taste. Though not available in stores, you can make one in your kitchen through straining buttermilk with numerous cheesecloth layers. Allow it to drain in a container inside the refrigerator overnight until it's lessened to a consistency. 

If you want to improve the buttermilk's consistency, retain some whey throughout the process of making it. 

Here's how to make your own buttermilk cheese at home. 

7. Goat Cheese

You don't have to go far just to get a ricotta dish substitute that will impress your mouth – goat cheese is what you need! Famous for its pungent and unique flavour, goat cheese is creamy and has the same texture mouthfeel with ricotta. 

Especially for those who have sensitivity cow milk, this alternative is a good option. You will need one part of it for each one part of required ricotta in the recipe. 

8. Pot Cheese

Pot cheese is known as a fresh, powdery and soft cheese with a less creamy consistency. It is commonly prepared on a pot. What makes it a good ricotta alternative is the health benefits it offers, aside from its delicious flavour. 

It is low-fat and high-protein. Pot cheese may be rare to find at stores, but fortunately, you can prepare some for your meal. Spices and herbs can be added for a more distinctive flavour. 

Here's how to make your pot cheese at home:

9. Queso Fresco

Also known as Queso Blanco, queso fresco is a fresh cheese made from the raw cow milk. It slightly has a salty-sour element and has a closer taste to ricotta. You can find queso fresco crumbly, but a little creamier than ricotta cheese. 

It is perfect for lasagna but doesn't work well with the stuffed shells. It also complements with the taste of tomatoes.

10. Requeson

This creamy, lumpy and yellowish-white ricotta cheese substitute is originated from Mexico, with a resemblance to ricotta. It is called "The Hispanic Ricotta" because it is prepared by blending milk with some whey left behind. 

This blend is heated, skimmed and drained to make a creamy-off white cheese. The process leads to a smooth consistency, making it a great alternative to any dessert and dip recipes. However, the intensity of requeson is lower when it comes to saltiness and tartness. 

11. Mascarpone

Another Italian cheese, mascarpone is a white-coloured cheese with a bit tart taste. It is recommended to use this alternative in strongly-flavoured recipes such as those requiring garlic. You can also use it in cannoli dishes. 

Mascarpone is dense, high in fat and may be difficult to find in particular locations. If you need the consistency and texture of ricotta in a certain recipe, you might need some blending with mascarpone. 

12. Cream Cheese

Like French Neufchatel, cream cheese is made from cow milk. It offers a sweet, mild and fresh taste with a slight tang. Cream cheese has a creamy and smooth texture and spreads quickly. 

It is used as bagel-toppers and makes delightfully flaky and light pastry crusts. It can also be the main ingredient in various mouth-watering dishes.

Some find this recipe is hard to find, while others find it a bit labour extensive and time-consuming. Good thing, you can make cream cheese at home in just minutes. 

Here's how to make some for your guests:

13. Paneer

A cream-coloured, unsalted and fresh cheese, paneer was initially made from buffalo milk. Its mildness is an ideal for more pungent flavours. Before use, it is not always fried and cubed. You can eat paneer as it is, or shaped, crushed, moulded and flavoured with mint or cumin. 

To unleash its distinctive taste, why not try it with other recipes? Savory pancakes with fresh paneer or spicy paneer and spinach bites can save your gloomy appetite.

14. Béchamel Sauce

Béchamel sauce is often called the mother sauce and is one of the essential elements in French recipes. Though it has a thinner consistency compared to ricotta, rest assured to get similar mouth feel. It is made of a dash of milk, cooked butter and flower, making it very tasty substitute.

What makes us love about béchamel sauce is the fact that it allows us to limit the consistency. Unlike ricotta, the chances of getting burned or overcooked food are lower. You can use it in many recipes like lasagna. 

Have any comments or suggestions about our list of ricotta cheese substitutes? Kindly leave them down below! Also, share this article with your family and friends! 

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