There are several options if you can’t find ricotta! Here’s the best substitute for ricotta cheese to use in lasagna and other recipes.
The grocery store’s all out of ricotta cheese? We’ve got your back! This Italian cheese is most famously used in lasagna recipes. But it’s got all sorts of other uses: smeared on toast, used in pasta, and dolloped on pizza. It’s seriously versatile. Ricotta has a mild flavor, so the texture is the most important part to get right if you want to replace it in recipes. Here’s the best substitute for ricotta cheese!
Best substitute for ricotta cheese
Note that how these options work depend on the type of recipe and how the ricotta is used.
1. Cottage cheese.
The best substitute for ricotta cheese? Cottage cheese has a similar flavor, and can be easily substituted in lasagna. (In fact, our spicy kale lasagna uses cottage cheese instead of ricotta.) You’ll want to look for small curd cottage cheese to have a texture that resembles ricotta. Or, pass it through a food processor or blender to get a nice smooth texture!
Caveat: Most cottage cheese is saltier than ricotta, which is very bland. So keep in mind you may need to lower any salt added in your recipe.
2. Soft goat cheese (chevre).
The next best substitute for ricotta cheese? Soft goat cheese, also known as chevre. It has a fluffy, creamy texture that is very similar to ricotta. You could use this in a lasagna, or it’s perfect for spreading on toast or dolloping on a pizza like you would with ricotta.
Caveat: Goat cheese has much more flavor than ricotta! Which is a good thing. You’ll probably end up with a tastier recipe! Same as cottage cheese, goat cheese naturally has more salt. Keep in mind you may need to lower any salt that’s added in the recipe.
3. Cream cheese.
The last best substitute for ricotta: cream cheese! Cream cheese has a higher fat content than ricotta, so it will be a bit richer. The texture is also thicker and less fluffy than ricotta cheese. You may want to stir it with a tiny bit of water to get it to loosen up a bit.
Here are a few recipes made more perfect with ricotta cheese:
- Whipped Ricotta Toasts
- Blackberry, Ricotta & Onion Savory Tart
- Ricotta & White Bean Fancy Toast
- Ricotta Dumplings with Pesto
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.