Ricotta cheese has long been a key element in the creation of the ultimate lasagna. The dish’s creamy texture and mild flavor create layers of lusciousness.
However, there may be instances when you run out of ricotta cheese in your cupboard. There are various substitutes that can match the richness and creaminess that ricotta adds to lasagna.
In this article, we’ll look at some substitutions that will help you to make a delicious lasagna without sacrificing taste or texture.
What Is Lasagna?
Lasagna, as you may know, is an Italian pasta composed in unusually wide and flat sheets. The word is most commonly applied to a dish constructed of stacked layers of lasagna sheets.
The layers of lasagna are typically alternated with ragu, tomato, and meat sauce. It’s made with vegetables, cheese, and a variety of Italian flavors and herbs.
The meal is usually topped with grated cheese, which melts while baking in the oven. It is typically served in square servings as the main course.
What Is Ricotta Cheese?
Ricotta is a smooth and creamy Italian cheese that is frequently used in cooking and baking recipes such as the well-known Italian Ricotta Pie.
Ricotta’s moderate, faintly sweet flavor and creamy texture make it an adaptable ingredient for both savory and sweet dishes.
What Is Ricotta Cheese Made Out Of?
American ricotta is almost always made from cow’s milk whey in the United States, in contrast to Italian ricotta, which is traditionally produced from whey cow, sheep, goat, or Italian water buffalo milk.
While both are low in fat and sodium, the Italian version is naturally sweeter, whilst the American version is saltier and moister.
In either case, the whey is heated to a high temperature, causing the proteins to thicken and curdle. Ricotta cheese is made by draining, salting, and sometimes mixing curds with cream.
To form the curds in the ricotta cheese-making process, whole milk or skim milk is combined with acidic substances such as vinegar or lime juice.
Best Ricotta Cheese Alternative
It’s important to note that how these alternatives function depends on the recipe and how the ricotta is used.
1. Cottage Cheese
What is the finest ricotta cheese substitute? Cottage cheese has a similar flavor and can be used in place of mozzarella in lasagna.
You’ll want to opt for small curd cottage cheese with a texture similar to ricotta. Alternatively, run it through a food processor or blender to achieve a smooth texture!
Warning: Most cottage cheeses are saltier than ricotta, which is extremely bland. So bear in mind that you may need to reduce the amount of salt in your dish.
2. Soft Goat Cheese (chevre)
Chevre is a type of soft goat cheese. It has a fluffy, creamy texture that resembles ricotta. You could use this in a lasagna, or spread it on toast or dollop it on a pizza like you would ricotta.
Caution: Goat cheese has a considerably stronger flavor than ricotta! That’s a nice thing. You’ll almost certainly end up with a tastier recipe!
Goat cheese, like cottage cheese, has a higher natural salt content. Keep in mind that any salt in the recipe may need to be reduced.
3. Cream Cheese
Cream cheese contains more fat than ricotta, therefore, it will be richer.
Ricotta cheese’s texture is likewise thicker and less frothy. You may loosen it up a little by stirring it with a little water.
4. Mascarpone Cheese
Mascarpone is another type of soft Italian cheese. When used in place of ricotta cheese, it has an incredibly creamy texture that works well in lasagna.
Mascarpone cheese is quite similar to cream cheese. However, it is creamier than cream cheese. Mascarpone, like cream cheese, is used in both savory and sweet recipes.
Mascarpone has a tarter flavor than ricotta. So make sure to use it in lasagna recipes with other strong tastes.
Mascarpone, like cream cheese, can be diluted with cream and then used to lasagna. This is Gordon Ramsay’s recipe for mascarpone cheese tiramisu.
5. Fromage Blanc
Fromage blanc is a type of cheese from France. It has a fresh and somewhat acidic flavor and is made from yogurt. It works nicely as a ricotta cheese alternative in lasagna.
Fromage blanc is produced in the same manner as ricotta and cottage cheese. The only difference is that yogurt is used as the basis instead of milk. It also has a nice spreadable consistency and a moderate flavor.
When heated, this cheese does not become too runny, making it ideal for lasagna. The only issue is that it is not very widely distributed. If you do happen to come across some, it can definitely be used in place of ricotta cheese.
Tofu is a dairy-free and vegan substitute for ricotta cheese. Silken and soft tofu variants perform well as ricotta cheese alternatives.
If you want to avoid eating too much dairy, tofu is an excellent option. Tofu comes in a various flavors and textures. However, if you want to use it as a substitute for ricotta, silky or soft tofu works best.
Tofu has a neutral flavor and will readily combine with the rest of the lasagna ingredients. If the tofu is too firm to use, you may need to mix it a little before using it. Here’s how to make vegan peri peri using kale and mustard seeds.
7. Sour Cream
It may sound strange, but some lasagna recipes call for sour cream instead of ricotta. Given the mildness of ricotta, you’d be hard pressed to notice its absence.
You may always add some shredded parmesan to your sour cream to give it a kick if you want!
8. Queso Fresco
Queso fresco is a mild-flavored fresh Mexican cheese. Queso fresco, albeit unconventional, can be used in place of ricotta in lasagna.
Queso fresco has a dry and gritty texture. As a result, it must be blended with additional milk or cream before being used as a substitute for ricotta cheese. However, its mild flavor complements other foods well.
However, queso fresco has a larger fat content than ricotta. As a result, if you’re attempting to lose weight, it might not be the ideal option for you. In a 1:1 ratio, you can substitute queso fresco for ricotta.
Thanks for reading. I hope you find it helpful.