Are you dying to cook a delicious lasagna but don’t have any ricotta? Don’t worry! In this article, we will show you 10 amazing ricotta cheese substitutes that will have your lasagna tasting better than ever!
What are the best ricotta cheese substitutes for lasagna? The best ricotta cheese substitutes for lasagna include:
- Cream Cheese
- Cottage Cheese
- Goat Cheese
- Pot Cheese
- Fromage Blanc
- Bechamel Sauce
What to Look For When Finding Ricotta Cheese Substitutes for Lasagna?
Finding the right ricotta cheese substitute for your lasagna dish can be tricky, especially if you are not sure about the taste and texture of other cheeses. To help you out, we have come up with a guide you can use to ensure you find the ideal ricotta cheese substitute for your best lasagna!
- Taste – Ricotta has a slightly creamy taste with hints of sweetness paired with a lightness and a sprinkling of salt. When picking a ricotta cheese substitute, avoid very strong tasting cheeses and overly salty ones.
- Aroma – Ricotta is quite distinctive to many other cheeses as it has little to no odor. It mostly smells of milk. When looking for substitutes, don’t be afraid to smell some different cheeses until you find one that matches ricotta’s scent profile.
- Texture – Ricotta is a very soft cheese filled with moisture. It also has a lovely creamy texture. Due to this, you can immediately forget about using any hard or semi-hard cheeses such as parmesan or mozzarella as a substitute.
- Consistency – Ricotta is very smooth, but it still has a slightly grainy texture. You need to find a soft and smooth cheese but try to avoid cheeses with a buttery consistency.
- Price – Ricotta costs $2.25 per pound, so if you want your lasagna to cost the same, make sure you find a cheese that is in a similar price bracket!
If you consider every single one of the above aspects, you should be able to easily find amazing ricotta substitutes that will make your next lasagna the talk of the town. However, if you don’t have hours to spend analyzing cheeses (we don’t blame you), check our section below, where we share picks for the best ricotta cheese substitutes for lasagna!
10 Most Delicious Ricotta Cheese Substitutes in Lasagna
No ricotta in your fridge? No worries! To save the day and still cook a knockout lasagna, simply substitute ricotta for any of these amazing cheeses!
1. Cream Cheese
If you are looking for a ricotta substitute, you can’t go wrong with cream cheese! Cream cheese is an ideal substitute for ricotta because it is soft, very fresh, and has a rich milkiness. Cream cheese also has a smooth consistency but is quite fattier than ricotta due to the extra added cream. As cream cheese is extremely thick, you will have to use more of it than if you used ricotta.
Also, you may want to consider using a fat-reduced version so it more closely resembles the fat content of ricotta. At $3.92 per pound, cream cheese is a bit more pricey than ricotta, but luckily there are discount versions. For example, at Walmart, you can pick up cream cheese for $2 per pound!
2. Cottage Cheese
We love to substitute ricotta with cottage cheese when making lasagna! Cottage cheese is extremely similar to ricotta because it is made using the same process (heating, cooling, and hanging). While cottage cheese does have a similar texture to ricotta, it tends to be significantly juicier and a bit rougher.
Cottage cheese is also moister than ricotta. If you are looking for cottage cheese that most closely resembles ricotta, we recommend picking a medium-textured version. The great thing about cottage cheese is that it is extremely affordable, and you can find great options for $2.5 per pound.
Mascarpone is an Italian cheese that shares many similarities with cream cheese. Mascarpone is used in a wide variety of recipes and is often used in place of many different soft cheeses just like ricotta. If you are looking for soft and creamy cheese, we recommend Mascarpone.
Remember that this cheese is quite a bit creamier and thicker than ricotta, so you may have to thin it to get your lasagna just right! At $7 per pound, Mascarpone is not cheap, but if you want that your lasagna to be filled with super yummy creamy goodness, it is worth it!
4. Goat Cheese
Goat cheese is soft and creamy with a nice milky consistency, just like ricotta. Goat cheese is produced in a similar fashion to ricotta which is why they have a similar texture. If you think cream cheese is too thick for lasagna, then goat cheese is a great option as its consistency is closer to ricotta.
However, please be aware that goat cheese has a unique flavor due to the use of goat milk, but this flavor is muted when used in a dish like lasagna. To ensure your lasagna tastes like usual, remember to only use very fresh goat cheese! As goat cheese is slightly exotic, it does come with a higher price tag; expect to pay around $9 per pound.
Do you want to make an incredibly tasty vegan lasagna but don’t know what to replace ricotta with? Why not try tofu? Tofu is made from soy milk which is pressed and formed into white blocks. Tofu can be very soft and creamy, just like ricotta! When picking the best tofu, remember to stick to the silken or soft version and head to your local Asian supermarket to find high-end options. Tofu is a great budget ricotta substitute option, as you can find this Asian superfood for $2.5 per pound.
6. Pot Cheese
Another great ricotta substitute that shares many similarities with cottage cheese is pot cheese! Pot cheese tends to be creamier and less coarse than cottage cheese, making it more similar to ricotta. This cheese tends to be dryer and crumblier than ricotta but overall has a similar taste and consistency. The only downside to pot cheese is that sometimes it can be difficult to find in the shop. A pound of pot cheese costs around $6 per pound, making it a bit pricier than ricotta.
Do you want to make your lasagna a bit more exotic? Then why not switch out ricotta and add some Paneer? Paneer is India’s answer to cottage cheese but it is firmer and drier than classic cottage cheese. Paneer’s firmness is because the cheese is cooked at a higher temperature and pressed. To ensure that this Indian cheese matches the same texture as ricotta, you will need to blend it, but thanks to its neutral flavor, it is an effective substitute. Paneer costs around $7 per pound, depending on the brand you go for.
8. Fromage Blanc
Fromage what? Yes, you heard it right, Fromage Blanc! This French cheese is made from cow’s milk and is an extremely young cheese which is why it has similar text to sour cream; however, no cream is added. Fromage Blanc is a smooth and soft cheese with a bit of a citrus taste. This cheese is fine to throw into your lasagna as it doesn’t become runny when heated. Fromage Blanc is not cheap as it costs around $20 per pound and is quite hard to find in a local grocery shop.
No ricotta lying around? Why not try ricotta’s cousin Requesón! Requesón is a Portuguese cheese made from whey which is heated, cooled, and strained. Requesón is always made with high-quality milk and salt, giving it a delicately creamy and milky taste. This Portuguese cheese has a soft, moist, grain texture, just ricotta. Requesón is very versatile and can be made from sheep’s, cow’s, or even goat’s milk! Requesón costs $3.5 per pound, which is only slightly higher than ricotta.
10. Bechamel Sauce
What if there was a way to make your lasagna extra creamy and delicious without using ricotta? Bechamel sauce is your answer! Béchamel sauce is a staple of French cooking, and many cooks prefer to use it in their lasagna alongside or instead of ricotta. Bechamel consists of butter, flour, and milk. If you want your Bechamel sauce to have an extra cheese taste, you can simply grate some cheddar and melt it in to create a to-die-for white sauce.
When picking a substitute for ricotta for lasagna, you need to look at taste, texture, price, and consistency. Based on these factors, the clear best ricotta cheese substitutes for lasagna are cream cheese, cottage cheese, and Mascarpone. All of these cheeses are soft and creamy like ricotta, have that fresh milk taste, and can all be purchased for the same price as ricotta. If you use any of the substitutes from our article, we guarantee your next lasagna dish will be a big hit with your family!