Vegan Lemon Ricotta Pasta | Easy & Healthy

GFGluten Free

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This Vegan Lemon Ricotta Pasta is creamy, cozy, and made with only 9 wholesome ingredients! A perfect one-pot entree for busy weeknights or date night.

Creamy dairy-free pasta…what’s not to love? This Vegan Lemon Ricotta Pasta has been the easy (but still tasty) entree my weeknight menu needs.  I’m willing to bet that after just one bite, you’ll agree with me too 😉

I decided to upgrade my already amazing Vegan Ricotta Cheese recipe with a fresh zippy kick of lemon…and turn it into a sauce! This recipe is the perfect balance between cozy and bright, making it an ideal year-round dinner staple.

Vegan lemon ricotta pasta in grey bowl topped with basil and with fork in bowl

INGREDIENTS FOR LEMON RICOTTA PASTA

ingredients for lemon ricotta pasta in small white bowls on stone background

You only need 9 wholesome and pantry-friendly ingredients to make this recipe:

  • Pasta: pretty much anything goes here, so use your favorite shape! I would recommend using either longer noodles or a shape that holds sauce well. You can easily make this recipe gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta, too.
  • Extra Firm Tofu & Cashews: combine to form the base of our dreamy, creamy dairy-free ricotta! The key here is to soak the cashews in water overnight so they blend up smoothly in the food processor.
  • Garlic: for a little kick – and has there ever been a good pasta sans garlic?
  • Lemon Juice & Zest: for our zippy lemon kick! The lemon juice helps to smooth the ricotta out, and the zest is added right at the end of cooking to help balance out our creamy sauce.
  • Nutritional Yeast: adds a subtle cheesy flavor and some much-needed umami
  • Miso Pasta: adds even more depth of flavor and umami! You can leave it out if you don’t have it, but I think it makes a difference.
  • Arrowroot Powder or Cornstarch: this helps to thicken the sauce and give it more of a stringy/stretchy texture, like it was made with dairy-based cheese!

HOW TO MAKE VEGAN LEMON RICOTTA PASTA

vegan ricotta blended in food processor and large pot of pasta topped with ricotta sauce

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and then cook the pasta to al dente, according to the package instructions.
  2. In the meantime, make the Vegan Ricotta in a food processor
  3. Drain the pasta and reserve 1 cup of the cooking water.
  4. Return the pot to the stove and mix the Ricotta and pasta water over medium-low heat. Simmer until thickened to your liking.
  5. Fold the pasta into the sauce, then serve and enjoy!

bowl of vegan lemon ricotta pasta topped with basil and with lemon wedges on the side

This Lemon Ricotta Pasta has a great cheesy & lemon-y flavor, but otherwise is a blank slate. I like to spice things up with some fresh herbschili flakes, black pepper, and/or sautéed vegetables, like zucchini or spinach. At the end of the day, though, it’s really up to you!

As you can see from the photos, this recipe makes a lot of sauce….which is good for me, because I like things saucy! If you prefer for a thinner coating of sauce, I recommend using 12 ounces of pasta instead of 8 ounces, and/or adding in some of your favorite veggies to spread it out a bit 🙂

bowl of vegan lemon ricotta pasta topped with basil and with lemon wedges on the side

If you’re looking for more easy and satisfying pasta recipes, you’ll also love this Roasted Red Pepper Pasta and this Garlic Cream Sauce Pasta!

Finally, if you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I love seeing your delicious recreations 🙂

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Vegan Lemon Ricotta Pasta

bowl of vegan lemon ricotta pasta topped with fresh basil with lemon wedges and fork on side

This Vegan Lemon Ricotta Pasta is creamy, cozy, and made with only 9 wholesome ingredients! A perfect one-pot entree for busy weeknights or date night.

  • Author: Caitlin Shoemaker
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 Minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2 to 4 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan
Scale

Ingredients

  • 812 ounces (225340 g) gluten-free or regular pasta of choice*
  • 7 ounces (200 g) extra firm-tofu, roughly torn into chunks
  • 1/2 cup (75 g) raw cashews, soaked in water overnight*
  • 2 cloves of garlic (or 1 tsp garlic powder for a milder flavor)
  • Juice and zest of 1 large lemon, divided (I used a Meyer lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon mellow white miso paste (optional, but recommended)
  • 2 teaspoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • Optional toppings: chili flakes, fresh herbs, and/or black pepper

Instructions

  1. Cook the Pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, cook the pasta to al dente, according to the package instructions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta, but do not rinse.
  2. Make the Ricotta: In the meantime, add the tofu, cashews, garlic, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, miso paste, and salt to a food processor. Process until smooth and creamy – about 60 seconds – to form the dairy-free ricotta.
  3. Make the Sauce: Once you have drained the pasta, return the pot to the stove over medium-low heat. Add 3/4 cup of the reserved pasta water to the pot along with the arrowroot powder; quickly and rapidly whisk the powder into the sauce until no clumps remain. Then, add the ricotta and mix until evenly incorporated; if the sauce is too thick for your liking, add the additional 1/4 cup of pasta water. Simmer for 3-5 minutes, until slightly thickened.
  4. Serve: Add the lemon zest to the pot and mix into the sauce, then add the pasta and fold into the sauce. Add more salt to taste, if necessary. Mix until all of the pasta is evenly coated, then divide onto serving plates and top as desired. Serve warm; leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, but the sauce will thicken once refrigerated.

Notes

  • Pasta: If you prefer your pasta to be well-sauced, I recommend using 8 ounces of pasta; if you prefer a thinner sauce, use 12 ounces to spread it out a little more.
  • Cashews: It’s best to soak the cashews overnight, otherwise they won’t blend as well in the food processor. If you forget you can either soak the cashews in boiling water for 1 hour or place the cashews in water and microwave for 2 minutes, then let sit for 1 hour. Depending on your food processor the final sauce may not be as creamy.

Keywords: vegan ricotta pasta, healthy vegan pasta, vegan cream pasta, vegan lemon pasta, healthy ricotta pasta

 

About the Author

Hey there, I’m Caitlin! I make easy-to-follow, wholesome, and budget-friendly vegan recipes that are mostly gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I’m also an avid yogi, love the great outdoors, am chocolate-obsessed, and enjoy eating almond butter straight off of the spoon.

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Comments

  1. I just made this recipe and I am BLOWN AWAY. So rich and creamy, with the perfect tang from the lemon juice and zest. Ultimate comfort meal and satiation. It was my first time using soaked cashews and I am a total convert now. I used whole wheat fusilli and added peas, spinach and tomatoes along with an extra clove of garlic and lots of black pepper. It totally exceeded my expectations and is 10/10. Will definitely be making this again!

    1. We would definitely recommend having the cashew, without it the cream aspect will be much more loose and the cashews provide an extra natural fattiness. That being said you COULD use just tofu if you’re fine with a loose consistency.

  2. Great recipe! I switched out the cashews with a 2 part rice milk, 1 part olive oil mixture and it came together really well. Also added a few more cloves of garlic and some spinach. Super tasty, and surprisingly tart from the lemon.

    1. Ooh those sound like good additions/swaps! Extra garlic is always nice, but some times have to remember that not everyone loves garlic as much as us!

  3. Made this for myself and my roommates tonight. It was so good! Added freshly chopped basil and a good amount of cracked pepper. Definitely going to continue making this!

  4. I think I’ll make this for my special Saturday night dinner. Though, I am going to make it with steamed broccoli & cauliflower and fresh basil/ parsley. Pasta is my kryptonite, I love it, and could eat it every night, but I am trying to cut down on carbs as the quarantine has added extra pounds on me.

    1. With broccoli and cauliflower sounds awesome! Hope you’re doing well through the quarantine!