If you've ever found yourself all outta ricotta on lasagna night, then you know the struggle is real! But the next time you need a substitute for ricotta cheese, you'll know just what to do. These five ideas will save your supper!
So many of our favorite recipes call for ricotta cheese, but it's not something we always have handy! Since we don't make multiple trips to the grocery store each week, we've learned a few workarounds, and we're ready to drop some knowledge.
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Not only are we about to share five easy ricotta cheese substitutes, but we've got some storage tips that will help you keep your cheeses fresh for a whole lot longer! Sound good? In queso emergency, we've got your back! Here we go, you guys.
3 GENIUS STORAGE HACKS THAT WILL KEEP YOUR CHEESE FRESH
If you have a hard time keeping your cottage or ricotta cheese from going bad before the expiration date, we feel you, girl! Here are three hacks to try:
- Store It Upside Down – Here's a handy little trick! Flip your container upside down, so the lid gets a better seal. It will help your cheese last several days longer.
- Freeze It – While freezing can alter the texture a bit, you can freeze your cheese for up to two months in an airtight container! If you're concerned about the consistency, make a few extra batches of your recipe so you can use up all that cheese, and then freeze those meals. Freezer meals for the win, you guys!
- Transfer It to A New Container – The less air that gets to your cheese, the better! So, if you've got less than half a container left, transfer it to something smaller.
Hopefully, these tips will help you keep your ricotta in stock, but just in case, we have five substitutes to share. Keep on reading for a few of our favorite options!
CREAM CHEESE IS THE PERFECT SUBSTITUTE FOR RICOTTA CHEESE
Oh, cream cheese, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways! We're on a mission to get cream cheese the respect it deserves. This unsung hero of the dairy aisle is nothing short of an MVP. And it makes an amazing substitute for ricotta cheese. You can soften it in the microwave or on the stovetop before adding it to your dish.
Because the texture is so similar, you can use it in a 1:1 ratio. But we've got a tip that you have to try! Pick up a flavored cream cheese to add to your recipe. Garden veggie or garlic and herb cream cheese can take your favorite pasta bake from good to great. In fact, you may never even want to go back to using plain ‘ole ricotta!
TRY USING GOAT CHEESE IN PLACE OF RICOTTA
Don't even ask us to pick a favorite cheese. It's just not fair! But if we were pressed to make a top ten list, goat cheese would make the cut! Not only is it full of flavor, but it's a lot more versatile than you may think. You can add it to salads, bread, pasta, sandwiches, fruit plates, and SO many other dishes.
It's also an excellent substitute for ricotta cheese! A one-to-one ratio works fine, but we need to warn you: watch the salt. Ricotta is super mild, but goat cheese packs the flavor. Cut back on the salt you add so your goat cheese doesn't overpower the dish.
USE COTTAGE CHEESE AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR RICOTTA CHEESE
We know what you might be thinking. Some of our kids aren't big fans of cottage cheese either! But when you're using it as part of a recipe rather than the star of the show, most people don't even notice.
Cottage cheese is pretty flavorless on its own, so it takes on the yumminess of your dish while adding a nice texture. Using it as a ricotta substitute is easy peasy! Just swap it in using a one-to-one ratio. It works great in pasta or on pizza.
NO CHEESE AT ALL? TRY SOUR CREAM AS A RICOTTA SUBSTITUTE
If you were planning to make a big batch of lasagna with ricotta, here's a crazy idea. Use sour cream instead! Wait. What?!
Yup! You can do that! We know it sounds weird, but some lasagna recipes call for sour cream instead of ricotta. It actually makes for a moist, creamy, dreamy pasta night. Since ricotta is so mild, you won't even notice the missing ingredient, but if you'd like, you can stir some shredded Parmesan into your sour cream.
GREEK YOGURT TO THE RESCUE
Just like sour cream, Greek yogurt works as a substitute in a pinch! Because the textures are so different, we'd suggest using slightly less. For example, if your recipe calls for one cup of ricotta, use 3/4 cup of Greek yogurt.
And whatever you do, make sure to use the plain kind! That vanilla flavor will sneak up on ya. And not in a good way. Trust us; we know this from experience.
Whenever possible, we recommend using a cheesy alternative for ricotta when cooking, but sour cream and Greek yogurt are both a-okay in a pinch! And they're great in baked goods. Necessity is the mother of invention, right?!
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE RICOTTA SUBSTITUTE?
We hope these tips and tricks help you save a supper or two! Just remember, shop your shelves before you place that next grocery pickup order.
Do you have a favorite substitute for ricotta cheese? Comment below and let us know!
Looking for more handy ingredient substitutes?
- Out of rice? Check out this rice substitute list!
- What can you substitute for eggs? We've got not one, not two, but 10 ideas!
- Here are four brown sugar substitutes to try.