Substitutes for Ricotta Cheese

Mary and Brenda Maher

By Brenda & Mary

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You know that creamy, slightly grainy magic that only Ricotta cheese can deliver? That’s why people often go, ‘Oh no, there goes my recipe!’ whenever they run out of Ricotta. But guess what? That’s not the end of the line!

Ricotta Cheese

There are plenty of Ricotta cheese alternatives out there that can still ace those amazing cake flavors. Let’s explore them together and keep your recipes rockin’!

Consideration Before Using Substitution for Ricotta Cheese

Who doesn’t want a swap that plays nicely with the dish’s style and won’t throw off other ingredients?

So, when subbing in for Ricotta cheese, think about the cheese’s fat levels, texture, and flavor. Those Ricotta cheese replacements might bring varying thicknesses or stronger tastes that shake up your sweet recipe! 

And do not forget to observe how they handle heat. Some types of cheese, such as burrata, brie, or camembert, might not do well on the stovetop or during long baking. 

What Can I Use In Place Of Ricotta Cheese? 15 Amazing Options

Cottage cheese delivers a chunky texture, perfect for pancakes or quick bread; remember to give it a blend for smooth textures. Meanwhile, a bit tangier but creamy, Greek yogurt works like magic in dips or baked treats, an easy one-to-one sub for Ricotta shortages. 

Cream cheese is ideal for rich frostings but might overpower delicate cakes. Tangy sour cream nails bakes or dips, especially fun twists like bundt coffee cake. And Crème Fraîche – with a less tangy flavor than sour cream – jazzes up sauces or desserts. 

Last but not least, try tofu for honeycomb pies, goat cheese for savory layers, and mascarpone for indulgent desserts. Get wild with all these flavorful swaps to step up your baking game!

1. Cottage Cheese

Cottage Cheese

This chunky, moist cheese is often labeled boring and just meant for health freaks. Well, surprise, surprise! Cottage cheese is now stepping up its versatility, just like Ricotta. It’s got similar moisture content and subtle taste, a fantastic swap for Ricotta in pancakes, vegan lasagna recipes, muffins, quick bread – you name it! And hey, bonus points for the protein punch it packs.

Sure, I must say curd cottage cheese is a tad chunkier and saltier than Ricotta. But fear not! A quick spin in the food processor or blender (just blend or pulse on low) can fix the texture immediately. Keep this baby for your savory recipes, and you’re golden!

2. Greek Yogurt

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt might have a bit more tang, but its grainy texture is spot on as a Ricotta replacement! Think dips or baked goodies like sheet cakes or pancakes; this yogurt’s got your back.

And here’s the cool part: Greek yogurt is strained after production and is much thicker than your regular yogurt. That makes it a boss for that extra creamy touch, especially for saucy dishes.

Already got half the Ricotta you need? Then mix half the amount in Greek yogurt, and you’re good to go! But if you have totally run out of Ricotta, start with 3/4 cup of Greek yogurt for each cup of Ricotta you’re missing in your recipe. Easy fix, right?

3. Cream Cheese

Cream Cheese

Check out this guy; it’s much creamier and has a smoother consistency than Ricotta! I usually swirl it into a cozy dish or melt this fluffy cheese right into the frosting for that extra richness. A true hero whenever you need a strong flavor kick!

But hold up: cream cheese might not steal the show as a big blob in soft cakes due to the extra tang. Oh, and if your recipe’s already tart with juice or lemon zest, go easy on this cheese when using it as a Ricotta cheese substitute. It’s all about that flavor balance, you know?

4. Sour Cream

Sour Cream

As an alternative to Ricotta cheese, sour cream already has that tangy zing, so a little goes a long way!

Bake or dip with it, just like you would with yogurt. But hold off on layering the cream in your classic dishes unless you’re cooking up some fun twist like a bundt coffee cake! Trust me, this trick will earn you all the bragging rights with your family.

5. Crème Fraiche

Crème Fraiche

A creamy, spreadable delight that’s like the French cousin of sour cream; yep, that’s crème fraîche for you!

This one’s richer, more fat, and less tangy than our usual sour cream. And the fun part? You can switch them out equally when craving that fancy texture boost. Whether thickening the sauces or whipping up a decadent cake or pie, crème fraîche is your ultimate weapon. 

6. Silken or Firm Tofu

Firm Tofu

Surprise alert: tofu’s now stepping into the Ricotta game! Yep, it’s a protein powerhouse and a total flavor sponge. Grab the silken tofu, drain it, then give it a whirl in the food processor; that’s your ticket to a wonderful replacement for Ricotta cheese!

There are loads of vegan Ricotta recipes online that show tofu some serious appreciation. Dump that mixture into a lasagna cake or your favorite honeycomb pasta pie, and voila! You’ve got a new star in town. 

7. Fresh Goat Cheese

Fresh Goat Cheese

How about a tasty chevre, like goat cheese? It has a slightly mild flavor compared to those aged or soft-ripened cheeses but can still do the trick in an instant!

Just a heads up, though: this guy’s got some serious saltiness going on, so I often reserve it for savory dishes – perfect for something like meatball-layered cakes. Oh, and to keep that balance, remember to cut back a bit on the salt elsewhere in your sweet dish, if any!

8. Mascarpone


Mascarpone is an amazing swap for any dessert recipe. Cheesecake, tiramisu, and cannoli, you name it! Trust me, this creamy dream brings a subtle sweetness that’ll take your guests’ experience to a whole new level. 

No worries if it’s a bit on the thicker side. Just add a splash of cream and keep whisking until it hits that desired texture of Ricotta cheese! 

9. Queso Fresco

Queso Fresco

You certainly don’t want to miss this mild, tangy taste. Queso fresco cheese is awesome for creamy, cozy toppings and fillings! But remember to keep it on the savory side, especially when your dish has a spicy kick. 

And since this Ricotta alternative brings quite a lot of saltiness, I usually ease up on other seasonings in my recipe. Plus, if your dish needs a bit of a moist texture, a splash of water should do the trick. 

10. Other Italian Cheeses

Italian Cheeses

You know, since Ricotta’s Italian, using another Italian cheese as an excellent substitute for Ricotta cheese isn’t a wild idea,  especially for a dish like ravioli bake! 

Now, if you swap some harder cheese (e.g., Parmesan), you might need to tinker with the amounts and how you work it in. But when it comes to softer, milky cheeses like burrata or mozzarella, you have my words: they’re a solid pick!

Sometimes, mozzarella’s stretchiness or the firm texture of shaved hard cheeses does need a little ratio switcheroo. But hey, relax! Unless it is a complex baking type of recipe, cooking is more like an art than a science. Just get creative and adjust as you go. 

11. Feta Cheese

Feta Cheese

While Feta isn’t a total Ricotta doppelganger in baking, it can be a surprisingly perfect choice in certain situations. After all, both cheeses have a crumbly texture that gives them quite a similar vibe in baked dishes! They also bring excess moisture to the party that makes your treats go all nice and soft. 

And that famous Feta’s saltiness? It can add a delightful savory twist, kinda like how a pinch of salt can amp up the overall sweetness in a variety of dishes.

But remember, Feta’s got much more zing! It’s much saltier than Ricotta, which leans toward mild sweetness with a hint of tang. Not to mention, Ricotta usually comes from leftover whey in cow’s, sheep’s, or goat’s milk, while Feta is mainly from sheep’s milk or a mix with goat’s milk. That’s where their flavor and texture differences pop up!

So what to do? Here’s the trick: go easy with Feta and use about ¾ of the required Ricotta in your favorite recipe to tame its robust, cheesy flavor. You should also keep an eye on the sugar levels to balance that extra saltiness. Crumble the cheese up to spread its flavor better! 

Only pick cooked recipes where Feta’s tangy, salty notes can play well in the game, especially when paired with vibrant fruits or savory ingredients.

12. Fromage Blanc

Fromage Blanc

Fromage Blanc and Ricotta are like baking buddies; these guys are so similar that they can easily stand in for each other during certain baking adventures. 

Both have this gentle sweetness that plays nice with other flavors in baked treats. And their soft, spreadable texture? Perfect for blending into pastries if you ask me, and they also keep goodies like cheesecakes moist and tasty!

The fun part? Fromage Blanc loves mixing itself up with herbs and spices. No wonder it’s a hit in savory stuff like pastries or quiches; talk about a versatile cheese!

Still, while they both have that hint of tanginess, Fromage Blanc can sometimes be a bit saltier than Ricotta, depending on how it’s made. Also, Fromage Blanc tends to have less fat content, so your baked goods might feel a bit lighter and less creamy.

That’s why you sometimes need to tweak other wet ingredients slightly to get the best texture. And (depending on your recipe), do not forget to adjust the sugar to balance out Fromage Blanc’s tanginess. 

Want it a bit thicker? A touch of cornstarch or another thickener in your Fromage Blanc should do the job just fine.

13. Buttermilk Cheese


Buttermilk and Ricotta are both creamy cheeses that bring their own flavor to the baking table. 

But I have a confession: buttermilk cheese cranks up the tanginess a lot (kinda like Feta) compared to Ricotta’s more mellow vibe, and this zesty kick can really shake up the taste of your bake! So you should swap only about two-thirds of buttermilk cheese for Ricotta in your recipe.

Now, where does buttermilk cheese really shine? In savory bakes! Think pastries, quiches, and even focaccia; that tangy punch should pair beautifully with the ingredients to create layers of flavor.

And let me spill on a fun twist: in cheesecakes or Ricotta pies with bold spices like ginger or cinnamon, buttermilk cheese can add this super cool flavor contrast and give your sweet dessert a whole new vibe. Plus, this versatile ingredient will be your ticket to that extra richness if you’re after a lusher, more decadent cake! 

14. Clabber Cream

Clabber Cream

Clabber cream has a cool backstory: it’s a farmhouse gem born from the old tradition of preserving extra milk. They’d let the milk sour naturally with lactic acid bacteria, scoop off the cream, and let it thicken up. 

No wonder the cream gets that soft texture similar to Ricotta but a tad heavier and denser. Oh, that special taste! Super creamy with a distinct type of tanginess from the lactic acid fermentation. This tang can vary depending on how it’s made and aged, though; sometimes, it’s a subtle kick, and other times, it’s more in your face.

In the kitchen, this guy is a very versatile option. It can stand in for Ricotta cheese, sour cream, and even crème fraîche in certain baked recipes! I can mix it into pancake batter, whip it into cheesecake fillings for that extra oomph, or plop it on fruit tarts to add some creamy consistency.

Can’t find clabber cream at the store? No problem! Mix up some sour cream with heavy cream and thicken it a bit with gelatin or cornstarch. Trust me, the mixture will settle right away. 

15. Pot Cheese

Pot Cheese

Pot cheese, a delightful soft cheese, packs a crumbly texture and a gentle, slightly sweet taste. 

What makes it a star in the cheese world? Unlike its aged versions, pot cheese is born from fresh curds separated from milk and given a gentle heating treatment. This process retains the milk’s moisture and keeps things oh-so-fresh. And just like Ricotta, pot cheese can come from cow’s, sheep’s, or goat’s milk, each bringing its own unique flavors and textures to the table! 

This creamy cheese usually works wonders in desserts like cheesecakes and cupcakes. And wait, there’s even more: it’s a delightful spread for bread or crackers, pairs beautifully with herbs for a tasty snack, and also plays a superstar role in savory pastries! 

My quick tip: Go for the freshest pot cheese you can find. Look for that subtle milky scent and steer clear of any funky discoloration or extra liquid! 


These 15 alternatives to Ricotta aren’t always spot-on replicas, but they’ll definitely do the job in most cases. Just remember, if your substitute packs a punchier flavor, dial it down a bit. And to keep that recipe balance, feel free to adjust the sugar, salt, and other essential ingredients however you like!

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Mary and Brenda Maher

Mary & Brenda Maher

Mary & Brenda Maher, are the founders of Cake Girls, a Chicago-based online baking shop specializing in cake supplies, party decor, and DIY cake tutorials. They are known for their elaborate and artistic cake creations, which have been featured on the Food Network Challenge and in a reality show, Amazing Wedding Cakes.

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