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Spaghetti Marinara with Cashew Ricotta (V + GF)

This is absolutely one of my all-time favorite comfort foods on planet earth. This vegan ricotta cheese is the star of the show. I was experimenting with lasagna last fall after I got back from Italy. I was craving some of that heavenly Italian food (FYI it is quite simple to eat vegan in Italy) and I figured I would try to make some ricotta for my lasagna.

So, then it was born… this seriously magical cashew ricotta cheese. Then comes my other love, marinara sauce. Sauce is VITAL to life. This is a super simple marinara recipe and you can whip it out in no time. It all comes together when you place these yummies on a bed of pasta.

Also, it’s totally acceptable to have a third bowl.

vegan spaghetti marinara with cashew ricotta cheese

vegan cashew ricotta cheese on a spoon

Up close and personal image of your new love, cashew ricotta. :)

Spaghetti Marinara with Cashew Ricotta (V + GF)

Time: 1 hr.

Yield: roughly 5-6 servings

Cashew ricotta:

2 c cashews

2 cloves garlic

1 T nutritional yeast

1 T dried basil

1 tsp salt

Juice of 1 small lemon

2-3 T non-dairy milk


½ onion

4 cloves garlic

1 T olive oil

1 (14.5 oz. can) diced tomatoes

1 (14.5 oz. can) tomato sauce

2 T tomato paste

1 heaping tablespoon Italian seasoning

Salt and pepper to taste

1 package of pasta (You can use gluten-free pasta or whatever your favorite is)


  1. Cover cashews in water and bring to boil in saucepan. Turn off heat and cover. Let sit for 20 min before draining off water.

  2. Meanwhile, dice up onion and mince your garlic. Set aside two extra garlic cloves for your ricotta.

  3. Bring a saucepan to medium heat on your stovetop. Add the olive oil, chopped half onion and the 4 cloves of garlic to your saucepan. Cook until translucent, stirring occasionally – about 5 minutes. Add canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, and salt & pepper. Turn heat down to low and cover for 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally.

  4. Bring large pot of water to boil and prepare your pasta as directed on package.

  5. While your pasta is cooking, you can finish the cashew ricotta.

  6. Drain water off of cashews if you haven’t already and place them in a blender. Add the remaining 2 cloves of garlic, nutritional yeast, dried basil, salt, lemon juice and 2 TB non-dairy milk. Use your blenders tampering tool and pulse the mixture until it is nice and combined, but still slightly chunky and coarse (roughly 30 seconds). You can add another tablespoon of non-dairy milk if it seems like it needs more moisture.

  7. Drain your pasta and serve with heaps of your delicious marinara and a big dollop of your cashew ricotta cheese!


This is a really thick cheese. The tampering tool that is usually included with a high-speed blender is very helpful with the cashew ricotta. If you don’t have a tamper, you can use a spatula and just scrape down the sides every few seconds.

You can also use a food processor just the same!

I have found that the cashew ricotta is best when it is not reheated or microwaved. It can get a little dried out. For leftovers, just serve it cold right over the heated pasta and marinara.

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