Tofutti Ricotta – review + recipe

Today I was definitively diagnosed as suffering from (daily, yay) migraines. I’m not telling you to solicit pity or anything, just to explain tonight’s dinner (although it also sort of explains why I’ve been quiet lately). I met with my doctor this afternoon to go over the results of my MRI, which was composed of images like this:

…which because I LOVE neuroscience, I found fascinating, but which are also creepy because those are MY eyeballs on stalks. However, we also now know that is my very normal brain, which is a good thing.

Is showing you pictures of my brain too intimate? I think it may be, although people are always showing off their sonograms and frankly I find this much more interesting to look at. Sorry, though. Try not to think of Large Marge every time you see me.

Moving on, having ruled out anything terrifying (other than the eyeballs on stalks) like brain tumors, migraines it is. This is bad because migraines are annoying, but it is GOOD to have an explanation for this annoyance, and GOOD to have medicine, which I can start tomorrow. I was resistant earlier to the idea of taking medicine, but after this past week, I’m ready for it.

So I stopped by Wegmans on my way home this afternoon to pick up what I hope is my miracle cure. While waiting for the prescription to be filled, I wandered the aisles, and guess what I found?? Tofutti Better Than Ricotta Cheese! I had no idea this was a new product! As the label says, wow!

I immediately snatched it up in a flurry of excitement. For occasional use, I’m a big fan of Tofutti’s Better Than Cream Cheese and Better Than Sour Cream, so I had high hopes for the ricotta. However, I was slightly hesitant about it because honestly, although I’ve never made a spectacular homemade “cream cheese”, and Tofutti’s sour cream is more realistic than anything I’ve made as well, I’ve never had any problems making tofu “ricotta”, so I wasn’t sure I needed this product. Nonetheless, I bought it…for you! So I could do a taste test and write a review for YOU. Because I care! I’ve been trying to make extra-healthy dinners lately, but I decided that tonight I would splurge and make something easy (because I have a headache), but decadent and fun (to celebrate because I hope to not have a headache tomorrow! Or the next day!). And educational for my readers!

So the “ricotta” went home with me, for the rather outrageous price of I believe $4.39, in addition to some just-as-processed Gardein Beefless Tips, tinned tomatoes, and pasta – WHITE pasta. That’s right, I’m celebrating.

Unfortunately, I was slightly put off when I opened the ricotta.

It just didn’t look…great.

I crumbled it with my hands. It felt distressingly like cold, damp okara. If any of you have followed my depressing okara trials, you’ll know that I am no fan of okara, and let me tell you something: cold, damp okara is the WORST kind of okara. Worse, the ricotta TASTED a bit like cold, damp okara. The photo may make it look as innocuous as a bowl of crumbled tofu, but it’s actually very grainy and disturbing, whereas crumbled tofu is pleasant and fresh. Those of you who don’t make your own tofu or soy milk may be wondering what the heck okara (the ground-up remains of soybeans that is a by-product of the soymilk-making process) looks, feels, and tastes like. Suffice it to say, it’s a grainy, bland mess. Raw Tofutti ricotta tastes a little bit like what I suspect chalk would taste like if you ground it up and added water with a touch of lemon juice. Slightly tangy wet chalk, in other words.

I became alarmed at this point. My celebratory dinner suddenly seemed in danger of being GROSS. So I decided I would make TWO versions of my dinner, one with the now-frightening Tofutti ricotta and one with my own tofu “ricotta”. I didn’t want to “waste” my good “cotton” (i.e., non-silken) tofu on an experiment, so I took a box of firm silken tofu and whizzed it in a blender with a little salt, 2 or 3 tablespoons of Dragonfly’s Bulk, Dry Uncheese Mix, and about 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice.

While I was blending up my own “ricotta”, behind my back, Senor Gomez was not nearly as skeptical of the Tofutti stuff as I was!

Hahahahaahahaha!!! Oh man, this hilariated* me. He REALLY liked that stuff.

Anyway, so I pre-heated the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, then ground up the Beefless Tips and sauteed them with a small onion and some garlic in a skillet, deglazing with white wine.

I put 28 oz of whole tinned tomatoes into the blender, with a bunch of chopped garlic, frozen basil, and some dried oregano, red chili flakes, and salt, and processed. It’s like a circus in my kitchen at times, by the way.

I also cooked some pasta al dente and drained. I set up two small bakers and put a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of each, then topped with some of the pasta.

Then I added the “beef”.

Next up, the “ricotta”, Toffuti on the left, homemade on the right.

Closeup of the Tofutti, looking suspiciously okara-like.

I added more sauce, pasta, another layer of “ricotta”, and the rest of the sauce.

Another close-up of the Tofutti version:

I covered and baked for 45 minutes. After removing, let sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Here is the dish with MY ricotta:

…and here is the Tofutti ricotta. It MELTED! THANK GOD. Soooo much more appetizing. And actually not gross!

I served myself some of each for a taste comparison. Tofutti on the left, Renae on the right.

The verdict? To my surprise, the Tofutti was okay. Baking it did WONDERS. However, it was just okay. It was not worth anywhere NEAR its $5 retail price (which is absurd). My tofu ricotta cost about $1.75 – and would have been mere pennies had I made the tofu myself – and tasted BETTER than Tofutti. It’s also better for you. To be honest, I had a pretty hard time distinguishing which lump of pasta bake was the Tofutti Ricotta and which was the Renae Ricotta on my plate during the taste test (a.k.a. dinner, which by the way I balanced with a lovely, abundant salad); they tasted and looked similar. Mark said the Tofutti was okay, but when he went back for seconds, he only got more of the Renae Ricotta, which he said was better.

In conclusion, Tofutti ricotta is a useless and extremely over-priced product. I can’t even say it’s a good convenience product because it takes only SECONDS to make a nice, fresh tofu ricotta. You don’t even need the blender: just crumble up some regular tofu with your hands and work in some salt and lemon juice, and nutritional yeast if you want. You also can’t really eat Tofutti ricotta raw, unless you are a glutton for punishment or are a cat.


The reason I find those pictures of Gomez so hilarious is because when I was growing up, I had the Most Awesome Cat in the World, Dracula. Dracula had THE biggest personality you’ll ever find on a cat. I even have a tattoo of him, he was so awesome. Like Gomez, Dracula was all-black. What I find really weird is I actually sometimes CALL Gomez Dracula, which seems so bizarre to me because Dracula died years and years ago and other than their species and color, they have little in common. You’d think I’d accidentally call him Tigger, but I have never done that even once. Anyway, among many, many goofy things Dracula did, if you put a paper lunch bag on the floor, he’d stick his head in it and then walk until he hit a wall. Then he’d back up, change directions, and again walk until he hit a wall. (This makes Dracula sound very stupid, but he wasn’t – he was just…unique.) Evidence:

* a perfectly cromulent word.


  1. radioactivegan Said,

    December 7, 2011 @ 1:08 am

    Thank you for the review of the ricotta cheese. I haven’t seen it in stores, but I probably would have wasted $5 to try it. Also – all your cats are awesome!

  2. Stacy Said,

    December 7, 2011 @ 7:59 am

    These look really nomulent*, but I too have always been skeptical about the need for store-bought vegan ricotta (the tofu versions are so good). Now I’m contemplating taking something similar to a holiday potluck, although I am afeared* of serving nonvegans tofu.

    *also cromulent.

  3. Zoa Said,

    December 7, 2011 @ 8:57 am

    An impressive day for a gal with a migraine! Thanks for the experiments with the Tofutti ricotta–I’m just going to benefit by your opinion and leave it alone, because, as you say, there are all kinds of tofu ricotta recipes out there and every one I’ve tried has been just fine. I’m kind of meh on the Tofutti sour cream as well (strong tofu flavour, might as well just make it yourself out of tofu), but the Better Than Cream Cheese really is, in my opinion.

    Best of luck with your new medicine, glad your brain is normal, and Gomez is hilarious! Funny what cats will eat.

  4. jamie and shawn Said,

    December 7, 2011 @ 12:47 pm

    i wonder if that ricotta tub on gomez’s head would show up in an MRI?? Priceless!! The way the eyeballs pop out is really curious to see…kind of neat though. Best wishes sorting out the migraines, that kind of pain can make things really difficult. πŸ™‚

    I often use okara that I try and play up a bit for ricotta substitute. It’s not quite right but I haven’t experimented much. I am contemplating whether it could be made a little more creamy by mixing in a little creamed cashew…


  5. Isabel Said,

    December 7, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

    This made me laugh oh so hard.

    My Spazz doesn’t stick his head inside things, much to my dismay. He does, however ADORE soy and almond milk. Enough that I have to watch my cereal bowl and be careful of how I recycle the containers. If the lid is off, his nose will be inside the carton.

  6. Jes Said,

    December 7, 2011 @ 7:43 pm

    Oh man, Gomez! What a crazy cat! I love how he dove right into the ricotta, ’cause, you know, cats love cheese. ? Yeah. How awesome. πŸ™‚

    I love the side-by-side comparison and I have to admit, if Tofutti ricotta were available down here, I’d definitely have to buy it and give it a try. I haven’t made tofu ricotta in years…should do it again soon. Ricotta-stuffed french toast is the best. Mmm. I’d nom up your pasta too!

    Glad there’s nothing more major than migraines, though those stink. Hope the medicine works out! And, yes, pictures of brains are much much better than everyone’s uteruses!!

  7. Josiane Said,

    December 7, 2011 @ 10:37 pm

    So sorry to learn about the migraines… I hope the medicine you’ve been given works wonders.

    Thanks for the ricotta review. I’m glad the store-bought one turned out better after baking – it would have been sad to have half of your dinner be disappointing or, worse, disgusting (I totally get what you mean about the cold okara thing!). Still, it’s good to know that homemade fares better in comparison.

  8. Carolyn Said,

    December 15, 2011 @ 8:06 pm

    My deepest sympathy on the migraine issue. I have only had two in my life, both many years ago, and the second of which may have been sinus related. If someone had given me access to a gun during the first incident (I eventually passed out from the pain), there is no telling what might have happened. Hope the new medicine is da bomb.

    On the ricotta issue, now I understand why I have never seen a commercial vegan version. It’s so simple the commercial dudes can’t get it right! (Despite what Gomez thinks…)

  9. Paula Said,

    December 27, 2011 @ 9:56 pm

    Thank you so much for this review! I bought some today and was super excited to try it. When I opened it, I was POSITIVE there was something wrong with it and was actually going to call the store and tell them, but it turns out mine looks exactly like yours. That texture is just so weird. It almost seems like it’s been frozen and thawed. I’m super glad to hear that it melts, but I’m bummed that I can’t eat it on a cracker.

  10. Jessica Said,

    January 8, 2012 @ 4:51 pm

    Came across your webpage through this review. I bought the ricotta a couple weeks ago and was very excited to get it because, before going vegan, I used to love ricotta cheese cookies and wanted to see if I could replicate them. Made them last night and they actually turned out quite good! Other than that, my feelings about it are exactly the same as yours. Not at all good raw, off-putting texture, and definitely not worth the $5 I also spent at Wegmans.

    Thanks for your input about the lasagna. That’s what I planned to use the rest of it for, and since I can’t figure out anything else to do with it, I think I’ll still go ahead with just that “okay” dinner option.

  11. jessie Said,

    January 11, 2012 @ 6:55 pm

    I actually really like the ricotta, i mixed it with nutritional yeast, rosemary, basil, and garlic and used it in lasagna and it was delicious

  12. Nik Said,

    March 30, 2012 @ 10:17 am

    I can also confirm that it is disgusting, like frozen and defrosted then blended tofu with a bit of sugar. Tasteless and watery. I make baked almond feta which is way nicer and more cheese like than this and significantly cheaper. Toffuti used to make amazing ice cream many years ago not everything is watery and icy and weird

  13. Marissa Said,

    July 5, 2012 @ 8:54 am

    I was wondering if you could share how you make your yummy looking ricotta. I’m hoping to make my toddler a vegan lasagna. Also, who made the beefless tips in your lasagna?

    Thank you,

  14. θ—€ε³Άζ˜ŽθΌε­ Said,

    August 15, 2012 @ 6:49 pm

    I wasted my money on it.. though it wasn’t $5, I bought mine for about $3.50. I was shocked by it’s odd taste and texture.. shocked because Tofutti has always made amazing products.. but this, they fell short, in a contradictory BIG way.. I think I’ll have to blend it with tofu mayo or Tofutti better than cream cheese, just so it doesn’t go to waste.. >_<

  15. Darkoshi Said,

    November 11, 2012 @ 2:26 pm

    Thank you for this review. I’m unfamiliar with ricotta, but was intrigued by finding Tofutti’s vegan version, so I bought some. I’m glad I read this before opening the tub, as I wasn’t expecting a dry crumbly product. Based on your review, I think I’ll make a pasta casserole with it too, rather than trying to use it in a dessert. I’m intrigued now as to what melty vegan ricotta will taste like πŸ™‚

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