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Creamy “Ricotta” Dip

gluten free ricotta dip

Last night I made this delicious vegan “ricotta” dip for my parents who are in town visiting us.  The boys and I are having a blast with them, though I am having an especially great time, since I have extra mouths to feed, which means more guinea pigs to test my creations!

Luckily, the parents (and husband) approved of, and devoured, this tangy vegan cheese dip, based on a recipe from the phenomenal book Entertaining in the Raw by Matthew Kenney.

Creamy Ricotta Dip


  • 1 cup pine nuts, soaked overnight
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 scallion (green and white parts, remove and discard tip), minced
  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
  1. Rinse pine nuts in cold water; then discard both soaking and rinsing water
  2. Place pine nuts in a food processor, along with lemon juice and water
  3. Process for 1-2 minutes, scraping down side of processor frequently, until smooth
  4. Process in scallions, thyme and salt, until texture of ricotta
  5. Remove from food processor to a serving dish
  6. Serve with your favorite dipping veggies

I had a bit of a challenge getting this mixture to process; if that happens to you, just add a bit more liquid (lemon juice or water) very sparingly until mixture blends more easily and keep scraping down the mixture into the center of the food processor.

In addition to an abundance of cooking and baking, a lot is going on over here and I’m trying to keep up!  Below is a list of interviews and appearances that I have coming up in the next few weeks to promote the release of my book, The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook.

If you’re in the area of any of these events and would like to say “hello,” tune in or drop by!

posted on August 14, 2009, 20 comments

  1. What an interesting idea! You aren’t afraid to try anything!

  2. Laurie Buchanan

    I have gone to Amazon.com to order your book and I just wanted to say that the 3 pages of the book that are on that website make it look really great!

  3. Wonderful! I love pine nuts.
    I wish they were used more often in raw/vegan recipes…

  4. Julia

    I make “cashew cheese” much the same way and it’s delicious! I will definitely give pine nuts a try.

  5. gfe-gluten free easily @ glutenfreeeasily.com

    Great recipe, Elana! I’m so excited that you will be speaking at the BlogHer Food conference in San Francisco as I will be attending–can’t wait to meet you! :-)


    P.S. My Honeyville almond flour arrived today. I can get busy now. LOL

  6. donna

    i just got the book and love it! i already made several items from it and am already addicted to the drop biscuits!

  7. Katrina (gluten free gidget) @ glutenfreegidget.blogspot.com

    Would this work in a lasagna recipe as the ricotta substitute?

  8. Dena

    This looks great! I’ll look for pine nuts in the shuk/farmer’s market this week.
    I faced a challenge that Shabbat — my cousin came for lunch, and he’s a no meat/fish/cheese guy, and with my daughter being GF, I had to rethink how I cook for Shabbat! So we did a variety of cold salads, including your zucchini salad, and it was a hit! I loved how fresh the zucchini salad was. Simple yet full of flavor. Thanks!

  9. Amy Green - Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free @ simplysugarandglutenfree.com

    I have seen so many people using nuts as a base substitute for dairy – I’ve never tried it because I can eat dairy but I think I might give this a spin. Sounds good.

  10. Karyl

    Hm, I bet this recipe would substitute well for the ricotta in lasagne! I’ve been dying to make gluten free lasagne but hadn’t found anything to take the place of the ricotta. I’ll let you know how it turns out when I try it.

  11. ooh, I bet that is tasty. I will have to give it a go sometime soon. thanks!

  12. marie

    Hello there Elana,
    I think this dip is great. Do your readers know that Pine Nuts or Pinon as they are called in spanish are the best, best, best from New Mexico? I’m sure you can get organic. When they are in season, fly, walk and run to get them. When I was a kid we lived in S.F. and my parents’ family would send boxes of pinon, we would crack them and if we could resist eating them (usually a handful were eaten on the spot), my mom would soak them in water and some salt, then roast them in the oven for a wonderful snack. She used them often in empanadas (turnovers) with raisins (and sometimes some type of protein). A dip sounds wonderful. My question is, “Why not call it Pine Nut Dip, or Pinon Dip? It sounds so much more exotic. The n in pinon has an ~ on top and has this sound nny so pinnyon. (I hope I don’t sound condescending for all those whose spanish is much better than mine! If I do, I apologize). Anyway, I’d like to try it at a party and see what happens. I’ll let you know. Thanks and congrats on the book! Peace, Marie

  13. Kathleen

    Just made this dip, excellent!! A keeper for sure. Thanks.

  14. Tyler

    This also works great if you add 1 tsp maybe even less of Miso and or a few drops of umi vinegar or paste, made from umiboshi plums. You can get chick pea miso at healthfood stores. It adds a cheesy flavor!

  15. Lisa C

    Made the dip last night…excellent! I recently found you searching for Dairy free recipes. I am nursing and my son has a milk and soy protein allergy. I am a huge creamy and cheesy dip person. This was so good, of course I added some fresh garlic to it:) I was thinking of taking the concept and turning it into a sweet version for a canoli or cheesecake type dessert:) I took a little of this dip and threw it on some chicken with some pasta sauce! So good! Everything I have tried of yours is delicious! Thank you, thank you:)

  16. Linda Germanetti

    Whole Foods sells a product…”Hail Merry Miracle Tarts”….raw oils, vegan & gluten free. My favorite is the Persian Lime. Although the ingredients are listed, I do not have your expertise in trying to make this on my own. Would love it if you had a similar recipe. Thank you so very much as you have made my life so much better!

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Comments are greatly appreciated! Unfortunately Elana is not able to answer substitution questions, as the only way to know if something works is to test it, and she does not provide this service. If you have a substitution question, please don't hesitate to leave a comment here, and another reader may jump in to answer. ↑ back to top