Ricotta Salata is an Italian cheese made of sheep’s milk. It is made by salting, pressing, and drying regular ricotta. This process makes a loose and creamy texture and provides a thicker, wheel-formed cheese called Ricotta Salata.
Ricotta Salata appears as an ingredient in many Italian dishes because it is more practical to use than regular ricotta. Due to its texture, you can crumble, grate and slice it which allows you to create many different kinds of dishes from it. You can also keep it longer than ricotta.
This Italian cheese gives your food an excellent and unique taste. However, outside of Italy, it can be hard to find Ricotta Salata. But does it mean that you have to give up on your favorite Italian dishes?
Of course not. There are other cheeses you can substitute Ricotta Cheese, You can replace it with feta cheese, Ricotta Infornata, Pecorino Romano, Mizithra, Cotija, Manouri, cottage cheese, tofu, and cashew cheese.
In this article, you can learn more about these substitutes to succeed with your favorite recipes without Ricotta Salata.
Ricotta Salata Substitutes
Go through the following list to find the best alternatives to replace Ricotta Salata.
1. Feta cheese
The best alternative to Ricotta Salata is feta cheese. It is a Greek white cheese but it is much easier to find worldwide than Ricotta Salata. It is made from either sheep’s milk or a mixture of sheep and goat’s milk.
You can use it in basically every dish instead of Ricotta Salata because it has a very similar texture to it. However, it has a stronger and saltier flavor so I recommend using half amount of salt than written in your recipe.
2. Ricotta Infornata
Ricotta Infornata is another type of ricotta. It doesn’t taste the same as Ricotta Salata since it is baked so it has a brown rind. However, it’s still a great Ricotta Salata replacement in various recipes.
It is a good alternative mostly in cold dishes like vegetable salads and pasta salads. It is easy to cut into slices so people often eat put it in a sandwich or wrap as well. And one more tip: don’t cut out the brown rid. It is very thin and it gives your dish an extra flavor.
3. Pecorino Romano
Pecorino Romano is another Italian cheese that can be used as an alternative to Ricotta Salata. It is one of the fanciest and popular cheeses in Italy so you must try it when you are there.
It is thicker than Ricotta Salata and has a stronger taste. It’s also very easy to grate. Meaning, it’s a great choice for pasta and pizzas. You can put it on top of your food and enjoy it. But it has an even better taste when melted.
Just like feta, Mizithra is a Greek cheese from sheep or goats or both. In the supermarkets, you can find the fresh version of it. But if you use it to replace Ricotta Salata I suggest buying the salt-dried Mizithra.
It is very common to sprinkle it over hot pasta but you can also use it as a table cheese or make a delicious Mizithra salad.
Cotija is a Mexican cheese made from cow’s milk. It is common in popular Mexican dishes like tacos to enhance their flavor.
In many stores, you can find fresh Cotija and aged Cotija. As a Ricotta Salata substitute, the fresh one is a better choice as it is a little bit more creamy. Feel free to use it in omelets and on top of any kind of baked dish.
Manouri is another Greek cheese from sheep or goat’s milk. It is a semi-soft cheese which means that you can slice or crumble it. But it still has a light and creamy texture which allows you to use many different kinds of dishes as a Ricotta Salata substitute.
There are many recipes where they use Ricotta Salata with fruits like peach, pineapple, orange, or watermelon. In this case, Manouri is a great alternative to Ricotta Salata because it works very well with sweet fruits.
7. Cottage cheese
If you are looking for a low-fat alternative to Ricotta Salata, look no further than cottage cheese. In stores, you can purchase small-curd and large-curd cottage cheese. They’re both very tasty but small-curd is better as a Ricotta Salata replacement.
Cottage cheese works well in lasagnas, dumplings, and pasta but you can also experiment with it in sweet desserts. When you use it as a Ricotta Salata replacement it is a good idea to sieve it before getting rid of the excess whey.
Tofu is also a great substitute for Ricotta Salata if you are looking for a dairy-free option. It is made of soy milk, so vegans and lactose intolerants can enjoy it as well.
However, it matters what type of tofu you use. Silken tofu is the best since it has the most similar consistency to ricotta. Use it in Italian dishes like ravioli or lasagna.
If you find the tofu too liquidy, you can press it to drain out the excess water. Also, don’t forget to add some more salt and spices since tofu doesn’t have such a strong taste as Ricotta Salata.
9. Cashew cheese
Another dairy-free alternative is making Ricotta Salata at home from nuts. You can make cheese from basically any nut, but the cashew cheese has the most similar texture to Ricotta Salata.
All you have to do is soak your cashew nuts and blend them with some water lemon juice and salt. You can add nutritional yeast for extra flavor. Cashew cheese goes well with cheese manicotti, stuffed shells, zucchini pasta, and scones.
Is Ricotta Salata the same as ricotta?
Not exactly. Ricotta Salata is a type of ricotta. However, it is possible to make Ricotta Salata from ricotta. As a result, you will get a saltier and thicker cheese.
What does the word Ricotta Salata mean?
The word ricotta means re-cooked and Salata mean salted.
How does Ricotta Salata taste?
Ricotta Salata has a similar taste to regular ricotta but it is saltier and a bit more intense.
Can I substitute Ricotta Salata with Ricotta Affumicata?
Yes, you can. Ricotta Affumicata is a smoked version of ricotta. It is less popular than Ricotta Salata but it works well as a substitute in many recipes.