Vegan Tofu Ricotta Puffs are perfect finger food for your next holiday party. They’re super flavorful, totally dairy free, and you only need seven ingredients to make them!
Making the Tofu Ricotta
Creamy, nut-free, tofu ricotta with sun dried tomato and fresh basil is the star of this recipe, and it could not be easier to make. This vegan version of ricotta cheese is packed with flavorful sun dried tomatoes and plenty of fresh basil.
A blender will make the prepwork faster, but you don't even need a blender, if you don't mind doing some fine, fine mincing.
Start by getting your tofu pressing while you prep. You can either pulse the tomato-basil ingredients in your blender or food processor or mince them by hand. Once that's done, you're ready to make some tofu ricotta!
Pressing the tofu is the most critical step in this recipe, so please, do not skip it. You absolutely must get the excess water out of your tofu, or your ricotta mixture will end up much too wet. I like to use my EZ Tofu Press to press my tofu.
With the EZ Tofu Press pictured in the recipe video, you can get an average of ½ cup of water out of a firm or extra firm block of tofu. The resulting tofu is more toothsome, but—more importantly for this recipe—it’s also less moist, which is key.
Now that the tofu is pressed and your tomato-basil ingredients are minced up, just crumble the tofu into a bowl with the tomato-basil mixture and a few other ingredients. Mix together well, and you're ready to stuff into cute little puff pastry packets.
Of course, this tofu ricotta recipe is great stuffed into puff pastry, but it's also a perfect (and tastier!) plant-based alternative to dairy ricotta. Use it anywhere you'd use ricotta cheese! Here are some ideas:
- vegan lasagne
- stuffed shells
- as filling for homemade ravioli
- as a dip with crackers on the side
The sky's the limit, really, so have fun with this recipe!
Finding Vegan Puff Pastry
A lot of puff pastry at the grocery store is accidentally vegan, so just check the ingredients to find one that works for you. Keep an eye out for butter and milkfat, especially.
A good shortcut, since dairy is your main concern, is to check the allergy information, since milk is a top eight allergen. The law requires companies to list allergy in bold after the ingredients list. If it doesn't list milk as an allergen, you're good to go.
If your package of puff pastry says that it "may contain" milk or lists shared equipment, that is your call. Those warnings mean that the dough may have come into contact with dairy, but the recipe itself doesn't include it. If you have a dairy allergy, this is still a big deal. But if you're vegan for the animals, it's less of a big deal. Follow your gut on that one.
Making the Tofu Ricotta Puffs
There's a little bit of technique involved in making these Tomato-Basil Tofu Ricotta Puffs, but it's nothing you can't handle.
Start by rolling out your first puff pastry sheet on a well-floured surface. Use a rolling pin to get it about ⅛" thick, then slice into 12 squares. I like to fill the first 12, then repeat with the second sheet, since my kitchen doesn't have a ton of counter space.
To fill, grab one of the squares you just cut, put a dollop of the tofu ricotta in the center, and then fold. Grab two opposite corners, and cinch them together on top of the tofu mixture. Do the same with the other two opposite corners, so you end up with lots of pretty little tofu ricotta nests.
The nests go on an ungreased baking sheet, and you're ready for the oven!
Repeat this process with the other puff pastry sheet, so you end up with 24 Tofu Ricotta Puffs. They bake up in about 14-16 minutes, depending on your oven. Just keep an eye on them, and they're ready when the puff pastry turns a pretty golden-brown.
Tomato-Basil Tofu Ricotta Puffs
- 1 14 ounce block extra firm tofu - pressed
- ⅓ cup fresh basil leaves - loosely packed, minced
- ⅓ cup sun dried tomatoes in olive oil - minced
- 2 tablespoons oil from the sun dried tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 2 sheets vegan puff pastry - thawed (Pull out the puff pastry before you start prepping, so you don't have to wait for it to thaw.)
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- While the tofu is pressing, put the basil, tomatoes, oil, and lemon juice into your blender or food processor and pulse to get a chunky mix, then transfer to a large bowl. If you don't have a blender or food processor, just mince the basil and tomatoes as finely as you can, then transfer to the bowl along with the oil and lemon juice.
- Crumble the pressed tofu into the bowl, and add the garlic powder and nutritional yeast. Mix well, then set aside.
- On a floured surface, roll out the pastry sheets until they're ⅛" thick, then cut each one into 12 squares. A pizza cutter works great for this, but a butter knife will get the job done, too.
- Place a generous two-tablespoon-sized dollop of the tofu ricotta into the center of each square, then cinch the opposite corners together to form little pastry packets, as pictured (see the video, if you need more of a visual). Press the corners together firmly, so you get a good seal (see notes).
- Arrange onto two ungreased cookie sheets with plenty of space between the puffs, and bake for 14-16 minutes, until the pastry turns golden brown.
- Tip! If you don't press the corners firmly enough, sometimes one will pop free during baking, but don't panic! While the puff is still warm, just tuck that rogue corner into the center, and no one needs to know.