The 7 Best Substitutes for sour cream


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Substitutes for sour cream: Sour cream is a high fat ingredient featured in a spread of dishes. For those that select to keep away from sour cream due to health causes or private preferences, there are lots of dairy-based and non-dairy options accessible.

Sour cream is a popular fermented dairy product that’s consumed in a spread of methods.

It is commonly used as a condiment atop dishes like soups and baked potatoes, but it will probably also be used as an ingredient in baked goods like cakes, cookies, and biscuits.

It is made by combining cream, which is the high fat layer skimmed off the highest of whole milk, with lactic acid bacteria. These bacteria devour the sugar in the cream, also referred to as lactose, and launch lactic acid as a waste product (1).

The lactic acid causes the cream to grow to be extra acidic, ensuing in a tangy, sour taste.

While sour cream is a popular food for many, some people can’t or don’t need to use it due to preferences, intolerances, or allergic reactions.

This article lists the 7 best substitutes for sour cream, including find out how to use them.

Reasons it’s possible you’ll want a substitute

sour cream

You could must substitute sour cream for a spread of causes, including:

  • Milk allergy: Cow’s milk is a common allergen. Between 2–3% of children under the age of three are allergic to exploit. Although statistics present that round 80% of kids outgrow this allergy, some people should keep away from milk for life (2).
  • Lactose intolerance: Lactose is a sugar found in milk products. People who’re lactose intolerant can’t break it down due to a deficiency of lactase, the enzyme wanted to digest lactose (3Trusted Source4).
  • Vegan diet: Some select to exclude animal products from their diets. For instance, these on a vegan diet eat strictly plant-based foods for many causes, including health, animal welfare, and environmental issues.
  • Health causes: Many people keep away from milk and milk products for a number of health causes, including skin and hormonal health, while others are involved in regards to the use of antibiotics and growth hormones in dairy cows (5Trusted Source6Trusted Source7Trusted Source).
  • Low fat diets: Regular sour cream is high in fat. In reality, virtually 90% of the calories in common sour cream come from fat. Although this nutrient is extraordinarily important, many people select to reduce their intake of fat when trying to lose weight (8Trusted Source).
  • Taste or lacking ingredient: Some people simply don’t care for sour cream’s tangy taste. Or maybe a substitute is required as a result of no sour cream is accessible to bake a favourite cake or high a freshly made pot of chili.

Some people can’t or gained’t eat this popular condiment for many causes.

Fortunately, plenty of dairy and non-dairy options make wonderful replacements for it.

1–4: Dairy-based substitutes

There are a number of good dairy choices for changing sour cream, including Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, crème fraîche, and buttermilk.

1. Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt makes an wonderful stand-in for sour cream.

While common yogurt contains a better percentage of liquid, or whey, Greek yogurt has been strained to take away a large portion of its whey. The result is a thicker, tangier model of yogurt that’s similar to sour cream.

What’s extra, Greek yogurt is lower in calories and fat and greater in protein than full-fat sour cream.

Full-fat Greek yogurt contains 97 calories, 5 grams (g) of fat, and 9 g of protein per 3.5 ounces (oz.), or 100 g. The same amount of full-fat sour cream contains 198 calories, 19 g of fat, and 6 g of protein (9Trusted Source10Trusted Source).

Greek yogurt can be utilized in its place for sour cream in dips, dressings, and toppings.

Additionally, equal parts of full-fat Greek yogurt can be utilized in place of common sour cream in any recipe, including baked goods.


Greek yogurt is a strained yogurt that has a thick texture just like sour cream. However, it’s lower in calories and fat and can be utilized as a alternative for sour cream in many recipes.

2. Cottage cheese

This cheese has a rich historical past. In reality, the identify cottage cheese is assumed to have been coined in the 18th century when American settlers used milk leftovers from butter-making to create a tender cheese in their small houses known as cottages.

Cottage cheese is a cheese curd product. Curds are the strong parts of milk which can be leftover from the cheesemaking course of, while whey is the liquid portion.

It is mild with a tender and creamy texture. Furthermore, it’s provided in a spread of fat percentages and curd sizes, starting from small to large.

What’s extra, cottage cheese is much lower in calories and fat and greater in protein than sour cream.

Half a cup (105 g) contains 88 calories, 2.5 g of fat, and 11.5 g of protein. For reference, half a cup (120 g) of sour cream contains 238 calories, 23 g of fat, and simply 3 g of protein (9Trusted Source11Trusted Source).

This cheese makes an wonderful substitute for sour cream that’s lower in fat and higher in protein.

In reality, one cup (210 g) of cottage cheese will be blended with 4 tablespoons (tbsp.), or 60 milliliters (ml), of milk and 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of lemon juice to interchange sour cream in any recipe.


Cottage cheese is a tender, mild cheese that’s lower in calories and fat and considerably greater in protein than sour cream. It will be mixed with milk and lemon juice for use in place of sour cream in recipes.

3. Crème fraîche

Crème fraîche actually means fresh cream. This dairy product is similar to sour cream and made by including a bacterial tradition to heavy cream.

While just like sour cream, crème fraîche has a thicker, cheese-like consistency and its flavor is much less tangy.

Unlike cottage cheese and Greek yogurt, it contains a better amount of fat and calories than sour cream. Thus, it will not be the best alternative for these counting calories.

A one-oz. (28-g) serving packs 110 calories and 11 g of fat, which is almost double the amount in sour cream (9Trusted Source12Trusted Source).

Although crème fraîche is a calorie-dense food, its high fat content material makes it an ideal ingredient in sauces and soups, as you possibly can boil it with out worrying about separation.

Crème fraîche can be utilized as an easy one-to-one substitute for sour cream, but keep in thoughts that its milder flavor could come throughout in the taste of the food.


Crème fraîche is similar to sour cream but greater in fat and calories. It can be utilized as a one-to-one alternative, but its mild flavor could change the taste of recipes.

4. Buttermilk

Traditionally, the time period buttermilk referred to the liquid leftover from the method of making butter from cultured cream (1).

This course of concerned leaving milk out to relaxation for a interval of time. It allowed the cream and milk to separate, leaving the thick cream high used in butter making.

During the resting interval, naturally occurring lactic acid bacteria fermented the milk sugars, ensuing in a tangy liquid known as buttermilk.

Though it’s still common in India and Pakistan, it’s used much less typically in the West.

Like sour cream, industrial buttermilk is pasteurized, with the bacteria added in after the heating course of.

Though its tangy taste is just like that of sour cream, it’s a liquid and can only be used as a alternative for sour cream in baked goods or dressings.


Buttermilk is a tangy liquid that can be utilized as a alternative for sour cream in baked goods or dressings.

5–7: Non-dairy options

In addition to dairy substitutes for sour cream, there are a number of non-dairy options you should use. These vegan-friendly choices include coconut milk, cashews, and soy products.

5. Coconut milk

Coconut milk is an wonderful non-dairy various to sour cream.

Not to be confused with coconut water, coconut milk comes from the meat of freshly grated coconut.

It is a staple ingredient in Southeast Asian, South American, and Caribbean cuisines and has grow to be more and more popular in North America.

Coconut milk is lactose-free and vegan, making it an incredible choice for people with milk allergies or dietary restrictions.

Interestingly, it makes an distinctive substitute for sour cream.

The cream on high of full-fat coconut milk will be skimmed off and blended with apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and sea salt for use as a plant-based sour cream substitute to high your favourite dishes.

Full-fat coconut milk can also make an wonderful sour cream alternative in baked goods. Just add 1 tbsp. (15 ml) of lemon juice for every cup (237 ml) of coconut milk to imitate the sour taste.


Coconut milk is a vegan-friendly sour cream substitute that may be simply used in many recipes.

6. Cashews

While it’d come as a shock, cashews make an incredible substitute for sour cream.

Cashews are buttery, sweet nuts which can be relatively high in fat. Their high fat content material is what makes them an wonderful dairy-free various to sour cream.

One oz. (28 g) offers 157 calories and 12 g of fat. Cashews are an incredible supply of protein as properly, with 5 g of protein in every oz. (13Trusted Source).

A rich and tangy vegan sour cream will be made by mixing soaked cashews with vinegar, lemon juice, and sea salt.

This dairy-free sour cream substitute makes an incredible addition to soups and side dishes, although it will not be ideal for baking.


Cashews are a high fat nut that may be soaked and blended with vinegar, lemon juice, and salt for a vegan model of sour cream.

7. Soy

There are many industrial soy-based sour cream substitutes available on the market which can be appropriate for people following a vegan diet and these with an allergy to exploit products.

Most soy-based sour cream options have the same amount of calories and fat as the actual factor.

For instance, a typical 1-oz. (30 g) serving of soy-based sour cream has 60 calories and 5 g of fat, while the same amount of sour cream contains 59 calories and 6 g of fat (9Trusted Source, (*7*)).

What’s extra, these products can be utilized as a one-to-one alternative for sour cream in recipes and baking, making them a handy choice for those that don’t devour dairy.

However, they usually contain a number of ingredients, including added sugars and preservatives, which some people could need to limit or keep away from for health causes.

Fortunately, you possibly can simply make a soy-based model of sour cream at home. Simply mix silken tofu with apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and salt.


Commercial or home made soy-based sour lotions are appropriate for people following a vegan diet and these with an allergy to exploit. They can be utilized in place of sour cream in recipes.

The bottom line (Substitutes for sour cream)

Sour cream is a popular ingredient. However, some people want a tasty various due to allergic reactions, private preferences, or simply as a result of they want a fast alternative for a recipe.

Luckily, there are all kinds of appropriate dairy and non-dairy stand-ins for sour cream.

Some sour cream replacements are best used for toppings and dressings, while others make an wonderful addition to baked goods.

If you’re looking for a substitute for sour cream that gained’t compromise the flavor of your favourite dish, selecting an choice from this record is the way to go.


  1. Healthier Option: Say goodbye to guilt trips! Substitutes like Greek yogurt or cottage cheese offer a lighter alternative, giving you that creamy texture without the extra calories.
  2. Versatility: Get creative in the kitchen! Whether you’re baking, cooking, or dipping, substitutes like buttermilk or crème fraîche can step in without missing a beat.
  3. Availability: No need for a wild goose chase! Unlike sour cream, which might hide at the back of the fridge, alternatives like plain yogurt are usually easier to find in grocery stores.
  4. Digestibility: Avoid the belly blues! For those sensitive to dairy, options like coconut cream or silken tofu can save you from a stomach rebellion.
  5. Cost-Effective: Keep those coins in your pocket! Some substitutes, like mayonnaise or avocado, might already be lurking in your kitchen, ready to take on the role of sour cream without breaking the bank.
  6. Texture: Smooth operator! While sour cream might be a bit thick for some dishes, alternatives like sour milk or cream cheese can offer a smoother consistency.
  7. Experimentation: Channel your inner mad scientist! Trying out different substitutes opens up a world of flavor possibilities, turning your kitchen into a laboratory of deliciousness.


  1. Taste Variation: Prepare for a flavor rollercoaster! Substitutes may not mimic the tangy goodness of sour cream exactly, leaving your taste buds a bit perplexed.
  2. Texture Changes: Beware the slippery slope! Some alternatives might not hold up as well under heat or pressure, leading to unexpected textural mishaps in your culinary creations.
  3. Ingredient Availability: Good luck finding that in your pantry! While some substitutes are easy to come by, others might require a special trip to the store, disrupting your cooking flow.
  4. Allergic Reactions: Avoiding the drama of a kitchen emergency! For those with allergies, certain substitutes like nuts or soy can pose a risky game of culinary roulette.
  5. Caloric Content: Watch out for sneaky calories! While some alternatives boast health benefits, others might pack a caloric punch that you weren’t bargaining for.
  6. Consistency Challenges: Smooth sailing? More like rocky waters! Achieving the perfect consistency with substitutes can be a bit like trying to wrangle a herd of cats—challenging, to say the least.
  7. Resistance from Sour Cream Loyalists: Prepare for a revolt! Convincing die-hard sour cream enthusiasts to embrace substitutes might be akin to convincing a cat to take a bath—nearly impossible and likely to end in scratches.

People also ask:

What do I use if I don’t have sour cream?

If you’re out of sour cream, fear not, fellow kitchen adventurer! You’ve got options galore to save the day. First up, raid your fridge for plain yogurt or Greek yogurt. They’re like sour cream’s cool cousins, ready to step in and save your dish from a flavor disaster. Or dive into the depths of your pantry for mayonnaise or even cottage cheese. They may sound like odd choices, but trust me, they’ve got hidden talents. And if you’re feeling extra fancy, whip up some crème fraîche or sour milk. Remember, in the kitchen, creativity reigns supreme!

How do you mimic the taste of sour cream?

Ah, the elusive taste of sour cream! Don’t fret, my flavor-seeking friend, for I have secrets to share. First trick: reach for plain yogurt or Greek yogurt. They’ve got that tangy zing that’ll fool even the most discerning taste buds. Next up, grab some crème fraîche or sour milk. They may sound posh, but they’re just sour cream in disguise. And if you’re feeling adventurous, try mixing lemon juice or vinegar with milk. Just remember, in the kitchen, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! So go ahead, mimic away, and let your taste buds dance with delight!

How to make yogurt taste like sour cream?

So, you’re craving that tangy goodness of sour cream but only have yogurt on hand? Fear not, culinary adventurer, for I’ve got the scoop on how to jazz up that yogurt to taste just like its sour cream cousin! Step one: add a squeeze of lemon juice. It’ll give your yogurt that zesty kick it needs to mimic sour cream’s tanginess. Next, sprinkle in a pinch of salt. It’ll elevate the flavors and fool your taste buds into thinking you’ve got sour cream in the house. Remember, in the kitchen, creativity knows no bounds! So go ahead, transform that yogurt into a sour cream sensation!


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