You ran out of sour cream but at the same time, you may not have the time to take a trip to the store to pick up one. And you’re curious to know – can you use ricotta cheese instead of sour cream?
Yes you can! However if your recipe calls for sour cream, it can be tricky to find the best substitute for it. Here are some alternatives you can consider for sour cream
- Greek Yogurt
- Cottage Cheese
- Ricotta Cheese
- Crème Fraîche
- Coconut Milk
- Silken Tofu
- Cream Cheese
So, it is best to know of a hack that can spare you from additional expenses and hassles.
However, if you are still unable to find the alternatives above, I came up with this super easy and full comprehensive quick guide on the best substitute for sour cream that’s tasty, creamy, and effortless to make. Check it out!
How Can You Use Ricotta Cheese Instead of Sour Cream?
Sour cream is a tasty condiment for your chips or as a fun dip. You can add sour cream to soups, as well as your biscuits and cakes.
This fermented food is created when you combine cream with some type of bacteria. The bacteria eat up the sugar present in the cream and release a waste product called lactic acid. Thus, sour cream has that tangy taste because of the acidic component in it.
[Related Article: Can You Freeze Ricotta Cheese And Will It Affect The Taste?]
Why Some People Use Sour Cream Substitutes
Although it’s a tasty and fun add-on to dishes, some people prefer not to use sour cream but an alternative to it.
For instance, they may be allergic to cow’s milk or suffer from lactose intolerance. This is why they simply avoid milk to avoid health issues.
Additionally, there are people who follow a vegan diet. They prefer not to consume animal products and stick to plant-based.
As for other individuals, they just want to avoid excessive consumption of fat. Regular sour cream contains a high amount of fat. While this is an important nutrient, there are folks who like to cut down on their fat intake for weight loss reasons.
Lastly, there is the issue with the taste. While there are people who actually like the tangy taste of sour cream, others are not quite crazy about it.
This is why they prefer to use a sour cream substitute to still enjoy the taste but in a milder form.
In the next section, I’ll share with you these fun tips on how to use other ingredients as a sour cream substitute.
13 Best Sour Cream Substitutes That Work!
So, let’s talk about making the best sour cream substitute. Can you use ricotta cheese instead of sour cream? Yes, you can! But first, let’s talk about other options that work pretty well, too.
Because of the flavor and texture, Greek Yogurt is a fantastic alternative to sour cream.
This ingredient no longer has a huge amount of whey, yet it is still tangy – just like sour cream!
If you prefer a low-calorie ingredient, yet with a boost of protein, Greek Yogurt is the way to go. You can use it as a dressing, topping, and dip.
Another excellent sour cream alternative is cottage cheese. It is basically a product of cheese curd. This is the solid part of the milk that has been left out after making cheese.
Cottage cheese has a creamy texture. It is also soft and tasty. The calorie content is lower while the protein level is higher than sour cream.
To make sour cream using cottage cheese, simply blend a cup of this cheese with 2 tablespoons of lime or lemon juice and 4 tablespoons of low-fat milk. Mix very well, and this should be a perfect sour cream substitute for you.
Next up, there’s buttermilk.
This is the leftover liquid after you have made butter from your cultured cream.
While it is a common ingredient in Pakistan and India, it is not too popular in the West.
What’s unique about buttermilk is that commercial ones are pasteurized. This means that there are bacteria included after heating the milk.
As for the flavor? It is tangy like sour cream! But it is in liquid form instead of cream. So, you can only use this in dressings and baked goods and not quite as a dip.
[Related Article: Difference between Buttermilk, Sour Cream, or Milk for Baking]
This ingredient is a little bit on the sweet side but it can definitely work as a sour cream substitute, as well.
It also does not have that smoother texture like sour cream as it is a bit grainy. Yet, when prepared correctly, it should make an amazing alternative to sour cream.
Simply mix a cup of ricotta cheese with a cup of plain yogurt. I prefer to use Greek yogurt as it is higher in protein.
Crème fraîche is actually a French word for “fresh cream” It is a cultured cream soured with a bacterial culture which is quite similar to the sour cream or Mexicana crema. Creme fraiche has a thicker, nutty, less tangy taste and contain around 10–45% butterfat content.
We will not recommend this if you are health conscious as they may contain higher fats and calories compared to sour cream
A one-ounce (28-gram) serving pack contains close to 100 calories and 11 grams of fat, which is almost double the amount seen in sour cream [Source]
We recommend Creme Fraiche as the most suitable for sauces and soups recipes. If you are planning to replace it with sour cream, it may affect the taste of your recipes with a lighter taste.
If you are looking for a non-dairy alternative, Coconut milk can be a perfect alternative to sour cream.
Just in case you may be confused between coconut milk and coconut water, Coconut milk is an opaque, milky-white liquid extracted from the grated pulp of mature coconuts.
The main reason for the rich taste is due to its high oil content, most of which is saturated fat. You can find coconut milk as a traditional food ingredient used in Southeast Asia, Oceania, South Asia, and East Africa.[Source]
As a substitute for sour cream, you can either blend the cream on top of a full-fat coconut milk with lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and a bit of salt as topping for your best dishes.
For baking, we recommend adding around 1 tablespoon of lemon juice for every cup of coconut milk to be close to the sour cream taste.
Cashews come from a tropical tree formally known as Anacardium occidentale [Source].
Cashews are within this list due to their relatively high-fat content. It is also rich in protein and another dairy-free alternative to sour cream.
If you want to create a vegan version of sour cream, you can blend soaked raw cashews with lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, and Dijon mustard.
We recommend this sour cream substitute to be best for side dishes and soups but not really ideal for baking.
If you are considering sour cream alternatives that can be easily found in your nearby grocery stores, you can consider silken tofu.
What we like about silken tofu is because they contain almost similar calories and fats as compared to sour cream.
Basically, you can use them as 1 for 1 replacement without being too worried about getting the proportion right.
It is also a healthy option as they are gluten-free and do not have preservatives.
If you are planning to make a soy-based sour cream, you just need to blend the silken tofu with lemon juice, sea salt, and vinegar
If you happen to have any leftover cream cheese in your fridge, it can be a suitable replacement if you run out of sour cream!
Due to the thickness of cream cheese, we recommend loosening it in the microwave for a short while. To get the proportion right, you need to use around 7 ounces of loosened cream cheese with 2 tablespoons of water or milk to replace 1 cup of sour cream.
Let it cools to room temperature before mixing it with the liquid and using it for your recipe.
Kefir is a drinkable, fermented yogurt-like healthy drink that has experienced a recent wave of popularity for its probiotics.
It is made from cow’s or goat’s milk and has been said to be beneficial in controlling blood sugar and cholesterol. It is similar to Greek yogurt but kefir has a slightly sour flavor and is created through a fermentation process.[Source]
If you are planning to use it as an alternative to sour cream, we recommend using unflavored, unsweetened kefir so that the taste is close. Because it is cultured and fermented, you can use it for a wide variety of purposes including dips, dressing, or baking goods as a one on one swap.
If you are a Mexican food lover, you should have heard of Mexicana crema which is commonly used for spicy foods.
The nature of this crema is less thick than sour cream but extra smooth and creamy. You should feel not much for a difference using it for cooking or baking.
One of the most common items you can find in your fridge, by mixing with other ingredients you can use it to replace sour cream for cooking or braking
A cup of whole milk or evaporated milk mixed with a tablespoon of lemon juice will be sufficient to replace a cup of sour cream in baking.
If you plan to use as simple cooking sauces. mix ⅔ cup milk powder in ¾ cup of water, and blend it with a teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice. You may need to let the milk sit for at least 25 minutes before use.
The last one on the list will be another non-dairy substitute. There are many brands of Vegan yogurt in the market and you will be able to find them easily in nearby grocery stores.
Vegan yogurt is another substitute option that you can swap directly with sour cream like Kefir, Mexicana Crema, or Greek yogurt.
It is basically a one-for-one exchange if you are using it for sides dishes and soups. We do not recommend it for baking goods as the taste may turn our different.
Other Tips on the Best Alternative to Sour Cream
Here are some additional tips you might want to know for sour cream substitutes.
If you are using Greek Yogurt, you can simply mix a cup with a teaspoon of onion powder. This is a great dip or dressing for vegetable sticks and chips.
As for heavy cream, you can combine this with a cup of plain yogurt whether it is Greek or regular. A cup of heavy cream is all you need to mix in with yogurt.
To make buttermilk less fluid, you can mix 3/4 cup of this ingredient with 1/3 cup of melted butter. Be sure to cool it slightly prior to blending.
I hope this clears the confusion on the question “can you use ricotta cheese instead of sour cream”. Now you know what the best ingredients are that you can use for this tasty ingredient for your recipes.
Just make it a point to use the correct measurements for these ingredients. This way, you can achieve the desired texture and flavor for a great outcome in your dishes.