Neufchatel cheese is known for its slightly crumbly and soft texture, and it is often compared to white cheese with a thin rind and high moisture content. But the comparison stops there since this cheese has a distinct graininess that you cannot find in any cheese made from cow’s milk.
The cheese has a salty flavor that becomes tastier and more pungent as it ages. It’s spreadable and goes well as a base for frostings, desserts, snack dips, and toppings for bagels and crackers. It is also commonly used to bake cheesecakes.
However, Neufchatel cheese tends to be pricey since it’s hard to find due to its relatively short shelf-life. The good news is that you can use other cheese products as substitutes for recipes that call for Neufchatel.
The best Neufchatel cheese substitutes include the following:
- Cream Cheese
- High Moisture Ricotta Cheese
- Mascarpone Cheese
- Cottage Cheese
- Nutritional Yeast Powder
- Cashew Cream Cheese
- Ricotta Cheese
- Gervais Cheese
- Sour Cream
The cheese has gone through the mold cultures until ripe. It comes into two types, depending on where it came from. It’s originally French, but Neufchatel cheese made in the US has relatively higher moisture and lower fat content.
Keep reading to find out how you can use the substitutes to whip up dishes requiring Neufchatel cheese without compromising the taste.
Top 15 Substitute for Neufchatel Cheese
This article will look into the alternatives you can use instead of Neufchatel cheese. Most of the items listed are easy to find and will give distinct flavors to any recipe where you use them.
You can use full-fat or low-fat cream cheese to substitute Neufchatel cheese. They have a similar texture and appearance, especially when added as a topping or spread.
However, when used as a substitute in many dishes, cream cheese will have a lower moisture content than Neufchatel. This will become evident when you use cream cheese in recipes that require stove or oven cooking. The texture may vary slightly, but the recipe would still taste great.
On the other hand, cream cheese has a higher fat content than Neufchatel cheese, boosting your dish’s creamy and rich texture. Use the 1:1 ratio to substitute for savory and sweet dishes, frostings, dips, and baked goods.
High Moisture Ricotta Cheese
Ricotta has a similar smooth texture as Neufchatel cheese, especially when younger and unaged. When using as a substitute, it is best to choose the common ricotta cheese since it is the closest to Neufchatel. It has a slightly sweet taste and the right amount of graininess.
Ricotta comes in many types, depending on how it was processed. For example, the aged ricotta salata may not be a suitable Neufchatel substitute. It’s saltier and has less moisture, resulting in dishes with a chunkier and firmer texture.
This spreadable and soft dairy product is a form of cream cheese. It has a high whey content that makes it moist and fluffy, traits that make it hard to replicate.
When used as a Neufchatel substitute, mascarpone cheese is less crumbly and slightly softer, which you can use as a spreadable ingredient or add to sandwiches. You can also use it as an alternative for Neufchatel in soups, sauces, spreads, dips, and frostings of desserts.
Take note, however, that it contains twice the amount of fat of Neufchatel. You can follow the 1:1 ratio in making the substitution.
When you are after the smooth texture of Neufchatel, you can mix cottage cheese with other dairy products in making the substitution. Otherwise, you’ll have the curdy and pulpy nature of cottage cheese.
The cheese has a milder flavor than Neufchatel, especially when combined with other dairy products. But both kinds of cheese have similar notes of being savory.
You can use cottage cheese as a substitute in dishes where the cheese will get directly into your mouth instead of getting incorporated with hordes of other ingredients.
Since cottage cheese has a subtle flavor, you can mix it with heavy cream to substitute Neufchatel cheese for a smoother texture. You can use the 1:1 ratio in making the substitution in recipes, including baked goods, gravies, spreads, dips, desserts, and frostings.
Nutritional Yeast Powder
This yeast powder has been deactivated and modified to work as a spice and seasoning, while giving off a cheesy and nutty flavor close to the taste of Neufchatel cheese.
While you will get an almost similar flavor when you add the yeast powder to any dish that requires Neufchatel, you will notice the big difference in the texture.
The texture that the powder can provide to the dish will still depend on the brand you use. Others come in crunchy flakes form, while some brands offer the powder close to the texture of seasonings.
You can use the yeast powder to boost the recipe’s taste, but it is not advisable to use it as a substitute for Neufchatel in dishes that require the cheese’s texture.
Cashew Cream Cheese
This cheese makes a good substitute for Neufchatel for people who don’t like the rich taste of cheeses made from cow’s milk. This is also suited for vegetarians and vegans.
This delicious cheese is flavorful despite being made from only two ingredients – raw cashew and nutritional yeast. The taste is somehow close to Neufchatel.
You can add this to any recipe that requires Neufchatel. You will get the same taste with nutty hints, making any dish oozing with flavor.
It’s easy to make this cheese at home. Soak cashews in water. Once they are soft, place them in the blender and add the nutritional yeast. Process until finely coarse. You can use it as is or add more seasonings according to your preference.
Ricotta is a soft and fresh Italian cheese with a subtle milky taste. The typical ricotta cheeses you can find in the market are made from cow’s milk, but there are also the kinds made from other milk, such as water buffalo, sheep, and goat.
It has the same lumpy and grainy texture as Neufchatel but has a less fat content and is less salty. The texture is almost the same, but to make it perfect, you can add the same amount of heavy cream or yogurt.
Ricotta cheese is commonly used in desserts, pasta, pancakes, and lasagna dishes. But you can add it to more recipes. You can use the 1:1 ratio when making the substitution, and use it in sweet and savory dishes, baked goods, cheesecake, frostings, and dips.
This French cheese has a soft texture close to Neufchatel, and both kinds of cheese have almost the same creamy and rich flavor. You can use Gervais cheese as a substitute for Neufchatel in savory and sweet dishes. It is recommended to follow the 1:1 ratio when doing so.
It’s a dairy product with a tangy flavor and less fat than Neufchatel. You can use it as a substitute for making savory dishes at a ratio of 1:1.
Sour cream has a thick creamy texture and tart flavor. It is usually added as toppings to soups and stews, and used in savory baked goods, sauces, salad dressings, and dips.
This Indian condiment is known for its versatility. It has almost a similar thick and creamy texture as Neufchatel cheese but has a less fat content. The condiment is made of curd devoid of its whey.
You can use the 1:1 ratio in making the substitution and use it in recipes, including savory dishes, baked items, meat marinades, salad dressings, spreads, and dips. It also combines well with maple syrup or honey when making sweet dishes.
Goat cheese comes in different varieties. You can get aged goat cheese or the fresh type. It has high moisture and fat content with milky and tangy flavor and soft texture.
It makes the perfect substitute for Neufchatel cheese in making savory dishes. You can use 3/4 cup of goat cheese for every cup of Neufchatel cheese that the recipe requires.
You can also use goat cheese as a spread or dip or add it to risotto, pasta sauces, soups, sandwiches, and salads.
This dairy product is made from soured milk that was curdled and strained. It tastes slightly sour and mild and has a creamy and soft texture. In many European nations, flavors are added to making quarks, such as fruits, herbs, and spices.
You can follow the 1:1 ratio when using quark as a substitute for Neufchatel cheese in savory and sweet dishes, baked goods, cheesecake, salad dressings, frostings, spreads, and sauces.
If you have Greek yogurt in the fridge, you need not look further in searching for suitable substitutes for Neufchatel cheese. This is a kitchen staple in many homes, and you can make it thicker when used as a substitute.
To make the yogurt thicker, strain its excess liquid using a cheesecloth. Put the yogurt in a bowl and whip until thick. Use the 1:1 ratio in using the thickened yogurt instead of Neufchatel cheese.
It’s unripe and fresh cottage cheese with a grainy texture similar to Neufchatel and mild flavor. You can also use this as a substitute for Neufchatel in making cheesecake or as toppings for salads and toasted bread.
Nut Cream Cheese
You will find a variety of nut cream cheese sold online and at physical stores. They are dairy-free and vegan-friendly.
Follow the 1:1 ratio in making the substitution in recipes, including spreads and dips. If you want to use this cheese in baked goods, you must add more ingredients to boost its fat and protein content.
Neufchatel Cheese Substitute Related FAQs
Is Neufchatel the same as cream cheese?
No. Neufchatel is 23 percent milk fat and has a bit higher moisture content. Cream cheese is 33 percent milk fat.
Is cream cheese healthier than Neufchatel cheese?
Yes. Neufchatel cheese contains less fat, around 10 percent less than cream cheese.
Is Neufchatel cheese keto-friendly?
While Neufchatel cheese has more than enough fat content to make it keto-friendly, you have to consume it in moderation if you are following the diet program due to its carb content.