Which is the Best Sour Cream Substitute?

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Sour Cream Substitute – Sour cream is one of the widely used fermented dairy products in the U.S.A whose uses are diverse. It is not only used in baked items such as biscuits and cakes but also in recipes such as soups and nachos as a condiment in dressing, appetizers, and bread.

This cream is prepared by blending lactic acid bacteria and fat-rich cream that is the whole milk’s top layer. The bacteria thrive on lactose, which is the cream’s natural sugar and emit lactic acid that is responsible for the cream’s sour taste and enough acidic content. They also thicken the cream.

sour cream substitute

Some Sour Cream Substitute Options

Although the cream is used by many chefs, several householders cannot or do not intend to use it. Thus, it is not surprising for people to look for a sour cream substitute. The good news is that there are substitutes for both dairy-based and non-dairy ones. So, let’s check them out!

#1. Yogurt or Buttermilk

Yogurt is a great substitute that makes up for the flavor of sour cream in maximum recipes such as in the baking ones, dips, and even in low-fat ones.

However, the only major difference seems to be its texture that is typically thinner. Well, you can thicken it by putting it in a cheesecloth-lined filter in a bowl and refrigerating it for half an hour.

You can use either yogurt or buttermilk. For example, for baking dishes, you can use 3 tablespoons of butter mixed with 7/8 cup of buttermilk or a cup of yogurt mixed with a teaspoon of baking soda.

Related: Buttermilk Substitutions

Buttermilk is another good option to consider, as its making process is similar to the sour cream. Thus, both share many similarities. However, this alternative is a pure liquid, unlike the sour cream that is semi-solid. Thus, you can use it as a substitute only for baking relevant dishes.

#2. Greek Yogurt

This kind of yogurt is a strained one due to which its texture is thick and analogous to sour cream. Nevertheless, it has fewer calories and is low in fat. Thus, it is a healthy sour cream substitute to consider.

As compared to regular yogurt that is high in liquid content or whey, this yogurt is free of quite a significant amount of its whey. This gives a tangier and thicker yogurt that is richer in protein than sour cream featuring full fat.

Possibly, Greek yogurt share more similar taste with sour cream than the regular yogurt. Thus, it is a popular alternative in toppings, dressings, baking dishes, and dips. Usually, an equal amount of Greek yogurt can replace the normal sour cream for preparing any dish that demands the latter.

#3. Cottage Cheese

This option is a cheese curd. A curd is a solid leftover of the process of making cheese, whereas whey forms the liquid part. Cottage cheese is creamy and soft but its fat content varies from small to huge.

Just as Greek yogurt, cottage cheese has fewer calories, has more protein, and is lower in fat than sour cream. However, it significantly differs from sour cream in terms of taste as well as texture.

Luckily, you can get it closer to the cream by mixing two teaspoons of lemon juice and 4 tablespoons of milk with one cup of this cheese. This is likely to give the most effective sour cream substitute that can be used in any recipe. You can even use it as an ideal topping ingredient.

Related: Cottage Cheese Substitute

#4. Coconut Milk

Go for this option if you need a non-dairy sour cream substitute. Extracted from the freshly grated coconut, this option is a staple ingredient in Asian, Caribbean, and South American dishes.

Coconut milk is vegan, as it has no lactose. It is, therefore, an ideal alternative for those having milk allergies or food restrictions. Surprisingly, it makes up for an extraordinary alternative of sour cream.

For using it, simply skim and blend the fat-rich cream atop the coconut milk with lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and sea salt. You can even use fat-rich coconut milk in baked items as a substitute. For this, just mix a tablespoon of lemon juice to a cup of this milk to imitate the sour taste.


There can be many reasons for not using sour cream, such as milk allergy, lactose intolerance, low-fat diet inclination, and preference for a vegan diet. Thus, as per the preference, you can choose your sour cream substitute, which will surely be the best.

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Katie Leslove

I have a passion for cooking different foods every day, and that’s why I have chosen it as the topic for my writings. I cook the dishes, garnish it with green veggies and snap the photo. I like to show those photos to my blog readers. Read More