Sour Cream Substitutes: 14 Ways to Make Your Food Even More Delicious

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There are many reasons you might want a sour cream substitute.

Maybe you’re out of sour cream, or maybe you’re looking for a healthier option.

Whatever the reason, there are plenty of sour cream substitutes to choose from. Here are a few of the most popular options.

I have compiled this guide based on my own experiments and recipe notes by chefs worldwide. 

So, let’s dive right in. 

14 Sour Cream Substitutes

1. Greek Yogurt 

For the perfect consistency and tang that is similar to sour cream, Greek yogurt is your best and most easily accessible alternative.

It is versatile enough to go with almost any recipe that you like, including baking recipes.

How to Substitute? 

Because of their similarities in taste and texture, you can replace sour cream with the same measure of Greek yogurt in your recipes. 

Here are four dip recipes with Greek yogurt that you can easily try at home when you have run out of sour cream – 

2. Cottage Cheese 

Though firmer and grainier in texture, cottage cheese can work just as well as a spread or filling as sour cream in your recipes.

It is plainer in flavor, and you can tweak it to the right notes with some lemon juice and milk.

How to Substitute? 

You can use the more or less the same measure of cottage cheese as sour cream in your recipe, but you might want to play around with the ratio to find the right fit. 

Check out this cottage cheese dip and spread recipe for when you don’t have sour cream to work with – 

3. Crème Fraiche 

The French version of sour cream, crème Fraiche works just as well in almost any recipe you can think of.

It is more subtle in flavor and is perfect if you are not fond of the overly sour notes of sour cream.

It is great as a spread and also for cooking.

How to Substitute? 

You can substitute sour cream with a 1:1 ratio of crème Fraiche, although there will be slight flavor differences. 

4. Buttermilk 

In recipes where the consistency is a non-issue, you can use buttermilk to give the same tang and acidic flavors as sour cream in your recipe.

It is perfect for baking recipes where you need to replace small amounts of sour cream.

How to Substitute? 

Because buttermilk is thinner and more liquid than sour cream, you might want to keep in mind the consistency of the recipe even if you can replace it equally. 

To make buttermilk at home that is great for baking, you can check out this tutorial video – 

5. Plain Yogurt

Plain yogurt will work just as well as any other substitute mentioned on the list, although it can be more liquid in consistency.

It is an easy find at stores and adds the same rich and creamy effect to your dishes as sour cream would.

How to Substitute? 

You can substitute plain yogurt in the same measure as sour cream is called for in the recipe with slight changes in texture. 

6. Cream Cheese 

Another easily accessible alternative to sour cream is cream cheese which is a perfect quick fix for spreads, dips, and more.

With a little bit of milk or buttermilk to loosen its texture, you can have a pretty good replacement for sour cream in most recipes you can think of.

How to Substitute? 

For every cup of sour cream, you will need a three-fourth cup of cream cheese with enough tablespoons of buttermilk or milk to get the consistency you prefer. 

Here is a cream cheese spread that you can use when you have run out of sour cream in your pantry – 

7. Coconut Milk 

For vegan alternatives, coconut milk is the most recommended alternative to sour cream in your recipes.

You could also use coconut milk cream for closer consistency.

Although the flavors will differ, the dish should taste just as great.

How to Substitute? 

You can replace sour cream with a 1:1 ratio of coconut milk or coconut cream with some lemon juice to add a bit of tang. 

8. Kefir 

Be it salads, smoothies, or pancakes, kefir is healthier and a tad bit tangier, an alternative to sour cream that you could give a try.

It is best used in a recipe where consistency is not an issue because it is thinner and more liquid than sour cream.

How to Substitute? 

You can use more or less the same measure of kefir as sour cream in your recipe. You can tweak the measurements to your liking. 

Here is how you can make your own kefir spread at home – 

9. Mexican Crema 

For dressings, sauces, or Mexican recipes, like tacos, you could also try switching sour cream with Mexican crema.

It is a thinner and more subtle version of sour cream that blends perfectly well with Mexican cuisine.

It might not be great for baking recipes, however.

How to Substitute? 

In most recipes, you can replace sour cream with the same measure of Mexican crema though there will be slight flavor and texture differences. 

To make your own Mexican crema from scratch, here is a video tutorial that you can follow – 

10. Cashew 

If you are looking for a vegan and DIY alternative to sour cream in your recipes, you could always try making your own blend with cashew nuts.

Made with simple ingredients you can easily find in your pantry, it is a quick fix that you always go for.

How to Substitute? 

Once you have made your preferred recipe of cashew sour cream, you can use it in a 1:1 measure in almost any recipe. 

Check out this vegan cashew sour cream recipe that you can easily check out this vegan cashew sour cream recipe that you can easily try at home – 

11. Soy Milk

For another vegan alternative to sour cream, you could also look out for a soy milk-based sour cream recipe.

If you are a fan of the soy flavor, all you’ll need is lemon juice, salt, and sugar, and you can make a perfectly good substitute.

How to Substitute? 

Once you have perfected the recipe and consistency to your liking, you can replace sour cream with a soy milk-based recipe in a 1:1 ratio. 

12. Mayonnaise

In savory recipes, if you are pressed for sour cream, mayonnaise can be a great quick fix.

Although it may not work well in all recipes and can change the overall flavor, salads, spreads, dips, and dressings with sour cream can easily be replaced with mayonnaise. 

How to Substitute? 

You can replace mayonnaise in equal measure for sour cream in your recipes, although there will be flavor differences. 

13. Mascarpone 

Mascarpone is a lighter and milder flavored alternative to sour cream.

Though it is commonly used in desserts, it is versatile enough to work well in both sweet and savory recipes.

It is also an ideal replacement in baking recipes.

How to Substitute? 

You can use mascarpone in the same measure as sour cream is called for in almost any recipe, although there will be slight flavor differences. 

To make your own mascarpone cheese, check out this YouTube tutorial – 

14. Milk 

Though not the best choice, when in a pinch, you can always use milk with some lemon juice to do the trick in your recipes, especially in baking.

It is best used in recipes where consistency is not a problem. 

How to Substitute? 

You can use more or less the same measure of milk to replace sour cream in a recipe, but keep in mind that the flavor and texture will be different. 

Bottom Line 

I hope this guide was helpful and gave you some ideas for substitutes for sour cream.

If you have a favorite substitute for sour cream, please share it in the comments.

And, if you found this article helpful, please share it with your friends and family.

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About Karen Wilson

Karen is a foodie to the core. She loves any variety of food - spicy or junk! Her slender body and height are deceiving, as she enjoys eating hearty meals that would leave most people gasping for air. She has an appetite for life, and wants everyone around her to share in it too.

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