Sour Cream Substitute In Recipes (Cheesecake, Beef Stroganoff, etc)

Sour cream is a popular fermented dairy product that is consumed in different ways. It is often used as a condiment to dishes like soups and baked potatoes. It can also be used as an ingredient in baked goodies like biscuits, cakes, and cookies. While it is a popular food for many, some people cannot or don’t want to use it due to many reasons like allergies, intolerance, availability, and preferences. No worries, here are the other substitutes for sour cream.

There are several good dairy options that you can use to replace sour cream, including Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and buttermilk. These choices are lower in calories and fat that can be used as a replacement for sour cream and in many recipes.

Reasons To Substitute Sour Cream

You may need to substitute sour cream for a variety of reasons, including:

Milk allergy

Cow’s milk is a common allergen. Children below the age of three are allergic to milk. Though some kids outgrow this allergy, other people must avoid milk for life.

Lactose intolerance

Lactose is a sugar found in milk products. People who are lactose intolerant are having a hard time breaking it down due to a deficiency in an enzyme, lactase that is needed to break down lactose.

Vegan diet

Some people choose to exclude animal products from their diets. For instance, those who are on vegan diets are required strictly to feed on plant-based foods for many reasons, such as animal welfare, health, and environmental concerns.

Health Reasons

Many people avoid milk and milk products for several health reasons such as skin and hormonal health while others are concerned about the use of antibiotics that can affect the effectiveness and safety of the medicine. Others are concerned about the growth hormones in dairy cows.

Low-fat diets

Regular consumption of sour cream is high in fat. In fact, the calories from a regular sour cream come from fat. Although this nutrient is important, many people still choose to cut the fat when attempting to lose some pounds.


Some people don’t like the sour cream’s tangy taste; therefore, they are looking for a better alternative that has a pleasant taste. Fortunately, there are many dairy and non-dairy alternatives that make an excellent replacement for sour cream.

Top 6 Sour Cream Substitutes

sour cream in food

There are many good dairy products that you can use to replace sour creams. It includes Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, creme fraiche, and buttermilk.

Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt is an excellent substitute for sour cream. While regular yogurt contains a higher percentage of liquid or the so-called whey, Greek yogurt has been strained to remove a large quantity of its whey. The result is a thicker, tangier version of the yogurt that is very similar to sour cream.

Moreover, Greek yogurt is lower in calories and fat but higher in protein than a full-fat sour cream.

One ounce of regular Greek yogurt contains 37 calories, 3 grams of fat, and 2 grams of protein. The same amount of full-fat sour cream contains 54 calories, 6 grams of fat, and 1 gram of protein.

Greek yogurt can be used as a replacement in dips, dressings, and toppings. Besides, equal parts of full-fat Greek yogurt can be used in replacement of regular sour cream in any recipe such as baked goodies.

NOTE: Greek yogurt is a strained yogurt with a thick texture similar to sour cream. However, it is lower in calories and fat that can be used as an alternative for sour cream in many recipes.

Cottage cheese

This cheese has a lot of rich history, wherein its name was coined during the 18th century when American settlers used milk leftovers from butter-making to create a soft cheese in their small homes called cottages

Cottage cheese is a cheese curd product. Curds are the solid parts of milk that are leftover from the cheesemaking process while whey as I’ve mentioned before is the liquid portion. It is mild with a soft and creamy texture.

Moreover, it is offered in a variety of fat percentages and curds sizes, that range from small to large. Cottage cheese is lower in calories and fat, but higher in protein than sour cream.

One-half cup of cottage cheese contains 110 calories, 5 grams of fat, and 12.5 grams of protein. For reference, one-half cup of sour cream contains 222 calories, 22 grams of fat, and just 2.5 grams of protein.

This cheese will make an excellent lower-fat, high-protein substitute. In fact, one cup of cottage cheese can be blended with 4 tablespoons of milk and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice to recreate the sour cream in any recipe.

NOTE: Cottage cheese is a soft, mild cheese that is lower in calories and fat, which can be significantly higher in protein content than sour cream. It can be combined with milk and lemon juice to be used in the recipe if sour cream is unavailable.


The term buttermilk is referred to the liquid leftover from the process of making cultured cream. The process involves leaving milk out to rest for some time. It allowed the cream and milk to separate, then leave a thick cream top that is used in butter making.

During the resting period, the naturally occurring lactic acid bacteria fermented the milk sugar, which results in a tangy liquid called buttermilk. Buttermilk is common in Indica and Pakistan, but not often in the West.

Like sour cream, commercial butter is pasteurized using the bacteria added in after the heating process. Though it is tangy in taste, it is similar to sour cream. It is liquid and can only be used as a replacement for sour cream in dressings and baked products.

NOTE: Buttermilk is a tangy liquid that can be used as a replacement for sour cream in dressings and baked goodies.

Creme Fraiche

Creme Fraiche means fresh cream. It is very similar to sour cream, which is made by adding a bacterial culture to heavy cream. While it is very similar to sour cream, creme fraiche consists of a thicker, cheese-like consistency, plus the flavor is less tangy.

Unlike cottage cheese and Greek yogurt, it contains a higher amount of fat and calories than sour cream.

Therefore, it may not be the best choice for those who count their caloric intake. An ounce of creme fraiche contains 100 calories and 11 grams of fat, which is almost the double amount of sour cream.

Although it is a calorie-dense food, it has a high-fat content that makes it an ideal ingredient in soups and sauces, so you can boil it without worrying about separation.

Creme fraiche is an easy one-to-one substitute for sour cream. However, keep in mind that its milder flavor may come across in the taste of the food.

NOTE: Creme fraiche looks like sour cream, but has higher fat and calorie content. It can be used as a one-to-one replacement. Though it has a mild flavor, it can change the taste of the recipe.

In addition to dairy substitutes for sour cream, there are other non-dairy alternatives that you can use. These vegan-friendly options include coconut milk, cashews, and soy products.

Coconut milk

Coconut milk is an excellent non-dairy alternative to sour cream. Do not be confused with coconut water, coconut milk comes from the meat of a freshly grated coconut. It is a staple ingredient in Southeast Asian, Caribbean, and South American cuisines and has become increasingly popular in North America.

Coconut milk is lactose-free and vegan, making it a great option for people with milk allergies or dietary restrictions. The cream on top of full-fat coconut milk can be skimmed off and blended with apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and sea salt to top your favorite dishes.

Full-fat coconut milk can also make an excellent sour cream replacement in baked goods. Just add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice for every cup of coconut milk to mimic the sour taste.

NOTE: If you are looking for a vegan-friendly sour cream substitute, then coconut milk is your best bet. It can be easily used in many recipes.


There are many commercial soy-based sour cream substitutes in the market, which are suitable for vegans and those who have an allergy to milk products. Several soy-based sour cream alternatives have a similar amount of calories and fat.

For example, an ounce serving of soy-based sour cream has 57 calories and 5 grams of fat, while the same amount of sour cream contains 54 calories and 6 grams of fat. Moreover, these products can be used as a one-to-one substitute for sour cream in recipes and baking.

Unfortunately, they typically contain several ingredients such as sugars and preservatives, which some people may want to avoid for different reasons.

No worries, if it is not available since you can easily make a soy-based version of sour cream at home. Just blend silken tofu with apple cider vinegar, salt, and lemon juice.

NOTE: Homemade or commercial soy-based sour creams are suitable for vegans and those with a milk allergy. It can be used as a replacement for sour cream in recipes.

Recipes Without The Use Of Sour Cream

Cheesecake Without Sour Cream Recipe

Ingredients for the base:

  • 220 grams (8 ounces) digestive biscuits
  • 100 grams (3.5 ounces) unsalted butter (melted)

For the toppings:

  • 200 grams (7 ounces) fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped plus 100 to 200 grams (3.5 to 7 ounces) for extra
  • Strawberries cut in half for decoration
  • 180 grams (6.5 ounces) caster sugar
  • 600 grams ( 1 pound and 5 ounces) of full-fat cream cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 100 grams (3.5 ounces) mascarpone cheese
  • 20 grams (¾ ounces) icing sugar
  • 100 mL (3.5 fluid ounces) double cream


  1. Line the base of the tin with baking parchment with the use of a food processor. The food processor has a blade attachment wherein you can blitz the biscuits into fine crumbs. You can also place them in a plastic bag, then seal and crush them with a rolling pin.
  2. Pour the biscuit crumbs into the bowl, then add the melted butter and stir together. Tip into the lined tin and press into the base with the back of the spoon. Place the tin in the fridge for about 20 to 30 minutes to allow the base to set.
  3. Meanwhile, place the strawberries in the saucepan with 80 grams (30 ounces) of the sugar and 30 mL (1 fluid ounce) of water, then bring to boil. Reduce the heat and then cook until the strawberries are soft and the liquid is reduced by half. Take off the hob and set it aside until it becomes completely cold.
  4. Preheat the oven to 160 C (320 F). prepare the topping by using a hand-held electric whisk or freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment to beat together the cream cheese and the remaining sugar on a medium speed until becomes smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, then mix well after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl now and then. Tip in the cooked strawberries and then stir in by hand to ensure that they are evenly dispersed.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin that should be two-thirds full. Place in the roasting tin (wrap the cake tin in foil), then fill this with hot water about 5mm from the top of the cake tin. This makes a water bath in which you can bake the cheesecake, preventing it from drying out and cracking in the oven.
  6. Bake it for approximately 30 minutes or until firm on top with a very slight wobble in the center. Then allow the cheesecake to cool to room temperature (still in the tin). Place it in the fridge to chill and set for 1 to 2 hours.
  7. Using the electric whisk, beat the mascarpone and icing sugar on a medium speed until smooth. In a separate bowl, whip the double cream the soft peaks form. Fold it into the mascarpone.
  8. Remove the chilled cheesecake from the fridge, then pour the mascarpone cream on top. Spread it evenly. Place it back in the fridge for a few hours or preferably overnight to set.
  9. When you are ready to serve, carefully remove the cheesecake from the tin, then top it with fresh strawberry halves.

Beef Stroganoff Without Sour Cream Recipe

This beef stroganoff with steak is creamy and easy to prepare and is kid-friendly with homemade mushroom gravy done from scratch. It is a comforting meal of beef and pasta that is loved by everyone.


  • Beef broth
  • Mushroom
  • Salt
  • Milk
  • Flour
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Black pepper
  • Wide egg noodles
  • Butter
  • Garlic
  • Beefsteak


  • Flour is used to thicken the sauce.
  • Beef broth is a more flavorful sauce than chicken
  • You need a good cut of beef steak to ensure that it is tender and not tough.
  • You can use whatever you have for the pasta.


  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions, then sear the steak in the butter.
  2. Turn it once, then remove it to the plate. Then let it rest. Do not cram the pan.
  3. Reduce the heat, then add more butter to the pan and saute some garlic. Add mushrooms and cook until it becomes tender.
  4. Sprinkle the flour on the mushroom and then cook for less than a minute.
  5. Add the broth and milk, then stir everything well together.
  6. Adjust the seasonings, then make sure to scrape the goodies while you are mixing the sauce. This gives the sauce flavors that you do not want to miss. Add the meat back into the pan.


  • Flatten the steak before slicing to make sure an even cooking
  • Ensure to cut your steak thinly, then sear them on high briefly on each side with around 30 to 45 seconds each. This will help in locking the moisture in to keep the beef tender.
  • Do not cram the skillet when you have a crowded skillet. The meat will steam rather than sear.
  • Sprinkle the flour over the mushroom instead of mixing the flour in the broth or milk before adding it to the pan.
  • The use of homemade beef stock helps in leveling up the recipe.

Final Thoughts

Sour cream is a well-known ingredient. However, some people are looking for another tasty alternative because of several reasons. Luckily, there is a wide variety of suitable dairy and non-dairy replacements for sour cream.

Some sour cream replacements are best used for topping, dips, and dressings, while others are used in baked goodies. So if you are looking for sour cream that will not compromise the taste of your favorite dish, you can choose from the above-mentioned lists.

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