Have you run out of cream cheese and clueless about what you can substitute for cream cheese in your special recipe without ruining the taste or texture?
Well, you’ll be surprised to know that I don’t have just one but TWELVE substitutes for cream cheese.
All of which can either be found in your fridge or pantry or at the store around the corner street.
Now, what is a good cream cheese substitute?
Since cream cheese has both a distinct taste and texture, to find a suitable alternative, you need to keep both factors in mind as well as the purpose for which you need cream cheese.
Seems a little hectic? Do not worry. I got your back and listed some great substitutes here.
Best Cream Cheese Substitutes:
- Ricotta cheese
- The three kinds of French cheese – Gervais, little Swiss, and Neufchâtel.
Other commonly used cream cheese substitutes include – soft bean curd AKA tofu, hung curd, cottage cheese, and cashew cream cheese.
However, these aren’t all. My top favorite cream cheese alternatives are yet to come.
I promise you by the end of it, you won’t just know the best cream cheese substitutes, but also how beneficial they can be for your health. Let’s first read what is cream cheese?
What is Cream Cheese?
Cream cheese is a choice of many.
The delicious form of spread is an important ingredient in baked dishes and dips.
But, cream cheese holds some unhealthy fats at a great deal.
For that reason, it is not favorable.
Hence, making it not a good choice for people allergic to dairy and also for the diet conscious.
The good news is there are some substitutes for cream cheese.
These substitutes for cream cheese are good in taste and not bad for health. So let’s deal with those cravings without tensions!
Are you in a hurry? Well, save this image and come back later to read this article.
12 Best Cream Cheese Substitutes For Your Recipes
What makes any ingredient good? For me, it’s versatility.
The way it can be used in several different recipes, in all sorts of manners. That is the reason why Cream cheese is one of the most loved forms of cheese around the world.
Make an artichoke dip out of it or bake some wholesome cheesecake or slather it on a bagel and devour!
These are the exact reasons why after tons of trial and error, I have finally listed the 12 ingredients that replace cream cheese best in any possible recipe.
Are you ready to find out?
Substitute name Total calories/100g Carbs Fats ( in %) Sodium Cholesterol Ricotta cheese 174 3g 20% 84mg 51mg Hung curd 50 3.6g 0% 36mg 5mg Cashew cream cheese 206 12g 65% 207g 0mg Soft bean curd 76 1.9g 7% 7mg 0mg Cottage cheese 98 3.4g 6% 364mg 17mg Gervais 79/1pc 2g 62% 5g 80mg Little swiss 380 5.4g 43% 192mg 92mg Neufchâtel 253 3.7g 35% 334mg 74mg Sour Cream 193 2.9g 30% 80mg 52mg Kefir 213.5g 3.5g 30% 33.3mg 59.5mg Mascarpone 450 2g 69% 55mg 100mg Goats Cheese 268 0.9g 9% 368mg 46mg
12 Ricotta Cheese
Originated from Italy, ricotta cheese is used fresh and tastes milder than most cheeses, with a milky aftertaste.
Given its crumbly texture, to use ricotta as a substitute for cream cheese, you will have to mix it with an equal amount of yogurt, to attain the right texture required to make dips or in baking.
However, when used for cooking gravies, it can be used as-is. Though for making a cheesecake or frosting for cakes, you will have to mix ricotta cheese with equal amounts of heavy cream instead of yogurt to attain the right taste and texture.
Also, since ricotta has no sweetness, you might want to add some sugar.
Is Ricotta Cheese Good For Your Health?
Most cheeses, including Ricotta, have high levels of fat, which put one at risk of heart diseases and high cholesterol. However, low-fat ricotta is readily available and has tremendous health benefits:
- One serving of ricotta cheese makes up for 50% of the amount of calcium needed per day.
- Ricotta has a great protein giveaway, which is essential for growth.
- It is rich in vitamins such as A, B-12, zinc, and phosphorus.
- Compared to other cheeses, it has twice the less amount of sodium content, making it suitable for those with high blood pressure.
Why Have I Chosen Ricotta Cheese As An Alternative To Cream Cheese?
I choose to use Ricotta cheese as a substitute for cream cheese, as it works perfectly well when used in savory foods.
It gives a very similar flavor and is readily available, although the texture is too dry compared to cream cheese, which is, of course, creamier.
How To Substitute Ricotta Cheese For Cream Cheese?
- 1 cup Ricotta cheese + 1 cup yogurt = 2 cups of cream cheese for baked goods and dips.
- 1 cup ricotta cheese + 1 cup heavy cream = 2 cups of cream cheese specifically for frostings and cheesecake.
11 Hung Curd:
This substitute for cream cheese is although simple but full of nutrients. All you need is plain yogurt.
I prefer full-fat milk yogurt, as that provides the best consistency that matches cream cheese in terms of both – taste and texture.
You Will Need:
- Plain yogurt
- Cheesecloth OR square rag of a clean t-shirt
- A bowl
- Pour a cup of yogurt in the cloth and squeeze it pack tightly so that the whey separates and drains out.
- Hang it over the bowl for as long as you desire. (the longer it strains, the thicker the curd cheese you will get)
- Once all the whey has drained out, and you have your desired consistency, it is ready to devour.
Note: One cup of plain yogurt makes around half a cup of hung curd cheese when strained for 8 to 12 hours. If hung for more than 2 days, 1 cup will make 1/3 cup of cream cheese substitute.
Is Hung Curd Good For Your Health?
- Hung curd is loaded with proteins, unlike cream cheese.
- It fulfills 15% of the daily calcium requirement.
- It has low sodium content, which makes it a healthier option for those suffering from high blood pressure.
Why Have I Chosen Hung Curd As A Substitute For Cream Cheese?
The most prominent reason for choosing hung curd over cream cheese is its low-fat content.
On days when I want to treat myself with healthier options, hung curd cheese works best as a cream cheese replacement.
Another reason is that it is a versatile substitute, which can be used as a dip on its own, in baking goods, as well as sweet frostings, with some addition of honey/maple syrup.
Although the lower fat content is good healthwise, it is not as good for recipes like cheesecake, where the fat content matters most.
How To Substitute Hung Curd For Cream Cheese?
- 1 cup of hung curd cheese = 1 cup of cream cheese
10 Cashew Cream Cheese:
This cream cheese substitute is for all those lactose intolerant and vegans. As the name suggests, it uses cashews as a substitute for cream cheese.
All you need:
- 1 heaping cup of raw cashews – soaked in water for at least 2 hours or best overnight
- 2 tbsp Nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- A chopper
- Add the soaked cashews and nutritional yeast in the chopper and chop until it forms a smooth paste. Add the lemon juice and give it another whiz.
- For a flavorful pack, you can add more spices or ingredients like – freshly ground black pepper, dried garlic, dried button chilies, etc.
Note: This recipe will yield a little over 1 cup of cashew cream cheese.
Is Cashew Cream Cheese Good For Your Health?
- Cashews are full of good fats and minerals.
- They are known for lowering down cholesterol levels; hence they are a superfood for those suffering from high cholesterol.
- According to research, Cashews can also help cut down the risk of heart diseases.
Why I Have Chosen Cashew Cream Cheese As An Alternative To Cream Cheese?
Using cashew cream cheese as a replacement for cream cheese gives me the liberty to serve it to guests who are either health-conscious or vegan. It serves up amazingly with freshly cut vegetables, on a bagel, and even when stirred with pasta.
When made with nutritional yeast, it provides the right kick of cheesy flavor, making it similar in taste to actual cream cheese.
Though it works wonderfully with savories, it isn’t my go-to option when making desserts.
How To Substitute Cashew Cream Cheese For Cream Cheese?
- 1 cup of cashew cream = 1 cup of cream cheese
9 Soft Bean Curd:
Soft bean curd, popularly known as tofu it is an all-rounder substitute for cream cheese. Alongside proper nutrition, it is also vegan-friendly. Given its firm texture, it cannot be used as-is as a cream cheese replacement. Though ready-made options of spreadable tofu can be found online or in Asian stores.
To Use Soft Bean Curd/ Tofu As A Substitute For Cream Cheese, You Will Need:
- 1 ½ cup of soft tofu (soft tofu is easier to mix compared to the firm tofu)
- ½ cup of Margarine
- 1 tablespoon of Lemon Juice
- In a chopper, add all the ingredients and whiz!
- To get the right consistency, push the tofu towards the chopper blade for better distribution.
Is Soft Bean Curd Good For Your Health?
- Soft bean curd is rich in plant-based protein and carries the essential amino acids which are known as the building blocks of our body.
- In addition to calcium and iron, tofu is also full of minerals such as zinc, phosphorus, and B1.
- It also lowers the risk of cancer, osteoporosis, high cholesterol, and other symptoms of menopause.
Why I Have Chosen Soft Bean Curd As An Alternative To Cream Cheese?
Soft bean curd AKA tofu helps attain all the right nutrition while not compromising on taste or texture, hence makes a perfect cream cheese substitute.
It can conveniently be used in savory recipes as well as desserts.
How To Substitute Soft Bean Curd For Cream Cheese?
- 1 ½ cup of soft bean curd + ½ cup of Margarine + 1 tablespoon of Lemon Juice = 1 cup of cream cheese
8 Cottage Cheese:
Cottage cheese is a form of fresh cheese, which means it is not processed for aging. It is made up of yogurt, which makes it a less fattening and healthier substitute for cream cheese over most.
Cottage cheese can be used as a cream cheese replacement in several ways:
- Strain the cottage cheese and add equal amounts of heavy cream to make a perfect cream cheese alternative for desserts and frostings.
- Add strained cream cheese to a blender and puree it for a perfect substitute for dips and gravies.
- Puree the strained cottage cheese with some butter for a fattening substitute.
Is Cottage Cheese Good For Your Health?
- Cottage cheese is 70% protein, which means it is a protein-rich food.
- It provides 11% of the daily recommended dose of calcium.
- It prevents insulin resistance, making it a healthier choice for those with diabetes.
Note: If taken in high amounts, high blood pressure patients should make sure to use a low sodium variety, as it contains high amounts of sodium.
Why I Have Chosen Cottage Cheese As An Alternative To Cream Cheese?
Cottage cheese is one of the most commonly used substitutes for cream cheese, because:
A: It is readily available. Most of us have it in our fridge at all times. If not, every store, whether big or small, has it.
B: It is full of nutrients.
C: Can be used in all sorts of recipes, without having to worry about the difference in texture or taste.
How To Substitute Cottage Cheese For Cream Cheese?
- 1 cup of cottage cheese = 1 cup of cream cheese
Gervais is a type of French cheese, which makes for a perfect cream cheese replacement, given its soft and spreadable texture, as well as the flavor, which though is rich and tangier but also has hints of sweetness just like cream cheese.
Is Gervais Good For Your Health?
- Gervais, like all cheeses, are excellent for bone and teeth health, hence prevents osteoporosis and tooth decay.
- It is a good source of protein, calcium, and vitamin B12.
- Healthy fats help attain better heart health.
Why I Have Chosen Gervais As An Alternative To Cream Cheese?
Gervais is not just any cream cheese substitute but a look-alike. It can be used in place of cream cheese in every possible recipe. The only catch is that it is not as readily available, at every other store, as the alternatives.
How To Substitute Gervais For Cream Cheese?
- 1 cup of Gervais french cheese = 1 cup of cream cheese
6 Little Swiss:
Little swiss is another type of french cheese, which is a great cheese alternative.
It is a type of fresh, unsalted cheese with a thick yogurt-like texture, which makes it great for frostings when mixed with a sweetener such as honey, marmalade, jam, or even chocolate.
While for a savory twist, add mixed herbs, salt, and some spice for a quick chip and dip.
Is Little Swiss Good For Your Health?
Like most cheeses, it is excellent for health if consumed in limited amounts.
The high-fat percentage may result in coagulated arteries; however, small amounts, even daily, can prove great benefits for both heart health and bones.
Why I Have Chosen Little Swiss As An Alternative To Cream Cheese?
Little swiss, also known as petite Suisse, is known for its creaminess, hence works perfectly well when replaced for cream cheese, even in desserts.
How To Substitute Little Swiss For Cream Cheese?
- 1 small container little swiss + honey = 1 cup cream cheese for desserts and frostings
- 1 small container little swiss + mustard = 1 cup of cream cheese for savory foods and dips.
Like petit Suisse and Gervaise, Neufchatel is also a soft cheese that matches the consistency and taste of cream cheese like no other. Although it is available in both fresh and aged forms, when using as a cream cheese replacement, young, fresh Neufchatel cheese works best.
Is Neufchatel Good For Your Health?
Just like the other forms of cheese, it aids better bone and teeth health, making it a superfood for both adults and children.
However, high doses may lead to high cholesterol and high blood pressure, given the high amounts of fats and sodium present in most cheeses.
Why I Have Chosen Neufchatel As An Alternative To Cream Cheese?
While Neufchatel can’t be differentiated from cream cheese when used in a recipe, especially when preparing a savory dish, it is not as readily available in stores. You will have to look for it online or buy from specialized stores that deal in cheese and its varieties.
How To Substitute Neufchatel For Cream Cheese?
- 1 cup of fresh Neufchatel = 1 cup of cream cheese
Also Read: 10 Perfect Butter Substitutes in 2020
4 Sour Cream:
Sour cream is made by coagulating cream. It is popularly used as a dip with several condiments. Hence, it can easily substitute cream cheese when making dips or in any savory food recipe. However, given its acidic taste, it can not be used as a substitute for cream cheese frosting.
Is Sour Cream Good For Your Health?
Sadly, sour cream has no health benefits whatsoever. It is high in saturated fats and can affect one’s health if eaten out of proportionally.
Why I Have Chosen Sour Cream As An Alternative To Cream Cheese?
The only reason why I like substituting cream cheese with sour cream is that it works amazingly well when preparing dips and because it can be found at any nearby store.
How To Substitute Sour Cream For Cream Cheese?
- 1 cup of sour cream = 1 cup of cream cheese
Kefir is a drink made up of fermented milk, originally from Turkey. It is pretty similar in taste to traditional yogurt. But it has more water content than cream cheese; hence it can not be used as a cream cheese substitute on its own.
We have a solution to that too – Chia seeds.
How To Use Kefir And Chia Seed To Make A Perfect Cream Cheese Substitute:
- In a bowl, add 1 cup of kefir and 1/4cup of chia seeds.
- Let sit for half an hour without stirring.
- Voila! It’s ready to eat!
Is Kefir Good For Your Health?
Kefir, on its own, has tremendous benefits. Mix it up with some chia seeds, and you have a recipe for wholesome goodness.
- This combination is known for treating gastrointestinal issues, with its probiotic and antibacterial properties.
- They help lower the risk of bone disease.
- It also helps treat seasonal allergies.
Why I Have Chosen Kefir As An Alternative To Cream Cheese?
Kefir and chia seed cream cheese is most appealing because of the inconsiderable health benefits also because it is very similar in taste to cream cheese and works amazingly well as spreads and dips.
Though it can’t be heated as it not only curdles up but also loses its essential benefits.
How To Substitute Kefir For Cream Cheese?
- 1 cup of kefir + 1⁄4th cup of chia seeds = 1 cup of cream cheese
2 Goats Cheese:
Goats cheese, although expensive, is an excellent substitute for cream cheese. It has the right amount of tanginess as well as the smooth, spreadable texture that resembles that of cream cheese. Though it is a little denser and fattening than cream cheese. Hence, a 3/4th cup will be enough to replace one whole cup of cream cheese.
If fat consumption is an issue, low-fat goats cheese is also available in the market.
Is Goats Cheese Good For Your Health?
- Did you know, goats cheese is an actual benefit for weight loss?
- Not only this, it contains the right amount of proteins alongside a healthy dose of calcium and other necessary vitamins.
- It is easier to digest than other cheeses, hence many with lactose intolerance or milk allergies can also have this particular cheese.
Why I Have Chosen Goats Cheese As An Alternative To Cream Cheese?
Goats cheese has a particularly rich flavor that enhances every dish. Although it can’t substitute cream cheese in desserts, it works amazingly well when served as a dip or used to thicken gravies or make pasta sauce.
How To Substitute Goats Cheese For Cream Cheese?
- 3/4th cup of goat cheese = 1 cup of cream cheese
While cream cheese is American cheese, mascarpone is Italian cream cheese. They differ ever so slightly, the latter is creamier and has more fat content while cream cheese is a little more acidic.
But overall, they taste and look almost the same; hence mascarpone makes a perfect cream cheese replacement.
Is Mascarpone Good For Your Health?
Although mascarpone is rich in calcium, the amounts of fats present in it make it difficult to choose.
It does, though, contain low amounts of sodium compared to other cheese alternatives.
Why I Have Chosen Mascarpone As An Alternative To Cream Cheese?
Mascarpone is one of the perfect cream cheese substitutes, given that it has almost the same taste and texture. Although mascarpone is denser, it can be lightened by adding some lemon juice.
But what makes mascarpone the absolute best is the fact that it can be used in both savory dishes as well as desserts.
How To Substitute Mascarpone For Cream Cheese?
- 1 cup of mascarpone cheese = 1 cup of cream cheese
More Substitutes for cream cheese are here in the video.
Vegan Cream Cheese:
Vegan cream cheese holds less fat and zeroes cholesterol than its dairy-based partner. As long as you’re utilizing cream cheese, you shouldn’t have anything to stress over.
There is a large number of incredible cream cheeses out there to attempt, however, we’ve gathered together an advantageous rundown of the five best vegan cream cheese brands for you.
- Follow Your Heart
- Trader’s Joe
Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese:
It is the big boss of all vegan cream cheese. This brand serves the need of cheese-cake starved vegans. It is comprised of 60 Calories, 5g Fat, Protein 1 gram, Carbs 2 grams, Fiber 0g
Positive Points of this brand Vegan Cheese:
The smooth flavor is cream rich and is great in taste
The Other side: The Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese has hydrogenated oils which have been shown to give results of bad cholesterol and increased risk of coronary heart disease.
Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet Cream Cheese:
Follow Your Heart is a great choice. However, its veggie-lover cream cheddar is more preferable for vegetarians and non-veggie lovers alike.
Positive Point: FYH’s cream cheese is produced in the absence of trans-fats. The customers who don’t wish to use hydrogenated oils can spread this on a bagel easily
Trader Joe’s is genuinely the unsung legend of the vegetarian world, and their veggie lover cream cheese is no special case. Trader’s Joe is a combination of coconut and soy products. The customers define TJ’s veggie lover cream cheese as “luxurious”.
Positive Point: Trader Joe’s Vegan Cream Cheese is of vegetarian cultures. Trader Joe brand made without hurtful trans-fats. For this reason, it is the choice for veggie lover cheesecake with this cream cheese from Trader Joe’s. Individuals also take note that this cream cheese lends itself well to recipes like cheesecake and cream cheese frosting.
Vegan Cream Cheese Recipe:
People enjoy making Vegan Cashew Cream Cheese. Hence, to make vegan cream cheese (cashew cream cheese) follow the following steps
• Adding cashews (softened form), coconut oil, vinegar, white miso paste, apple cider, lemon juice and salt to a food processor
• Blend the mixture as smooth as possible. Also, stop to scrape the sides as required
- Now pour the vegan cream cheese into a small dish and smoothen the topping with a spatula. Do not forget to cover it. Let it be in the fridge for 1 hour or till serving.
Now that you know all the right cream cheese substitutes, here are some fantastic dishes that you can make, putting all the substitutes for cream cheese at test.
Don’t forget to tell us how it turned out for you!
For the past three years, I have been consciously making efforts for a healthy lifestyle, and I must say it has done wonders! From the better appearance, energized body to a peaceful soul, It has helped me attain it all and Now I am here at foodiideas with all my expertise and experiences. Read More…