11 Best Sour Cream Substitutes

If you want to make a delicious dip or topping for your tacos, enchiladas, or any other dish, then sour cream is the perfect ingredient. 

Sour cream can add a nice, light taste to any dish and it is often used in many recipes.

But what if you don’t have sour cream?

Don’t worry though because there are plenty of sour cream substitutes that will give you the same taste as sour cream without all the fuss.

In this article, I’ll be sharing 11 excellent substitutes for sour cream that I highly recommend trying out next time you’re in need of some creamy goodness.

But before, let’s know how sour cream is made and its contents.

What is Sour Cream?

Sour cream is usually made by fermenting pasteurized cream with lactic acid bacteria until it thickens.

It is a condiment that can be used in many different types of dishes from sandwiches to veggies and even desserts.

Depending on the brand, sour cream has anywhere from 2% to 20% fat content. It has a very creamy consistency and is white in color.

In addition, it tends to have a slightly tangy taste to it which makes it perfect for pairing with so many different types of menu options.

Lactic acid bacteria is what gives sour cream its tangy taste and it contains a lot of Lysine, an essential amino acid that helps your body produce carnitine – an anti-aging nutrient that keeps your cells vibrant and healthy.

While you can get pretty much the same nutritional benefits from any of the substitutes listed, you won’t get that tangy taste that sour cream gives to your dish.

11 Best Sour Cream Substitutes

1. Greek Yogurt

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is made by straining regular yogurt so all you have left is a creamy texture and a tangy taste. 

It’s a much healthier choice than sour cream because it has significantly less fat content (which is why it’s called Greek yogurt).  

It can be used in place of sour cream when making dips like salsa or guacamole.

This substitute should be mixed with some milk before being added to the recipe so it can resemble the consistency of sour cream. 

2. Cream Cheese

Cream Cheese Substitutes

Cream cheese is also a great substitute for sour cream because it gives you the same creamy texture and rich taste, but with fewer calories.

It can be used in a variety of ways from being eaten on its own to making a scrumptious spread for your bagels and toast.  

You can also whip it up with some sugar and cocoa powder to use as icing for cakes or brownies.

Related: How to Tell if Cream Cheese is Bad?

3. Buttermilk

Buttermilk is perfect for any sour cream substitute because it’s the closest thing you’ll get to that same light, creamy taste.

Buttermilk is made by fermenting low-fat milk so all you have left is a thick texture and sour flavor. It can be used as a replacement for yogurt or buttermilk in recipes.

However, if you want the taste of buttermilk to shine through, it should be used as a replacement for water in recipes.

4. Creme Fraiche

Creme fraiche is basically French-style heavy cream that contains 30% fat content. The word “creme” means “cream”, and it’s called “fraiche” because it has not been heat-treated.

You can use creme fraiche as a replacement for sour cream in any recipe and it’s also the perfect substitute for mayonnaise because you’ll get that same smooth texture and rich taste.

5. Kefir

Kefir is similar to buttermilk so all you have to do is replace buttermilk with kefir and you’ll be good to go.

It has a lot of probiotics in it which can build up your immune system and keep your digestive tract healthy.

The consistency of kefir makes it perfect for dressing any salad, dipping veggies, or even as a replacement for water in baking recipes.

6. Homemade Sour Cream

Mexican Sour Cream Dip

If you want to save money and cut down on all the preservatives, additives, and processed ingredients found in store-bought sour cream, it might be a good idea to try making your own.

Homemade sour cream is basically regular sour cream that has been left out overnight until it becomes thick and tangy. You can also add some lemon juice, buttermilk, or yogurt to get that same tangy taste.

The homemade sour cream will separate after 16-24 hours so you’ll have to whisk it before using.

You can also freeze leftover sour cream in an airtight container or zip lock bag for up to 2 months.

7. Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise is another substitute for sour cream because it has the same creamy texture and rich taste.

Mayonnaise can be used in a lot of recipes to make them moister. It’s also perfect for salad dressings, dips, sauces, and even baked goods like muffins or cakes.

8. Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is one of the easiest substitutes for sour cream because it has a thick and creamy texture.

All you have to do is mix 1 cup cottage cheese with 2 tablespoons of milk and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and you should end up with something similar to sour cream.

You can use the same amounts even if you substitute yogurt or buttermilk for the milk.

9. Mexican Crema

Mexican Crema is sort of like creme fraiche which means that it’s similar to sour cream.

However, you can still use Mexican crema as a replacement for sour cream and enjoy the same rich and creamy taste.

Unlike sour cream, Mexican crema has less fat content but more calories so if you want to cut down on the calories, you can substitute Mexican crema with low-fat or non-fat yogurt.

10. Vegan Sour Cream

As the name suggests, vegan sour cream is for vegans who are looking for a substitute that’s 100% animal-product-free. You can use it as a replacement for regular sour cream in any recipe.

To make vegan sour cream, you should blend 1/4 cup silken tofu with 2 tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice. Some people also add a little salt and garlic to the mixture.

The resulting vegan sour cream should have a thick and creamy texture just like regular sour cream.

11. Coconut Milk

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is the last substitute on our list because it’s great as a replacement for heavy cream or even regular dairy milk.

You can also use it as a sour cream substitute in any recipe that calls for sour cream.

All you have to do is mix 2 cups of coconut milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and let it stand for about 5 minutes.

You should end up with a substitute that has the same creamy and rich texture as sour cream.

That’s it! These were my favorite 11 best sour cream substitutes you might want to know of.

What Does Sour Cream Taste Like?

Sour cream tastes like a paste-like dairy product that has the same creamy and smooth texture with a mild tangy taste. 

It’s also great for baked goods, dips, salads, and just about any other recipe that calls for sour cream.

Can I Substitute Milk for Sour Cream? 

Yes! Milk is a good substitute for sour cream in many recipes. Mix 1 cup of milk mixed with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice for sour cream that has the same creamy texture.

For dressings and dips, you can just add a few tablespoons of milk to get that same creamy taste. You can also replace sour cream with milk when baking muffins or cakes to make them moister.

Most people would just use low-fat or non-fat milk for recipes like these to cut down on fat and calories.

But you can also substitute full-fat regular dairy milk if you want to make healthier muffins or cakes.

What Is a Substitute for Sour Cream in Banana Bread? 

Yogurt is a substitute for sour cream in banana bread because it will give the same moist texture to other baked goods and other recipes that call for sour cream.

What Is a Good Substitute for Sour Cream if You Want to Avoid Dairy?

If you’re vegan or don’t consume dairy, there are several substitutes for sour cream which you can try.

Silken tofu, soy yogurt, and vegan sour cream are just some of the dairy-free sour cream substitutes you can use in any recipe that calls for sour cream.

Just keep in mind that there might be subtle differences in taste which makes it better to use these substitutes when trying out a new recipe.

Final Words

If you want to make a dish and don’t have sour cream, there are plenty of substitutes that will work. I hope you enjoyed reading our list of 11 great substitutions for sour cream.

Which one do you think would be the best to use? Let me know in the comments!

I’m a passionate food blogger on a journey to become a go-to person who can help others prepare delicious foods. I share recipes, food substitutes, and other cooking tips. Read more about my journey...

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