Sour cream is a staple item in most American refrigerators. It’s incredibly versatile and can be used as a topping for foods, like tacos and chili, or take classic dishes, like mac and cheese, to the next level. Though it may seem like this tangy and creamy condiment is irreplaceable, we’ve gathered the best sour cream substitutes for when you forgot to pick some up at the grocery store, want to cut back on calories and fat, or have a dairy allergy.

Read on to learn how to make desserts, meals, dips, and sauces without sour cream for yourself. They're simple, delicious, and in many cases, use items you're likely to have on hand in your kitchen.

Dairy Based Sour Cream Substitutes

Sour cream substitute on toast.

1. Cottage Cheese

One cup of cottage cheese has less fat than sour cream. This is part of what makes cottage cheese such an appealing sour cream substitute. The only problem is the texture. Cottage cheese is made of cheese curds, solid nodules of milk leftover from the process of making cheese. Sour cream, on the other hand, is essentially made of fermented cream. And as the name implies, it's creamy.

How To Substitute

Fortunately, there's an easy way to manipulate cottage cheese into obtaining a silky texture. Take one cup of cottage cheese, 4 ½ teaspoons of milk or half and half and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and mix them in your blender to the desired thickness and consistency.

Nutritional Info (per 1 cup serving)

  • Calories: 222
  • Total Fat: 10g
  • Saturated fat: 3.9g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.3g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 1.8g
  • Cholesterol: 38mg
  • Sodium: 819mg
  • Potassium: 234mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 8g
  • Dietary fiber: 0g
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Protein: 25g

2. Creme Fraiche

Creme Fraiche and grapes

While having fresh creme fraiche in your fridge isn’t as common, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write it off as a substitute for sour cream. Creme fraiche is basically the French version of sour cream, it’s just thicker, creamier, and a little less sour.

How To Substitute

Creme fraiche is the perfect accompaniment for fresh fruit and creamy bisques. When substituting, use just as much as you would for sour cream.

Nutritional Info (per one tbsp serving)

  • Calories: 53.5
  • Total Fat: 5.5g
  • Sodium: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 0.5g
  • Protein: 0.5g

3. Greek Yogurt

Sour cream substitute with cheese and chives.

Plain Greek yogurt might be the easiest substitute for sour cream. Most people have it in their refrigerators and it has a similarly tangy flavor profile and creamy consistency.

How To Substitute

Substituting Greek yogurt for sour cream is pretty simple: just stick to a one-to-one ratio. For the most similar taste, go for whole-milk Greek yogurt instead of nonfat. Keep in mind that yogurt has a lower heat threshold than sour cream because it has less fat. If you simmer Greek yogurt, do so at a lower temperature to prevent curdling.

Nutritional Info (per one cup serving)

  • Calories: 220
  • Total Fat: 11g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.5g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 30mg
  • Sodium: 79mg
  • Potassium: 320mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 9g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 9.1g
  • Protein: 20g

Non-Dairy Sour Cream Substitutes

A block of tofu.

1. Tofu

Ask any vegetarian or vegan you know and they’ll tell you just about everything you’d need to know about soybeans. They are incredibly versatile and are the primary ingredient in tofu, which is made out of curdled soy milk. The process of making tofu is actually similar to the process of making cottage cheese. Another similarity tofu and cottage cheese share is that they both make great substitutes for sour cream.

How To Substitute

Blend 1 carton of silken tofu, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.

Nutritional Info (per 3oz serving)

  • Calories: 52
  • Total Fat: 2.3g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.3g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.2g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 0.5g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 30mg
  • Potassium: 163mg
  • Dietary Fiber: 0.1mg
  • Sugar: 1.1g
  • Protein: 6g

2. Cashews

bowl of cashews

Anyone who's tried cashew milk will tell you this delicious nut makes an amazing substitute for dairy. Cashew milk is very similar in taste to dairy milk. This makes it a perfect substitute for sour cream. The only downside is that unlike other substitutes, it does take a little bit of planning in advance.

How To Substitute

Soak a cup of cashews overnight to soften them. In the morning, strain the nuts and mix them in the blender with a quarter teaspoon of salt, 2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and mix for 3 to 4 minutes to your desired consistency.

Nutritional Information (per 2 tbsp serving)

  • Calories: 80
  • Total Fat: 6g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Sodium: 65mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 4g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Protein: 3g

3. Coconut Cream

Coconut and coconut cream.

Canned coconut cream can be used as a dairy-free sour cream substitute. Keep in mind, however, that coconut cream has a sweet taste that might not be for every situation, like topping a baked potato. Like creme fraiche, however, it is delicious with fruit or bisques.

How To Substitute

Making a coconut cream sour cream is easy - simply add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to a cup of coconut cream and mix well.

Nutritional Facts (per 1 tbsp serving)

  • Calories: 49
  • Total Fat: 5g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.6g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 1mg
  • Potassium: 49mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 1g
  • Fiber: 0.3g
  • Protein: 0.5g

Whether you just want to save yourself a trip to the grocery store or you want to skip the dairy these easy, amazing sour cream substitutes will make sure you're not missing out on anything. Especially not the taste.

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