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5 Best Substitutes for Sour Cream: the Easy Swaps

From tangy tacos to delightful waffles, sour cream is one of those ingredients that slips its way into hundreds of recipes, leaving its signature creamy savor on our palates. But, a tub of sour cream can quickly turn into a nightmare when we run out of it in the middle of cooking or find that it has expired.

Instead of panicking and running to the store, why not try some easy substitutes for sour cream? Not only are these alternatives easily available in most households, but they also offer similar textures and flavors. Let’s take a look at the top 5 substitutes for sour cream that will save your day (and your recipe!):

5 Best Substitutes for Sour Cream

1. Greek Yogurt

Enter Greek yogurt, with all its probiotic glory and a tang akin to sour cream’s—only denser and richer. Swap this creamy delight into your next batch of baked goods or use it to dress up your potato salad.

Looking for a 1:1 swap ratio? Look no further. It’s perfect for a healthier take on your favorite recipes, and the result? A taste so divine, you might just start a trend. Remember, Greek yogurt might be a little thicker, so a dash of milk can smoothen it out.

2. Mayonnaise

Mayo, the unsung hero of the culinary world, brings a subtle kick to the sour cream scene. It’s an unexpected yet effective replacement, particularly if you’re cooking and not just baking.

This creamy, oil-based spread stands tall in sandwich fillings, dips, and even soups, offering a 1:1 substitute that provides a satisfying velvety texture. Don’t shy away from customizing your mayo with a pinch of lime for that additional tang.

3. Buttermilk

Say ‘howdy’ to buttermilk—sour cream’s creamy cousin with a bit of zest and a thinner consistency. When the recipe calls, don’t be afraid to answer with buttermilk. It’s a phenomenal partner for tangy marinades, tender baked goods, and as a base for dressings.

For every cup of sour cream, whisk together ¾ cup of buttermilk with ⅓ cup of butter. The result? A delectable creation that’s as good in a cake as it is in fried chicken.

4. Crème Fraîche

Crème fraîche, the sophisticate’s creamy companion, boasts a milder flavor and less tang than sour cream. It’s the go-to for recipes that require to be heated, as it’s less likely to curdle. Think sauces, soups, and the occasional baked sweet treat.

To replace sour cream with this French favorite, mix 1 cup of heavy cream with 1 tablespoon of buttermilk and leave it at room temperature overnight. The beauty of crème fraîche? It’s as robust in a beef stroganoff as it is in a blueberry tart.

5. Cream Cheese

Cream cheese, with its unapologetic indulgence and amazing adaptability, steps effortlessly into the sour cream spotlight. When texture is as significant as taste, this go-to alternative doesn’t disappoint.

Use it in cheesecake, frostings, and as a topping for baked potatoes. For a seamless exchange, mix ¼ cup of cream cheese with 1 tablespoon of milk until smooth—that’s the richness you were missing in those tacos.