Skip to Content

Enhance Recipes: 5 BEST Substitutes for Sour Cream

Guess what? Sour cream’s out, awesome swaps are in.

Ever find yourself elbow-deep in a recipe only to discover the sour cream’s gone AWOL? Yeah, us too.

No sweat. We’ve got the lowdown on the top five substitutes that’ll save your dish without a hitch.

Think yogurt, mayo, and a few surprises that’ll make you go, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

Each brings its own zing to the table, making your meals not just salvaged, but spectacular.

Ready for a kitchen revolution? These swaps are game changers.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Sour Cream

Sour cream is a popular ingredient known for its tangy flavor and creamy texture.

However, if you find yourself without sour cream or are looking for alternatives, there are several options to consider.

In this guide, we will compare the top 5 substitutes for sour cream, discussing their key characteristics and suggesting proper ratios to help you find suitable alternatives.

SubstituteKey CharacteristicsProper Ratio
Greek YogurtTangy and creamy; similar consistency and tasteUse an equal amount of Greek yogurt as a substitute for sour cream
Cottage CheeseCreamy and slightly tangy; provides textureBlend cottage cheese until smooth and use an equal amount as a substitute for sour cream
Crème FraîcheTangy and rich; higher fat content than sour creamUse an equal amount of crème fraîche as a substitute for sour cream
ButtermilkTangy and slightly acidic; thinner consistencyUse an equal amount of buttermilk as a substitute for sour cream
Crema MexicanaMildly tangy and creamy; popular in Mexican cuisineUse an equal amount of crema Mexicana as a substitute for sour cream

Now, let’s dive into each substitute in more detail:

1. Greek Yogurt

greek yogurt

Greek yogurt has become a popular choice among health-conscious consumers in recent years.

Unlike regular yogurt, which is made by heating milk and adding live cultures, Greek yogurt undergoes an additional straining process that removes much of the whey and lactose.

This process makes Greek yogurt thicker and creamier than regular yogurt, but it also increases its protein content.

Greek yogurt also contains probiotics, live bacteria that can promote digestive health.

Additionally, Greek yogurt is an excellent source of calcium, potassium, and vitamin D.

With so many benefits, it’s no wonder that Greeks have been eating this delicious food for thousands of years.

The only downside to Greek yogurt is that it can be more expensive than regular yogurt.

However, its rich flavor and creamy texture make it a worthwhile investment for many people.

So what makes Greek yogurt a good substitute for sour cream? Its high protein content makes it a satisfying option for those looking for a nutritious snack, and its thick texture can add creaminess to dips and sauces.

Greek yogurt’s tangy flavor pairs well with sweet or savory dishes.

Greek yogurt is a great choice if you’re looking to cut back on calories, fat, or dairy.

  • Key Characteristics: Greek yogurt offers a tangy and creamy flavor, similar to sour cream. It has a comparable consistency and can be used as a substitute in many recipes.
  • Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of Greek yogurt as a substitute for sour cream. Adjust the tanginess level based on personal preference.

2. Cottage Cheese

cottage cheese

For many people, cottage cheese conjures up bland, dry breakfast food images.

However, this unassuming cheese can be quite versatile.

When combined with other ingredients, it can make a delicious and healthy meal.

Cottage cheese is high in protein and low in calories, making it ideal for those watching their weight.

It also contains lactic acid, which can help to promote a healthy digestive system.

Best of all, cottage cheese is relatively cheap and easy to find.

When substituting cottage cheese for sour cream, the key is to choose a high-fat variety.

This will help to give your dish the creamy texture that you are looking for.

For best results, combine cottage cheese with milk or yogurt.

This will help thin out the cottage cheese and make it easier to spread.

If you are looking for a lower-fat option, you can use non-fat cottage cheese.

However, keep in mind that this option will not be as creamy.

  • Key Characteristics: Cottage cheese is creamy and slightly tangy, providing a similar texture to sour cream. When blended until smooth, it can serve as a suitable substitute.
  • Proper Ratio: Blend cottage cheese until smooth and use an equal amount as a substitute for sour cream. Adjust the tanginess level based on personal preference.

3. Crème Fraîche

crme frache

Crème fraîche is a rich and creamy French-style cream with a slightly tangy flavor.

It is made by adding lactic acid bacteria to heavy cream, thickening the cream, and giving it a slightly sour taste.

Crème fraîche can be used in both sweet and savory dishes, and it is often used as a topping for fruits, desserts, or soups.

It can also be added to sauces or used in place of sour cream in recipes.

While crème fraîche is readily available in most supermarkets, it is easy to make at home with just heavy cream and live-culture yogurt.

Homemade crème fraîche will have a slightly milder flavor than the store-bought variety, but it will still be delicious.

To substitute crème fraîche for sour cream, use an equal amount in your recipe.

Crème fraîche can be used in both cooked and uncooked dishes, so it is a versatile ingredient to have on hand.

  • Key Characteristics: Crème fraîche is tangy and rich, with a higher fat content than sour cream. It offers a creamy texture and a distinct flavor profile.
  • Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of crème fraîche as a substitute for sour cream. Keep in mind the higher fat content and adjust other ingredients accordingly.

4. Buttermilk


Buttermilk is more than just the leftover liquid from making butter.

Traditional buttermilk was a naturally fermented beverage made from cow’s milk.

The fermentation process gave the buttermilk a slightly sour taste and thick, creamy texture.

Today, most store-bought buttermilk is made from low-fat or skim milk that has been treated with an acid to mimic the fermentation process.

While it may not have the same flavor as traditional buttermilk, it still makes a delicious and versatile ingredient.

Buttermilk can be used in baking to create light and fluffy cakes, or it can be used as a marinade to tenderize meats.

It can even be enjoyed as a refreshing glass of chilled milk.

When substituting buttermilk for sour cream, keeping the ratio the same is important.

For every cup of sour cream called for in a recipe, you can use one cup of buttermilk.

Buttermilk can also be used in place of yogurt or milk in a recipe.

Just keep in mind that it will add a slightly sour flavor to whatever you’re making.

  • Key Characteristics: Buttermilk is tangy and slightly acidic, with a thinner consistency than sour cream. It adds a unique flavor profile to recipes.
  • Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of buttermilk as a substitute for sour cream. Consider the thinner consistency and adjust the recipe accordingly.

5. Crema Mexicana

Mexican crema is a delicious, thick cream often used in place of sour cream.

It has a rich, creamy texture and a slightly tangy flavor that pairs well with many dishes.

Mexican crema is made from heavy cream that has been combined with buttermilk and then cultured.

The crema’s culturing process has its characteristic thick consistency and slightly sour flavor.

In addition to being used as a condiment, Mexican crema can also be used in place of heavy cream in recipes.

It is an essential ingredient in many traditional Mexican dishes, such as enchiladas and chiles Rellenos.

Whether you use it as a condiment or cooking ingredient, Mexican crema will add a delicious richness to your dish.

The rich, creamy texture and slightly tangy flavor of Mexican crema make it a great substitute for sour cream.

It is also a versatile ingredient used in many different dishes.

  • Key Characteristics: Crema Mexicana is mildly tangy and creamy, commonly used in Mexican cuisine. It adds a unique flavor to dishes, especially those with a Mexican flair.
  • Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of crema Mexicana as a substitute for sour cream. Adjust the tanginess level based on personal preference.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Sour Cream

Seeking alternatives to sour cream? Your quest ends here! We've compiled a list of the 5 best substitutes that seamlessly replace sour cream, offering similar creaminess and tanginess. Whether it's Greek yogurt, buttermilk, or another option, discover the perfect swap for your culinary needs.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Greek Yogurt
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Crème Fraîche
  • Buttermilk
  • Crema Mexicana


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword substitutes for sour cream
Did you make this recipe?Mention @AmericasRestaurant or tag #americasrestaurant!
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating