Cream cheese is a versatile product made from milk and cheese. This delicious cheese is mostly used as a spread for bagels and bread, but can also act like a star ingredient in cheesecake and other baked goods.

However, you may have to look for some substitutes for cream cheese if you are allergic to dairy products or just want to avoid it due to the high-fat content. [1]

Luckily, there is a wide range of products that you can use in your baking or other recipes. Some of them are even a better fit than cream cheese.

This article lets you find out some amazing and delicious cream cheese substitutes that you didn’t know you could use.

substitutes for cream cheese

Substitutes for Cream Cheese

1. Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is a healthy alternative to cream cheese due to its low-calorie content. It’s one of the most popular cheese that can be an excellent ingredient for any healthy dishes.

Cottage cheese is rich in sodium, potassium, folic acid, copper, calcium, and essential vitamins and doesn’t contain any saturated fat. [2]

When blended into a smooth pasted, cottage cheese has an almost similar consistency as cream cheese with a slightly lighter flavor. That’s why using this cheese in desserts that already have plenty of sweetness from other ingredients would be the best idea.

2. Ricotta Cheese

Ricotta is an Italian cheese made from cow, goat, or buffalo milk. It’s another great substitute for cream cheese as it contains a significant amount of calcium and fatty acids. [3]

Besides, ricotta cheese is a good source of carbohydrates, protein, and sodium that can contribute to your daily energy needs. 

You can use a cup of ricotta cheese to replace the same amount of cream cheese in a recipe. Before using in a recipe, you must drain and puree the ricotta cheese in a blender until smooth to make it works exactly like the cream cheese.

3. Mascarpone Cheese

Mascarpone cheese is one of the closest cream cheese substitutes due to its thick, creamy texture and slightly sweet flavor.

Also known as triple cream cheese, it contains nearly the same health value as cream cheese. [4]

Mascarpone cheese can be the best fit in frosting and other dessert recipes. However, it may not be a healthy option as the fat content is quite high.

4. Kefir

Made from fermented milk, kefir is an extremely healthy alternative to cream cheese. It contains a significant amount of vitamins, minerals, and good bacteria that can help to maintain a healthy gut. [5]

Kefir tends to have a runnier texture and a more sour taste than cream cheese. You can strain or blend it to increase the thickness. 

Kefir can’t be used in a recipe that requires heating. Use it as a spread or in a recipe where it can be used raw.

5. Greek Yogurt

Another healthy option that you can use in different recipes. Greek yogurt can replace cream cheese in dishes that call for a sour taste.

Compare to other substitutes, Greek yogurt is quite tasty on its own and possesses numerous health benefits. It contains good bacteria that help improve your digestive system. [6]

Greek yogurt is less sweet but extremely creamy and easy to spread. You can easily use this ingredient as spread and dip.

substitutes for cream cheese

6. Silken Tofu

This is one of the best substitutes for cream cheese if you are a vegetarian or searching for a non-dairy option. However, it requires a bit of preparation to bring the desired flavor and consistency.

First, you need to drain the excess water from the tofu, then blend it with margarine. Add lemon juice, salt, vinegar, and sugar-based on the flavor and taste you want. Refrigerate it until it reaches a firm consistency.

This option is a perfect fit as a spread and in vegetarian desserts.

7. Hummus

Hummus is another vegetarian option made from cooked, mashed chickpeas, blended with olive oil, tahini, salt, lemon juice, and garlic.

It may not taste like cream cheese but still works as an excellent alternative when used as a spread in hot bagels or English muffins.

Unlike cream cheese, hummus is not loaded with fat and calories. Instead, it contains low-fat protein that can help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer. [7]

Final Word

Although cream cheese is quite delicious, you may have to avoid it due to the high amount of unhealthy fats it contains.

There are so many different options that you can use based on what you’re making. Some of these substitutes work well as a spread, while others fit best in baked dishes.

Whether you’re making sweet or savory dishes, using these substitutes in the right way will bring the desired flavor and taste.

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