Looking for an alternative to Sour Cream? You’re in the right place! Keep reading for my favourite simple Sour Cream substitutes both dairy and dairy-free.
What is Sour Cream?
Sour Cream is a delicious dairy product made by fermenting cream with lactic acid bacteria cultures which give the cream a fresh tangy flavour and thicken the texture so it looks more like whipped cream.
The Best Sour Cream Substitutes – Dairy
1. Greek Yoghurt
If I don’t have sour cream in the fridge, a tangy creamy Greek Yoghurt is my go-to substitute. Greek yoghurts contain a lot less fat (approx 10%) compared to regular sour cream (approx 35% fat) so it will be lighter and slightly more acidic but generally this isn’t a problem. Just be careful if your recipe requires the sour cream to be cooked as yoghurt will curdle if brought to the boil, so best to add it at the last minute.
2. Double Cream
A thick dollop of double cream will be sweeter than sour cream which may or may not be a good thing.
3. Lemon Whipped Cream
Whipped cream won’t have the acidity of it’s sour cousin so adding a squeeze of lemon and/or some lemon zest will make up for the tangy flavour. My mum used to add vinegar to cream to make sour cream for pikelets which worked well but looked pretty gross.
In baking buttermilk will work for cakes but will be too high in moisture if using it in pastry. For savoury cooking buttermilk is much less thick so won’t be idea but then better than nothing.
The Best Dairy-Free Sour Cream Substitutes
1. Cashew ‘Sour Cream’
I love making this fresh creamy sauce using cashews and lime juice. It is delicious in it’s own right but it’s a handy dairy-free alternative to sour cream – especially in Mexican cooking.
2. Pine Nut ‘Sauce’
A similar idea to the cashew sauce above using pine nuts instead. Recipe here.
3. Avocado or Guacamole
In recipes where you are just dolloping on the sour cream as a sauce I often use mashed avocado or some guac. Don’t use avocado in recipes where the sour cream is cooked. OR in baked goods, unless you think you won’t notice the green colour and avocadoey flavour.
Another option to replace sour cream when you’re just looking for a sauce to dollop on things. This Almond Hummus recipe will work in a similar way.
How to Store Sour Cream
Sour Cream can be stored for weeks in the refrigerator. I generally ignore he best before date and eat it even weeks after it is out of date. As long as there’s no mold growing on it. Don’t freeze as the fat crystals go all grainy when defrosted.
Sour Cream Goes with…
- Chives & Sour Cream
- Hot Sauce & Sour Cream
- Chilli & Sour Cream
- Sweet Chilli Sauce & Sour Cream
- Dill & Sour Cream
- Potatoes & Sour Cream
- Herbs & Sour Cream
More Ingredient Substitutes
- The Ultimate Guide to Vegetable Substitutes
- Collard Greens
- Miso Paste
- Oyster Sauce
Also see see the Simple Ingredients Substitutes Index.
Have fun in the kitchen!