Are you looking for dairy-free alternatives to sour cream?
You’re not alone – the search for delicious, creamy and dairy-free ingredients is on the rise.
In this blog, we’ll explore what sour cream is and the five best dairy-free substitutes that will satisfy your taste buds.
Get ready to enjoy a new world of creamy goodness.
What’s Sour Cream?
Sour cream is a thick, creamy concoction that adds a subtle tang to dishes.
It’s made with pasteurized cultured cream and its luscious, velvety texture makes it an excellent addition to many recipes.
While sour cream may have a slightly tart taste, it also imparts richness and depth that make dishes more decadent.
Additionally, because of its slightly acidic nature, it helps balance out meals that are richer in flavor.
To use sour cream in recipes such as soups or sauces where its taste will meld with other ingredients, stir gently at the end of cooking for best results.
When you want to enjoy the flavor of sour cream on its own in dip or dressings, add it just before serving for maximum freshness.
As a topping for tacos or baked potatoes, try blending sour cream with herbs like chives or dill for an extra pop of flavor.
5 Best Dairy-free Sour Cream Substitutes to Consider
If you’re looking for a dairy-free alternative to popular sour cream, you’re not alone.
Whether you avoid dairy for personal reasons or you have allergies or sensitivities, knowing which best dairy-free substitutes work well in recipes can be helpful.
Here are five of the most popular options.
1 – Cashew Cream
Cashew cream is one of the best and most versatile dairy-free substitutes for sour cream.
To make it, blend a cup of raw cashews with two cups of water and a pinch of sea salt until smooth.
The resulting cream is incredibly rich and creamy, perfect for nachos or as a topping for desserts.
Cashew cream also makes an excellent base for dips and sauces due to its neutral flavor that easily absorbs other ingredients.
Keep in mind, however, that cashew cream may not work well in recipes that require a sharp tanginess typically achieved by sour cream.
In these cases, you’ll want to use another substitute.
2 – Coconut Cream
Coconut cream is a delicious and creamy alternative to sour cream.
It has a mild coconut flavor and is made from the thick cream of mature coconuts.
To make it, start with full-fat canned coconut milk and place it in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
Once chilled, scrape off the solidified top layer of coconut cream.
The remaining liquid at the bottom of the can can be added back into the cream or used for other recipes.
A few brands already offer coconut creams that are specifically sold as “sour cream substitutes”; just check the labels to make sure they do not contain any dairy products.
Coconut cream pairs well with fish tacos, curries, soups, and chilis—the possibilities are endless.
For those who embrace plant-based diets, go ahead and opt for this vegan-friendly sour cream substitute.
3 – Avocado Cream
Avocado cream is a perfect dairy-free substitute for sour cream.
It’s creamy and has the same tang of sour cream, but without the animal products.
All you need are a few simple ingredients – 1 ripe avocado, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of water.
Simply blend all these ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth and creamy.
You may also add in some herbs or spices to customize your Avocado Cream according to your preference.
This creamy vegan-friendly condiment can be used in any recipe that calls for sour cream, such as tacos, burritos, enchiladas or even salads.
For a healthier version, try using plain Greek yogurt in place of sour cream as it still provides the tangy flavour but with added benefits of proteins and live culture.
4 – Vegan Sour Cream
Vegan sour cream is a great dairy-free choice for those looking to avoid all animal byproducts.
Most commonly made with a base of almonds, cashews, or tofu, vegan sour cream can be used in just about any recipe that calls for regular sour cream.
It’s also higher in protein than traditional sour cream, making it a great choice for those on a vegan or vegetarian diet.
To make your own vegan sour cream at home, start by soaking 2 cups (250 g) of raw cashews overnight until they are soft and easy to blend.
Once they have been drained and rinsed, blend the cashews with 1/2 cup (120 ml) of water until a creamy consistency is achieved.
Next add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon (1g) of sea salt to the mix and continue blending until everything is well combined.
Finally, adjust the seasoning to taste before transferring your homemade vegan sour cream into an airtight container and storing it in the fridge until ready to use.
Vegan sour cream will last up to one week when stored properly in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
5 – Vegan Yogurt
Vegan yogurt is another dairy-free alternative to sour cream.
Typically, the base of the vegan yogurt is made from nuts, coconut milk, and/or soy milk.
It can also be thickened with starches like arrowroot and tapioca starch for an even creamier texture.
The vegan yogurt will often have additional ingredients like flaxseed meal and lecithin for a smooth consistency.
The flavor will depend on the type of nuts or plant milk that is used as the base.
Coconut-based yogurts tend to have a mild coconut flavor while soy-based yogurts can be slightly sweet and nutty in taste.
Vegan yogurts are great to use as a toppings on savory dishes or as an ingredient in baked goods and sauces.
In conclusion, the dairy-free alternatives to sour cream that you can use to add a delicious, creamy texture and flavor to any dish include coconut milk yogurt, blended silken tofu, blended chickpeas, cashew cream, and vegan cream cheese.
Each of these options has its own unique flavor that will suit different dishes.
Ultimately the choice of which alternative you opt for will depend on what type of dish you’re preparing.
Whichever option you choose; ensure to taste it first before adding it for best results.
Additionally, being mindful about how much and how often these milk alternatives are used is important for good health.
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!