What can I use instead of cream cheese in pasta? The best substitutes for cream cheese in pasta are soft, white cheeses like Neufchâtel, Boursin, fromage frais, quark, chevré, and cottage cheese. Try sour cream or vegan alternatives, including silken tofu and dairy-free cream cheese.
Cream cheese is an excellent ingredient for a quick pasta. Soft, white cream cheese makes pasta sauce smooth, creamy, and tangy. Stir cream cheese into your pasta at the end of cooking to avoid curdling. Let’s look at the nine best substitutes for cream cheese in pasta.
The 9 Best Substitutes For Cream Cheese In Pasta
The best substitute for cream cheese in pasta is Neufchâtel.
There are two varieties of cheese called Neufchâtel.
The first is an ancient French cheese from the Normandy region, with a soft, crumbly texture and bloom like Camembert.
A mold-ripened cheese, Neufchâtel has been made since the eleventh century using cow’s milk. Traditionally, this cheese is heart-shaped.
However, a modern version of Neufchâtel has been made in the United States since the nineteenth century.
This cheese includes cream and is fresh rather than aged to speed up production. It tastes creamy, sweet, and mild. Most Neufchâtel is sold as a spread or dip.
American Neufchâtel tastes like cream cheese, so it can substitute for cream cheese in all pasta recipes. It is delicious in fettucine, whether with ham or chicken.
Replace cream cheese with the same quantity of Neufchâtel. However, note that it has a slightly grainier texture than cream cheese.
Another delicious alternative to cream cheese in pasta is Boursin cheese.
Boursin is a French brand that produces Gournay-style cheese. This soft, crumbly cheese is made from cow’s milk and cream. It is richer than cream cheese, with a similar mild flavor.
Replace cream cheese with Boursin cheese in your pasta sauce. The great advantage of Boursin is that it comes in several flavors, including the famous garlic and herb, so you can choose a flavor to match your sauce.
Use the same quantity of Boursin cheese as cream cheese.
Instead of cream cheese in pasta, you can use fromage frais.
Fromage frais translates as fresh cheese in French. Commercial fromage frais is a soft, almost yogurt-like cheese that still contains live cultures.
Not as thick or decadent as cream cheese, fromage fraise has a similar flavor and fewer calories.
Like cream cheese, fromage frais will add richness and thicken pasta sauce. Add it at the end of cooking, otherwise the delicate cheese will curdle.
Use fromage frais instead of cream cheese in pasta sauces with mushrooms, tomatoes, ham, and bacon.
Replace cream cheese with the same volume of fromage frais.
Another lovely cheese to use instead of cream cheese in pasta is quark.
Translated as curds, quark is a German and North European cheese made from buttermilk and heavy cream.
With a similar luscious consistency to cream cheese, it has a delightfully sour taste from the buttermilk.
Quark makes an excellent lower-calorie ingredient for pasta instead of cream cheese, adding tanginess and thickness. Take care to heat it slowly, as quark can curdle.
Use quark as a 1:1 replacement for cream cheese in pasta, noting that it has a sourer flavor that goes well in spicy sauces.
Chevré is a delicious alternative to cream cheese in pasta.
Made from goat’s milk, this French cheese is usually sold in log form, often covered in herbs or peppercorns. The boldly flavored cheese is soft, white, and creamy, becoming more crumbly with age.
The earthy flavor of goat’s cheese can be overpowering and is an acquired taste. Choose chevré as a cream cheese substitute in pasta dishes with intense flavors, such as sausage, tomato, and chili.
Use chevré to taste in pasta dishes instead of cream cheese – add it gradually to create the consistency you want.
Cottage cheese is a convenient substitute for cream cheese in pasta.
Cream and cottage cheese are similar dairy products, fresh, mild, and creamy white cheese made from fermented milk and cream.
However, cottage cheese contains far less cream and more milk than cottage cheese. It has a moist, crumbly texture, with the curds very noticeable.
Cottage cheese is lower in fat and higher in protein than cream cheese, so it is regarded as a healthier option. However, it lacks the rich flavor of cream cheese and can taste far sourer and less substantial.
For a low-calorie option, replace cream cheese with cottage cheese in pasta sauce.
However, the sauce will not thicken as effectively, and the lumpy curds will not disappear unless you puree it with lemon juice. It’s therefore best used in pasta bakes.
Replace cream cheese with the same quantity of cottage cheese.
Another dairy product you can use instead of cream cheese in pasta is sour cream.
To make sour cream or cultured cream, you add lactic acid to cream, rather than cream and milk, as in cream cheese. The resulting product is thick and tangy, with an appealing sourness.
Use sour cream as a lower-fat alternative to cream cheese, with the same thick, creamy consistency. Sour cream is more acidic than cream cheese, adding a delicious flavor to simple pasta sauces.
Replace cream cheese with equal quantities of sour cream.
For a vegan alternative to cream cheese in pasta, try silken tofu.
Tofu is a highly nutritious ingredient made from coagulated soya milk. Silken tofu is a particularly delicate kind of tofu, usually available in soft, fragile cubes.
When pureed, this protein-rich food takes on the consistency of thick, creamy yogurt.
Silken tofu has a mild flavor and thickness, making it an ideal substitute for cream cheese in pasta.
To use silken tofu instead of cream cheese, puree it with the other sauce ingredients and heat gently before adding it to the hot pasta. It makes a delicious vegan Alfredo sauce, especially if you add lemon juice for tang.
Replace cream cheese with the same amount of pureed silken tofu. For best results, choose recipes that use silken tofu from the start.
Dairy-Free Cream Cheese
Another vegan option is dairy-free cream cheese.
This product was created to mimic the flavor and texture of cream cheese. Various brands make it from tofu, coconut oil, potato starch, and almond milk; many different flavors are available.
The best way to use dairy-free cream cheese instead of cream cheese is to stir it through hot pasta just before eating. It is not at its best when cooked.
Replace cream cheese in pasta directly with dairy-free cream cheese.