My homemade casseroles are shape-shifters that look and taste different no matter how many times I make them, mostly because I use sour cream substitutes. The one thing that all casseroles have in common is their creaminess, but what do you do if you don’t have sour cream to make your casseroles creamy? What are the best substitutes for sour cream in casseroles?
Greek yogurt, plain yogurt, ricotta cheese, cream cheese, almond milk, cashew cream, buttermilk, heavy cream, and cream soup are some of the best sour cream substitutes for casseroles.
The creaminess is a compulsory element of casseroles, which is why it is always a good idea to have some alternatives in case you don’t have sour cream or just want to mix things up a little. In this article, I will tell you all you need to know about the best sour cream substitutes for casseroles.
Greek yogurt is an excellent substitute for sour cream in casseroles. It has nearly the same consistency, though depending on the particular brand, it can be a bit thinner than sour cream. In any case, even if there is a difference, it is never a significant one.
Greek yogurt has the same tang as sour cream; it is gentle-flavored and isn’t at all overwhelming. It creates a creamy shell around your casserole ingredients, practically smothering them in their consistency, making your casserole decadently silky.
I like to mix Greek yogurt with an egg and whip them well until they homogenize. It creates a béchamel-like consistency and sensation in the casserole, but you can absolutely skip the egg if you want. Use the same amount of Greek yogurt as the amount of sour cream you usually use.
Plain yogurt is very similar to sour cream but a bit more tangy and a little less sour than sour cream. Still, it makes a great sour cream substitute for casseroles. The consistency of plain yogurt may be a little thinner than that of sour cream, but not by a lot. So a spoonful of plain yogurt will do a nice job of making up for the potential lack of density in your casserole.
If you like the sour part, you can add a few drops of lemon to your plain yogurt, and you’re done. I like mixing part yogurt with heavy cream for casseroles to compensate for the discrete but noticeable sour cream nuttiness.
Still, you don’t have to mix it with anything, as the plain yogurt alone will do an excellent job producing creamy and delicious casseroles.
Ricotta cheese is a known sour cream alternative, not only in casseroles but in baked goods and pancakes, too. Ricotta cheese makes great casseroles, creamy and rich, with a slight tang and a whole lot of flavor. It creates a light and airy sensation, which is why I often use it.
Ricotta cheese is naturally mild-flavored, but it has a secret power to enhance the surrounding flavors. So, even though you may not feel the ricotta all that much, you will definitely feel the rest of the flavors with greater intensity.
The amount is absolutely left at your discretion, so you can use as much as you want. I advise you to be generous with the ricotta cheese amount because you will love the result.
If you feel like having a decadently rich meal and don’t mind the extra calorie, then go nuts with cream cheese. Cream cheese is a very rich and fatty cheese that will do wonders with your casserole. It is significantly thicker than sour cream, so I recommend you mix it with milk to thin it up.
If you don’t make your cream cheese thinner, you will end up using too much (yes, there is such a thing) and possibly make your casseroles fatty but dry. That’s why you need to make your cream cheese a little creamier, even pourable, so that you have a creamy and cheesy casserole.
Add two spoons of cream cheese and one spoon of milk, mix it well, and see if you are happy with the result. Adjust the consistency as you like it.
Almond milk is an excellent sour cream substitute for casseroles, even if you’re not looking for a vegan solution. Almond milk is rich in healthy fats, and you can make it at home if you don’t feel like running to the store. Soak up some almonds in water until they soften, and then blend them with water.
Strain the blended almonds, and there you have it. You can also try and mix the almond milk with a non-dairy cream, such as coconut cream, and make yourself a vegan cream for your casseroles.
I like to add a few dry herbs as a seasoning, such as an Italian mix or just some dry basil or thyme. Don’t season your casserole heavily because it will have enough flavor as it is. For the tang, you can add a few lemon drops, and you’re done.
Cashew cream is another vegan solution you can easily make at home, and even if you don’t follow a vegan diet, you can give this idea a try because it is delicious. It delivers the gentle nuttiness of the sour cream, but it lacks the tang, which you can easily make up for with a few lemon drops.
Soak the cashews in water until they are soft, and blend them with a little water to help them become creamy. Add a bit of oil to smoothen them up, season with dry herbs, and you’re all done.
I love the earthy dimension this cream gives to my casseroles, especially when I add mushrooms. Definitely worth a try.
Buttermilk is a great sour cream substitute for casseroles, but you’ll have to add more buttermilk than you would sour cream because it is a little thinner. Buttermilk is still creamy, but it will stick to your casserole ingredients rather than smother them. So, make sure you add enough to make yourself a creamy casserole.
The buttermilk flavor is very discrete, and you’ll probably not feel it in your casserole, which is a great opportunity for you to season it as you like. I like to add salt, pepper, powdered garlic, and herbs. It will soak up the seasoning, making your casserole heavenly and delicious.
If you miss the sour cream tang, it’s nothing a few lemon drops can’t fix.
If it’s richness and silkiness you’re after, use heavy cream as a sour cream substitute. Generously fatty but also exceptionally rich, heavy cream will have no problem smothering your casserole. Its buttery notes and slight nuttiness are definitely noticeable but far from overwhelming, which means you can season your meal any way you like.
Reduce the heavy cream amount by a quarter. So if you usually add one cup of sour cream, add three-quarters of a cup of heavy cream to your casserole. I often add half a cup of heavy cream and increase the amount mid-baking, but you can totally add the entire amount beforehand.
Mushroom Cream Soup
It may sound odd to recommend mushroom cream soup as a sour cream substitute but believe me, it works. The mushroom cream soup has a slight tang, which makes up for the sour cream note, and it is very creamy, which compensates for the consistency.
Mushroom cream soup not only adds creaminess to your casserole, but it also adds that irresistible earthy flavor to the mushrooms, making it the perfect addition, especially if you are making a meaty casserole.
You can season your casserole any way you like. I usually go simple with this combination with nothing more than salt, pepper, and a bay leaf.