5 No-Fail Sour Cream Substitutes
Skip the grocery run and get on to the good stuff—whatever it is you're cooking!
If you find yourself without sour cream, don’t worry. There are a number of sour cream substitutes you can use in a pinch. Here are some standbys.
For each cup of sour cream needed, substitute an equal amount of Greek yogurt. It will give you the extra-creamy results you crave, with the bit of tang you’re looking for, too. Greek yogurt is an excellent sub for your nachos, baked potatoes and luscious dips. It works in baking, too.
This runner-up yogurt subs in equally for sour cream, just like Greek. Because it’s a bit thinner, you’ll have the most success substituting plain yogurt, cup for cup, in waffles, baking recipes and the like—where its thinner consistency won’t be noticed.
Having only creme fraiche in the house might sound like an unlikely problem. But if you find yourself there, you can indeed skip the grocery run. Dollop creme fraiche onto soups, enchiladas and other places you’d use sour cream (add some tang with lemon or lime). It’s richer than sour cream, so a little goes a long way.
Here’s a baking rescue: For each cup of sour cream needed in muffins, cakes and the like, you can sub in 1-1/3 cups buttermilk while decreasing the liquid called for in the recipe (such as juice, milk or water) by 1/3 cup. For 1/2 cup of sour cream, use 2/3 cup buttermilk and cut the liquid by a scant 3 tablespoons.
If you don’t have any buttermilk on hand, you can use one of these buttermilk substitutes and follow the instructions above to swap it in for sour cream. Our favorite way to make homemade buttermilk calls for milk and vinegar. Use 1 tablespoon white vinegar, plus enough milk to measure 1 cup. Stir, then let stand for 5 minutes.