What are the best substitutes for heavy cream for pasta? To recreate the thickness and creamy texture that heavy cream provides, you could make a substitute using whole cream cheese, milk or a mixture of milk and butter, or even Greek yogurt. There are also vegan alternatives like cashew cream, almond, and many more!
If you are like me and sometimes don’t feel like having a very rich, heavy cream in your pasta dish then you will find plenty of alternatives in this guide.
The heavy cream and pasta sauces are an ideal match. However, sometimes it’s better to replace them with more nutritious alternatives.
Learn more about the top substitutes for heavy cream, and the best ways you can use them in pasta dishes!
Fact checked and verified by Sarah Glinski, RD. Sarah is a Registered Dietitian and freelance writer based in Canada. She has experience in a wide variety of practice areas, including weight management, renal, oncology, diabetes, and gastrointestinal disorders. In her spare time, you can find her reading a fantasy novel or hanging out with her husband and two cats.
Best Heavy Cream Substitutes for Pasta Sauces
Here’s a brief overview of the most popular pasta sauces that you could create using the ingredients below:
|Sauce||Dairy Substitutes||Vegan Substitutes|
|Alfredo Sauce||Cream cheese, Greek yogurt, butter, evaporated milk, whole milk, cottage cheese||Cashew cream and almonds soy milk and oil made from flour|
|Tomato Cream Sauce||Evaporated milk, Cream Cheese, Greek yogurt with milk and butter, whole milk yogurt||Almond cream, soymilk, cashew cream, coconut cream|
|Cream-Cheese Sauce||Whole milk Greek yogurt, cream cheese butter, and milk liquid milk, yogurt, and cottage cheese||Cashew cream, Soy Milk, and olive oil Coconut cream|
|Mac and Cheese Sauce||Whole milk, butter, and evaporated milk||Cashew cream and almond cream|
The Best Heavy Cream Substitutes for Pasta
1. Cream Cheese
Cream cheese can be a fantastic alternative to heavy cream since it is made up of sweet cream and milk.
This means that cream cheese does not only provide the same texture and richness as heavy cream, but it may also have a deeper flavor as well.
Heavy cream is a neutral flavor, with some butter and milk – however, should you wish to take it up a notch, we strongly suggest adding cream cheese to your pasta!
To replace it, add 1 tablespoon of cream cheese for each 1 tbsp heavy cream. You can alter the amount depending on your preferences.
2. Cottage Cheese
Why cottage cheese is wonderful is its nutritional value as well as the ability to impart an oozy and creamy flavor.
Although it might not have the same smooth and creamy texture as heavier creams, heavy cream is utilized in a variety of recipes to make a healthier replacement.
Do not attempt to heat cottage cheese since it’s not going to melt completely and you’ll always have small curdled pieces.
If it’s taste and health benefits you’re after, then there’s nothing better than cottage cheese. You can simply sprinkle it on top of the pasta in a sauce light, and take pleasure in it!
Use 1 tablespoon of cottage cheese per 1 tbsp heavy cream!
Yogurt is packed with probiotics and has the same texture and creamy taste as heavy cream.
Many brands provide homogenized and creamy yogurt. And even though you can make any homemade yogurt however we suggest going with the commercial brand first to ensure the most effective results.
Homemade yogurt can include a significant amount of whey. It may also curdle. If you’re okay with having a little runnier consistency, you could make homemade yogurt.
It is important to note that yogurt does not have the same taste as heavy cream however it is a great alternative due to being able of blending with virtually any ingredient – just like heavy cream!
To replace it, you can use 1 tablespoon of whipped yogurt per 1 tbsp heavy cream.
4. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is arguably the best option for a cream heavy. It is made by straining whey. Greek yogurt is much more creamy and richer than regular yogurt.
This means it is able to be utilized in the same way as heavy cream. The greatest benefit of this alternative is that it has the same versatility and higher nutrition as heavy cream.
It can be utilized in many recipes and will aid in making an extremely creamy and creamy sauce for pasta dishes too!
5. Full-Fat Milk
Full-fat milk, also known as whole milk, contains an average fat content of 3.25 percent, which is the reason it’s a great substitute for heavy cream that is laden with fat.
It is possible to reduce the amount of full-fat milk in your sauces, making them a little thicker, which will enable you to have a better taste and has a similar texture to heavy cream.
The sauce may be a little thin, but you can add a touch of corn starch to make it thicker also!
This is a great option for those who are searching for healthier and lighter alternatives to heavy cream. It is also useful when you’re out of cream, but have whole milk in your refrigerator.
Make 2 tablespoons. of whole milk to 1 tbsp heavy cream!
6. Butter and Milk
The basic combination of butter and milk will not only create an amazing flavor but also provide plenty of texture to your pasta dishes!
Butter and milk are the main ingredients in heavy cream. That’s why its components make great substitutes, too. Mix 1 tablespoon of melted butter with 250ml milk and then use the mix to make pasta dishes.
The fat content from butter as well as the flavor and richness of the milk will make a thick cream substitute that can be modified in nutritional terms based on your preference.
Switch out whole milk for skimmed milk, and then use corn starch or flour to make a rich and less oily sauce!
Make 1 tbsp milk and butter for every 1 tbsp heavy cream.
7. Evaporated Milk
In essence, it’s similar to regular milk however, it contains a lot less water.
Evaporated milk is 60% water eliminated and makes it creamier. It shouldn’t be mistaken for condensed milk which is typically sweetened by sugar. Evaporated milk is as thick and may be used the same way as heavy cream!
We suggest using equal amounts of evaporated milk for each amount of thick cream.
8. Coconut Cream
Coconut cream is essentially blended coconut shavings. This means you can create your own coconut cream by mixing coconut shavings with water.
If processed at high speeds when processed at high speeds, the oils contained in coconut break down, forming the milk-like substance.
Coconut milk is produced by the same method but contains more water, which creates its runny consistency.
Coconut cream, on its own, is thicker and has more fat, and can be used to substitute heavy cream in pasta recipes, and for general cooking!
To get the most effective outcomes, use a tablespoon of coconut cream and 1 tbsp of thick cream. You may need to alter the amount of cream if it is not your preference to need a great amount of coconut flavoring within your spaghetti sauce.
9. Soy Milk and Olive Oil
Soy milk and olive oil are even healthier replacements for heavy cream. The main benefit of this alternative is that it is vegan-friendly!
The richness of the soy milk and the smooth flavor and viscosity of olive oil can be paired with almost all pasta dishes.
Reduce the mix until you reach the desired consistency. You can also you can add any thickener of preference to create a smooth pasta sauce.
We suggest making an olive oil mix independently. Begin with mixing one cup soymilk with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Then reduce the heat to low. Add a small amount of Corn starch or corn flour, and add more thickening as required.
Make 1 tablespoon of this mix for every 1 tablespoon of heavy cream you use in any pasta recipe!
10. Cashew Cream
Cashew cream is an excellent alternative to heavy cream made of vegan ingredients. Produced in the same manner as coconut cream this alternative provides more flavor and overall nutrition than heavy cream.
It is suitable for any pasta dish and you can even drizzle it on spaghetti to add appearance points and flavor! We recommend using the ratio of 1:1 for cashew cream when replacing heavy cream!
11. Almond Cream
Almond cream is probably the most popular choice for many health-conscious people. Almond milk is as well known and is a great addition to any baking or cooking recipe.
It is prepared at home, by mixing almonds that have been soaked with water until the mixture is similar to cream or milk.
It’s a more dense variant of almond milk because it is a lot less water. It’s easily available, and you can buy it at the local grocery store. You can substitute 1 tablespoon of heavy cream for 1 heap-full 1 tbsp almond cream!
How To Choose A Substitute For Heavy Cream In Pasta
Before we look at our top alternatives we’ll first look at the requirements that each substitute should have to be a valid alternative to heavy cream!
Here are some features you should be looking for:
- Richness and Texture
Heavy cream is characterized by a rich and creamy taste that is similar to butter and milk. This is why dairy products are among the ideal alternatives to heavy cream.
Dairy products offer the greatest chances of matching the taste characteristic of whipping crème because of the presence of solid milk.
Remember it is non-sweet because it does not contain added sugar, but it does blend well with other ingredients.
To avoid lactose intolerance we suggest going with alternative options that are not vegan like cashew or almond milk. These creams and nut milk provide almost the same taste benefits, and they can also provide the same amount of richness as pasta sauces.
If you’re not sure about using vegan options, you’ll be amazed to learn how many recipes are available for vegan pasta sauces that are made of seeds or nuts!
2. Richness and Texture
As we’ve mentioned the capacity of heavy cream to provide a rich texture and a thicker layer to spaghetti sauces can be the reason it is the most popular option for a lot of people. However, the best part is that these characteristics can be achieved using a variety of alternatives, as well!
Its creamy texture cheese is an excellent illustration because, although the one is made from dairy while the other is composed of blended coconut shavings They are both capable of delivering roughly the same benefits to texture as heavy cream.
The reason it’s easy to duplicate heavy cream is due to its paste-like consistency. As a general guideline, the more dense or more dense the ingredient, the better substitute it can be for pasta recipes.
Nutrition is a major concern when selecting heavy cream. It’s packed in calories and fat. If you’re in search of a “lighter”‘ substitute or something that is easy to digest, we suggest using the plant-based options.
If you don’t have any dietary restrictions and wish to keep the nutritional content of your pasta dishes at an equivalent level, you could consider milk-based items like different kinds of cheese or Greek yogurt.
Keep in mind you have two kinds of cream substitutes: Some are healthier and others are similar in terms of nutritional value – however, don’t choose based on nutritional value on their own since other aspects listed on this list will carry greater importance!
The sheer number of recipes that require heavy cream is testimony to its flexibility. That’s why we suggest you select an alternative that has the same effect as thick cream.
It is not a good idea to select one ingredient that only fits one food type and is incompatible with other.
You could, for instance, choose to use cream cheese to replace however you will not get the same benefits when it’s employed in savory meals as well as recipes with a delicate taste.
In this instance, cashew cream would make a superior alternative because it is able to be utilized as heavy cream in all aspects regardless of whether you are using it to make sauces, bake, or cooking!
Other Questions Asked
Heavy cream is the most popular choice when making pasta, but there are much healthier and better tasting alternatives you can make to create sauces, garnishes, and much more!
If you’ve learned the most effective substitutes for thick cream for recipes with pasta here are some questions related to it:
Why Substitute Heavy Cream?
Heavy cream (or whipping cream) is a variety used in the kitchen. From dressings and desserts to food items that are savory, and much many more!
With 36 percent butterfat, this ingredient is not only going to give the perfect flavor but also provide a luxurious and silky smooth texture to your food.
This is the reason heavy cream is an ideal match for a variety of pasta sauces. It makes the sauce thicken enough to coat all the pasta but without creating a taste that is too “heavy.”
For all its great attributes heavy cream can also be criticized for its nutritional content.
A teaspoon of heavy cream may include as much as 50 to 70 calories and as much as 8g in fat! This isn’t all the reason that heavy cream may not blend well with others.
Because it is made of dairy products, heavy cream is not suitable for the majority of people who have sensitivities or restricted diets. So, is there a better alternative to this delicious and creamy food?
The quick answer is that there are many substitutes that can be used instead of heavy cream that is regular and whipping cream.
Mixing different alternatives to thick cream?
Yes. Try mixing three or more alternatives to heavy cream to get an enhanced flavor and richness. Try mixing vegan and dairy alternatives to create a unique flavor and texture.
Can coconut cream impart an overpowering coconut taste?
Coconut cream is similar to unsweetened coconut. This means that if you make use of it in large amounts the cream may alter the taste of your pasta dish. Use this alternative in moderation and modify it according to your needs.
Do heavy cream substitutes impact the shelf life of pasta that has been cooked?
No. You’ll need to keep all leftovers in the same manner as the pasta you store that was made with heavy cream!
Heya, I’m Norah! The foodie editor here at YummyTasteFood! I love absolutely everything to do with food, baking, and eating! I earned my stripes in the hospitality industry as a pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. I’m now a freelance writing nomad. I do not miss the hospitality industry! Be sure to join our Facebook group – it’s free to access!