substitute for cream cheese in pasta

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Don’t have any cream cheese for your pasta and realized you’re all out last minute? If you have none, here are the best ways to substitute for cream cheese in pasta!

substitute for cream cheese in pasta


Most creamy pasta recipes require a creamy sauce to impart all the goodness to the dish – cream cheese pasta, Alfredo pasta, vodka sauce, and creamy mushroom sauce. A lot of these recipes often use cream cheese as an ingredient, but, if you have no cream cheese, what else can you use?

There is no need to forgo your favorite pasta dish simply because you’re missing one ingredient as there are at least 10 solid ways to sub for cream cheese in pasta without the creamy pasta dish losing its taste.

In fact, some of these cream cheese substitutes in pasta are so good, that you may even consider giving up the cream cheese in favor of a few of them. 

It is important to note that no other cream cheese alternative is an exact match for cream cheese. Therefore, you should expect some changes in the flavor of the overall creamy pasta dish.

But, generally speaking, most of the substitutes will do a fine job because their consistencies and flavors are close to cream cheese.

emergency substitution chart

So, what are the best cream cheese substitutes for pasta?

The short answer is that the best substitutes for cream cheese in pasta are:

  • Heavy cream
  • Heavy Whipping cream
  • Half and half
  • Crème Fraiche
  • Sour cream
  • Evaporated milk + roux
  • Whole milk + roux
  • Nondairy milk + roux
  • Nondairy milk + cornstarch
  • Vegan cream cheese
  • Vegan sour cream
  • Cashew cream

Each of these replacements is discussed in more detail and includes a handy substitution ratio below.

Best substitutes for cream cheese in pasta

Heavy cream

Heavy cream as a replacement for cream cheese in pasta

One easy-to-find ingredient that makes a great cream cheese substitute for pasta is heavy cream. Heavy cream works because it adds creaminess and richness to this dish. It should be noted that heavy cream will increase the fat content of the creamy pasta, but if you don’t mind this you’re good to go.

Also, heavy cream is pourable, and unlike cream cheese, you won’t need to add extra elbow grease to get it to melt!

A good substitution ratio for cream cheese to heavy cream is 1:1. This means if a recipe calls for 1 cup of cream cheese, replace that with 1 cup of heavy cream. 

Also, I’ve shared my favorite heavy cream substitutes for pasta here since most people tend to use heavy cream in pasta so feel free to check that out too.

Heavy Whipping cream

Heavy Whipping cream for creamy pasta

Another good substitute for cream cheese in creamy pasta sauces is heavy whipping cream. It is very much like heavy cream except for the fact that heavy whipping cream has more milk fat so it’s even richer.

It’s easy to use in pasta sauces. Simply pour it in and gently cook while the sauce thickens up.

A good heavy whipping cream substation ratio is 1:1. which Means if a pasta recipe asks for 1 cup of cream cheese, replace it with 1 cup of heavy whipping cream.


half and half

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