7 Best Substitute For Heavy Cream In Pasta

Heavy cream is the one ingredient we can never go without when making pasta. It is responsible for adding the luscious, creamy texture to the dishes we all know and love. Most pasta recipes, be it alfredo, cheese sauce, veggie pasta, or the classic mac n cheese, get their essence from the smoothness and quality of heavy cream.

However, there are times when we may find ourselves without heavy cream or perhaps want to lighten up our pasta dish with a healthier alternative. If this is the case, don’t worry! There are plenty of substitutes for heavy cream in pasta that will still give you that creamy texture and delicious flavor, minus the calories.


7 Best Substitute For Heavy Cream In Pasta

1. Cream Cheese

The best way to minimize the number of calories in pasta without losing the creaminess is by using cream cheese. It is considerably lower in fat than heavy cream but still has that thick, creamy consistency we all crave when it comes to any pasta dish.

In terms of flavor, cream cheese is a bit tangier than heavy cream, but this can actually be an excellent addition to certain pasta dishes, especially if you don’t like bland flavors. Simply add it to your saucepan with the rest of your ingredients and let it melt into the sauce for a smooth and delicious finish.

How to substitute: Cream cheese has the same creamy consistency as heavy cream, making it the perfect 1:1 swap. Simply use the same amount of cream cheese as you would heavy cream.

2. Whole Milk

Don’t panic if you’ve run out of heavy cream because there is most likely something in your fridge that can easily substitute it: whole milk. While using whole milk will not give you the same thickness as heavy cream, it is still an excellent alternative for those looking to lighten up their pasta dish.

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Whole milk has less fat than heavy cream, which is a plus point for anyone looking to eat pasta on a diet. Contrary to rumors, whole milk is still enough to provide a creamy texture and flavor without being too overbearing. Some people actually prefer the flavor of pasta made with whole milk over heavy cream.

How to substitute: Replace every 1 cup of heavy cream with 1 cup of whole milk. You may need to simmer your sauce for a bit longer to thicken it up, but otherwise, this is a great substitute. You can also add 1 cup of milk for every pound of pasta.

3. Evaporated Milk

Evaporated milk is nothing more than milk with about 60% of the water removed. This helps create more concentrated milk that is richer and creamier than regular milk. While it does not have the same fat content as heavy cream, evaporated milk still gives pasta that desired creamy texture without being overly rich.

It works especially great in sauces because of its ability to thicken and smooth out the sauce. If you don’t have too high expectations of a rich and creamy typical pasta dish, this would most likely be a suitable alternative.

How to substitute: You can use evaporated milk as a 1:1 replacement for heavy cream in pasta. Add it to your saucepan with the rest of your ingredients and let it do its magic.

4. Greek Yogurt

If you want a substitute for heavy cream that is lower in calories and higher in protein, then Greek yogurt is your best bet. Greek yogurt is a favorite among many because it is thick and creamy yet still packed with nutrients.

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While the texture may not be exactly the same as heavy cream, it still gets the job done to make your pasta dish creamy and delicious. The bonus is that Greek yogurt also gives your pasta a slight tanginess that can complement certain flavors quite nicely.

How to substitute: Use 1 and a half cups of Greek yogurt for every pound of pasta used in the recipe. You can increase the density by adding more gradually as per your preferences.

5. Creme Fraiche

A French favorite, Creme fraiche, is very similar to sour cream but with higher fat content, resulting in a thicker consistency and a richer flavor. Creme fraiche also has a slightly tangy taste which can enhance the flavors of your pasta dish.

If you are not a fan of this, you can always add a little sugar or honey to sweeten it up. One drawback about this ingredient is that it can be pretty hard to find outside of specialty stores. But if you do manage to get your hands on some, it makes for a great alternative to heavy cream.

How to substitute: 1 to 2 cups of creme fraiche can be used to replace heavy cream in pasta recipes. Add this ingredient in comparison to every pound of pasta.

6. Half-and-Half

If you like your coffee with a little bit of creaminess, then you’re probably already familiar with half-and-half. This dairy product is a mixture of milk and cream and usually contains about 10 to 12% butterfat. You can count on this as a great substitute because of two reasons.

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Firstly, it is readily available in every local store and would probably be in your fridge if you like your coffee creamy. Secondly, because it is a mixture of milk and cream, it already has that desired consistency for pasta without being too heavy.

How to substitute: Use the same amount of half-and-half in place of heavy cream as mentioned in the recipe.

7. Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is another ingredient you might already be aware of! It is made from the curds of milk and is a great source of protein and calcium, making it a healthier alternative to heavy cream. When blended, it gives a similar consistency to that of heavy cream and can be used to thicken sauces or as a base for creamy pasta dishes.

The only thing to keep in mind is that cottage cheese has a distinct taste and smell, so it might not be suitable for all recipes.

How to substitute: For every 1 cup of heavy cream needed, use 1 cup of cottage cheese instead.

These substitutes for heavy cream in pasta work exceptionally well, no matter the type of pasta you use. The best part is that you can find them lying around the house, which means easy accessibility without any extra fuss!

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