Every day, we come across new and exciting recipes that include sour cream. And we appreciate its rich flavor and robust tanginess. But times come when we have to swap it for various reasons. And in most cases, the question above is often asked.
The issue with most people isn’t only whether Greek yogurt can replace sour cream. It’s also about knowing how the change would affect the recipe’s taste, moisture, and consistency. But while it’s possible to substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream, you also need to know what happens after. And of the switch is beneficial to the outcome of your cooking.
What’s So Special About Sour Cream?
Sour cream is produced by fermenting dairy cream, the thick layer, skimmed of whole milk after it’s left to rest. The cream is mixed with lactic acid bacteria, which triggers the generation of lactic acid as it feeds on lactose sugar. This acid adds a tangy flavor to the cream, giving it its signature taste and name.
The flavor of sour cream further combines with its high-fat content to make it an excellent cooking ingredient. As a result, it’s an easy way to add creaminess to hot dishes, as the fatty nature allows it to cook without curdling quickly. Sour cream is also an excellent addition to baked goods and is renowned for contributing moisture and density to dough and batter. It’s also regularly used in uncooked recipes and can even be whipped to make toppings, side dips, and flavor infusers.
You’ll find sour cream to be a handy ingredient in recipes like the ones mentioned below;
- Chicken fajitas
- Mashed potatoes
- Pastry bites
- Cauliflower mash
- Smoked salmon
- Baked eggs
- Mac and cheese
- Swedish meatballs
Substituting Greek Yogurt for Sour Cream
Greek yogurt remains one of the best alternatives you can use for sour cream. It’s thick, tangy, and also has a significant amount of fat. But the closeness doesn’t make them the same, and as such, you’ll need to learn the best ways to use it in various dishes. But note that regardless of how you use it, Greek yogurt will add more tang to your cooking and baking than sour cream.
In Chilled Recipes
Greek yogurt is perfect in cold dishes and can be switched at equal ratios with sour cream. It behaves the same way in marinades and also works for salad dressings. It’s also a welcome addition for topping fruits, cold soups, and icy desserts, plus its milder tang lets the recipe flavor shine through.
As a Topping
Sour cream is regularly used to top sandwiches and tacos, and Greek yogurt can be added in the same manner. Plus, it’s great for baked potatoes, and you can also use it to finish casseroles and tarts. But if you’re dealing with a hot recipe, it’s best to serve it aside since its less fat makes it curdle easily. But in other dishes, you can add it in dollops or slather it over the surfaces, as in bread and burgers. You can also mix it with familiar spices like pepper, salt, and parsley for an extra burst of flavor.
Most people may omit sour cream in baking recipes because they wish to cut the fat content. And for such a purpose, Greek yogurt is a splendid substitute. It’s also a healthy option for sour cream since it’s richer in calcium and protein. And when added in equal quantities, you’ll get a less tangy, less buttery flavor with a lighter texture.
But since Greek yogurt has lesser fat, some people may not want it in baked goods. Still, it can be a convenient alternative, provided you can tweak the fat content to a higher level. To make Greek yogurt fattier in baked recipes, combine the yogurt with a specified amount of butter or oil. And since Greek yogurt comes in numerous varieties, these parameters will help you make a convenient fat-rich substitute for sour cream;
- 3/4 cup of whole milk Greek yogurt, plus three tablespoons of butter and two teaspoons of water.
- One cup of sour cream equals 3/4 cup of nonfat Greek yogurt plus four tablespoons of butter and a tablespoon of water.
- One cup of sour cream equals 3/4 cup of nonfat Greek yogurt, plus three tablespoons of vegetable oil and one tablespoon of water.
In Hot Soups and Sauces
Greek yogurt can be added in equal amounts to hot soups and sauces and will infuse decent thickness and tang to the recipe. But Greek yogurt has less fat and more acid than sour cream, so it will curdle when cooked in such dishes. So, the best way to use it is to let the soup or sauce cool off completely before putting the yogurt. Try stirring in some of the sauce with the yogurt in a separate bowl until the mixture is even. Then, transfer this combination into to full pot and mix it. You can also serve the sauce with a dollop of Greek yogurt when it’s time to eat.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can nonfat Greek yoghurt be substituted for sour cream?
A: Yes, but this mainly applies when the amount of sour cream called for is minute. For instance, a recipe may require a quarter cup of sour cream, mostly to add tanginess and moisture. So, you can swap it with equal amounts of Greek yogurt if it’s what you’ve got.
Which Greek yoghurt tastes most like sour cream?
A: Whole-milk Greek yogurt has the most similar flavor, as it has a more robust tang compared to the other Greek yogurt varieties. It’s also closest in texture when compared to sour cream.
Why is Greek yoghurt better than sour cream?
A: The most significant advantage Greek yoghurt has to sour cream is it has less fat. This factor makes it an excellent option for those in a calorie and weight-watching lifestyle. It also has more proteins and is low in cholesterol. Plus, Greek yogurt is rich in gut-flora-improving probiotics.
From all highlighted here, you see that substituting Greek yogurt for sour cream is very beneficial. And you also know that it’s a versatile alternative that works in a vast array of dishes. So, when next you find yourself looking for a replacement for sour cream, seek no further. That jar of whole-milk Greek yogurt in your fridge is your next best bet.