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Substitutes For Sour Cream In Casserole

Sour cream introduces a whole new level of moisture and delicious richness to a number of baked recipes, and casseroles are not left out. If you’ve ever wondered about the creamy quality of any baked good and how that effect is achieved, you just might be experiencing the goodness of sour cream.

Every one of us has been in a situation at some point or the other where you’re right in the middle of a recipe and suddenly realize you’re missing a key ingredient. If this is you, finding out you’re out of sour cream right in the middle of cooking up a nice casserole, there’s not much need to fret.

This article discusses the next best options to consider in the absence of sour cream for casserole recipes. Also, pay attention to the recommendations on proper substitution amounts and methods, as this will ensure that you get the best possible results.

Sour Cream Nutrition Facts

Substitutes For Sour Cream In Casserole

What is Sour Cream?

Sour cream is a dairy product produced through the fermentation of ordinary cream with lactic acid bacteria. The bacterial culture soured and thickened the cream, either intentionally or organically. This term stems from bacterial fermentation that produces lactic acid, which is known as souring. Crème fraîche is an example of sour cream with high-fat content and a milder flavor.

Sour cream was traditionally manufactured through the fermentation of cream skimmed off the top of milk at a moderate temperature. It can also be made using sour cream made with an acid-producing bacterial culture. The resulting bacteria from this fermentation process thickened the cream and gave it an acidic quality as a natural way to preserve it.

Sour cream is typically used as a fat in baking, and it gives baked goods a lot of moisture and richness. Sour cream is also often used as a dipping sauce or condiment on dishes. It can be used to thicken and make soups and sauces creamy and provide moisture to baked goods when milk isn’t available.

Uses of Sour Cream in Recipes

Sour cream is a versatile ingredient that incorporates a creamy quality into any dish while also adding the lightness of buttermilk and yogurt to baked products. Because full-fat sour cream has more than five times the fat content of whole milk, it provides great richness to baked goods.

Some of the casserole recipes in which sour cream is typically used include the following:

  • Sour cream beef noodle casserole
  • Ground beef casserole
  • Sour cream potato casserole
  • Hash brown casserole with sour cream
  • Chicken enchilada casserole
  • Creamy chicken ritz casserole
  • Mashed potato casserole
  • One-bowl chicken casserole
  • Dump and bake meatball casserole
  • Classic tuna noodle casserole
  • Cabbage casserole
  • Baked corn casserole
  • Cheesy broccoli and rice casserole
  • Chicken tater to the casserole
  • Cauliflower casserole
  • Corn casserole

Substitutes for Sour Cream in Casserole

We’ve all been there: you start preparing a meal only to realize you’re missing one or more ingredients. You definitely don’t want to go out and get some. Fortunately, sour cream may readily be replaced with available substitutes in most recipes, including casseroles.

Some of the suitable substitutes for sour cream in casseroles include the following:




In casserole recipes, yogurt is the finest substitute for sour cream. In general, yogurt can be used in sour cream in baking, dips, and sauces in a 1:1 substitution ratio. This implies that you can use 1 cup of yogurt instead of 1 cup of sour cream in your casserole recipe.

The best yogurts to use in casserole recipes are full-fat Greek or natural yogurts, although low-fat or nonfat yogurts can also be utilized. Greek yogurt can make a fantastic substitute for sour cream in baked casseroles, especially if you want to make healthier meal choices.




Mayonnaise sometimes gets a poor rep, yet it can be used as a sour cream substitute in casseroles. It can be used as a 1:1 substitution in both baking and dips, and this proportion also works great for casserole recipes.

You’ll lose some of the tanginess that sour cream provides, but mayonnaise will still give the required moisture to your casseroles. It also has a similar texture to sour cream, making it a suitable substitute in dips and sauces. However, to restore some of the tanginess, use both mayonnaise and yogurt in your casserole recipe.




Buttermilk can be used in place of sour cream in casseroles, but because it’s so much thinner than sour cream, it may be a little difficult to deal with. In general, we recommend using only ¾ cup of buttermilk for every cup of sour cream called for in a casserole recipe. Although the batter may appear thinner, it should bake up perfectly.

If you’re creating a dip, such as spinach artichoke dip, you can substitute buttermilk for up to half of the sour cream. If you’re concerned about it being too thin, you can thicken it with cream cheese, mayonnaise, or yogurt. The buttermilk will enable the flavor to be as similar to sour cream as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does sour cream curdle bake?

Sour cream is less adaptable in the kitchen because of its lower fat content—while crème fraîche can be boiled, sour cream will curdle if heated too high or too quickly. On the other hand, sour cream is commonly used to give richness and tang to baked products like cakes, scones, and even pastries.

Can you reheat a casserole with sour cream?

Yes, sour cream-based leftovers can be reheated. However, depending on the food and the amount of sour cream used, your leftovers could become mushy. If possible, scoop off the sour cream while reheating leftovers with sour cream.

Can I use sour cream instead of buttermilk?

Because sour cream is thicker than buttermilk when producing a buttermilk substitute, it’s preferable to thin it with water or milk. To substitute 3/4 cup (172 grams) sour cream for 1 cup (240 mL) buttermilk in a recipe, whisk together 3/4 cup (172 grams) sour cream with 1/4 cup (60 mL) water or milk until smooth.


Making casseroles can be so fun until you find out you’re fresh out of sour cream and can’t afford to get any immediately. Don’t let this ruin your cooking adventure, though; simply try one of our suggested substitutes.

Also, keep in mind that using these substitutes in the right amounts and methods is key to achieving the desired results in your casserole recipes. As such, substitutions should be made in the appropriate manner.