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Heavy Cream Substitute For Pasta (18 Vegan Ideas To Try)

Heavy Cream Substitute For Pasta
Heavy Cream Substitute For Pasta

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Looking for the best heavy cream substitute for pasta? Here’s how to make the perfect replacement.

Nothing is as comforting and delectable as nibbling on a satisfying warm bowl of creamy pasta. If you’re obsessed with pasta dishes and have landed in the world of pasta cooking, you may know how pasta gets its luscious creamy mouthfeel. Yes, you’re right, it’s pasta sauce. And heavy cream is a staple ingredient in making pasta sauce either Alfred sauce, cream cheese sauce, tomato cream sauce, or Mac and cheese sauce.

So, if you are running short on heavy cream and don’t have a plan to visit the grocery store, find here the best heavy cream substitutes for pasta sauce. Go through and pick the one that you have on hand at the time of making pasta sauce.

Heavy Cream Substitute For Pasta

Why heavy cream is always listed at the top of the ingredient list of pasta sauce? What the heck it does in pasta sauce and is there any substitute you can use instead of heavy cream in pasta? Can you make pasta sauce without heavy cream?

Such questions arise in one’s mind when there’s no heavy cream on hand to prepare a deliciously creamy pasta. Well, if the same happens to you more often, don’t fear. We have got you covered in this comprehensive substitute guide so that you can enjoy pasta even without heavy cream.

Let’s start the countdown for the best heavy cream substitutes for pasta.

1. Heavy Whipping Cream

Heavy whipping cream is the closest alternative you can get in place of heavy cream. It’s a bit lower in fat content than heavy cream thus gives similar recipe outcomes.

Have no heavy whipping cream on hand? You can also use whipping cream instead of heavy cream. Whipping cream is less fatty and lighter in texture.

Note: Pasta sauce made from whipping cream can not hold the texture for long and go runny. So, prepare as many servings as you need to make and enjoy.

Increase the cooking time of pasta sauce if you are using whipping cream instead of heavy cream.

2. Cream Cheese

Cream Cheese
Cream Cheese

Cream cheese offers a perfect blend of a creamy consistency and cheesy goodness to pasta sauce. It’s a culinary winner in terms of versatility and flavor richness.

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Cream cheese imposes no flavor difference when used as a 1:1 substitute for heavy cream for pasta. Add some butter or a splash of whole milk to pasta sauce to achieve a similar creamy mouthfeel.

3. Cottage Cheese

Cottage Cheese
Cottage Cheese

How cottage cheese can replace heavy cream when it doesn’t melt to give a smooth creamy texture to pasta sauce? Its curdled and lumpy texture surely seems unappealing with pasta.

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Well, this alternative needs some processing. Add it to the food processor and blend with some milk to get a smooth creamy mixture. The final blend will come out similarly thick and smooth as heavy cream.

You may also Read: Maggi Seasoning Sauce Substitute

4. Sour Cream

Sour Cream
Sour Cream

Sour cream is another worthy heavy cream substitute you can find in the refrigerator to make pasta sauces. As its name indicates, sour cream packs a delicious punch of savory tang perfect for pasta.

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Note that sour cream is not as fattier as heavy cream so the texture will be a bit lighter yet satisfying.

5. Greek Yogurt

Greek Yogurt
Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is a great way of cutting down massive calorie intake rather than heavy cream. Its creamy smooth texture can make pasta sauce similarly rich and delectable.

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To avoid tangy flavor, go for plain Greek yogurt and add some regular milk. The final smooth creamy mixture is ready to substitute heavy cream in pasta sauce.

6. Mascarpone Cheese

Mascarpone Cheese
Mascarpone Cheese

Mascarpone cheese is quite similar to cream cheese in terms of cheesy flavor and smooth creamy texture.

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When used in place of heavy cream, mascarpone cheese stir-out as creamy and silky as heavy cream with a little pronounced flavor.

7. Full-Fat Milk

Full-Fat Milk
Full-Fat Milk

Full-fat milk retains all of its milk solids or fats and thus can lend a creamy mouthfeel to food dishes. It can also substitute heavy cream for pasta sauce to make you feel similarly satisfied.

Add full-fat milk to pasta sauce in double quantity and reduce it to half. It will thicken up the sauce and feel more like creamy cheesy sauce.

Buttermilk can also be a good heavy cream alternative for pasta because of its higher fat content than whole milk.

8. Ricotta


Ricotta cheese is quite similar to cottage cheese and therefore has a grainy texture. And a good thing is that you can make it smoother and creamier like heavy cream.

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Blend ricotta with whole milk to get desired creamy goodness and smooth texture. Its subtle sweet flavor pairs well with other ingredients and resulting in a delicious pasta sauce.

Vegan Substitute For Heavy Cream In Pasta

Vegan substitutes for heavy cream come in handy when you are lactose intolerant or following a vegan diet. Go for the given non-dairy and vegan alternatives and enjoy your favorite pasta dishes without going off plan.

9. Cashew Cream

Cashew Cream
Cashew Cream

Cashew cream gives a similar creamy mouthfeel to pasta sauces as heavy cream. However, it’s healthier, low in calories and fats, vegan-friendly, and lighter.

Its 1:1 ratio goes amazing and never feels like something is missing. Ignore this substitution if you are allergic to cashews.

10. Almond Cream

Almond Cream
Almond Cream

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Almond cream is as creamy and smooth as cashew cream. It’s also a dairy-free substitute for heavy cream and lends a lot of creamy flavor to pasta sauce.

One can hire this candidate to cut down on calorie or fat intake. You can also use almond milk to make pasta sauce by reducing it to half to get comparable recipe outcomes.

11. Coconut Milk

Coconut Milk
Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is a common vegan-friendly milk substitute used widely in various cooking recipes. Just like almond milk or whole milk, it achieves a creamy thick texture when cooked to reduce half.

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If you have its counterpart, coconut cream, it’s great. Both are great for replacing heavy cream in a variety of sauces including pasta sauce.

12. Vegan Sour Cream

Nowadays, various vegan versions of sour cream are available out there to make your culinary experience broad. It’s a dairy-free cream with a similar creamy smoothness and rich tangy flavor as dairy sour cream.

Go for vegan sour cream to substitute heavy cream in pasta sauce and turn your recipe healthily.

Other Worthy Heavy Cream Substitute For Pasta

Blending two or more substitutes is the best way of switching heavy cream in pasta to get a comparable satisfying bite. Here are some practical ingredient combinations you can try.

13. Half And Half + Butter

Half and half is made from heavy milk cream and full-fat milk. Its fatty consistency thickens up the sauce as heavy cream did.

Mixing a cube of butter to half and half makes it a creamier, smoother, and flavorful ingredient ready to replace heavy cream in pasta.

14. Milk + Corn Starch

Adding a bit of corn starch is another way to thicken the whole milk up to the consistency of heavy cream.

Take 1 ½ cup of regular milk and boil. Add 2 tbsp of corn starch and stir well. Your heavy cream alternative is on hand. Use it in the way as heavy cream and enjoy.

15. Milk + Yogurt

The combination of regular milk and yogurt also works well because it contains milk fat and the creamy texture of yogurt.

All you need to substitute heavy cream for pasta is a half cup of milk and half cup of yogurt. Mix them well and you’ll get a smooth creamy blend just like heavy cream.

16. Silken Tofu + Non-Dairy Milk

The blend of silken tofu and non-dairy milk is as effective as yogurt and regular milk. Silken tofu can alone go the best instead of heavy cream, adding milk makes it flavorful and more realistic as heavy cream.

One can easily enjoy pasta dishes while sticking to a vegan diet by using this incredible ingredient combination to be used in place of heavy cream.

17. Full-Fat Milk + Parmesan Cheese

Parmesan cheese lends its cheesy flavor to a variety of sauces and various cooking dishes. Parmesan rind is widely used in soups to get a deep robust flavor punch.

When mixed with whole milk, it thickens the milk up to a consistency like heavy cream. So, try this ingredient combination as a great heavy cream substitute to thicken up pasta sauce.

18. Crème Fraiche + Regular milk

Crème fraiche is nothing but a creamy and fatty version of sour cream. It is a dairy product full of fat, calories, and perfect tang enough to make a flavorful pasta sauce.

Blending it with regular milk mellows down its sourness and thus brings out the flavor comparable to heavy cream.

Choose The Best Heavy Cream Substitute For Pasta!

After listing an extensive collection of heavy cream substitutes, there’s still a little bit of confusion. How to choose the perfect substitute for heavy cream to be used in pasta sauce? Well, the answer is pretty much simple.

It all depends on why you want to replace heavy cream. Whether you are short on it or allergic to dairy products. So, you need to choose the one that is best for you and meets your health conditions as well as culinary preferences.

If you’re lactose intolerant and are allergic to dairy products, go for non-dairy substitute for heavy cream to make a non-dairy pasta sauce. For instance, almond cream, cashew cream, coconut cream, and vegan sour cream are best for you.

You may know that heavy cream packs a lot of fats and calories it lends to a variety of cuisines and sauces. So, if you are keeping an eye on your calorie intake, go for healthier or lighter heavy cream substitutes. For instance, whipping cream, cream cheese, and cottage cheese are healthier than heavy cream.

In the case you are following a vegan diet, it’s essential to replace heavy cream in pasta to avoid dietary restrictions. For a vegan diet, go for silken tofu, non-dairy milk, and non-dairy cream.


What Are Healthy Substitutes For Heavy Cream In Pasta?

The best and healthiest alternatives for heavy cream are whipping cream and cream cheese. Both are quite lower in calories than heavy cream yet offer a similar rich flavor and texture goodness.

If looking for a vegan alternative, coconut cream, almond cream, and cashew cream are best to substitute heavy cream for pasta.

Can I Use Evaporated Milk Instead Of Heavy Cream In Pasta?

Yes, you can. Evaporated milk is unsweetened condensed milk you can use in pasta sauce to achieve a heavy cream-like consistency. But this time you’ll lose the creamy richness of pasta dishes.

Instead of using it alone, blend it with either cream cheese or non-dairy cream to get a comparable satisfying creamy pasta bite.

Can I Use Regular Milk In Place Of Heavy Cream?

Yes, you can use regular milk in pasta sauce instead of heavy cream. This time you have to cook the sauce longer to reduce the milk and thicken the sauce. It’s better to use it in combination with other creamy ingredients to replace heavy cream in your beloved pasta recipes.


Hey, I’m Ayesha Khalid, the main writer of Substitutesfor.com. I love to write about food ingredients, cooking guides, and helping tips and tricks to upgrade your cooking experience. The aim of writing is to provide you with a collection of substitutions and novel ideas to try so that you can find all the needed information at once. Here, you can get ideas according to your diet restrictions, taste preferences, and health conditions.

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