Cheese Substitutes

Cream cheese and mascarpone cheese are common additions to casseroles, pasta dishes, dips, and more. Learn the best emergency substitutes for cheese, plus the healthy cheese substitutes that will help you save on fat, calories, and sodium while still maintaining creamy texture and flavor.

Mascarpone Cheese Substitute

For 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, substitute 8 ounces regular cream cheese.

Cream Cheese Substitute

For 8 ounces cream cheese, substitute 8 ounces ricotta cheese or Neufchatel cheese.

More ingredient substitutions

Healthy Cheese Substitutes

For 8 ounces cream cheese, substitute 8 ounces reduced-fat ricotta cheese or reduced-fat cream cheese (Neuftchatel).

  • Cup for cup, part-skim ricotta cheese has less fat, calories, sodium, cholesterol, and saturated fat than cream cheese, plus double the protein. It also has 66 percent more calcium. However, cream cheese has about 75 percent less carbs.
  • Reduced-fat cream cheese has 25 percent less calories, 35 percent less fat, 33 percent less saturated fat, and 35 percent less cholesterol.

For one serving regular cheese, substitute one serving reduced-fat cheese or part-skim cheese.

  • Reduced-fat cheese is lower in calories, fat, cholesterol, and saturated fat. However, it tends to be higher in sodium. It does not melt as well as full-fat cheeses.
  • Part-skim cheese is lower in calories, fat, cholesterol, and saturated fat. It is higher in calcium and folate.

Healthy ingredient substitutions

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