What to Use if You Don’t Have Mascarpone
This Italian cheese gives a refreshing silky and creamy texture to sweet and savory dishes. Mascarpone cheese is famously used for tiramisu but is an excellent ingredient for shrimp or mushroom risottos, cake ganaches, fruit mixes, and even as pizza sauce.
What happens when you’re craving tiramisu but you don’t have any mascarpone cheese available? You get a kitchen nightmare that’s what.
To keep this from happening,
What is the closest cheese to mascarpone?
you can use the following substitutes for mascarpone cheese: cream cheese, crème fraiche, cottage cheese, sour cream, ricotta cheese, and full fat greek yogurt.
6 Best Mascarpone Cheese Substitutes in 2023
Calling all food lovers! This is your sign to stock up on some mascarpone cheese substitutes or simply gain knowledge on what they are in order for you to be prepared for the worst kitchen outcomes. Read further to find out more:
Dessert connoisseurs will most likely already have this in their kitchen and may even consider this a staple. Other than cheesecakes, cream cheese adds a creamy tanginess to cupcakes, pancakes, omelets, breakfast dishes such as bagels and stratas, breads, and toasts.
Fun fact: mascarpone cheese is considered as a type of cream cheese, but it differs from typical American Cream cheese due to its lighter consistency. It also has more milk fat at about 75%.
Cream cheese alone isn’t enough, you would have to add some tweaks. Try mixing it with the following ingredients to achieve better results:
- Heavy cream
- Heavy cream and sour cream
- Heavy cream and softened butter
This substitute is essentially mascarpone cheese but makes it french. That’s where the similarities end, though, as crème fraîche has a tanginess to it and with a less thick texture that could pale in comparison to mascarpone.
Not to worry since it still is a great ingredient for savory dishes such as stews, soups, pizzas, cheesecakes, and sauces. Also, both the calorie and cholesterol content of crème fraîche is cut by half than that of mascarpone which is great if you’re looking for a less fatty alternative.
You can use crème fraîche as is but it is also recommended to mix granulated sugar to achieve a similar sweetness to mascarpone cheese.
Offering a subtle flavor that is slightly salty but with a rich and creamy consistency, this substitute is perfect for savory dishes but you can also use them in desserts. You can use cottage cheese for your breakfast bowls, pasta recipes, dips, sandwiches, and salads.
Cottage cheese has curds so make sure you mash them in a blender or food processor to get closer results. Note that heating them up causes them to melt like regular cheese.
When using a stand-in for mascarpone cheese, you can use a 1:1 ratio without any additives. It also has more protein and less fat and calories.
Cut back from mascarpone cheese’s cholesterol levels with this protein-filled substitute. Due to its stronger flavor profile, it’s best used for savory dishes but they can never go wrong in your desserts too.
You can use sour cream for deviled and scrambled eggs, pastas, salads, baked goods, pancakes, crepes, as well as dips and sauces.
Using full-fat sour cream can resemble the consistency of mascarpone cheese more than low-fat sour cream, although the latter is also decent enough. When substituting, you can use it on a 1:1 ratio as it is easily interchangeable with mascarpone.
Italy sure does have the best cheeses and this substitute is another proof of that. You can easily spread ricotta cheese on your favorite breads as it has a smooth and a milky, slightly grainy texture. It is also great for salads, dips, crepe fillings, cheesecakes, and frittatas.
To achieve similar characteristics as mascarpone cheese, you can try doing the following:
- Putting ricotta cheese in the blender for a quick whirl and achieve a similar velvety texture
- Adding a little bit of sweetened additives and adjust according to preference if the neutral taste of ricotta seems too bland for your recipes
- Mix with whipped cream and cream cheese and you’re good to go!
Full Fat Greek Yogurt
This list will not be complete without a healthy alternative to mascarpone cheese. Greek yogurt is full of nutritional benefits including being low in fat and high in protein. It has a creamier texture than regular yogurt, which makes it a good substitute.
Full fat greek yogurt may have a slightly tangy flavor, which makes it more suitable for savory dishes. Try using it for smearing on fish, mixing into sauces and dips, as a filling for vegetable mixes, soups, and salad dressings.
Best of all, greek yogurt is widely available. You won’t have a problem looking for it as it is nearly everywhere—it might already be in your kitchen! Remember not to cook yogurt in high heat because it may curdle.