Are you having a hard time finding your favorite cream cheese spread in the grocery store? Well you’re definitely not alone. Widespread cream cheese shortages were first reported in December, following a cyberattack in October against the largest cheese manufacturer in the U.S.
For breakfast lovers everywhere that are feeling personally attacked by this, here are 5 cream cheese substitutes that will help you to get through the cream cheese shortage:
Mascarpone cheese is a type of cream cheese made with cream rather than milk, so it's higher fat and contains more calories than cream cheese. This cheese produces the best results when used as a 1:1 substitute for cream cheese. To make your mascarpone taste more like cream cheese, season it with a pinch of salt and a spritz of fresh lemon juice.
Ricotta is a cheese known for its soft texture and sweet, tangy taste. However, it isn’t as thick as cream cheese. Blend, drain, and add a squeeze of lemon and a few pinches of salt to make it more comparable to the real deal. Ricotta also works well as a filling or an ingredient in sauces and spreads. It's high in protein, calcium, vitamin B12, and riboflavin, just like cream cheese and other dairy products.
Plain Greek yogurt has the same creaminess and tang as cream cheese and straining it overnight could give you a more solid texture that you’re probably looking for. Greek yogurt also gives your favorite dish a healthy twist because it’s rich in protein, calcium, and vitamin B12. Simply sub in an equal amount of Greek yogurt for the cream cheese in your recipe and enjoy!
Vegan cream cheese makes a great substitute for regular cream cheese and you’ll be surprised to find that these dairy-free options can taste just like the real thing! Cashew cheese is a type of vegan cream cheese that’s typically made of blended cashews, nutritional yeast, water and a blend of seasonings. But heads up, it's not ideal for sweets and baked goods but it works well in a 1:1 ratio in savory dishes such as soups, sauces, and spreads.
Quark is a spreadable, creamy cheese that is popular throughout Europe and is made from buttermilk and heavy whipping cream. This cheese is high in nutrients, with each serving containing a substantial amount of protein and calcium. Nearly any food item, including cheesecakes, frostings, cookies, sauces, and spreads, can be made with equivalent amounts of quark instead of cream cheese. It’s important to note that quark is slightly more sour than cream cheese, so be sure to adjust the other ingredients in your recipe accordingly.
Don’t let a shortage stop you from enjoying your morning bagel, try out these alternatives and maybe you’ll find your new favorite spread!