Is there a non-dairy version of sour cream?

Yes, there are several non-dairy alternatives to traditional dairy-based sour cream. With the rise in plant-based diets and veganism, as well as lactose intolerance, many companies have developed non-dairy sour cream options made from plant-based ingredients like soy, coconut, cashews, and more.

Quick Overview of Non-Dairy Sour Cream

Some popular non-dairy sour cream brands include:

  • Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream – Made from tofu
  • Kite Hill Almond Milk Yogurt – Made from almonds
  • Forager Cashewgurt – Made from cashews
  • So Delicious CocoWhip – Made from coconut milk
  • Daiya Sour Cream – Made from pea protein

These non-dairy sour creams are lactose-free, vegan, and lower in saturated fat than traditional sour cream. They can be used as a condiment or in cooking and baking for things like tacos, baked potatoes, desserts, dips, etc. While they may not taste exactly the same as regular sour cream, they mimic the tart, cool, creamy texture quite well.

Lactose Intolerance and Dairy Allergies

Two of the main reasons people seek non-dairy sour cream alternatives are lactose intolerance and dairy allergies. Lactose intolerance impacts around 68% of the global population and causes gastrointestinal discomfort when digesting lactose, the sugar found in dairy milk. A dairy allergy triggers an abnormal immune response to the protein casein found in dairy. Both conditions mean dairy products, including sour cream, must be avoided.

Since non-dairy sour creams are made without any dairy ingredients, they provide a safe alternative for those with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies. This allows them to still enjoy many of their favorite foods that traditionally contained regular sour cream by swapping in a non-dairy version.

Rise of Plant-Based Diets

Plant-based diets like vegetarianism and veganism eliminate all or most animal products, including dairy. The number of Americans identifying as vegan grew from 1% in 2014 to 6% in 2017, a 600% increase. And in 2018, approximately 9.7 million Americans identified as vegan.

For those abstaining from dairy for ethical, environmental or health reasons, non-dairy sour creams offer the same tangy flavor profile without the use of animal products. Popular among vegans are soy-based, coconut-based and nut-based varieties.

Nutritional Profile

When comparing the nutritional content, non-dairy sour creams differ from traditional dairy-based sour cream in a few key ways:

  • Fat – Non-dairy options are lower in saturated fat and cholesterol since they do not contain any dairy fats.
  • Calories – Most non-dairy varieties have fewer calories per serving compared to regular sour cream.
  • Protein – Because they do not contain any milk proteins, non-dairy sour creams will be lower in protein.
  • Sodium – Some non-dairy brands have more added sodium to enhance flavor, so it’s best to check labels.
  • Sugar – To compensate for lack of dairy fat, some alternatives add sugar to improve taste.

Overall non-dairy sour creams can be a healthier option, but it’s still best to read nutrition labels and ingredients lists closely to find the best one for your needs.

Price and Availability

A decade ago non-dairy sour cream was a rarity, only found in specialty health food stores at a steep price. But with the surging popularity of plant-based diets, these products have hit the mainstream and are now readily available at most major supermarkets.

They are typically located in the dairy case next to regular sour cream. Popular national brands like Tofutti and Daiya have made non-dairy sour cream more affordable and accessible. Prices are now competitive with traditional sour cream, ranging from $2.50-$3.50 per 12 oz container.

However, some smaller artisanal brands producing gourmet nut-based varieties can still cost a bit more. And prices may vary depending on your geographic location. But overall, non-dairy sour cream is easy to find and reasonably priced for most consumers.

Taste and Texture

Let’s compare the taste and texture of the most popular non-dairy sour cream varieties:

Soy Sour Cream

– Tofu-based versions like Tofutti have a very similar consistency to dairy sour cream. The texture is smooth and creamy.

– Flavor is mildly tangy but tends to be less tart than dairy sour cream.

– Works well in baked goods, dips, sauces, and as a topping.

Coconut Sour Cream

– Made from the thick milk of mature coconuts, it’s naturally thick and creamy.

– Has a light coconut aroma and flavor.

– The taste is less tart than dairy; more mildly sweet and nutty.

– Use in curries, chilies, stir-fries, etc. to complement coconut flavor.

Almond Milk Sour Cream

– Has a mild, creamy flavor without strong almond taste.

– The consistency can be quite thin, so difficult to dollop or pipe.

– Works best drizzled over tacos, baked potatoes, and chili.

Cashew Sour Cream

– Made from fermented cashew nuts to mimic tangy dairy flavor.

– Has a rich, creamy texture while still being thick and spoonable.

– Taste is mildly nutty and fairly close to dairy sour cream.

– Excellent for tacos, nachos, pierogies, and baked goods.

How to Use

Non-dairy sour cream can be used in place of regular sour cream in just about any recipe or application. Here are some of the most common ways it is used:


Add to cake, cookie, muffin, or quick bread batters and doughs. It will impart moisture, tenderness and tangy flavor. Reduce baking soda/powder slightly to account for the acidity.

Toppings and Garnishes

Dollop on top of baked potatoes, tacos, burritos, nachos, chili, soups. Use as a garnish on desserts. Creates a cool, creamy contrast.

Dips and Spreads

Mix with herbs, spices, onion, garlic to make creamy dips for snacking. Spread on sandwiches in place of mayo.

Dressings and Sauces

Whisk with oil, vinegar, herbs to make salad dressings. Blend with spices to make enchilada sauce. Thicken and emulsify soups and gravies.


For a creamy texture, add a couple tablespoons to fruit and vegetable smoothies. Also cools down spicy smoothies.


Blended with coffee makes a frothy caffe latte. Whisked into milk makes a refreshing lassi-style drink.

Best Uses for Different Varieties

Not all non-dairy sour creams can be used interchangeably. Here are some tips on the best applications for each variety:

Soy Sour Cream

– Bake into cakes, cookies, and quick breads

– Dollop onto baked potatoes and chili

– Mix into dips and spreads

Coconut Sour Cream

– Add to Thai and Indian curries

– Topping for fruit and desserts

– Stir into tropical smoothies

Almond Milk Sour Cream

– Drizzle over tacos, enchiladas, nachos

– Thin salad dressings and veggie dips

– Mix into cold soups like gazpacho

Cashew Sour Cream

– Tacos, burritos, tamales, and Tex-Mex

– Substitute in baked goods and desserts

– Thicken gravies and creamy salad dressings

Homemade Versions

It’s also possible to make non-dairy sour cream at home. This allows you to control the ingredients list. Here are some recipes to try:

Tofu Sour Cream


  • 14 oz extra firm tofu
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1⁄4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp white miso paste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1⁄4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar


  1. Drain and press the tofu to remove excess moisture.
  2. Place tofu in a food processor or blender. Add remaining ingredients.
  3. Puree until completely smooth and creamy.
  4. Chill in the refrigerator at least 1 hour before using.
  5. Keeps 4-5 days refrigerated.

Cashew Sour Cream


  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1⁄4 cup lemon juice
  • 1⁄4 cup water
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1⁄2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


  1. Drain the cashews from the soaking water.
  2. Add all ingredients to a high speed blender.
  3. Blend until completely smooth and creamy.
  4. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before using.
  5. Will keep 5-6 days chilled.


When a recipe calls for sour cream, non-dairy varieties offer a tasty plant-based option. Major grocery stores now stock multiple brands of non-dairy sour cream, made from soy, coconuts, almonds, and cashews. With a similar creamy tartness and thickness, they can be used in place of regular sour cream in everything from tacos to cakes.

For those avoiding dairy due to dietary restrictions or personal preferences, non-dairy sour creams provide a convenient alternative so no one has to miss out on their favorite foods. While each variety has a unique flavor profile, all mimic the cool tanginess that sour cream lends to both sweet and savory dishes. Homemade versions can also be whipped up for total control over ingredients.

So for baking, sauces, dressings, dips and garnishes, don’t overlook non-dairy sour creams. They offer endless possibilities for lactose-free cooking and eating.

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