Mascarpone is a double Italian cream cheese used in creamy dishes. And it comes from the region of Lombardy in Northern Italy.
Its name is derived from the local language meaning “Ricotta.” But unlike Ricotta cheese, which is made from milk, Mascarpone is made from cream.
Mascarpone is great in risotto, cheesecake, ganache, tiramisu, and creamy pasta sauces. Its thick, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth consistency makes any dish delicious. Its mild and sweet taste also enhances the flavors of fruits such as figs and strawberries.
But what happens when you don’t have Mascarpone at home, and your recipe calls for it? That’s where substitutes for Mascarpone come in.
1. Cream Cheese
Cream cheese delivers the creaminess of Mascarpone and is often used as a replacement in Tiramisu recipes. It’s often preferred by people looking for low-calorie cheese with a creamy texture. And it’s easy to find in grocery stores.
However, Cream cheese doesn’t match the consistency of Mascarpone. So, to emulate the texture of a Mascarpone, we recommend adding whipped or sour cream to it. You can use cream cheese in guacamole, no-bake cheesecake, tortillas, and salmon sandwiches.
2. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is another low-calorie Mascarpone substitute often included in weight-loss diets. It contains more protein than Mascarpone and is a bit different in texture. Although you can opt for either chunky or smooth Cottage cheese.
Use Cottage cheese to make waffles, in salads as a protein, and on fruits such as melon chunks. It’s also excellent in baked goods like muffins and Italian dishes like lasagna.
3. Full-Fat Greek yogurt
Full-fat Greek yogurt is another ideal substitute for Mascarpone cheese. It is less creamy but tangier than Mascarpone cheese. And it makes a perfect addition to recipes that contain fruit, honey, or mint.
Greek yogurt is one of the most accessible Mascarpone cheese substitutes because you can buy it at any grocery store. It is also quite affordable. Eat it with frozen berries and nuts for breakfast or in fruit smoothies. It can also make creamy salad dressings or savory sauce for baked potatoes.
4. Crème Fraîche
Crème Fraîche is a lighter French version of Mascarpone cheese, and its name translates to “fresh cream”.
This is one of the most sought-after Mascarpone cheese substitutes and is made from cream soured using bacteria to thicken it. Crème Fraîche is less fatty than Mascarpone cheese. This, combined with its tangy flavor, make it a favorite Mascarpone substitute.
5. Whipped Ricotta Cheese
Mascarpone and Ricotta cheese are both smooth Italian cheeses that are milky and sweet. Therefore, Ricotta cheese makes an excellent substitute for Mascarpone cheese.
Ricotta cheese can be used to add juiciness to chicken recipes such as stuffed chicken. Or it can thicken meat sauces with fresh herbs and garlic. Add whipped cream and cream cheese to it, and it will taste and feel just like Mascarpone cheese.
6. English Clotted Cream
English Clotted Cream is a buttery, sweet substitute for Mascarpone cheese with high butter-fat content. It originated in the regions of Devon and Cornwall in the UK. And it’s also referred to as Cornish Cream.
Clotted Cream is made by heating unpasteurized milk, letting the cream rise to the surface, thickening it, and clotting it. English clotted cream makes a perfect Mascarpone substitute due to its high-fat content.
7. Sour Cream
Sour Cream is another one of the great substitutes for Mascarpone cheese. It’s ideal for baking and has a high heat resistance which is why it’s included in many savory dish recipes.
This Mascarpone cheese substitute has a higher fat content than the other substitutes on the list. Therefore, it’s best to add small amounts of it to soups and sauces. This will give them a thick texture and tangy, nutty flavor.
There are several reasons you may need substitutes for Mascarpone cheese. One simple reason is that you are out of it and have no time to run to the store. You may also require a low-fat version of Mascarpone to reduce the calories in your meal. Or perhaps you want to try something new that’s similar to Mascarpone.
The above-recommended substitutes for Mascarpone cheese may be the right fit for your recipe. No matter whether it’s a creamy soup, baked dish, or dessert. However, remember that Mascarpone is very high in fat. Therefore, it’s best to consume it in moderation or as a treat to avoid the health risks associated with high-fat foods.