Having been a food-lover for the majority of my life, I can say that the level of comfort brought by any creamy dish – the richness, flavor, and body it adds to any recipe – is definitely hard to outrun.

However, some people are unable to use cream to transform their dishes, such as vegans or people adverse to dairy. That’s why I created this list to help them enjoy any creamy dish without actually using cream!

 1. White beans

I can say that this cream substitute has it all – it’s silky, creamy, savory, delicious, versatile, and full of flavor.

You don’t have to worry if you have some food restrictions. White beans are mostly soy-free, nut-free, and because of their versatility, they can also be made oil-free.

Making a white bean creamy sauce takes only a few ingredients, which are mostly likely already available in your kitchen. In less than 10 minutes you’ll be able to indulge in a scrumptious white bean creamy sauce.

Choosing the best type of beans

Cannellini beans in particular have a nutty, earthy flavor and tender flesh that gets super creamy when blended, making it the perfect bean to use for a white bean cream.

If Cannellini beans are not available, you’re welcome to use Great Northern Beans.

Try making a great white bean sauce using this recipe.


2. Unsweetened Almond Milk

If you want to make creamy dishes but don’t want to really use cream or cow’s milk, you can always substitute it with unsweetened almond milk. 

Almond milk is a good source of calcium that is low in calories, low in sugar (if you use the unsweetened one), and high in Vitamin E – a potent antioxidant that fights inflammation and stress in the body.

It’s an ideal alternative to dairy, as it’s naturally Lactose-Free, Dairy-Free and Vegan-Friendly.

Go to this link to make a Cream of Broccoli Soup using Almond Milk.


3. Avocado

Craving for a creamy pasta sauce? Avocado can definitely help! Though it can be a flavorful and creamy sauce, consistency may not be as heavy as cream-based sauces like Alfredo.

Avocado is often referred to as a superfood for it’s high-nutrient value and it’s popularly added to many dishes due to its rich texture and good flavor.

Here are some things to consider when making a dish with avocado cream:

Use Ripe Avocado.

The ripeness of the avocado is the fundamental factor of an avocado cream. Blending under-ripe avocados will not make it as tender, resulting in a cream with grassy taste and texture.

Choose the ideal type of pasta

For this creamy avocado sauce, it’s best to use a type of pasta that is dry, with plenty of body that will stand up to the thickness of the avocado. Some ideas are spaghetti, soba noodles, and zucchini noodles. You can also try farfalle and fusilli.

Avoid using thin and tubular kinds of pasta like angel hair, penne or rigatoni.

Coat the pasta with the cream while it’s warm.

Your pasta will absorb more flavor from the cream if you mix it while it’s still warm. Plus, mixing it while warm will make it that much easier to coat, especially since avocado cream is thick.

For the pasta salad lovers, I have good news. Avocado cream is absolutely delicious when served cold, making it good for your favorite pasta salad without using mayonnaise. Just toss in your choice of vegetables and cooked protein, and you’re good to go!

Treat yourself to this Avocado Cream Pasta.


4. Silken Tofu and Soy Milk

Silken tofu is made from condensed soy milk that has been formed into solid white blocks, just like regular tofu.

The much softer consistency of silken tofu makes it easier to blend into a high-protein and dairy-free replacement for heavy cream. 

To make the cream, prepare your blender, immersion blender, or food processor. 

Add tofu and soy milk to give it a smooth texture and remove lumps. You can also use any other plant-based milk of your choice.

Combine equal parts of silken tofu and soy milk and blend thoroughly until the mixture reaches a thick and smooth consistency.

You can use it as a great alternative to the heavy cream on your favorite sauces or soup recipes.


5. Coconut Cream

Coconut Cream makes an excellent substitute for heavy cream due to its versatility.

A simple way to prepare it is by chilling full-fat coconut milk in the fridge overnight, then pouring the liquid contents into another container.

The hardened, thick cream can be scooped out and used as a substitute for heavy cream.

To use coconut cream, simply substitute the heavy cream in a recipe with it, in equal amounts. Talk about an easy vegan-friendly and dairy-free replacement!

Pro Tip: Even though Coconut Cream can be so versatile (it can be baked, cooked, or whipped) you should be cautious about which recipes to prepare with Coconut Cream as it will give your recipes a subtle coconut flavor. 


The following two options are not necessarily the best dairy-free and vegan options, since they can be hard to find, but they’re still a great alternative to regular cream for those of you who are able to find the ingredients.


6. Dairy-Free Greek Yogurt

Adding Dairy-Free Greek Yogurt to dishes like soups and pasta may sound odd, but actually, a mixture of Greek yogurt and alternative milk is a great replacement for heavy cream that will help thicken up your recipes like soups and sauces.

Yogurt is thicker than heavy cream, hence, adding some milk to it will surely thin it out, achieving a texture similar to cream.

Just blend together equal parts Greek yogurt and your preferred milk alternative. 

Don’t use this substitute in recipes that require whipping, as it will not work!


7. Vegan Cream Cheese

Yes, you read it right. If you’re able to find some in your city, vegan cream cheese can also be a great substitute for recipes that require cream.

Though it might change the taste and texture of your dish a little bit, cream cheese really makes a good alternative, especially for frosting! It will surely help thicken any cream-based soups, sauces and even a cheesy sauce.

Vegan Cream cheese works as a 1:1 substitute to cream on your favorite recipe. 

Know that replacing heavy cream with cream cheese on recipes that require whipping may not work!

Cream is widely used in many recipes, sweet and savory alike. 

If you ever run out of cream unexpectedly or prefer dairy-free or vegan alternatives, now you have the list above to choose your preferred substitute. 

Always keep in mind that replacing any ingredient can modify the taste and texture of your dish. Therefore, always check the compatibility of your alternative cream to your recipes before you start cooking.

Happy Cooking!