Neufchatel cheese is a soft-ripened cheese that originated in the French region, Normandy. It is made with cows unpasteurized milk and has a similar texture, flavor, and use as cream cheese.
Neufchatel cheese is also produced in the USA but with pasteurized milk and cream. It has lower fat content, added thickeners, and higher content of moisture.
This cheese comes in different sizes and forms. Some of the most common shapes include squares, cylinders, hearts, and bricks.
This spreadable cheese has a grainy texture and rich, slightly salty, a nutty-mushroom flavor that gets stronger and pungent with aging. It works well as a topping for sandwiches, bagels, sauces, crackers, dips, frostings, and desserts.
If your recipe calls for Neufchatel cheese, however, you have run out of it or you cannot find it in the store you can use some other ingredient as its substitute.
The best substitutes for Neufchatel cheese include cream or cottage cheese, mascarpone, ricotta cheese, Gervais cheese, sour cream, goat cheese, hung curd, cashew cream cheese, and quark.
Best Substitutes for Neufchatel Cheese
The best substitute for Neufchatel cheese with a similar flavor and texture is cream cheese. But you can also use some of the substitutes mentioned below to improve the flavor and texture of your favorite recipe.
No matter which type of Neufchatel cheese you want to substitute, the American or the French type, here are some of the best ingredients you can use.
1. Cream cheese
Cream cheese is made with cream or a combination of cream and milk. It doesn’t have to be aged because cream cheese is eaten as fresh.
There are various types of cream cheese with different flavors and fat content. Standard cream cheese is considered the one that contains more than 33% fat and has more than 55% moisture.
Neufchatel cheese has lower fat content than cream cheese. Therefore, when you are using this cheese as a substitute for Neufchatel cheese your recipes will have a richer and creamier texture.
Use cream cheese in a 1:1 ratio as a substitute for Neufchatel cheese in baked goods, dips, frostings, and other sweet and savory recipes.
2. Cottage cheese
Cottage cheese is fresh, soft, creamy cheese with a mild flavor.
It has low-fat content and a grainy texture. However, you can blend it with heavy cream to get a smoother and thicker texture similar to the texture of the Neufchatel cheese.
Substitute Neufchatel cheese with cottage cheese in a 1:1 ratio in frostings, desserts, dips, spreads, gravies, and baked goods.
Mascarpone is Italian soft cream cheese with a slightly sweet, milky flavor and rich, smooth creamy texture.
It has double the amount of fat of Neufchatel cheese. However, it still makes a perfect substitute for Neufchatel cheese in various desserts frostings, dips, spreads, sauces, soups, and other sweet and savory recipes.
Use it in a 1:1 ratio as a substitute for Neufchatel cheese.
4. Ricotta cheese
Ricotta cheese is fresh, soft Italian cheese with a mild milky flavor. It is usually made with cow’s milk, but there is also ricotta cheese made with goats, sheep, and water buffalo’s milk.
Ricotta cheese has a grainy texture and less fat content than Neufchatel cheese. But you can add the same amount of yogurt or heavy cream and make it similar to Neufchatel cheese.
Use ricotta cheese as a substitute for Neufchatel cheese in any dips, frostings, cheesecake, baked goods, and other sweet and savory recipes in a 1:1 ratio.
5. Gervais cheese
Gervais cheese is French cheese with a rich, creamy flavor and soft texture.
It has a similar texture and flavor to Neufchatel cheese. Meaning, you can use it as its substitute in sweet and savory recipes.
Substitute Neufchatel cheese with Gervais cheese in a 1:1 ratio.
6. Sour cream
Sour cream is a dairy product with a tart, tangy flavor, and thick creamy texture. It is usually used in dips, salad dressings, sauces, savory baked goods, and as a topping for stews and soups.
Sour cream has less fat than Neufchatel cheese and has a tangy flavor. However, you can use it as its substitute in savory recipes in a 1:1 ratio.
7. Goat cheese
There are many different types of fresh and aged Goat cheese.
Soft goat cheese is a good substitute for Neufchatel cheese in many savory recipes. It has a soft texture tangy, milky flavor, and high fat and moisture content.
Goat cheese is used as a dip and spread, but it is also added in salads, sandwiches, soups, pasta sauces, risotto, and many other dishes.
Goat cheese contains more milk fat than Neufchatel cheese, so you can substitute 1 cup of Neufchatel cheese with ¾ of a cup of goat cheese.
8. Hung curd
Hung curd is a good substitute for Neufchatel cheese if you want to use less fat in your recipes. This super versatile Indian condiment is a curd whose whey is completely drained. Thus, it has a creamy and thick texture.
You can use hung curd in a 1:1 ratio as a substitute for Neufchatel cheese in dips, spreads, salad dressings, meat marinades, baked goods, and savory recipes.
You can also use it in sweet recipes if you add a sweetener such as honey or maple syrup.
9. Cashew cream cheese
Cashew cream cheese is a dairy-free alternative for Neufchatel cheese.
You can use it if you are vegan or allergic to milk items. It is made with cashews, spices, herbs, and nutritional yeast and has a nutty and cheesy flavor.
You can even prepare cashews cream cheese at home with just a few ingredients and use it in sauces, spreads, soups, and other savory recipes.
Substitute Neufchatel cheese with cashew cream cheese in a 1:1 ratio.
Quark is a dairy product made from curdled and then strained soured milk.
It has a soft, creamy, texture and mild, slightly sour flavor. Quark is produced in many European countries with different fat contents and flavored with spices, herbs, or fruits.
You can use quark in 1:1 ratio as a great substitute for Neufchatel cheese in many sauces, spreads, frostings, salad dressings, cheesecake, baked goods, and other sweet and savory recipes.
What is the difference between regular cream cheese and Neufchatel?
The main difference between regular cream cheese and Neufchatel is their fat content.
Regular cream cheese contains more than 33% of fat and is made with pasteurized cow’s milk and cream, while Neufchatel cheese contains 23% of fat and is only made with raw cow’s milk.
Neufchatel cheese has a grainier texture than regular cream cheese but they both have a similar flavor.
Is Neufchatel the same as mascarpone?
Neufchatel is not the same as mascarpone. Mascarpone is Italian soft cream cheese and has double the amount of fat of Neufchatel cheese.
Is low-fat cream cheese the same as Neufchatel?
Low fat cream cheese is the same as Neufchatel cheese.
Is Neufchatel cheese like brie?
Neufchatel cheese and brie are both French soft cheeses that look similar but have different flavors and fat content. Brie contains more fat, calories, protein, sodium, iron, magnesium, and calcium than Neufchatel cheese.
What does Neufchatel cheese taste like?
Neufchatel cheese has a rich, slightly salty, and nutty-mushroom flavor which gets stronger and pungent with aging.
Is Neufchatel cheese good for cheesecake?
Neufchatel cheese is good for cheesecake if you want your cheesecake to contain less fat. It has less fat than regular cream cheese, so you will get a slightly different flavor and texture but your cheesecake will be tasty anyway.
Neufchatel cheese is a versatile ingredient used in many different recipes.
However, if you can’t find it in the store you can try some of these ingredients and use them as a substitute for the Neufchatel cheese in your sweet and savory recipes.