How to Make Cheesy Potatoes Without Using Sour Cream

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Things You'll Need

  • Plain yogurt

  • Heavy cream

  • Buttermilk

  • Bowl

  • Plastic wrap

  • Lemon juice or vinegar

  • Glass measuring cup

  • Whole milk

  • Evaporated milk

  • Butter

  • Cottage cheese

  • Strainer

  • Mayonnaise

  • Heavy cream

  • Blender or whisk

Even without sour cream, cheesy potatoes can be rich and delicious.
Image Credit: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

It's sometimes hard to tell whether the collective cheer that erupts when you enter a family gathering is triggered by your arrival -- or the sight of the cheesy potato casserole that you're holding. But does it really matter? Although this popular dish may someday dethrone the green bean casserole as the most ubiquitous, not everyone likes or can physically tolerate the two cups of sour cream required in most cooking methods. If you want to substitute the sour cream in your cheesy potato casserole with something else, turn it into a parlor game and see if anyone can guess the secret ingredient.


Step 1

Replace the sour cream with an equal amount of plain yogurt, which will come close to replicating the taste and the texture of sour cream. Alternatively, mix 1 ½ cups of yogurt with ½ cup of melted butter to increase the fat (and flavor content).

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Step 2

Substitute the sour cream for creme fraiche, a French cream that is creamier, richer and far milder than sour cream. You can buy creme fraiche at some stores, but it's more economical -- and fun -- to make it at home. To make 2 cups, combine 1 pint of heavy cream with 2 tablespoons of cultured buttermilk in a bowl. Stir the two ingredients and cover with plastic wrap. Let the mixture sit out at room temperature for between 12 and 24 hours, during which time it will thicken nicely. After this time, store the creme fraiche in the refrigerator, where it will continue to thicken.

Step 3

Use milk as a base to create a substitute for sour cream. Pour 2 tablespoons of lemon juice in a glass measuring cup; top it off with enough whole milk or evaporated milk to make 2 cups, and stir. Or combine 1 ½-cups buttermilk with ½ cup of melted butter.

Step 4

Trade sour cream for cottage cheese, but coddle it a bit before adding it to your cheesy potatoes. Drain the cheese first, then place it in a bowl and beat it with a hand mixer until you get it as smooth as possible. Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to the mixture, too.


Step 5

Bring mayonnaise into the fold -- literally -- by combining equal amounts of heavy cream, yogurt and mayonnaise. Use a blender or whisk the ingredients by hand.


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