Whether you’re baking or cooking, you’ve probably found yourself looking high and low, for a certain ingredient, to no avail. One of the hardest ingredients to find in regular grocery stores is specialty cheese, such as Neufchatel cheese. Worry not, though; there are several substitutes for Neufchatel cheese that will work great in whatever you’re making.
The most common substitutes for Neufchatel cheese are cream cheese, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, and mascarpone. Each cheese has a different flavor and texture, so the substitute you want will vary based on your recipe. Cream cheese is the closest in flavor to Neufchatel, while ricotta is the closest in texture.
What Can I Substitute for Neufchatel Cheese?
Cashew Cream Cheese
Cashew cream cheese is a good vegan/vegetarian substitute for Neufchatel cheese, as it is similar in taste. Cashew cream cheese is made by soaking cashews in water and blending them with nutritional yeast.
Cream cheese is the best – and easiest to find – substitute for Neufchatel cheese. Cream cheese and Neufchatel are very similar in taste and texture and are often used interchangeably.
Neufchatel is slightly grainier in texture and cream cheese has a slightly richer taste, but the two cheeses are nearly identical.
Cottage cheese has a very different texture from Neufchatel, but that can be tweaked, and the two cheeses taste very similar. Cottage cheese is a neutral cheese, so it is milder than Neufchatel, but it will work in a pinch.
As for the texture, you can mix equal parts cottage cheese and half-and-half together to achieve a smoother texture.
Ricotta and Neufchatel have a nearly identical texture, and ricotta is a very versatile cheese, with uses from pasta to desserts.
Mascarpone is sweeter than Neufchatel, but the two cheeses are very similar in taste and texture. Mascarpone is a good substitute for Neufchatel when using it for dessert recipes.
What is the Difference Between Neufchatel and Cream Cheese?
Neufchatel cheese and cream cheese are very similar in taste and texture, and they are often used interchangeably in recipes. The main difference between the two cheeses is Neufchatel has less fat and more moisture than cream cheese.