Neufchatel cheese is a soft and ripened cheese originating from Normandy in the French region. Neufchatel cheese is made with unpasteurized milk that has a similar taste and texture to cream cheese.
In the USA, Neufchatel cheese is produced with pasteurized milk and cream, and due to the high concentration of its moisture, it has low-fat content and higher moisture concentration. Neufchatel cheese comes in different sizes, shapes, and forms, and some of the common shapes include square, heart, cylinder, and brick shapes.
This cheese has a rich taste that is slightly salty and a nutty mushroom flavor that gets stronger and more intense as the cheese ages.
If your recipe calls for Neufchatel cheese and you can’t find it, there are a lot of other substitutes for Neufchatel cheeses that you can use, such as cream cheese, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, mascarpone, hung curd, sour cream, goat cheese, and quark.
What Is Neufchatel Cheese?
Neufchatel is a soft and slightly crumbly cheese made in the Neufchatel-en-bray region. It is one of the oldest types of cheese in France, as it is said to date back to the 6th century.
If you haven’t come across this cheese before, it looks like camembert with a dry, white, and edible rind.
Neufchatel has a grainy texture and is usually sold in heart shapes but is also produced in other forms. It is typically mature from 8-10 weeks and weighs about 100 to 600 grams. It is suitable for frostings dips and can also be eaten as desserts and used as spreads.
Substitutes For Neufchatel Cheese
1. Cream Cheese
One of the best substitutes for Neufchatel cheeses, cream cheese is made with cream or a combination of milk and cream, as the name implies.
You do not have to leave your cream cheese to age before you can eat it, and they also come in various types, but a slice of standard cream cheese contains more than 33% of fats and more than 55% of moisture in it.
Since Neufchatel cheese has lower fat content than cream cheese, when substituting cream cheese is your recipe, you should know that the dish you will be making would be much creamier than if you had used Neufchatel.
Cream cheese can substitute Neufchatel cheese in baked goods, frostings, dips, and other savory dishes in the ratio of 1:1.
2. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is a fresh, creamy, and soft cheese with a mild flavor and low-fat content. This cheese has a grainy texture, but that shouldn’t be a problem as you can use your blender to blend it into your desired texture to match the Neufchatel cheese.
It would be best if you also substituted cottage cheese for Neufchatel cheese in a ratio of 1:1 for frostings, dips, gravies, spreads, baked goods, and so on.
Mascarpone is an Italian soft cream cheese that is slightly sweet, milky, and is very rich in flavor. Although it has double the amount of fats contained in Neufchatel cheese, it works well as a substitute.
Like most cheeses mentioned, it should be done in a ratio of 1:1 when substituting it for Neufchatel cheese.
4. Ricotta Cheese
Ricotta cheese is also a soft and fresh Italian cheese made major with cows’ milk, and sometimes, you can also use the milk from goats, sheep, water, and buffalo. Ricotta cheese has a grainy texture, which you can fix by using your blender.
This cheese has a lower fat content when compared to Neufchatel cheese, but you can also solve that by adding a certain amount of yogurt and heavy cream to make it similar to Neufchatel cheese.
Ricotta cheese can be used to substitute Neufchatel cheese in dishes like cheesecakes and frosting. It would help if you substituted it for Neufchatel cheese in a ratio of 1:1.
5. Sour Cream
Sour cream is a dairy product with a tart, tangy flavor, and thick texture. This cream is usually used in dips for salad dressings, baked goods, and sauces, and it can also be used as toppings for stews and soups.
Sour cream has fewer fats than Neufchatel cheese, but you can fix this by adding whipped cream or milk. When substituting, you should do it in a ratio of 1:1.
6. Goat Cheese
There are two types of goat cheese, either fresh goat cheese or aged goat cheese, and they are both suitable for substitution. You should ensure that you use soft goat cheese as it has a soft, tangy, and milky flavor coupled with the fact that it has high moisture content.
Even if the major use of goat cheese is as dips and spreads, you can also use it in salads, added in sandwiches, soups, pasta sauces, risotto, and many other dishes.
Since goat cheese is fatter than Neufchatel cheese, you should substitute ¾ cup of goat milk for each cup of Neufchatel cheese.
7. Hung Curd
If you want to use fewer fats in your recipe, hung curd is one of the best substitutes you should try out. Hung curd is a super versatile condiment that originated from India. Since hung curd is a curd whose whey is completely drained, it has a thick and creamy texture.
You can use hung curd in a ratio of 1:1 when substituting it for Neufchatel cheese in salad dressings, meat marinades, baked goods, spreads, savory recipes, and so on.
Quark is a dairy product made from soured milk that is firstly curdled and then strained. It has a soft and creamy texture and a mild and slightly sour flavor.
Quark is prominently produced in many European countries with different fat content and then flavored with spices, herbs, and fruits.
Quark can be used as a substitute for Neufchatel cheese in a ratio of 1;1. It is suitable for salad dressings, spreads, frostings, and baked goods.
Frequently Asked Question
What Is the Difference Between Cream Cheese and Neufchatel Cheese?
The major difference between cream cheese and Neufchatel is their fat content. The regular cream cheese contains about 33% of fats and is made with pasteurized cow’s milk, while Neufchatel contains only about 23% of fats and is made with raw cow’s cheese. Even if Neufchatel cheese has a grainier texture, their flavors are quite similar.
Is Neufchatel Cheese Similar to Brie?
Even if Neufchatel cheese and brie are both French cheeses with similar looks, their flavor and fat content are different. Also, brie contains more calcium, magnesium, and potassium than Neufchatel cheese.
What Is Neufchatel Cheese Used For?
Since this is a spreadable cheese, it Is an excellent topping for crackers and bagels. It is also a good cheese for sandwich spreads, snack dips, desserts, and frosting.