Dairy-Free Substitutes - Recipe Solutions for the Dairy-Free Cook

Food is much more than something to nourish us physically; meals and dining not only become parts of regional cultures but personal and family traditions as well. Many of our favorite meals often have dairy products as a base or staple ingredient. These helpful substitutions will aid you in creating dairy-free versions of classic recipes of your past as well as new and exciting dishes that contain milk, cream, and butter.

For soy-free dairy substitutes, check out my page on Soy-Free Dairy...MORE Substitutes

  • 01 of 11
    Riou/Digital Vision/Getty Images
    • 1 cup dairy-free soy margarine, such as Willow Run (reduce the salt in recipe by ½ t. if recipe calls for unsalted)
    • 1 cup canola oil (Note: for many baked recipes, or recipes that use butter to coagulate, emulsify or stabilize, soy margarine will be the better choice. Oil works well as part of meat and vegetable dishes as well as sauces.)
    • Best Butter Substitutes
    • Baking Without Butter
  • 02 of 11

    To Replace Buttermilk:

    • 1 cup soymilk combined with 1 T. apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. Allow mixture to rest in the refrigerator for five minutes so that the mixture will thicken correctly.
    • 1 cup plain soy yogurt
    • 2/3 cup soy sour cream blended with 1/3 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 03 of 11
    Vegan Grilled Cheese. © 2010 Ashley Skabar, licensed to About.com, Inc.
  • Best Dairy-Free Cheeses
  • Dairy-Free Cheese Recipes
  • Dairy-Free Cheese Substitutes
  • 04 of 11

    To Replace Cream (Light):

    • 1 cup dairy-free soy coffee cream
    • 1 cup soymilk mixed with ¼ cup melted dairy-free soy margarine
    • 1 cup whole coconut milk
    • 1 cup soymilk mixed with 1/4 cup soymilk powder
    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • 05 of 11

    To Replace Cream (Heavy):

    • 1/4 cup soy half-n-half, mixed with ¼ cup soy margarine, melted, and ½ c unsweetened soymilk
    • 1 cup cream of coconut
  • 06 of 11

    To Replace Crème Fraiche:

    • ½ cup soy sour cream processed with ½ cup soy cream cheese
    • ½ cup plain soy yogurt processed with ½ cup soy cream cheese
    • 2/3 cup extra firm silken tofu processed with 1/3 cup soy yogurt or soy sour cream
  • 07 of 11

    To Replace Ghee:

  • 08 of 11
    Rice milk is a great substitute for dairy in soy-free recipes, but for sauces it needs a stabilizing agent, like xanthan gum, agar flakes or egg yolks. © 2008 Ashley Skabar, licensed to About.com, Inc.
    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • 09 of 11

    To Replace Milk (Evaporated)

    • 1 cup soy coffee creamer
    • 1 cup plain soy yogurt
  • 10 of 11

    To Replace Milk (Sweetened Condensed)

    • 1 cup soymilk powder mixed with 2/3 cup sugar heated over low heat with ½ c soy coffee creamer and ½ cup soymilk. Heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and smooth.
    • 1 cup vanilla soy ice cream, melted over low heat with 2 T soymilk powder until slightly thickened
  • 11 of 11
    Seven layers of dairy-free goodness. © 2008 Ashley Skabar, licensed to About.com, Inc.