Skip to Content

The 7 Best Substitutes for Heavy Cream in Soup

Have you ever found yourself searching for the perfect substitute for heavy cream in soup?

Heavy cream is a staple ingredient in many creamy soup recipes.

It adds richness, thickness, and flavor. Unfortunately, it can also be high in saturated fat and calories.

Luckily, there are some great alternatives that can help you achieve a creamy and delicious soup without the guilt.

Here are seven of the best substitutes for heavy cream in soup: Greek yogurt, sour cream, evaporated milk, cashew cream, coconut milk, avocado purée, and almond milk.

All these different substitutes can be used for a variety of soups without any issues arising from them.

So why not give them a try now that you know what they are?

What Is Heavy Cream?

Heavy cream is exactly what its name implies – it’s a type of dairy product that is thicker than regular milk or light cream.

It consists mostly of butterfat with very little water content – usually around 36-40%.

Heavy cream has an incredibly rich texture and flavor which makes it ideal for use in soups as well as baking. It contains more fat than other types of dairy products such as full-fat milk or half-and-half which helps to add richness to dishes.

Unfortunately, because of its high-fat content (and consequently high caloric value), it may not be suitable for everyone’s diet or lifestyle.

Additionally, heavy cream can become overly thick when boiled or cooked over high heat which means extra caution needs to be taken when incorporating it into recipes that require simmering or boiling such as certain types of soups.

The 7 Best Substitutes For Heavy Cream In Soup

If you’re looking to make healthy cooking choices without sacrificing flavor or texture in your soup recipes, opting for one of the following seven alternatives is sure to yield positive results:

1 – Greek Yogurt

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is made by straining regular yogurt through cloth or paper filters to remove whey and other liquids while simultaneously increasing its protein content.

This process creates a thick yet creamy consistency similar to that of heavy cream but with far fewer calories and saturated fats due to its low-fat dairy base.

Greek yogurt works wonders when making hearty vegetable soups and stews because its tanginess serves as an excellent counterpoint to the earthy flavors found in vegetables like carrots and potatoes.

To incorporate this yogurt into your recipe simply add it at the end just before serving – this will help prevent curdling from occurring due to prolonged contact with heat sources like boiling liquid or open flames from stovetops.

2 – Sour Cream

Sour cream is another great option for achieving a thick and creamy texture in soups without relying on heavy cream’s saturated fats or calorie count.

Made from cultured pasteurized milk with added bacteria cultures (typically lactic acid) sour cream produces a unique tartness that complements many savory dishes wonderfully while still providing a smooth finish similar to heavy cream’s mouthfeel without needing additional thickeners such as flour or cornstarch.

Its versatility allows it to pair perfectly with both tomato-based soups like gazpacho as well as light veggie broths like cucumber bisque – so don’t hesitate to experiment!

Like Greek yogurt though try adding it towards the end just before serving so that it doesn’t curdle due to overcooking when exposed to prolonged heat sources like boiling liquids or open flames on stovetops for too long; otherwise you might end up with an unappetizing chunky mess!

3 – Evaporated Milk

For those looking for an alternative solution with even fewer calories than either Greek yogurt or sour cream offers, consider trying evaporated milk instead!

This concentrated form of cow’s milk has been canned after being cooked under reduced pressure – resulting in much less water content than regular cow’s milk so that all its vitamins minerals proteins carbohydrates lipids etc remain intact making it much healthier than traditional varieties; however, since all the liquid has been removed during processing this does mean there will be fewer solids present (which affects thickness/creaminess) but fear not!

You can easily thicken up your dish by adding back some water during cooking – depending on how thick/thin desired consistency is desired; also bear in mind that evaporated milk itself isn’t naturally sweet so may need additional sweetener if using sweetened varieties/flavors such as chocolate puddings custards, etc…

And lastly unlike other dairy products mentioned so far evaporated milk won’t curdle even if boiled exposed to flame etc so take advantage of longer cooking times (for richer flavors) knowing your final result will still look appetizing and attractive!

4 – Cashew Cream

Cashew Cream offers vegetarians and vegans an excellent alternative solution when seeking out non-dairy options for soup creation.

However, since cashews themselves are naturally quite soft, blending them together with water leads to yielding a thick sauce-like substance with complete natural sweetness and a slightly nutty aroma, the perfect balance between smooth velvety texture and body reminiscent of creams derived from animal milk!

To make cashew cream, simply soak raw cashews overnight, then blend the mixture until the desired consistency is achieved. Spoon it over your favorite vegan soups just before serving.

Alternatively, combine equal parts of cashews soaked overnight, along with a bit of olive oil, lemon juice, honey, a pinch of salt (optional), rinsed dried basil leaves, then blend again.

Garnish over a steaming bowl of fresh bean stew with drizzles of olive oil and roasted slices of sunflower seeds.

Enjoy every bite, knowing that good health and sustainability are taken care of!

5 – Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is a popular dairy-free alternative that adds richness and creaminess to soups.

It has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor that complements many dishes, especially those with Asian or tropical flavors.

It is a good source of healthy fats and contains vitamins and minerals like iron, potassium, and magnesium. To use coconut milk in soups, simply substitute it for heavy cream in equal amounts.

6 – Avocado Purée

Avocado purée is a healthy and creamy substitute for heavy cream in soups. It is packed with nutrients like healthy fats, fiber, and vitamins C and K.

To make avocado purée, simply blend ripe avocados with a little water or vegetable broth until smooth. This purée can be added to soups to add creaminess and thickness.

7 – Almond Milk

Almond milk is a dairy-free alternative that is low in calories and high in nutrients like vitamin E, calcium, and magnesium. It has a slightly nutty flavor and adds creaminess to soups without the added fat and calories of heavy cream.

To use almond milk in soups, simply substitute it for heavy cream in equal amounts. However, it is important to note that almond milk may curdle if heated to high temperatures, so it should be added towards the end of cooking or served cold.

Does Heavy Cream Thicken Soup?

Yes, heavy cream can thicken soup due to its high-fat content. When added to a soup, the fat in the cream coats the other ingredients, creating a smoother and thicker texture.

Heavy cream is often used in soups such as chowders, bisques, and cream-based soups to give them a rich and velvety texture.

To use heavy cream as a thickener, it’s important to add it towards the end of the cooking process. If you add it too early, it can curdle or break, ruining the texture of the soup.

It’s also important to heat the cream gently before adding it to the soup. This can be done by warming the cream in a separate pot or by gradually adding it to the soup while stirring constantly.

If you’re looking for a non-dairy alternative to heavy cream for thickening soup, there are several options available. Coconut milk, cashew cream, and pureed vegetables like cauliflower or butternut squash can all be used to achieve a creamy and thick texture in soups.

These alternatives are also lower in fat and calories than heavy cream, making them a healthier option.


In conclusion, heavy cream no longer has a monopoly on delivering creamy yet delectable soups.

Thanks to numerous natural substitutes available today, ranging from dairy products like Greek yogurts and sour creams all the way down to plant-based staples like coconut milk, avocado purees, almond milk, etc., each providing their own unique benefits in terms of nutrition, health, sustainability, and taste.

All of the above mentioned ingredients can be used interchangeably in various kinds of dishes, whether hot, cold, savory, sweet, vegan, vegetarian, etc.

Simply adjust the amounts according to your preference, bearing in mind to always add non-dairy versions towards the end of the cooking process to ensure maximum flavor retention and minimal risk of curdling, burning, or ruining the masterpiece meal you have lovingly crafted for your family and guests blessed enough to partake at this time.

So, don’t hesitate to experiment with these natural substitutes and create your own unique culinary delights!

The 7 Best Substitutes for Heavy Cream in Soup

The 7 Best Substitutes for Heavy Cream in Soup

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • Greek Yogurt
  • Sour Cream
  • Evaporated Milk
  • Cashew Cream
  • Coconut Milk
  • Avocado Purée
  • Almond Milk


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
jenny happy muncher
 | Website

Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.