Fromage blanc is a well-known fresh cheese originating in France and Belgium, it’s creamy and soft, and it’s made with whole or skimmed milk and cream. Pure Fromage blanc is technically fat-free, but the cream is frequently added to improve the flavor.
If you need Fromage blanc for a recipe but you are not able to find it anywhere, or if you want to use something else because you don’t enjoy its taste, here are the best substitutes for Fromage blanc.
The best substitutes for Fromage blanc
Fromage blanc is a well-known fresh cheese, whose name means “white cheese” in French, originated from the north of France and the south of Belgium.
Fromage blanc is often confused with fromage frais, which is another creamy cheese, but according to French legislation, fromage frais must contain live cultures when sold, while Fromage blanc fermentation is stopped beforehand.
Pure Fromage blanc is basically fat-free, but the cream is frequently added to improve its taste, and this also increases its fat content. The cheese has a smooth, slightly citric taste, with a soft texture very similar to ricotta.
Fromage blanc can be used in a variety of different recipes, from pastry fillings, pasta dishes, or even served as its own dessert with fresh fruits. It can also be used as a dip or as a spread, and the varieties with fat can be amazing for cooking.
If you have a recipe that calls for Fromage blanc but you don’t have this particular cheese on hand, or you don’t like its flavor, there are a few Fromage blanc substitutes you could use.
The first substitute you could use is quark, a fresh cheese pretty common in Europe but that can be found all over the world, and in many well-stocked US grocery stores, too.
Quark is made by warming soured milk until it curdles, and then straining it. It’s soft, white, unaged, and usually doesn’t contain any salt.
This cheese is great for sweet recipes and it’s amazing when paired with fruits: you can use it by itself or as a substitute for Fromage blanc in any recipe that calls for the French cheese.
Quark is usually used as an ingredient for appetizers, salads, main dishes, side dishes, and desserts, depending on the original cuisine and traditions.
Keep in mind that it’s already fairly sweet, so if your recipe calls for a sweetener, you might not need to add any. This depends mostly on your preferences, so make sure to taste in advance!
2. Greek yogurt
This may not be the first option that comes to mind when you’re trying to find a cheese-like Fromage blanc, but Greek yogurt is actually one of the most suitable replacements for French cheese.
It’s super easy to find, and it can replace Fromage blanc in almost any type of recipe: it has a pretty similar consistency, a natural dairy taste, and it’s only slightly sour in comparison.
Greek yogurt is yogurt that has been strained to remove the majority of its whey: this is why Greek yogurt has the same sour taste like regular yogurt, but a thicker consistency.
It’s usually made from milk and it’s used in a vast variety of dishes, cooked or raw. The cool thing is that Greek yogurt is also a good source of protein, calcium, zinc, iodine, and vitamin B12. It also has way less sugar than other yogurts.
You can easily sweeten it by adding honey, sugar, or maple syrup if necessary. This depends mostly on your taste and the needs of the recipe you’re following, so add sweetener accordingly.
3. Queso fresco
Another cheese similar to Fromage blanc is queso fresco, which is a bit dryer and chunkier than Fromage blanc, but can nonetheless work pretty well as a substitute.
Queso fresco literally means “fresh cheese”, so you’ll definitely get the same fresh taste of the French cheese, even if the texture is not as smooth and the taste is slightly acidic.
Queso fresco is traditionally made with raw cow’s milk or a mix of cow and goat milk, and this explains why the taste is a bit salty. It’s great as a topping or as a filling ingredient since it will provide you a hint of salty, sour, and milky freshness.
Depending on how exactly you want to use it, you can always decide to sweeten it a little bit with honey or sugar.
If you’re looking for a Fromage blanc alternative, ricotta can be your best friend.
Ricotta is an Italian cheese made from almost any type of milk (sheep, cow, goat, or Italian water buffalo milk whey) and it’s made by coagulating the proteins that remain after the casein has been used. The fine curds left behind are creamy-white and slightly sweet in taste.
The fat content depends on the type of milk used, and the texture is pretty similar to cottage cheese. Ricotta is highly perishable and it’s usually eaten fresh.
The texture of ricotta is slightly rougher than Fromage blanc, so if you want to use it as a substitute you could mix it with water or with more milk, and blend it for a few seconds.
Ricotta is a favorite component of many Italian desserts and can be eaten on its own with fresh or dried fruits once you’ve added some honey or sugar.
It can be beaten smooth and mixed with sweet condiments, but it can be also used as a Fromage blanc substitute in almost all savory recipes.
5. Curd cheese
Curd cheese might not sound like the best substitute for Fromage blanc, but it can actually be one of the best choices.
Cheese curds are basically hard pieces of milk with a mild flavor and about the same firmness as regular cheese, with a springy or rubbery texture.
They obviously have a very distinctive taste of milk, and the best part is that you can actually blend them to make a smooth cream that will really resemble the consistency of Fromage blanc.
Curd cheese can be used as a substitute for Fromage blanc in almost any recipe that calls for the French cheese, but it works better in savory recipes.
6. Cottage cheese
Another really good substitute for Fromage blanc is cottage cheese, and this won’t come as a surprise since we’ve already talked about how ricotta can work as a great substitute.
Cottage cheese is made by draining the cheese, keeping the curds loose, and adding a dressing, usually cream, that will be responsible for the milky taste of the cheese.
Cottage cheese has a sweet but neutral flavor that really resembles Fromage blanc, but the texture isn’t as smooth as it should be. Luckily, you can always blend cottage cheese with a bit of water or milk and get a perfect consistency.
Cottage cheese can be used with a wide variety of foods, such as yogurt, fruit, toast, granola, and in a variety of both sweet and savory recipes. Depending on what dish you’re planning to make, you might need to use a sweetener like sugar or honey.
7. Sour cream
Sour cream, much like Greek yogurt, can be a good substitute for Fromage blanc, but you’ll need to make sure you’re choosing a sour cream with a higher fat concentration to have the perfect consistency and texture.
Sour cream is a dairy product made by fermenting regular cream with lactic acid bacteria: the culture introduced sours and thickens the cream, and you can find both thin and thick sour cream.
Thin sour cream doesn’t work as a substitute for Fromage blanc, especially if the texture and the consistency are important in the recipe you’re following.
You should also keep in mind that sour cream isn’t sweet, so if you’re planning to use it as a dessert, you’ll probably have to add a sweetener.
Sour cream is usually used as a condiment or combined with other ingredients to form a dipping sauce.
8. Crème fraîche
We’ve just talked about sour cream, and another really good Fromage blanc replacement is crème fraîche, which is in fact pretty similar to sour cream.
Crème fraîche is a dairy product soured with bacterial cultures, similar to sour cream but less sour and with higher fat content. European regulations say that the two ingredients in crème fraîche must be cream and a bacterial culture.
Crème fraîche is usually served with fruit or baked goods, but can also be added to savory recipes like soup and sauces.
It can be a really good substitute for Fromage blanc, especially if you’re looking to substitute the French cheese in a dessert.
If you want a vegan option you can use as a substitute for Fromage cheese, tofu is your best bet, sometimes called bean curd or soybean curd, and extremely popular in vegan and vegetarian cuisine.
Tofu is made from water, soybeans, and a coagulating agent to keep everything together. There are different varieties of tofu, depending on its firmness, but they all have a mild taste and are low in calories and high in protein, iron, and calcium.
Extra-firm and firm tofu usually take on a tough, crisp texture when you cook it, so the only thing to keep in mind is that to substitute Fromage cheese with tofu, you should choose a really soft tofu variety, and possibly even blend it with water to make it creamier.
How to choose a Fromage blanc substitute
If you’re looking for a Fromage blanc substitute to eat on its own or to eat as a dessert with fresh or dried fruits, your best choices are Greek yogurt, ricotta, crème fraîche, or cottage cheese.
If you’re looking for a substitute to use in savory recipes, your best choices are queso fresco, curd cheese, and sour cream. These work just as well for sweet recipes, but you might need to add a sweetener.
If you want a plant-based option, tofu is your best bet, although you might need to choose a softer variety and blend it with water to reach the perfect consistency.
All the alternatives above work pretty well as substitutes for Fromage blanc, so choose the best option based on your needs but also on your personal taste.