Half and Half is one of those ingredients that are not always on hand in your pantry. Unless you like a creamy coffee every morning, and you always buy Half and Half. That’s why you may ask yourself right now What to use if you don’t have Half and Half?
The good news is that not all is lost. And you can substitute half and half seamlessly with any of the options I bring you here.
You’ll see, Half and Half is a dairy product with half whole milk and half light cream. It typically contains about 10-12% fat, which is less than heavy cream but more than whole milk.
Half and Half is commonly used as a creamer for coffee or tea. But it is also used in cooking and baking to add richness and creaminess to dishes such as soups, sauces, and desserts.
Since Half and Half has a lower fat content than heavy cream, it is a lower caloric alternative in recipes that call for heavy cream.
However, it is still a dairy product and may not be suitable for you if you are lactose intolerant or vegan.
Here, I will cover half-and-half substitutes that are dairy-based and also nondairy.
So let’s get started!!
Dairy-based half-and-half substitutes.
1. Whole milk and heavy whipping cream
If you have heavy whipping cream and whole milk, making a half-and-half replacement is as easy as combining both of them.
You could end up with a fat percentage lower than the usual half-and-half you buy. But the taste will be the same.
To replace a cup of half and half with milk and cream, mix 1/2 cup of milk and 1/2 cup of cream.
2. Whole milk and light cream
Making another half-and-half replacement is as easy as combining Whole milk and light cream. You could end up with a fat percentage lower than the usual half and half you buy. However, the taste will be the same.
To replace a cup of half and half with milk and light cream, mix 1/2 cup of whole milk and 1/2 cup of cream. Or mix equal parts milk and light cream.
3. Whole milk and heavy whipping cream
If you have heavy whipping cream, you will need to vary the proportions. Heavy whipping cream usually has a percentage of fat of 33.5%. Whereas that whole milk has 3.25 percentage of fat.
To substitute a cup of half and half with milk and heavy whipping cream add ¾ cup milk plus ¼ cup heavy cream.
If you have powdered heavy cream, you can use this as a heavy cream substitute.
4. Make half and half with Milk and Butter
If you don’t have any of the ingredients mentioned above, then butter and milk can work as a half-and-half alternative.
There is a little more work involved here, depending on what recipe you will use, the half on half on.
To use half and half on a soup, you can simply add one tablespoon of butter to a cup of milk. And that alone will do the trick. No need to whisk since the butter will incorporate well into the hot soup.
On the other hand, if you are looking to make your coffee creamier with a half-and-half substitute, you will need to wisk one tablespoon of melted butter with 1 cup of milk to create an emulsion. That is so that the butter and milk blend together without any signs of fatty butter.
5. Evaporated milk
Another option to substitute half and half in your recipe is Evaporated milk. But it’s important to note that it is not exactly the same as half and half.
Evaporated milk is a canned milk product that has had about 60% of the water removed. It results in thick, concentrated milk with a caramelized flavor and a fat content of around 7.5%.
Substitute equal parts of evaporated milk for half and half in your recipe. For example, if your recipe calls for 1 cup of half and half, you can use 1 cup of evaporated milk instead.
Keep in mind that evaporated milk has a richer, more caramelized flavor than half and half. This may change the flavor of your recipe slightly. But it can be good in some recipes, such as pumpkin pie or fudge, where the caramelized flavor can add depth and richness.
Evaporated milk is also an excellent substitute for half-and-half without cream. And my favorite substitute for half-and-half in coffee.
6. Condensed milk
Another substitute for half and half to consider is Condensed milk. But only if you are cooking sweets since it will be very problematic in savory recipes due to its sugar content.
Condensed milk is obtained by reducing the amount of water in milk and adding sugar.
If you are considering using it to replace half and half on your recipe, there are some things you need to consider first.
- Use only a small amount of condensed milk as a substitute for half and half since it is much thicker and sweeter. Start by using just a tablespoon or two and adjust to taste.
- Keep in mind that condensed milk has a much higher sugar content than half and half. This can be a good thing in some recipes, such as desserts, but not in savory recipes.
- Condensed milk is much thicker than half and half, so you may need to dilute it with a little bit of water to achieve the desired consistency.
- Be aware that the flavor of condensed milk is different from half and half. Condensed milk has a caramelized, sweet flavor that can be overpowering in some recipes. It may work well in some desserts, but it may not be suitable for other dishes.
7. Greek yogurt or sour cream as a substitute of half and half
Here is another great substitute for half and half, depending on the recipe you are following. Especially if you are cooking a creamy recipe.
You can use a ratio of 1:1 ratio of Greek yogurt or sour cream to half and half. For example, if your recipe calls for 1 cup of half and half, use 1 cup of Greek yogurt or sour cream instead.
If you what to lighten the texture, you can dilute the Greek yogurt in water or milk to your liking.
Greek yogurt is a fantastic half-and-half replacement if you are looking for a lower-fat option. Remember that the yogurt has a tangy flavor, and it will be present in the final results.
If you are going to use this substitute in a soup, it is best if you add it towards the end so you don’t overheat the yogurt and it separates and becomes grainy.
Non-dairy half-and-half substitutes
8. Coconut milk a healthy substitute for half and half
Coconut milk is a popular non-dairy substitute for half and half in many recipes, such as curries or soups, where the coconut flavor is desirable. It has a rich, creamy texture and a slightly sweet, nutty flavor.
Due to its higher fat content than many other non-dairy milk substitutes, Coconut milk provides a similar richness to half and half.
It will undoubtedly alter the taste and texture of your recipe. But if you are ok with that, you can use it as a dairy-free alternative.
To use coconut milk as a substitute for half and half, use a 1:1 ratio of coconut milk to half and half.
For example, if your recipe calls for 1 cup of half and half, use 1 cup of coconut milk instead.
9. Almond milk and oil
You can use almond milk and an oil of your choice to make a dairy-free half-and-half substitute.
Using almond milk and oil as a substitute for half and half can provide a similar texture and richness in baked goods, but it may not work as well in other recipes.
Almond milk typically has a mild, pleasant, and slightly sweet nutty flavor. However, the taste can vary depending on the brand and whether it’s sweetened or unsweetened. Therefore it can alter the flavor of your recipe slightly when used to swap half and half.
If you are ok with that, then Here’s how to make the substitution:
For every 1 cup of half and half, use 3/4 cup of almond milk and 1/4 cup of oil. You can use any neutral-tasting oil, such as canola, vegetable, or grapeseed.
Combine the almond milk and oil in a bowl or measuring cup and whisk together until well combined.
You can also use this replacement in baking recipes.
10. Soy milk and oil.
Here is another dairy-free replacement for half and half, Soy milk and oil. You can get as creative as you want as long as you get a similar texture and fat content as half and half.
To make a half and half substitute with soy milk and oil: For every 1 cup of half and half, use 3/4 cup of soy milk and 1/4 cup of oil of your choice. You need to whisk vigorously to mix the soy milk and oil. Using a mixer will help you a lot.
You can vary the oil and soy milk ratio for a lighter substitute.
Substitute for half and half in soup.
You can use any of the products I mentioned to substitute half and half in your soup. Just remember that the substitute is using has its characteristic flavor. You want to decide if your soup will go well with coconut milk, for example, or if the taste will be too overpowering.
Substitute for half and half in mac and cheese.
For the best substitute for half and half in mac and cheese, I recommend using a combination of whole milk and heavy cream. This will give you a similar consistency and richness as half and half while also maintaining a creamy texture that is important for a delicious mac and cheese.
To make the substitution, you can use a 50/50 mix of whole milk and heavy cream in place of the half and half. For example, if your recipe calls for 1 cup of half and half, you can use 1/2 cup of whole milk and 1/2 cup of heavy cream instead.
Your mac and cheese will be creamer than if you use half and half, but you will love it you might don’t want to use half and half again.
There you have several substitutes for half and half you can use in your recipes to achieve similar results. You know now what to use if you don’t have Half and Half.
Depending on the recipe, you can use whole milk, heavy cream, evaporated milk, soy milk, coconut milk, or a combination of milk and butter as a substitute for half and half.
You also have non-dairy alternatives for half and half that will perfectly achieve similar results. Try the one that best resonates with you, and let me know in the comments what your choice was and your results.