The Best Substitutes for Half and Half

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When you have different recipes to prepare, it’s common to see Half and Half listed as an ingredient to use. While it’s easy to find in the grocery store’s dairy section, there may come a time when you need it most and don’t have it available in your fridge. So if you find yourself in a pinch while trying to prepare something that calls for Half and Half, don’t stress too much. Instead, prepare a substitute for the ingredient that will work as well as Half and Half would when combined with various ingredients.

In case you missed this post, The Best Heavy Cream Substitutes

The Best Substitutes for Half and Half

The Best Substitutes for Half and Half

What recipes and drinks use Half and Half?

  • Coffee or Hot Chocolate.
  • Make your quiches richer.
  • Your Alfredo sauce will be a little lighter compared to full cream.
  • It makes your scrambled eggs creamier.
  • You can add it to any recipe that calls for milk to make it richer and creamier.
  • Cream Chipped Beef is creamier with Half and Half.

Light Cream with Whole Milk

If you don’t have Half and Half at home, but you have some light cream and whole milk, you’re in luck. You’d use roughly ¾ cup of whole milk with ¼ cup of light cream to create a consistency similar to Half and Half. If you use these two ingredients to prepare an alternative option for Half and Half, you won’t notice the difference. You can use it when making baked treats and other flavorful foods.

Heavy Cream with Milk

Even if you don’t have light cream, you can always combine ¾ cup of milk with ¼ cup of heavy cream to create your half-and-half substitute. You’ll have a cup of liquid available to use in your recipe. If the recipe calls for more than a cup of Half and Half, don’t worry. You can combine more milk with the heavy cream to prepare the substitute and then add it to your mixing bowl with any other ingredients you’re using.

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Coconut Cream

If you don’t have a coconut allergy and don’t mind a slight hint of coconut flavor in your food, coconut cream is an excellent substitute for traditional Half and Half. First, it has the perfect consistency to give baked treats that delightful texture you crave when biting into something delicious.

Next, it’s good to have it at home in the fridge because you can use it in different ways. So, if you already have coconut cream, consider using it to replace the Half and Half. While it won’t work perfectly as a substitute in all recipes, it’s great to use as an alternative ingredient in assorted baked goods.

Milk and Butter

When you don’t have light cream, heavy cream, or even coconut cream, prepare an alternative to Half and Half with milk and butter. For example, you can pour a cup of milk into a bowl and then add a tablespoon of butter to the milk. Be sure to let the butter soften or put it in the microwave for a few seconds to allow it to melt even faster.

Once you’ve melted your butter, pour it on top of the milk, mix well, and you’ll have yet another excellent alternative for Half and Half. Most people have both butter and milk in the fridge, so this is a great solution when you don’t have Half and Half or other ingredients to prepare as substitutes.

Milk and Cornstarch

Did you know that you can use a bit of cornstarch in milk to create a thicker texture that is a lot like Half and Half? If you have cornstarch at home with whole milk, or even low-fat milk, combine the two ingredients until you’ve created a liquid with a slightly thicker consistency reminiscent of Half and Half when you pour it. This quick and simple substitute works in a pinch.

Greek Yogurt with Milk

You can still create the perfect alternative using milk and Greek yogurt when you don’t have other ingredients needed to prepare the substitutes for Half and Half mentioned above. If you’re a yogurt lover, you likely already have this in the fridge.

While it works best to eye it when combining the two ingredients, you want to have more milk in a bowl than the yogurt, adding the yogurt little by little into the bowl to create a thicker consistency. The combination works great when you’re preparing baked goods, leaving them with an incredible texture that you’ll look forward to eating.

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Whole Milk with Water

As a last resort, you can mix whole milk with water to create a substitute for Half and Half. While it’s not the perfect substitute compared to several of the other great options, it does work when you don’t have any other ingredients needed to prepare the different alternatives to Half and Half.

So, what you’d need to do is add about ¾ of a cup of milk to a bowl and then add ¼ cup of water, mixing well and then using the concoction in different recipes that call for Half and Half. It doesn’t matter if you use bottled water or water from the sink. It depends on what you prefer to use when preparing this substitute using milk and water.

Get Creative in the Kitchen When You Don’t Have a Specific Ingredient at Home for Recipes

It’s frustrating to get excited about following a recipe only to realize that you don’t have a specific ingredient needed to prepare it. For example, if you need Half and Half to make something but you don’t have it at home, you might think that you can’t prepare that meal because you’re missing a key component.

And, while Half and Half adds a bit more flavor and texture to assorted recipes, there are alternative options available to you as we’ve outlined.

Shelf-Stable Half and Half (refrigerate after opening)

Final Word

If you don’t have Half and Half to use, but you’d like to make the recipe containing it as an essential ingredient, try one of these great substitutes. You can combine milk with plenty of alternative ingredients to prepare something with a similar taste and texture to Half and Half.

Next time you feel like you have to rush out to the store to go and get Half and Half or make something else for your meal, reference this list of the best substitutes to use. When you need it the most, it can come in handy, making your baking/cooking experience as stress-free as possible. May God Bless this world, Linda

Copyright Images: Fresh Milk Depositphotos_38572527_s-2019

16 thoughts on “The Best Substitutes for Half and Half

  • September 27, 2021 at 7:12 am

    Great to know, Linda! Thank you so much.

  • September 27, 2021 at 8:54 am

    If you are near a Trader Joe’s market, they have real heavy cream in the shelf stable boxes of one cup size. It does not need to be refrigerated, but I store mine in a bin in the back or the fridge so that it is always cold and ready for whipping or pouring over brownies! I once found some in the back of the fridge that was a few months past date, several cartons, so I had to try it, and it was still fine. Also, Nestle brand makes Nido powdered milk and Klim, that are whole milk powder with the cream in them. The cans are good for at least a year and you can make rich milk with double the powder for use as half and half or evaporated milk. Enjoy and stay safe!

    • September 27, 2021 at 9:43 am

      Hi Jan, oh my gosh, I didn’t know that Trader Joe’s has one cup shelf stable cream. I will be moving close to one in about 3 weeks. Yay! Thanks for the tips on the other brands!! I love it! Linda

  • September 27, 2021 at 11:43 am

    I keep both half and half and heavy whipping cream on hand all the time. I use cream in just about everything (most of my recipes don’t have a ingredients list I just use what I have) and I have never had anything turn out bad. My daughter does not like whipping cream in the potatoes because she says they are too thick. I’ll take too thick for good taste anytime

    • September 27, 2021 at 3:41 pm

      Hi Jackie, me too! I vote for whipping cream in potatoes too! Linda

  • September 27, 2021 at 1:24 pm

    I made the mistake of buying fat free half n half for my coffee ugh!!!!! What can I do with that? its awful LOL

    • September 27, 2021 at 3:43 pm

      Hi Camille, yikes, fat-free? That’s a good question. Typically fat-free has more sugar and less fat. But it still tastes bad! I learned that on sour cream. Dang, not sure what to do with it. I would throw it out. Linda

  • September 27, 2021 at 2:26 pm

    What about for people who are lactose intolerant? Would Lactaid milk work in place of regular milk?

  • September 27, 2021 at 5:05 pm

    My mom used to do the butter and milk thing, but for me heavy cream is the way to go. Not even sure about thinning it. 🙂

    • September 27, 2021 at 6:50 pm

      Hi Ray, I hear you on the real deal, heavy cream. I love it! Linda

  • September 27, 2021 at 5:53 pm

    I keep cans of evaporated milk for making many of the things you mentioned in the post. It makes gravy SO creamy! Of course, I also use it when I make my potato soup. It can be used straight from the can or diluted to ones taste.

    • September 27, 2021 at 6:51 pm

      Hi Leanne, I keep forgetting evaporated milk. I have a can or two. My mom always stocked it. Thanks for the reminder! I need to try it in my gravy, now! Linda


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