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Ask Dr. Gourmet

Is there a substitute for goat cheese?

Hey, what can we use instead of goat cheese that is comparable in fat content?

Dr. Gourmet Says...

Well, there's not much really. The reason that I use goat cheese in the recipes that call for creaminess is because of its richness at a much lower fat content. The normal "full fat" goat milk cheese is about 6 grams per ounce. This is a lot less than half and half or even sour cream. The problem with the lower fat and no fat sour creams is that they will break down under high heat. I do use them at times but in trying to design recipes for the WWW and to be as foolproof as possible I felt that this shouldn't be a risk.

If you are having problems with finding goat cheese I am surprised. All of the recipes are designed for ingredients that can be found in the small town that I live in (again, trying to make this as easy as possible). Most grocery stores now carry goat cheese.

There is variance. Feta is goat cheese but more pungent and wouldn't work in the Alfredo sauce. There is a semi soft goat cheese with the brand name Chevrie (the French for goat is chevre) and can be found intermittently. It is even lower in fat.

If you have objection to using goat cheese there is the aforementioned lower fat sour cream but with the risk. I have been using soy milk recently in many of the recipes that I do at home because I have been exploring recipes for those with dairy intolerance. I have been repeatedly surprised. Where I would have used a goat cheese or milk I am getting great results. It can be sweetened (varies by brand) so you have to check.

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP
Dr. Gourmet