The Affordable Ingredient Exchange You Can Make For Goat Cheese

Goat cheese is creamy, savory, and tangy with a uniquely gamey finish that adds sophistication and decadence to any dish. You can find it at most grocery stores sold as a specialty or gourmet product, with a price tag to match. Goat cheese retails between $13 and $22 per pound and it's worth the expense. However, if it's an expense that's over your grocery budget, cream cheese is an affordable ingredient to swap for goat cheese.

An eight-ounce block of Philadelphia cream cheese costs around $4, and an eight-ounce block of store-brand cream cheese can cost as little as $1. The average price per ounce of goat cheese, meanwhile, is between $1 and $4.

Not only is cream cheese affordable, but it's also comparable to goat cheese in flavor and texture. Cream cheese is rich and creamy with a subtle tang on the finish, mirroring goat cheese's flavor profile, and both cream cheese and goat cheese are spreadable and easily meltable. Consequently, you can use them interchangeably in numerous dishes, from dips and spreads to soups, pastries, and stews.

How to replace goat cheese with cream cheese

The way you replace goat cheese with cream cheese depends on the dish in question. As a spreadable ingredient, you can use cream cheese in equal proportions to goat cheese. In fact, recipes for whipped goat cheese often use cream cheese for a creamier flavor and texture. To put a more gourmet and complex twist on cream cheese, you can dress it with a sprinkling of herbs, cracked pepper, balsamic, and olive oil or a drizzle of honey and fresh thyme. 

You could also replace an herb or crumb-encrusted goat cheese log with cream cheese in a similar and equally crowd-pleasing appetizer like a cheese ball. Or, you can blend cream cheese with sour cream or Greek yogurt  to achieve the tangier, saltier goat cheese. This will also soften cream cheese, making it easier to melt into soups, pasta cream sauces, or stews.