Quark is a great cheese that I use in both sweet and savory dishes but my local grocery store does not always carry it so I’ve had to learn some great substitutes. So if you are in the same position then no need to worry! There are a few great quark alternatives that you can use no matter what recipe you are making.
Quark is a dairy product that is produced by adding lactic acid to milk and it offers a wonderful flavor reminiscent of cottage cheese or yogurt. And it’s those flavors that we will look for in our alternatives.
So what are the best substitutes for quark?
The best substitutes for quark are cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, Greek yogurt, mascarpone cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, and crème fraîche.
Top Quark Alternatives
Depending on if you are making a sweet or savory dish will dictate the quark replacement you should go with. Let’s go on to learn more about each replacement and when to use them.
Cottage cheese is a great quark substitute for both sweet and savory dishes. It’s mild taste means that it will pretty much go with anything. The main negative to using cottage cheese as a quark substitute is that it’s moisture content is rather high so you will need to keep that in mind if your dish already has a large amount of liquid ingredients.
Ricotta cheese is another great quark alternative and it offers a very rich and creamy texture as well as a mild taste. This cheese is great for making cheesecakes and other desserts. Ricotta has a grainier texture than quark so only use ricotta when this texture twist won’t alter your final recipe. I like to use one part ricotta with one part yogurt or sour cream when subbing for quark.
If you’re making a savory dish, then you can go with either Greek yogurt (whipped) or simply Greek yogurt (unwhipped). Both have the same creamy texture and delicious flavor. They can be used in virtually any recipe calling for quark. You can also use a Greek yogurt and sour cream blend for recipes when you want to achieve a tangy taste.
Mascarpone cheese is another very creamy and flavorful cheese that is great for both sweet and savory dishes. It has a light texture but could still be used to create a baked quark based dessert. Like quark, mascarpone cheese has a thick consistency but it is higher in fat so this should be considered when subbing in if low fat is your goal.
Sour cream is yet another great quark alternative and it has a mild yet tangy flavor as well. Sour cream will work well in both sweet and savory dishes with any intensity of flavor. As such, you can use sour cream in almost any recipe calling for quark. Sour cream is smooth like quark but it is noticeably thinner. This means you should be careful of using it in a dish that required a thicker substitute.
Cream cheese is a wonderful quark substitute and it can easily replace quark for any recipe that calls for it. This is one of my favorite quarks substitutes because it offers the creamy texture that quark has it is ideal for recipes that require baking. Cream cheese is my go to alternative when making cheesecake and other baked sweets. I do add in a bit of lemon juice since cream cheese is not as tangy as quark.
Crème Fraîche is very similar to sour cream in structure and taste but it is thicker, richer in flavor, and its consistency allows for more creaminess in the end product. Crème fraîche has a quite high fat content making it another excellent option for recipes that call for cooking at high temps. This is my second choice for any dish that requires baking or high stovetop temperatures.
How To Make Your Own Quark
While all of these substitutes will work well, you can also opt to make your own quark at home if you have the time. It does take quite a while to make but the process is simple.
To make quark heat buttermilk in a saucepan to about 150 degrees and simmer for about four hours while stirring frequently. Once your quark has finished heating strain it through a cheese cloth and blend the remaining thick pieces until desired consistency is reached.
Are There Dairy Free Quark Replacements?
All of the above quark alternatives contain dairy. There is no ideal dairy free quark replacement but the best option is dairy free yogurt (plain) or a soy based cream cheese.
I have not used these substitutes much as the consistency just is not the same but for those who need a dairy-free substitute for quark these are your best options.
What Is Quark Used For?
Quark is used in countless recipes for its delicious flavor and creamy texture that holds together well while still being very delicate. Quark is a great melt in your mouth cheese that can be used on top of veggies, salads, and it works really well combined with other types of cheeses to make a wonderful grilled cheese sandwich. You could make a quark pizza or even a quark meatloaf.
I use it frequently for sweet dishes like cookies and cheesecake and the options really are endless for this wonderful ingredient.
No matter what you’re making using quark will add an extra bit of creaminess to your dish without overdoing it.
Best Quark Replacement For Savory Dishes
I prefer to use ricotta cheese, Greek yogurt, or sour cream in my savory recipes. They all offer a very similar flavor and texture profile making them a seamless replacement for quark. You can even mix any two of these to adjust for flavor and texture where needed.
Best Alternatives For Quark In Sweet Recipes
When making a dessert or sweet dish that calls for quark I substitute mascarpone cheese or cream cheese. They both offer the perfect taste and texture for sweet dishes and work well in any sweet recipe that calls for quark.
A quark substitute will work in any recipe that calls for quark and the best options are found here. From desserts to savory dishes you’ll love how your recipe comes out. Let me know what you made in the comments below and what your favorite quark substitute is.