Quark, a fresh dairy product that has a unique taste and texture, is not one of the most common grocery items that you’ll find on the shelves of your local supermarket.
If you can’t seem to find quark at your grocery store, no need to fret! There are plenty of similar dairy products that you can use in its place.
What are the best substitutes for quark? There are a number of similar dairy products that you can use in place of quark. Various types of yogurts and cheeses, such as cream cheese, cottage cheese, mascarpone, and ricotta cheese, are all great substitutes for quark.
If you read on, you’ll find out what the best substitutes for this healthy dairy product are. We’ll also answer some common questions that arise when cooking with quark or looking for foods to replace it, along with outlining the types of recipes that quark is commonly used in.
The 7 Best Substitutes For Quark
To know how to substitute it, it’s important to first understand what quark is.
Quark is a fresh dairy product made by adding lactic acid to milk, and it is very similar in flavor to yogurt or cottage cheese.
One of its greatest qualities is that it is a very healthy dairy option, as it has very few calories and low levels of fat.
1. Greek Yogurt
Thanks to its similar texture, Greek yogurt is a great substitution for quark, especially when making dips or spreads.
Simply replace the quark with the same amount of Greek yogurt that the recipe calls for.
Keep in mind that quark is a bit thicker and more solid than Greek yogurt, something that could affect the texture of your dish.
However, for those who appreciate the nutritional value of quark, Greek yogurt is a great replacement, given that it is also a very healthy dairy product.
2. Cream Cheese
If you can’t seem to find quark, cream cheese is an easily-accessible substitute that will help to maintain the thick and creamy texture that quark offers.
It is not quite as sour or tangy as quark, however, so you may want to add an extra hint of acid, such as lemon juice, when replacing quark with cream cheese in a recipe.
Cream cheese is an especially appropriate substitute for quark when baking, as it can easily replace quark in a cheesecake recipe or when baking cookies.
3. Sour Cream
Very similar to Greek yogurt, sour cream is another common dairy product that serves as an excellent substitute for quark.
Its smooth consistency is incredibly similar to that of quark, though it isn’t quite thick as quark, so if you’re using it in a dish such as a dip, you may notice the difference.
One of the reasons that mascarpone is such a great substitute for quark is that the two have very similar textures.
Both quark and mascarpone are smooth, yet thick, dairy products, so when replacing one for the other, they will create similar textures in whatever recipe that you are using them in.
However, keep in mind that mascarpone has an incredibly high-fat content.
That being said, if you appreciate quark for its nutritional value, mascarpone may not be the appropriate quark substitute for you.
5. Ricotta Cheese
Another fresh dairy product, ricotta cheese can be a good substitute for quark in certain situations, though it’s important to note that it has a significantly different texture from quark.
While quark is smooth and creamy, ricotta is much grainier, so you won’t want to use it in recipes in which you would be able to notice this difference.
Perhaps the best way to substitute ricotta cheese for quark in a recipe is by using 2 parts ricotta and 1 part sour cream or Greek yogurt. That way, you’ll get a slightly smoother texture than you would if exclusively using ricotta cheese.
6. Cottage Cheese
The same rules apply when substituting cottage cheese for quark in a recipe as when substituting quark with ricotta.
Cottage cheese also has a significantly grainier texture than quark, so consider offsetting that by mixing it with Greek yogurt or sour cream.
However, for the health-conscious, cottage cheese is a great option, because it has much fewer calories and a lower fat content than other quark replacement options like cream cheese or mascarpone.
Additionally, its high protein content gives it added nutritional value.
7. Crème Fraîche
Crème Fraîche is a fresh dairy product that is often used when making desserts, so if your quark is going to be used in that manner, it can be a great substitution.
Additionally, when a recipe calls for cooking with quark at high heat (such as in sauces), crème fraîche is perhaps your best option.
Thanks to its high-fat content, it will hold up to extreme temperatures better than Greek yogurt or sour cream would.
Quark Substitutes: Comparison Chart
Now that you know a little more about the best substitutes for quark, here’s a chart summary of all 7 of our top picks.
|Best choice overall, most similar taste and texture
|Best for baking, not as tangy as quark
|Not as thick as quark
|Similar texture but higher fat content
|Slightly grainier texture, best when mixed with sour cream or greek yogurt
|Much grainer texture, higher protein content
|Best for high-heat cooking
Can you make your own quark?
Even though using one of the products listed above is a perfectly appropriate way to substitute quark, you can also make quark at home.
It is quite an involved process, so perhaps it’s not the best choice for those with little time on their hands.
To make quark at home, the process consists of cooking buttermilk for a long time (more than four hours) at a very low temperature (150 degrees F). You will then drain out the liquid using a cheesecloth and blend the remaining solids with milk or cream to achieve your desired texture.
Are there dairy-free alternatives to quark?
If you are vegan or lactose intolerant, you won’t be able to use any of the quark substitutes listed above. Though dairy products are the ideal replacements for quark, those avoiding dairy do have a few options.
The best dairy-free alternative to quark would probably be dairy-free yogurt, preferably a plain flavor.
Another option would be soy sour cream that is processed with soy cream cheese.
For those trying to avoid soy products, you could try using full-fat coconut cream, but it’s important to take into consideration that this would substantially alter the flavor.
What is quark used for?
Quark can be used in a wide variety of recipes, ranging from appetizers to main courses to desserts.
It can be used to make delicious dips, as a replacement for ricotta cheese in lasagna, and even to make cheesecake.
The type of quark substitute that is best for you depends on what type of dish you are using it in.
What quark substitute is best for savory dishes?
If you plan on making a dip or a spread that calls for quark, you can replace it with Greek yogurt or sour cream for a similar texture and flavor.
When making lasagna, turn to ricotta, and when preparing other types of pasta dishes, crème fraîche is an excellent option.
In cold salads, such as pasta salad or potato salad, using ricotta or cottage cheese instead of quark can create a unique texture.
Finally, if quark’s purpose is to add creaminess to a frittata or a quiche, you can substitute sour cream or Greek yogurt without a worry.
What quark substitute is best for sweet dishes?
When it comes to baking, your best bet is to replace quark with either cream cheese or mascarpone, as both of these products are commonly used in baking.
If a cheesecake calls for quark, for example, you should have no problem using cream cheese as a substitute.
If making tiramisu or a meringue cake, for example, mascarpone will be a perfectly suitable replacement for quark. If you’re planning on topping fresh fruit with quark, consider turning to crème fraîche.
Cottage cheese vs cream cheese – which is healthier?
Quark is an extremely healthy dairy product, but if you aren’t able to find it, that doesn’t mean that you have to settle for a nutritionally inferior replacement.
Greek yogurt offers you the best bang for your buck when it comes to healthy substitutes for quark.
Greek yogurt has a low fat content, high protein content, and few calories, making it a great healthy replacement for quark.
In fact, it’s healthier than its similar dairy cousin, sour cream, which offers the same quark-like texture that Greek yogurt does.
If you’re not as concerned about texture, cottage cheese is another very healthy option. Though its grainy consistency differs from the thick and creamy consistency of quark, it has the highest concentration of protein and a lower sugar content than Greek yogurt.
Check out this nutritional breakdown of quark, greek yogurt, and cottage cheese: