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Discover Lactose-Free Recipe Substitutions

Although lactose is found in dairy, you don’t have to give up all dairy products to keep your lactose intolerance under control1. There are a range of cooking and recipe substitutions available to create delicious lactose-free meals, using LACTAID® products and other lactose-free ingredients. And because LACTAID® is 100% real milk, you can substitute regular milk with LACTAID® milk, making it easy to swap out your products.

Up to two-thirds of people in the world can experience discomfort from dairy2.* If you’re looking for ways to reduce your intake of lactose, using a lactose-free recipe substitute can be a good idea. Use our chart below to find a range of recipe substitutions to help you remove lactose from almost any recipe that calls for dairy.

Can You Cook or Bake with LACTAID® Lactose-Free Milk?

Despite some thinking that lactose-free and regular milk are completely different, they’re similar enough that you can cook with lactose-free milk the same way as you would regular milk.

Lactose-free milk has an added enzyme known as lactase which helps break down the lactose found in dairy2. LACTAID® products are made with 100% real dairy and have the same nutritional benefits as regular dairy products3, but without the lactose that can cause uncomfortable symptoms, such as bloating, cramps, gas and nausea4.

Lactose-free milk isn’t the only substitute you can use for lactose intolerance-friendly meals either. In just a few simple steps, you can easily create a homemade lactose-free buttermilk substitute, ricotta substitute or evaporated milk substitute. All these and more can be used in lactose-free cooking and baking, so you can enjoy your favorite foods without discomfort.

Lactaid Whole Milk Front Package

LACTAID® Lactose-Free Whole Milk

Lactaid vanilla lactose-free ice cream

LACTAID® Lactose-Free Vanilla Ice Cream

Lactaid Lactose-Free Sour Cream Front of Package

LACTAID® Lactose-Free Sour Cream

Lactose-Free Recipe Ingredient Substitutions

Select a dairy ingredient to discover a lactose-free substitution!

Ice Cream

Simply use LACTAID® Ice Cream in the same amount. A range of delicious flavors are available.

Sour Cream

Simply use LACTAID® Sour Cream in the same amount. Or 1 cup LACTAID® Cottage Cheese, mixed with 2–3 tsp lemon juice, pureed in a blender.

Cottage Cheese

Simply use LACTAID® Cottage Cheese in the same amount.

Buttermilk / Sour Milk

To make lactose-free buttermilk with LACTAID®, mix 1 cup LACTAID® Milk with 1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar. Allow to stand for 5 minutes.

Or mix 1 cup LACTAID® Milk with 1 ½ tsp cream of tartar.

Ricotta Cheese

For a lactose-free ricotta cheese substitute, use 1 cup LACTAID® Cottage Cheese, whipped.

Chocolate Milk

Simply use LACTAID® Lactose-Free Chocolate Milk in the same quantities.


Simply use the same quantity of LACTAID® Lactose-Free Eggnog.

Evaporated Milk

To make 1 cup of lactose-free evaporated milk heat 2 ½ cup of LACTAID® Milk in a saucepan. Stir continuously while it comes to a gentle boil. Once the milk has reduced by half (usually around 10 minutes), take off heat. Use as required.

Heavy Cream

For a lactose-free substitute for heavy cream use ⅔ cup of LACTAID® Milk mixed with ⅓ of extra light olive oil.