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6 Healthy Alternatives To Go with Half And Half Milk

Many people enjoy using half and half milk in their coffee and a variety of different recipes, as it is richer than milk but isn’t quite as thick as cream.

If a recipe has called for half and half and you’re wondering what you can use as a substitute for half and half milk, you’ve come to the right place.

6 Excellent Substitutes for Half and Half Milk

In this article, I will cover 6 substitutes for half and half milk. So, next time you’re in a bind without it, you know what you can use instead as a substitute.

Keep reading to find out more.

What Is Half And Half Milk?

Half and half milk is a mixture of half cream and half whole milk. Half and half is often used in desserts, soups, and sauces that require a smooth and velvety texture.

How Long Does Half And Half Last Once You Have Opened It?

The issue with buying half and half when a recipe calls for it is that the majority of recipes won’t require a whole container of it.

This means that you’ll be left with an opened container in your refrigerator, and will have to accommodate it into your recipes throughout the week to ensure that it doesn’t go to waste.

So, how long does half and half last in the refrigerator after you’ve opened it?

Typically speaking, half and half will last for about a week after you open it when it is in the refrigerator. An unopened container of half and half should be good to use for around three to five days after the best-by date when kept in the refrigerator. 

However, like dairy milk, you can usually tell if half and half is too far gone just by giving it a sniff. If it smells sour or off in any way, it’s best to chuck it away.

If you’re in doubt about whether your half and half is good to consume after you’ve smelled it, it’s generally safer to toss it out, as you don’t want to end up with an upset stomach or cause your family to become ill.

1 Cup Of Milk & 1 Cup Of Cream

One of the easiest substitutes for half and half is to use a 1:1 ratio of milk to cream. This means that you need to combine 1 cup of whole milk and 1 cup of cream.

If you’re not the biggest fan of heavy cream or are trying to make the recipe less calorie-dense, you can also use light cream to make this substitute instead. 

However, when you’re using light cream instead of heavy cream, you will want to add the milk slowly to the cream. Begin with half a cup of  milk and add your milk slowly until you reach your desired consistency.

You should also be mindful that light cream has a slightly different texture and flavor to heavy cream, so you should bear this in mind in your recipe, too.

How To Substitute

Giving a perfect match, the use of half cream and half milk in a recipe gives required consistency. With less fat content, it gives the same taste as required and also elevates the taste of your recipe.

2 Cups Of Low Fat Milk & 1 Cup Of Heavy Cream

If you don’t have whole milk or you’re trying to watch your weight, then you can opt for 2 cups of low fat milk and 1 cup of heavy cream as a substitute for half and half.

While low fat milk isn’t as flavorful or as creamy as whole milk, the heavy cream will help you to achieve a similar consistency to half and half.

However, it’s important to note that the flavor will vary slightly to standard half and half, and you will need to accommodate for this in your recipe.

How To Substitute

If you are not worried about fat content, add low fat milk and heavy cream consistency in your dish with a ratio of 2:1. Providing ezra richness, it gives an appreciating taste to the recipes.

½ Cup Of Milk & 1 Tablespoon Of Butter

If you’re in a bind without half and half when a recipe calls for it, you can also use ½ cup of milk and 1 tablespoon of butter.

Typically speaking, unsalted butter is the best option as it doesn’t add additional salt to your recipe. If you’re in a bind, you can still use salted butter if that’s all you have in the refrigerator.

However, if you are using salted butter you will need to make sure that you lower the salt content of your recipe as salted butter can offset and ruin your recipe if you’re not mindful of this.

When the recipe calls for more half and half content, just make sure that you double the measure of your milk and butter. 

How To Substitute

You can mix milk and butter to avoid cream. It helps to significantly change the taste of the recipe. Although, it is not recommended for coffee or savory cooking, as it gives a buttery flavor.

1 Cup Of Almond Milk & ⅔ Cup Of Heavy Cream

Almond milk is one of the healthiest options when it comes to making a half and half substitute. 

Using 1 cup of almond milk and ⅔ cup of heavy cream is ideal for individuals who are watching their calorie and fat intake, but still want to enjoy a similar texture that half and half provides you with.

Almond milk can actually be much easier to work with due to its light and less creamy texture. With a little help from the heavy cream in the recipe, you’d be surprised how little you notice the difference despite it being a much lighter alternative to half and half.

How To Substitute

You can simply mix Almond milk with heavy cream as a tasty way to replace a cup of whole milk. Making it half and half gives a different flavor, texture and heat tolerance to the heavy cream.

RELATED: 10 Perfect Alternatives To Yogurt To Use In Your Next Recipe!

⅔ Cup Of Skim Milk & ½ Cup Of Heavy Cream

⅔ Cup Of Skim Milk & ½ Cup Of Heavy Cream

Another great substitute you can use for half and half is ⅔ cup of skim milk and ½ cup of heavy cream.

The majority of brands have skim milk to cater for more of their consumers. Ideally, you will want to choose a skim milk that has a higher fat content if you are still looking for a very close match to the creamy taste of half and half.

However, the heavy cream will help with this, too, so don’t worry if you have skim milk with a lower fat percentage.

The reason that you only need to use ½ cup of heavy cream is that skim milk is still quite thick in texture, especially when compared to low fat milk. 

However, if you find that you like the heavier or thicker texture of half and half, you can always try adding another half a cup of heavy cream.

How To Substitute

The substitution of ⅔ cup of skim milk with ½ cup of heavy cream is a great option as it contains about 10% of milk-fat. Giving a less creamy effect, it is good enough if you are a low-fat dairy fan!

Vegan Half And Half Milk

If you’re lactose intolerant or have recently adapted your diet to follow a vegan or plant-based lifestyle, then vegan half and half milk is the way forward.

There are dairy-free, vegan friendly alternatives of half and half at a variety of different grocery stores across the states. 

Vegan half and half is a great alternative for a variety of different recipes, including coffee, desserts, smoothies, pastries, and savory dishes such as soups as well as sauces.

It’s worth noting, however, that the consistency might not be exactly the same as using the original half and half milk. However, it’s a great dairy-free alternative if you’re vegan, follow a plant-based diet, or are lactose intolerant.

How To Substitute

Using a 1:1 of half and half vegan milk is a good choice. It is a section that can be easily made at home by choosing some easy substitute options. You can create half on half either dairy free or vegan friendly.

In Summary

So, there you have 6 excellent substitutes for half and half! 

Hopefully after this article you have some inspiration on what you can use instead of half and half next time a recipe calls for it and you don’t have any in the refrigerator.

Good luck and happy baking!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Whole Milk The Same As Half And Half Milk?

No, while whole milk is an ingredient in and of itself, half and half is a mixture of whole milk and heavy cream.

While whole milk is thicker than skim milk, for instance, it’s still much thinner and is less creamy in terms of texture and taste than half and half.

Can I Make Milk With Half And Half?

Yes, you can make milk with half and half if you’ve run out of milk and you’re in a bind.

Half and half can easily be used as a substitute for whole milk with the addition of a little water. 

To do this, simply combine ¾ cup half and half and ¼ cup water for every cup of whole milk that you’re substituting. 

However, it’s worth noting that cream is significantly higher in calories and fat than milk is. Bearing this in mind, you shouldn’t be making a regular habit out of this substitute to ensure that you’re following a healthy, balanced diet.

Can You Make Whipped Cream With Half And Half?

No, you cannot make whipped cream with half and half. This comes down to the fact that when you’re making whipped cream, you need the dairy product to be more than 30% fat.

The more fat in the cream, the quicker it can be whipped into gloriously smooth whipped cream. 

In theory you could add butter to half and half to increase the fat content and try to make whipped cream this way. However, when you consider the effort this will take, it’s much easier to just buy heavy whipping cream from the offset and use that instead.

Can You Freeze Half And Half?

Yes, technically you can freeze half and half. However, just because you can it doesn’t mean that you should. The process of freezing and thawing half and half changes the texture and taste.

So, while it might be fine to stir thawed half and half into your coffee, it might not be the nicest texture in a smooth, creamy dessert as the texture will be different and could ruin your dessert as a result of this.

How To Freeze Half And Half

To freeze your half and half, you will need to pour it into an ice cube tray.

Allow the half and half to freeze overnight. Transfer the frozen half and half cubes into a plastic zip lock bag and label with the date.

Use your frozen half and half cubes within three months.

6 Excellent Substitutes For Half And Half Milk

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Have you ever wondered what you can use instead of half and half milk? Check out 6 excellent substitutes for half and half.


  • 1 Cup Of Milk & 1 Cup Of Cream

  • 2 Cups Of Low Fat Milk & 1 Cup Of Heavy Cream

  • ½ Cup Of Milk & 1 Tablespoon Of Butter

  • 1 Cup Of Almond Milk & ⅔ Cup Of Heavy Cream

  • ⅔ Cup Of Skim Milk & ½ Cup Of Heavy Cream

  • Vegan Half And Half Milk


  • Choose your favorite substitute from the list given above
  • Follow the directions given in the recipe after having substituted the ingredient in the correct ratio

Recipe Video

Jess Smith