Home » Tips & Reviews » Low Sodium Cream Cheese Alternative – Mascarpone

As an Amazon Associate, I may earn commissions from qualifying purchases. Details »

Low Sodium Cream Cheese Alternative – Mascarpone

By: Bill

Jump to Recipe

I discovered this cheese at a holiday gathering while the host was putting together another appetizer platter for the party. I had already tasted it earlier and thought it was a whipped version of cream cheese. But while conversing in the kitchen I saw the little tub of cheese she was using and noticed it wasn’t cream cheese as I was used to seeing. 

By the way Mascarpone is pronounced  (mahs-car-POH-nay) as I was rather curtly corrected. Just don’t bring Al Capone into the conversation and you should be fine…Haha!

Mascarpone a low sodium cream cheese alternative
  • Save
Mascarpone a low sodium cream cheese alternative

I am not advocating for this particular brand, but seems to be the most common in the grocery stores around here

I was shocked to see how low the sodium was in it as compared to what I was used to with cream cheese. Yeah, the taste and texture was slightly different but if I had not found out, I would have thought nothing of it. It is creamier than and maybe not as rich as cream cheese, but with a slightly sweet taste it is very pleasing.

I have used it as an appetizer and in several dishes that call for cream cheese to be melted in with great success. You can count on me to use it as a low sodium cream cheese alternative from now on. It’s likely, if you didn’t know it replaced cream cheese you would never know the difference. And the sodium savings are significant as cheeses are among the hardest ingredient to cut sodium from.

A low sodium cream cheese alternative

The sodium in Mascarpone cheese makes it an easy choice as a substitute for cream cheese as a low sodium alternative. But like all good things of course it has a catch; it has a higher fat content. Mascarpone is even higher than original style cream cheese for fat. But the low sodium level would be a clear winner if I had to pick between the two. Check out the comparisons below:

Mascarpone nutrition label
  • Save
Mascarpone nutrition label
Values per 1 oz./14g Sodium Total Fat Sat. Fat
Typical Cream cheese original 110 mg 10 g 6 g
Typical cream cheese low fat 120 mg 6 g 4 g
Mascarpone cheese 10 mg 14 g 10 g

Sodium in cream cheese

Original cream cheese nutrition label
  • Save

Original type cream cheese contains 110 mg of sodium per 1 oz. and and the low fat version contain ever more at 120 mg.

Mascarpone – a low sodium cream cheese alternative with a catch

Mascarpone has a good bit higher fat content than regular cream cheese, which gives the richer luxurious melt on your tongue quality. Both can be used in place of the other, but there is a difference in flavor and texture. Regular cream cheese is more robust when spreading with what I would call a “twang” of a lemony finish flavor.

Where can I find mascarpone cheese?

It can be a little misleading to find mascarpone where you would initially think.  By the cream cheese right? Nope it’s usually up near the fresh cheese or deli section of the store. It usually comes in a little plastic container with a lid. The BelGioioso Mascarpone  brand seems to be the most common in the grocery store that I have seen. I had to ask if they carried mascarpone and when once told the location I now see that most stores carry it. It does cost a little more but since it’s not really used that much and when making a special meal it’s worth it.

What can mascarpone cheese be used for?

Just like cream cheese, Mascarpone can be added to both sweet and savory dishes, providing a backdrop of rich, creamy and velvety suave polished taste to a meal. Try in my Low Sodium Beef and Penne – Instant Pot recipe.

Use it on the side with a bowl of fruit or berries. Spread on a cracker with any other tounge tickling topping. There is no reason not to use it anywhere you would regular cream cheese.

Mascarpone makes an excellent appetizer
  • Save
Mascarpone makes an excellent appetizer

How long will mascarpone cheese last once opened?

Mascarpone usually comes in little tubs and should be stored covered in the container in the fridge. Once opened it should be used generally within a week, or it can be frozen for up to 3-4 months.

Can you freeze mascarpone?

When freezing mascarpone, place original package or tub inside a freezer bag to help prevent any freezer burn.  Mascarpone that has been frozen can lose some of its creamy texture and flavor, and will be best incorporated (melted) in cooked dishes like casseroles, soups or other creamy savory dishes. But not on say a cracker or fruit by itself.  

Mascarpone cracker and rasberry
  • Save
Mascarpone cracker and rasberry

Using cream cheese is not an everyday ingredient and not used that often. Mascarpone cheese will provide that creamy cheesy background flavor that many dishes need. But it will zip up your dish with a significant sodium savings.

What are your thoughts about Mascarpone cheese as a low sodium alternative to cream cheese; have you used and liked it? What about the trade off of lower sodium to a higher fat content?

My Profile Pic Bill

Hello, I'm Bill

Welcome!  After my stroke, I began to prepare low-sodium and reduced-fat meals. Tasty, easily prepared meals that can help you change to a low-sodium diet for a healthier life.  Read more

6 thoughts on “Low Sodium Cream Cheese Alternative – Mascarpone”

  1. I wanted to try fetticine alfredo, but know it has a lot of sodium. i have hypertention and I wanted cheese with less salt. Thank you for your receipe on lower sodium fetticine alfredo. Evenmore I thank you for telling me about some cheeses that I didnt know about like Mascapone. I love cheddar cheese, but know I will have to give it up because of the salt content. Knowing about other alternatives has made me happy and healthier. Thank you and God bless!

    • Hi Regenia, Yeah, Our cheese choices are rather limited and I hate it because I love different cheeses. Especially blue cheese. Depending on the dish I have been able to use a finely shredded cheddar as a topping as long as you watch the portion size. It still imparts enough flavor and texture to be satisfying. So don’t write it off completely.
      Of course, it all depends on your goals but, see what you can work with. It’s all about balance.
      Thanks for your comment!

  2. Another low-sodium alternative for cream cheese is soft farmer cheese from Lifeway. The regular version has only 45 mg sodium per 4 oz. serving. It has a consistency similar to dry ricotta. The added benefit to this product is it has live and active cultures and is relatively low in fat.. It is milder than cream cheese, but it mixes well with salt-free seasonings for spreads on crackers.

    • Does it melt like cream cheese? I have some recipes I love that use cream cheese and would be thrilled to be able to make them with a lower sodium cheese.

      • Yes, It melts well, for instance I use it in my mac and cheese recipe. But, be aware while much lower in sodium, it is higher in fat though.


Leave a Comment