Can You Freeze Sour Cream?

It can be truly frustrating when you have bought an entire tub of sour cream and then have to throw half of it away after it has been sitting in the refrigerator. Perhaps you bought it for a few tablespoons in a recipe or to make a tasty dip to go with your chips.

Can You Freeze Sour Cream?

Either way, knowing that you have wasted money and food can be annoying, especially when you realize you only have a few weeks or days to use it up.

Thankfully, sour cream can be successfully frozen and then thawed to use again but you do have to follow some specific guidelines. 

In this guide, we will ask; can you freeze sour cream? We will also detail how you can successfully freeze and thaw out sour cream, and provide suggestions of what to do with leftover sour cream. 

Can You Freeze Sour Cream?

You should be heartened to realize that your days of throwing away a half-full container of sour cream are over. While it may not be the same texture as it once was, you can still freeze and then thaw out the remainder.

That’s right, you may still need fresh sour cream to dollop on a baked potato or to use in dips. However, thawed-out sour cream can still be used for cooking and baking. 

The real question may not be, can you freeze sour cream, but should you freeze sour cream? Part of the problem is that sour cream is a specific foodstuff with a particular taste and texture.

That jiggling texture is made from a souring process, when lactic acid culture is incorporated with cream. This is partly why sour cream works so well in a dip as it holds its shape but can still be malleable. 

Once you freeze sour cream, you are changing its scientific nature which will affect its texture. The product will separate so it is highly unlikely that you will enjoy sour cream in its original form once it has been thawed.

You can largely forget about using the rest of the container for dips yet feel free to use it in baking and cooking recipes when mixed with other ingredients. 

Can You Freeze Sour Cream?

How To Successfully Freeze And Thaw Out Sour Cream

Pay attention as there is a certain way to successfully freeze sour cream. You should still use fresh sour cream so make sure that it has not been left open on the counter. Any sour cream that has signs of going off should not be used and is best off being thrown in the garbage.

Yet if the sour cream still seems fresh and has been kept in the refrigerator, it only takes a few steps to make it ready for the freezer.

  1. Whisk up the remaining sour cream to fully incorporate the remaining moisture through the entire container.
  2. You can leave the sour cream in its original tub or pour it into an airtight container or Ziploc freezer bag. For the latter, make sure that you squeeze all the air out so that it freezes as a single block.
  3. Once transferred, use a label to write down the freezing date as sour cream should only be left in the freezer for a maximum of six months.
  4. When you are ready to use the sour cream for a recipe, measure out what you need and let it thaw in the refrigerator. The texture should appear separated and a bit more watery than you would expect so whisk it up for a better consistency.
  5. To recreate the expected texture in thawed-out sour cream, you can add around a teaspoon of cornstarch to thicken it up.

What To Do With Leftover Sour Cream

If you are struggling to work out what to do with leftover sour cream then do not fret, there are plenty of recipes to try. You could create a delicious Berry Sour Cream Coffee Cake, Sour Cream Donuts, or Oat Muffins, or use it in a Cheesy Potato Casserole. 

Feel free to use the thawed-out sour cream in smoothies, or in recipes for muffin, cake, or pancake batter. You can also use it to add a creamy texture in stews and soups.

Whatever you decide to do with the thawed-out sour cream, do not return it to the freezer as that can lead to bacterial contamination.  

Final Thoughts

Sour cream can prove to be an incredibly versatile ingredient yet it does have a limited shelf life. While it is an essential component for dips, you may find that you only use up half of a tub and struggle to work out what to do with the rest of it.

If you worry about food wastage then freeze and then thaw out the rest of it though be wary that it should only be used in baking and cooking recipes. You may not enjoy the original texture of sour cream yet you should be thankful that it is not going to waste. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Successfully Keep Sour Cream In The Refrigerator?

As long as your refrigerator is consistently at a temperature of around or below 40°F (4.4°C) then you can keep sour cream there for around two weeks.

Make sure it is covered as it can quickly spoil, especially when left out on the counter. The sour cream should still keep its texture in the refrigerator yet freezing it will alter its quality.

Why does sour cream change its texture once thawed out?

Fresh sour cream will have a creamy texture which is ideal for adding a richness to dips and salads. Once it is frozen, the sour cream will separate into two components; the liquid and the fat.

As it thaws out, the texture will seem lumpy and congealed so you can whisk it up to bring it back together. You may also want to use a thickening agent like cornstarch to add some more texture to it too. 

Mark Williams
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