Don’t you just hate throwing out food? This happens to sour cream a lot – we get a whole tub, use some of it for a recipe, and then leave the rest.
Around our house, it often gets lost somewhere in the back of the fridge. Before you know it, it’s gone bad, with no way to save it. Not only did I just waste food, but money as well.
This got me wondering. Is it okay to freeze sour cream to make it last longer? I’ve done some research on the matter and here’s what I found out:
Most dairy producers do not recommend freezing sour cream because it alters the consistency and flavor of the dairy product. The texture becomes grainy, more like cottage cheese.
However, there are a few tricks for making it creamy again. We’ll cover that in just a bit.
And although you probably won’t want to use it as a dip or topping anymore, frozen sour cream still works really well in baked and cooked dishes. It’s perfect for soups, casseroles, and crockpot recipes.
Today I’ll share with you how to freeze sour cream, how to thaw it, and what you can do with it after.
How to Freeze Sour Cream
Freezing sour cream is not as simple as tossing it in the freezer. Here’s how to do it:
- Beat the sour cream with a whisk. This helps disperse the moisture all throughout the tub.
- You can either use the original tub or place it in an air-tight container or freezer-safe bag. If using the latter, make sure to squeeze out all the excess air.
- Label the container with the date and its expiration – it will keep well in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Following this method, you will get a smooth sour cream once thawed.
How to Thaw Sour Cream
Refrigerate either the whole container or just a portion of sour cream in the fridge overnight. Thawing will take somewhere between 2 to 8 hours, depending on how much you are defrosting.
After defrosting, the sour cream will become watery. To fix this, beat it with a whisk until it becomes smoother. You can add a teaspoon of cornstarch while whipping to improve its texture as well.
If you’re using sour cream as an ingredient in a stew or soup, there’s no need not thaw it. Just toss it in the pot frozen and it will defrost as it cooks.
How to Use Your Thawed Sour Cream
Sure, you can’t use it as a dip or topping anymore, but no worries, there are many ways to put frozen sour cream to good use, particularly in cooking or baking.
Once you mix frozen sour cream with other elements and cook it, you won’t notice the altered consistency anymore. From casseroles, soups, and stews to muffins, pies, and cakes, you’ll never run out of things to do with frozen sour cream.
You can even use it as a base to make homemade sour cream. I mean, sure you don’t need more sour cream at the moment, but wouldn’t it be cool to learn how to make it yourself?
Tips & Tricks
- Want to get that creamy texture back? Once thawed, put a teaspoon of cornstarch into the sour cream and mix well with a whisk.
- You can also heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds to restore some of the creamy texture. After you remove it from the microwave, stir gently until it all binds together.
- For best results, freeze only fresh sour cream, not sour cream that has been opened and sitting in the fridge for several weeks.
- Use frozen sour cream as soon as you can. While it will survive for up to 6 months, its quality continues to worsen as time passes.
- Portion out your sour cream and place them in smaller containers. That way, you won’t need to take out a whole chunk of frozen sour cream every time you need to use a smaller amount.
- Once you’ve thawed frozen sour cream, don’t put it back in the freezer. It will be more prone to bacteria growth, so it won’t keep well anymore. This is also why it’s better to store it in small containers – it prevents you from defrosting more than you need.