What could be more classic than a dollop of sour cream on top of baked potatoes? Now, you have a half-full tub of sour cream in the refrigerator.
Fearing that you won’t have time to cook for the next few days, you’re wondering: can you freeze sour cream?
It’s really common that we have leftover ingredients every time we cook. A recipe often calls for a small amount of this and that.
No worries. In this article, we go through the nitty-gritty of freezing sour cream. If that’s what you’re looking for, keep reading and take notes!
So, Can You Freeze Sour Cream?
A short answer: yes. A quick note, being able to freeze a food item and being pleased with the quality after thawing is two different things.
Freezing is a practical way to salvage leftovers and prolong their shelf life. Unfortunately, not all food items freeze well; meaning that the quality after thawing won’t be as excellent as fresh ones.
Speaking of freezing sour cream, freezing affects its texture after defrosting. The cream tends to separate and grainy instead of a smooth, silky texture. You can also see a similar result when you freeze other fatty foods, such as almond milk and coconut milk.
This is a natural occurrence for foods with high-fat content. Therefore, major producers such as Kraft and Daisy Foods don’t recommend their products. Despite the separated cream, nutritional values and safety aspects are not affected.
Due to the texture change, frozen sour cream is less appealing to use as topping or dips. But, it should work out for cooked dishes or baked goods!
Various brands do not produce similar results after thawing. So, you might want to try for yourself and see which one freezes the best.
At this point, you know what to expect from freezing sour cream. Let’s get down to how you can freeze sour cream.
How To Freeze Sour Cream
Once opened, sour cream lasts for only 1 to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. So, if you have no idea what to do with the leftovers, consider freezing it. It buys you time to think of other recipes. Make sure to freeze it while still fresh.
You can freeze leftover sour cream in a freezer-safe container or in ice cube trays.
How to Freeze Sour Cream in a Freezer-Safe Container
If you already know the amount of sour cream you will need for later, freezing in a container is a good option. It is super easy and takes just a few minutes.
- Whip sour cream with a whisk or spatula. This mixing helps to prevent the cream from getting too watery or grainy after thawing.
- Portion the sour cream and pour it into a small container. If you plan to use the cream for several recipes, it’s better to divide it into portions. Leave extra space on top of the container to allow for expansion. Seal the container tightly.
- Label the containers. Put the freezing date and amount. It helps you to rotate your supply and to know which container with the right amount you need.
- Place the containers in the freezer. Let them freeze for later use.
How to Freeze Sour Cream in Ice Cube Trays
If you only need a small amount each time or you’re still clueless how much you need for a recipe, consider freezing it in ice cube trays. It takes a little more time doing it, but it definitely saves your time for defrosting.
- Whip sour cream with a whisk or spatula.
- Pour sour cream into ice cube trays.
- Place the trays in the freezer. Leave them for a few hours until the cream freezes completely.
- Pop the frozen cubes out and transfer them into a freezer bag or container. If you use a freezer bag, squeeze as much air as possible.
- Seal tightly and label the container.
- Let it freeze in the freezer.
How To Thaw Frozen Sour Cream
You can safely defrost frozen sour cream in the refrigerator. Sour cream is a perishable food, and it should not be exposed to room temperature. Otherwise, it gets spoiled quickly.
To thaw frozen sour cream, simply place it in the refrigerator. If you thaw a large amount, it takes more time. So, plan ahead of time if you can.
Don’t be surprised if you see the cream looks watery and separated. You can fix it by stirring or whipping it to get the desired consistency. If this trick doesn’t really work, try adding a dash of cornstarch and stir again until it’s getting smoother.
Depending on the recipes, sometimes you don’t even need to defrost frozen sour cream. That’s good! You can just throw it right into the pan.
How Long Can You Freeze Sour Cream?
When continuously frozen, sour cream can stay up to 6 months. Homemade sour cream lasts shorter than the commercial product because it’s made without preservatives. The quality gradually declines as time goes by, even in the freezer.
Once defrosted, try to use the cream immediately. In case you have any leftovers, keep it refrigerated in a sealed container and use it within a few days.
What about refreezing thawed sour cream? It depends. If you are sure that you didn’t let it stand at room temperature for longer than 2 hours, it should be safe to refreeze. If it’s been out for too long, better not to refreeze it because of the risk of bacterial growth. (*)
Check our article for further explanation about the sour cream shelf life.
There are plenty of ways to use leftover sour cream other than just for baked potatoes. You can use sour cream for baking biscuits (and other delectable baked goods), making sandwich spread, dipping sauce, garnishing soups, etc. Alternatively, you can freeze it by following our guidelines above.
Sour cream is best to use in one or two weeks after opening.
It depends on the recipes. If other ingredients don’t freeze well, better not to freeze it as you may not be pleased with the end result. If you want to explore this possibility, maybe you should freeze a small amount and see how it turns when thawed.
Recipes containing sour cream may get curdled when thawed and reheated. It is best to give it a test. When you have leftover casseroles or other recipes with sour cream, freeze a small amount of it. Next, thaw and reheat it to check if you’re happy with the dish!
Despite the considerable changes in the texture and consistency, freezing sour cream is definitely an option when you have leftovers.
You can freeze it in a freezer-safe container or ice cube trays. Make sure to freeze sour cream while it’s still fresh.
To fix the watery and separated texture, whip it to get the consistency back. It won’t be that fresh to use for dips or topping, but you can use it for any cooked dishes or baked goods.
Up Next: Best Sour Cream Alternatives
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