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Wondering if you can freeze sour cream? Here’s what to know about long term storage of this creamy dairy ingredient.

Can you freeze sour cream
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Got leftover sour cream and wondering how to save it? This creamy dairy product is ideal for dolloping soups and baked potatoes, adding richness to dips, or spooning onto tacos. Can its texture be saved once you throw it into the freezer? Here’s what to know.

Can you freeze sour cream?

Frozen sour cheese separates and has a runny texture once defrosted, though its flavor is preserved. This is because the water separates from the milk proteins during the freezing process, forming ice crystals. While you can freeze other dairy products like yogurt, the texture change with sour cream is so extreme that freezing it is not recommended.

Avoid freezing sour cream if you’re planning to use it for dolloping on baked potatoes and soups, in cold dips, or any recipe that relies on its thick, creamy texture. It can work in baked or cooked recipes like sour cream pancakes, but it may affect the texture of the end product. Proceed at your own risk.

How long does it last refrigerated?

Opened or unopened sour cream can last up to 3 weeks past the “sell by” date on the package (source). Since it has such a long shelf life, it’s preferable to use sour cream fresh instead of freezing it.

How to freeze sour cream

Still want to freeze sour cream? Here’s how to do it:

  • If unopened, leave in the original packaging. Place the package in a resealable freezer safe plastic bag.
  • If the package is opened, prepare the sour cream for freezing. Keep in mind you cannot re-freeze it, so it’s helpful to have smaller sizes if you don’t plan to use it all at once. Divide the sour cream into small sizes using small containers. Or, place the sour cream into a sealed freezable container that has as little air as possible.
  • Mark the “Use by” date. Use a permanent marker to label the sour cream with a “use by” date that is 2 months in the future. If using a plastic bag, partially seal the bag then use a straw to suck out all air from the bag.
  • Freeze. Place the sour cream in the freezer and freeze for up to 3 months (for an unopened package) or 2 months (for an opened package).
Can you freeze sour cream

How to defrost sour cream

When defrosted from frozen, sour cream separates into liquid and solid elements. The consistency of thawed sour cream is very runny: it does not look anything like the fresh version. Here’s how to thaw sour cream:

  • Place the sour cream in the refrigerator 24 to 48 hours to defrost. Do not defrost sour cream at room temperature because bacteria can grow.
  • Stir it. Once thawed, stir. Use within 2 days.

Better ways to use sour cream

A better way to use sour cream instead of freezing it? Use it up in a recipe! There are lots of creative sour cream recipes for using up this creamy dairy product. Try these favorites:

More freezing methods

Wondering how to freeze more ingredients? Here are some methods to know:

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Can you freeze sour cream

Can You Freeze Sour Cream?


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: N/A
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Description

Wondering if you can freeze sour cream? Here’s what to know about long term storage of this creamy dairy ingredient.


Ingredients

  • Sour cream

Instructions

  1. Determine whether to freeze the sour cream. Frozen sour cream has a very runny texture once it’s defrosted and freezing it is not recommended. If you’d like you can freeze it to use in baked or cooked recipes like pancakes, but it may affect the texture. Proceed at your own risk.
  2. If the sour cream is unopened, leave it in the original packaging and place the package in a resealable freezer safe plastic bag. Or, you can freeze it in smaller quantities if you don’t think you’ll use it all at once: go to Step 3.
  3. Stir the sour cream. Determine whether to divide it into small sizes (in small containers or a silicone tray), or freeze it all together. Place the sour cream into a sealed freezable container that will have as little air as possible.
  4. Use a permanent marker to label the sour cream with a “use by” date that is 2 months in the future. If using a plastic bag, partially seal the plastic bag, then use a straw to suck out all air from the bag.
  5. Place the sour cream in the freezer and freeze for up to 3 months. To defrost the sour cream, place it in the refrigerator 24 to 48 hours. Once thawed, stir it. Use within 2 days; do not re-freeze the sour cream. Keep in mind the texture will be very runny, so it’s not advisable to freeze in most cases. 
  • Category: Frozen
  • Method: Frozen
  • Cuisine: Dairy
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!