Picture this: It's the day after a big holiday, and there are at least three half-empty cartons of heavy cream you threw in haphazardly amidst the dinner storm. Now, imagine that you face the remnants and their looming expiration dates, yet you have no desire to eat another dollop of whipped cream. The best news? You don't have put that cream to waste—instead, you can make one of the 17 delicious recipes that follow. Heck, you might even start buying cream in bulk just so you can make them all whenever a craving strikes!
The easiest, most rewarding thing to do with cream (should we just end this list early?)? Fry eggs—or pork chops, carrots, onions, anything, really—in it. As the liquid cooks down in a skillet, it separates out into a layer of butterfat and buttermilk, steaming the eggs and caramelizing them at the same time.
Winner of our recent Your Best Creamy Breakfast recipe contest, these eggs are...well...really creamy. And really good! The bechamel sauce that creates a little cradle for the eggs can easily be made with a splash of heavy cream instead of all milk—you need to use it up anyway, right?
Clams, sausage, white wine, heavy cream. What could be a better combo? The smoky, herby, briny broth that results is the perfect complement to a crusty loaf of bread.
This oatmeal is wholesome, hearty, and downright creamy; it's also ready and willing to fuel your frosty winter mornings. Chopped dried apricots and almonds stud the oatmeal, getting plump and delicious in a pool of heavy cream that's poured in the mix.
For a creamy, complex take on comforting braised chicken, look no further than this recipe. Heavy cream (or crème fraîche) joins shallots, reduced vinegar, and good, old-fashioned chicken fat, to create a luxurious sauce that coats juicy skin-on chicken thighs and drumsticks.
Continuing on with the chicken theme, this recipe is dubbed the "ultimate" for good reason—with a punchy yogurt marinade and a spicy, creamy, tomato-y braising sauce, boneless, skinless chicken breasts are rendered helplessly tender and flavorful.
Prime rib and horseradish are a most iconic pair—and often reserved for special occasions. This weeknight version subs in thick planks of sirloin, skewered on hardy rosemary sprigs, and grilled on a grill pan for just a few minutes. It's topped with a creamy, lemony horseradish sauce, rounding out the dish wonderfully.
This recipe, inspired by Al Forno's famous baked pasta, is a wintertime standby on our tables. We love it for its coziness, its heft, and its generous portions (makes for great leftovers!). A swirl of cream makes the dish all the comfier and more luxurious.
Love herby, creamy green goddess dressing, but don't love the mayo in it? Here's a solution for the creamiest one out there—just use cream (plus avocado, which helps with the "green" thing, after all).
The onions in this soup caramelize in none other than...cream (this is the same technique as Ideas in Food's cream eggs above)! Then, white wine and stock are added for more flavor, and to create an oniony broth. A Gruyère-topped bread floatie goes on top of every bowl, naturally.
A sharp, vinegary cream sauce cuts through the duck-fat frizzled (!) potatoes in this take on traditional Swiss rösti. The recipe says it serves two, but who is it kidding?
"If you can boil water and grate cheese, you can make this recipe," promises recipe developer Emma Laperruque. And she's right! A splash of cream; a shower of grated cheese; and two top-secret ingredients make this easy-as-can-be mac ultra-sophisticated.
More creamy, brothy shellfish, this time of the mussely, mustardy variety! It's "a dish special enough for a dinner party, and quick enough for a Monday night."
A creamy whipped feta sauce is pretty much the ideal thing to slather all over a whole-roasted cauliflower. The same creamy whipped feta sauce is pretty much the ideal thing to slather over most everything.
15. Penne Alla Vodka
Vodka sauce with al dente pasta is a creamy, velvety classic. It's the food version of a warm hug—one you get while being wrapped in a cozy blanket and wearing fuzzy slippers.
Clams with cream, farro, and baby kale! Try saying that three times fast. Again, in this dish, the creaminess of the broth interplays so nicely with the sweet brininess of the clams; chewy farro and tender baby kale provide some well-received textural contrast and a bit of vegetal bitterness, respectively. Together, you have the perfect balance.
And now for dessert! Community member and recipe author mrslarkin says when she first created the recipe, she "stirred it up, tasted it, liked it, drank the whole thing, then went forth and researched how I could apply it to a dessert." If that isn't a good enough reason to make it now, we don't know what is.
Additional ideas from the editors:
In this decadent-yet-bright spring dish, in-season fresh peas are put on a pedestal. It’s a simple and elegant take on a classic French technique.
One of my favorite ways to use up a little extra cream (or sour cream for that matter) is to add it to eggs. This Quiche Lorraine has the traditional bacon and cheese, but with a less traditional nutty buckwheat crust.
A little cream goes a long way in this delicious pasta dish from Food52 co-founder Amanda Hesser. Pancetta adds the perfect salty bite to tie the whole dish together.
21. Currants & Cream
This simple dish lets in-season berries shine—in this case black currants (or blackberries if you can’t find currants.) Cream highlights their natural sweetness while balancing out their more tart notes.
22. Frozen Custard
Rather than getting its fat from cream, frozen custard gets it from a lot of egg yolks, yielding a denser, smoother final product. Author Jessie Sheehan writes, “frozen custard is the most delicious dessert you’ve never made at home.” Hopefully not for long!
What's your favorite way to use heavy cream? Let us know in the comments!
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