22 Recipes to Use Up Your Leftover Heavy Cream

Every. last. drop.

May  6, 2021
Photo by Ty Mecham

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!

1. Caramelized Cream Eggs From Ideas in Food

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.

2. Creamy Baked Eggs

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?

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3. Drunken Clams With Sausage 

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. 

4. Apricot-Almond Baked Oatmeal 

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.

5. Chicken in Red Wine Vinegar Sauce 

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.

6. Ultimate Chicken Tikka Masala 

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. 

7. Herbed Beef Skewers With Horseradish Cream 

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.

8. Baked Pasta With Chicken Sausage 

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.

9. Green Goddess Dressing 

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).

10. French Onion Soup, the Scorched Way

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. 

11. Scallion Potato Pancakes With Vinegar Cream 

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?

12. Stovetop Mac & Cheese

"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.

13. Mussels Dijonnaise (Steamed Mussels With Mustard Sauce)

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."

14. Alon Shaya's Whole Roasted Cauliflower & Whipped Goat Cheese 

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.

16. Clams With Cream, Farro & Baby Kale

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.

17. Balsamic Butterscotch Sauce 

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:


18. Creamed Peas With Scallions & Little Gem Chiffonade


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.




19. Quiche Lorraine With a Buckwheat Crust


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.




20. Penne With Creamed Greens & Pancetta


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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Sheela Prakash is a food and wine writer, recipe developer, and the author of Salad Seasons: Vegetable-Forward Dishes All Year and Mediterranean Every Day: Simple, Inspired Recipes for Feel-Good Food. Her writing and recipes can be found in numerous online and print publications, including Kitchn, Epicurious, Food52, Serious Eats, Tasting Table, The Splendid Table, Simply Recipes, Culture Cheese Magazine, Clean Plates, and Slow Food USA. She received her master's degree from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy, holds Level 2 and Level 3 Awards in Wines from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), graduated from New York University's Department of Nutrition and Food Studies, and is also a Registered Dietitian.


J March 14, 2023
Oh my goodness, on the rare occasions when I have extra illicit-substance heavy cream, I’ll just dump it all into the casserole du jour—soooo naughty, so delicious!
John August 21, 2021
OMG I love cream and eggs. I am an old geezer that lived in the country on a farm. We were paid for doing chores with pint jars of chilled whole milk. This is delicious. Thank you for making my day.
Teri June 12, 2020
Lemon posset. Nuff said!
Teri June 12, 2020
Lemon posset. Nuff said
Gene June 12, 2020
I just made Dori Sanders’ No- Churn Fresh Lemon Ice Cream with my heavy cream. It’s amazing! And so easy. Estela’s Candied Sesame Seeds are perfect on it, but dark chocolate jimmies will suffice! If I had a whole pint of heavy cream, King Arthur’s Mocha Madness Ice Cream is perfect. I’ve made both recipes many times and a they always turn out well.
weekend A. December 2, 2014
I faced down my surplus of heavy cream last night, along with a carton of cremini mushrooms that was fast going south. So i browned the shrooms in some butter with a couple shallots, then boiled some thin spaghetti until just shy of al dente. I tossed it with the mushrooms, a few glugs of cream, and whatever remaining bits of cheese we had left over from the weekend -- some gorgonzola, a couple ounces of goat cheese and some parmesan.
Not the healthiest meal after a weekend full of rich food, but wow was it good!
ATG117 December 1, 2014
Love this idea. Always need to use up extra cream.
AntoniaJames December 1, 2014
To use up both leftover cream and egg yolks (handy with the current contest for egg white recipes) consider:

This Amontillado dessert sauce at https://food52.com/recipes/32024-amontillado-dessert-sauce

And its first cousin, the lemon, quince (jam) and brandy sauce included in this recipe


and any variations. (Substitute any booze or liqueur, the jam used, and citrus zest, spices, as you see fit, using either recipe as a template.) ;o)

P.S. If you just have cream and no yolks, but have some lemon curd on hand, you can whip this up in about 2 minutes flat https://food52.com/recipes/32151-instant-gratification-quince-lemon-and-brandy-sauce
Allyn December 1, 2014
Mine usually winds up in my coffee or as an extra boost to mac and cheese, but vodka sauce is one of my favorite comfort foods. If my dairy allergic husband is around, I just use coconut milk instead (https://girlnamedallyn.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/vodka-sauce/)