Sour Cream

How to Use Up the Last Few Spoonfuls of Sour Cream

May  2, 2016

For some, a tub of sour cream will go untended in a dark corner of the refrigerator for months; for others, wrote Windischgirl on a Hotline thread about what do with a bulk-sized container of sour cream, it's a food group. Whoever you are, and whatever your fermented dairy habits are, there's surely been a point where you've wondered what to do with the creamy dregs of a tub of sour cream.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

A little sour cream in your whipped cream makes for a brighter, more sophisticated fruit (or cake) topper. Photo by James Ransom
  • Toss with any fruit and sprinkle with a little brown sugar.
  • Or whip a bit of sour cream into whipped cream for tangier, brighter whipped cream.
  • Spoon onto tacos.
  • Especially scrambled egg tacos.
  • Whisk together a creamy, tangy dressing, like this one. Add as many chopped herbs as you've got.
  • Or make an especially thick tzatziki-like sauce (for falafel or just for dipping) by folding in chopped cucumber, herbs, and a bit of lemon juice.
  • Dollop into polenta or oatmeal, savory or sweet.
  • Use in any dough or batter where you'd otherwise use yogurt. These sour cream rolls are tender and clean out other parts of your pantry, too (see: mashed potatoes, barley flour, wheat germ).
  • Add it to a marinade, chicken tikka-style.
  • Make a sour cream frosting for a cake (or to stash in the back of the fridge and eat quietly by the spoonful when no one else is around).

What do you turn to when you just want to finish up the tub? Tell us in the comments.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • amysarah
  • Laura Tomlinson
    Laura Tomlinson
  • 702551
  • AntoniaJames
  • anka
Writing and cooking in Brooklyn.


amysarah May 3, 2016
A dollop of sour cream elevates many a bowl of soup/stew or chili.

I usually have a jar of Indian cilantro chutney in the fridge (addiction) - stirred into a few spoons of sour cream (or of course, yogurt,) it's a terrific sauce for roast, poached, or grilled salmon, in a snap.

A few tablespoons of sour cream mixed into applesauce is lovely with roast chicken or pork - reminds me of 'grandma cooking,' in the best sense.
amysarah May 3, 2016
Forgot one - my daughter makes delicious scrambled eggs, cooking them very gently, then folding in a tablespoon or so of sour cream when they're close to finished. Excellent.
Laura T. May 3, 2016
Sour cream ice cream! AMAZEBALLS and no need to make a custard!
702551 May 3, 2016
Spread onto toast as a replacement for butter. Add fresh herbs or coarsely ground black pepper if you're not a simplicity person.

You can also top off the sour cream toast with other things like avocado slices, lox, smoked fish, etc.

And toast doesn't need to be a slice of white bread. It could be bagels, tortillas, etc.

No difficulty using sour cream in my household.
AntoniaJames May 2, 2016
When roasting a chicken, slice a large onion or two and sit the chicken on the slices. While the roasted chicken is resting, stir into the pan juices a splash or two of stock (or water), a good dollop of Dijon mustard, a dab of prepared horseradish and stir well; simmer one minute. Remove, buzz with an immersion blender, return to the pan with a couple good dollops (or less, if that's all you have) of sour cream. Serve with the chicken. Also works well for pork tenderloin, though you will want to saute your onion slices on the stove, given its much shorter time in the oven. ;o) P.S. This works quite well with full fat Greek yogurt - a bit tangier, as one would expect.
anka May 2, 2016
Melt 2 tbsp butter; add 1-2 cloves chopped garlic, pinch of cayenne pepper, about 1 cup (more or less) sour cream, salt and black pepper, warm but do not let boil, mix with hot pasta.
Or have light diner or early sapper; polenta (I like soft) with dollop of cold sour cream. It could be breakfast too if you are up to making polenta in the morning.
Bevi May 2, 2016
Make the Gjelina yogurt sauce, only use sour cream - 1/2 cup sour cream, 4 TBS fresh lime juice, and a half TSP salt. Delicious on many things - from the Roasted yam recipe to fruit, to tacos and other Mexican foods that like a crema style topping.
Posie (. May 2, 2016
I like adding a bit to smoothies, and also whisking some into a quiche filling (Greek yogurt and creme fraiche are great here as well). Also a REALLY good quick dinner is to sauté some mushrooms in butter, add some sour cream and grainy mustard, and spoon over toast. Faux mushroom stroganoff sort of.