Beyond Topping: Four Ways to Use Sour Cream


When you make home-cultured sour cream you may have a few ideas in your mind of how you’re going to use it. On top of tacos, salads, or soups for instance.

It makes a delicious topping to just about anything and when it is properly cultured it also adds some enzymes and probiotics. But what if you have extra sour cream that needs to be used up or you simply would like to find more ways to incorporate this rich cultured dairy product?

Sour cream is incredibly versatile and lends the richness of cream to any dish while providing the lightening properties of buttermilk and yogurt to baked goods. So, here are a few ways to use sour cream, besides just as a topping for tacos:

Make Creamy Savory Dishes without Cooking Your Dairy

We all love creamy, dreamy soups and casseroles and using cultured dairy can provide a healthful dose of probiotics.

In order to retain the enzymes of your sour cream you must allow your food to cool down substantially after a stint on the hot stove. The food should be cool enough to sip from a spoon comfortably. Once that is accomplished top it with a generous dollop of cultured sour cream.

A few ideas to incorporate this into includes any soup or stew that would normally use milk as an ingredient, add it to cooled pasta and cheese for mac & cheese, or leave the sour cream out of the baked casserole and mix in when the casserole has cooled down.

As a Replacement for Mayonnaise

Many of us love the flavor and creamy texture that mayonnaise gives dishes like chicken salad, dips, and sandwiches. However, commercial mayonnaise can have added sugars, or be overly oily. Even good homemade mayonnaise can be too oily to make a good sandwich spread.

As an alternative to mayonnaise try your creamy sour cream with a touch of lemon and salt. Mix this up and spread it on your sandwich, make your tuna salad with it, or create a rich ranch dressing with all sour cream.

Salad Dressings

This is fairly obvious, especially after you start using sour cream instead of mayonnaise. Many creamy dressings, like ranch or blue cheese, are made with a combination of sour cream and mayonnaise. The mayonnaise does change the flavor a bit, but with additional acidity it really isn’t necessary.

So skip the mayonnaise and just use sour cream and an extra shot of lemon juice next time. 

Another way to incorporate them into your dressings is to add a dollop to your vinaigrette. This will bind the oil and vinegar together and create a lightly creamy dressing of any flavor.

Bake with It

Sour cream might just be the best cultured dairy product to bake with. It might sound weird, but have you ever heard of sour cream coffee cafe, sour cream chocolate cake, or sour cream and raisin pie?

What sour cream lends to baked goods is twofold: the richness of heavy cream and the acidity that all cultured dairy products have. That acidity might sound strange in a baked good but it breaks down the crumb in the flour content of baked goods which results in a fluffier, more tender cake, roll, or cookie.

Try Out These Recipes:

So the next time you have extra sour cream lying around try it in one of the above recipe ideas. Its richness and tang will do wonders for all dishes, savory and sweet.

Click here to learn how to make sour cream at home.

Salad with Sour Cream Based Dressing

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