Can You Microwave Sour Cream?

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Sour cream is a tasty dip that goes well with tacos, nachos, baked potatoes, and more. Its tangy flavor and sour taste complement a large variety of dishes. Sour cream is widely used in baking and cooking, and some people like to eat warm sour cream with tortilla chips.

But can you microwave sour cream? Like some dairy products, heating up sour cream in the microwave can be questionable. Due to its lower fat content, sour cream should never be boiled; it might split or even curdle if you do this. Microwaving is a quick and efficient way to increase temperature, but does it work for sour cream? Continue reading this article to find out more.

So, Can You Microwave Sour Cream?

Yes, you can microwave sour cream. A recipe you’re making might require warm sour cream; microwaving sour cream is the easiest way to get this. However, there are some things to consider before doing so:

  • Ensure you put the sour cream into a microwave-safe container (never use the original container from the grocery store, as this can potentially cause chemicals to leach into the food when heating sour cream).
  • Only use small portions of sour cream when heating in the microwave. This will help to keep the temperature lower and avoid spoiling.
  • Check if the consistency is okay; otherwise, throw it away. Sour cream is often thick unless it is a reduced-fat version. You want to ensure it has not split or curdled in the fridge.
  • Place a microwave cover over your container when reheating to minimize splatter.

Microwaving is a surefire way to heat sour cream, which can save time.

How to Microwave Sour Cream

To avoid overheating when microwaving sour cream:

  1. Reheat as little as a few tablespoons at a time in a microwave-safe container.
  2. Use low to medium power level and reheat each tbsp in short intervals for about 15 seconds.
  3. Stop and stir every few seconds to keep the desired consistency, and avoid having your sour cream curdle.

Can I Microwave Reduced-Fat Sour Cream?

If you microwave a reduced-fat sour cream, you will get a different consistency than a full-fat sour cream, as the fat provides the richness. This is not a result of microwaving sour cream, though; it is just the consistency of the product.

The same applies to non-fat sour cream products.

Is It Safe to Eat Microwaved Sour Cream?

It all depends on how you will store it, as dairy products need to be either refrigerated or frozen within 2 hours. As sour cream is a perishable food, it should not stay at room temperature for longer than that. If it sits at a warm temperature (90° F), the fermented sour cream may develop harmful microorganisms and spoil.

Can I Store Sour Cream in the Refrigerator?

You can store sour cream in the refrigerator for up to a week. However, sour cream is about 80% moisture, so if you leave it in the fridge, water will try to find its own level. You need to store it correctly; this means tightly sealed and at a low temperature.

Can I Freeze Sour Cream?

Freezing sour cream is another way to store and preserve the product for another mealtime. You can safely freeze sour cream for up to 2 weeks.

If you store sour cream in the freezer, be prepared to lose the consistency; frozen sour cream will likely become waterier when it is thawed. It can also develop a lumpy or grainy texture due to the sour cream separating during the freezing and thawing processes.

Some products that contain sour cream can be frozen without any adverse effects.

Can I Reheat Leftover Food that Contains Sour Cream?

As removing the sour cream from leftover burritos can be difficult, you can reheat them as is. However, the final product will be soggy.

If you can, try to remove the sour cream and add it after microwaving the food when you reheat leftovers with sour cream.

Can I Get Food Poisoning from Sour Cream?

Although your sour cream may look okay to eat, this doesn’t mean it’s safe to consume. You should throw it away if left outside the fridge for 4 hours. This will prevent the risk of you getting food poisoning.

If your sour cream is growing mold or smells or looks off, then discard of it immediately. Bacteria can grow rapidly on dairy products, which means it is not safe to eat.

Can I Reheat Sour Cream that has Already Been Reheated?

While it is perfectly safe to heat fresh sour cream, never reheat sour cream twice, as it is unsafe. Once it has been microwaved once, it cannot be heated up again.

How to Make Sour Cream

Homemade sour cream is great for making dips and adding to recipes to create lighter & fluffier cakes and baked goods. 

It is easy to make with ingredients found at the grocery store: cream, lemon juice/vinegar and milk. You can make this at home and store and reheat your sour cream when needed!

It’s a pretty easy recipe to make at home, so let’s start.

Equipment and Ingredients:

  • a jar 
  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup of whole milk (best if unpasteurized)
  • 2 tsp white vinegar/ 2 ½ tsp fresh lemon


  • Pour the cup of heavy whipping cream into the jar
  • Add the whole milk
  • Add the vinegar
  • Put the lid on and give it a good shake
  • Take a clean cloth and put it over it
  • Attach the top with a rubber band
  • Let it sit at room temperature for 24h

Tip no 1: the white vinegar is important as it will react with the milk & cream, ferment the mix and thicken it up. It will also add to its sourness.

Tip no 2: Don’t mix it too much; you don’t want to turn it into butter.  Tip no3: You can add 2 ½ tsp of lemon juice if you don’t have white vinegar.

After 24h

  • The mix is going to be thick on top and watery on the bottom, so you should:
  • Stir it altogether
  • Transfer the mix in 
  • There you have your thick sour cream (without any artificial thickeners)

How to Use Sour Cream in Cooking and Baking

Sour cream is pretty versatile, as it can be added to cold and hot dishes and even as a thickening sauce.

If You are Looking for a Sweet Recipe

  • Dip whole strawberries in the sour cream and dip them in brown sugar. 
  • Add sour cream when making homemade ice cream.

If You Want a Savory Sandwich Dressing

Sour cream gives a lovely sour taste to your sandwiches, and it’s healthier than mayonnaise.

If You Want It as a Topping

Spoon on top of baked potatoes, nachos with spicy jalapenos, and tacos

Use it as a creamy sauce on your chicken or any other selection of meat.

Nutritional Information

Sour cream is made of unpasteurized milk and cream, so basically, lactic acid bacteria (probiotics) that is fermented for 24h. It’s the bacteria that gives the cream its thickness.  

It’s widely known for its health benefits, as probiotics help people with lactose intolerance and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). They also assist in the control of the growth of Helicobacter Pylori Bacteria and the overall immunity of our body.

Even if it has numerous health benefits, try not to use sour cream as a primary source of nutrition. 


Sour cream can be put in the microwave to reheat. But you must ensure your cour cream hasn’t been sitting out at room temperature for too long, so it has not been in the fridge for over one week. 

Dairy ingredients like sour cream are important when it comes to baking, so it’s good to know how to make it at home. What’s even more important is knowing how to store it properly and if it’s safe to reheat. 

You just need to be extra careful when attempting to microwave sour cream to prevent it from getting spoiled.

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