Can you microwave sour cream? 9 Things to Pay Attention to

Have you been wondering if you can microwave sour cream? I have always enjoyed my burritos, tacos, and even baked potatoes whenever it has sour cream in them. I know I’m not the only one!

And sometimes, I do have some leftovers which I want to heat up in the microwave. But it has sour cream!

So, I did some researching and even tried out microwaving some sour cream at home (yes, I did and I made a little bit of mess).

With that, this article will be telling you everything you need to know about microwaving sour cream (to save you from making a mess if you are thinking of doing it).

Now, let’s not wait until our burritos go cold and jump into it!

Can you microwave sour cream?

Yes! You can microwave sour cream. Of course, you need to be careful so that you don’t damage how it looks.

You can heat all kinds of sour cream using your microwave. All you have to do is make sure that it does not heat up too much (you wouldn’t want to burn yourself, would you?).

Additionally, you can also microwave your sour cream even if it has been mixed into some of your leftover meals.

However, it may not look as pleasant as you expect it to be (don’t worry because we’ll be talking more about this later on).

Is it safe to microwave sour cream?

Yes! It is safe to microwave your sour cream. You just need to make sure that your sour cream hasn’t gone bad whenever you do so.

You can defrost your frozen sour cream using your microwave or you can just heat it if you prefer to eat it warm.

However, it is NOT safe to eat warm sour cream that has been left out at room temperature for around 2 to 4 hours.

Warm sour cream left sitting at a temperature more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit or around 4.4 degrees Celsius can easily go bad.

Sour cream is made of pasteurized milk that is very sensitive to temperature. So, make sure that you don’t leave your warm sour cream out in the open for too long.

How to know if my sour cream is still safe to eat?

Check your sour cream for molds, discoloration, and any kinds of foul odor. Be mindful because it may still be spoiled even if it looks okay.

Warm sour cream can easily spoil and go bad if you don’t handle it properly. It is best to make sure that you consume your warmed sour cream immediately.

If not, then store it in a cold place like your refrigerator so that harmful bacteria may not grow in it (heat allows them to live and grow so don’t give that to them).

Additionally, I suggest that you do NOT reheat your sour cream if you have already reheated it before. Reheating should be done ONLY ONCE.

Your sour cream will just taste bad if you do so. Also, it may be easily contaminated if you keep reheating it multiple times.

Can you microwave sour cream in the leftovers?

Yes! You can microwave the sour cream in your leftovers. However, you will probably end up with a soggy meal (remember what I said about me making a mess when I tried it?)

Sometimes, it is better to keep your sour cream cold while your meal (like a burrito or a taco) is really hot.

What you can do is scrape off all of the sour creams that you can manage to take out, place them in a separate bowl, and microwave your burrito without the sour cream.

You can just put your sour cream back into your heated burrito.

But, if you want to heat your sour cream or if you just can’t get it out, then feel free to pop it into the microwave.

Don’t worry, nothing bad is going to happen as long as you don’t heat it too high.

Just expect it to be…soggy.

What happens if you microwave sour cream?

Your sour cream may curdle or even separate if you microwave it.

Sour cream is very sensitive to heat so you need to be extra careful when microwaving it.

You better heat it in the microwave very slowly. It will take a lot of time, but at least your sour cream won’t end up curdled.

However, if you do find yourself with a curdled sour cream then you don’t need to worry.

It is safe to eat curdled sour cream. It won’t taste that different. Although it may have a different texture.

Curdled sour cream will also lose its smooth consistency. It will be lumpy and also a little bit soggy.

But, other than that, curdled sour cream won’t hurt you (it’ll just make your dish look…Uhm…not good.)

Is the process of microwaving the same for all kinds of sour cream?

Yes…and no. You may need to consider how long you’re going to microwave each kind of sour cream.

As we all know, there are different kinds of sour cream. These are the full-fat sour cream, reduced-fat or low-fat sour cream, fat-free sour cream, and non-dairy sour cream (shoutout to our lactose-intolerant friends!).

You need to bear in mind that sour creams with fat content will heat more consistently than the ones with lesser or no fat.

With that, you need to be more mindful when heating your low-fat sour creams. It may easily overheat and get damaged.

I’ll be telling you in a little while how you can properly microwave your sour cream.

This process applies to any kind of sour cream. It focuses on being as gentle and as careful as you can when heating your sour cream using a microwave.

What may be different is how long you need to be heating your sour cream.

How long should you microwave sour cream?

You only need to microwave 1 tablespoon of sour cream for 15 seconds at medium heat.

You must microwave your sour cream in small batches so that it heats faster.

If you’re going to microwave your sour cream all at once, then it will NOT heat throughout.

You may even risk overheating your sour cream if you decide to continue heating it further without checking it.

On another note, you should also consider the wattage of the microwave you’re going to use.

You need to adjust how many increments you’re going to do depending on how strong your microwave is.

If your microwave has a high wattage, then you can expect that you can heat your sour cream faster.

On the other hand, if you’re working with a microwave with low wattage, then you may need to add more increments when you’re heating your sour cream.

How to properly microwave sour cream?

Microwaving sour cream is pretty simple and easy to do. Of course, you just need to be very gentle and careful when doing so.

These are the following steps you could do to make sure that you’re properly microwaving your sour cream:

  1. Take 1 tablespoonful of sour cream and put it in a microwavable ramekin (you should NOT microwave the original container of the sour cream since it is not microwavable).
  2. Cover the ramekin with a paper towel so that the sour cream won’t spill in the microwave.
  3. Put the covered ramekin in the microwave.
  4. Set the microwave’s heat setting to medium.
  5. Microwave your sour cream for 15 seconds.
  6. After 15 seconds, take the ramekin out of the microwave and stir the sour cream for 5 seconds.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until your sour cream is fully heated.
  8. Once the first batch of sour cream is done, transfer it to a separate container and serve it with your favorite snacks or meals (or use it as you have planned).
  9. If you need more sour cream, repeat steps 1 to 8 until you have heated enough of it.


See? You can microwave sour cream and it’s really easy and fast to do. Well, you do need a little bit of patience when doing so.

So, nothing is stopping you now that you know the steps and the safety tips on microwaving sour cream. Go heat them!