Sour cream sauce is fast, easy, and delicious.

You can use it with chicken, fish, potatoes, you name it, it adds delicious tart creaminess. I especially love it drizzled on tacos and as a dip with nachos. If you’re looking for a fast and easy sour cream sauce, this is it. No roux, no flour, just sour cream and flavor!

chile verde with sour cream sauce |

What is sour cream sauce?

It’s exactly what it sounds like, sauce that’s made with sour cream. Essentially it’s a flavored sour cream that’s a bit looser than plain sour cream, making it easy to drizzle or smother over anything that needs a bit of creamy, fresh, tart flavor.

What is it made of?

The main ingredient is sour cream. No surprises there, sour cream sauce is simple and consists of: sour cream, spices, and a bit of milk to thin it out.

chile verde with sour cream sauce |

Sour cream sauce ingredients

  • sour cream – at its heart, sour cream is simply regular cream that’s been fermented with enzymes and active cultures (like yogurt) so it thickens. My all time favorite brand of sour cream is Good Culture. Sour creams vary by thickness, tanginess, and creaminess, so grab a brand that you love the taste of.
  • garlic and onion powder – a small amount of garlic and onion powder stirred into sour cream is virtually indistinguishable, texture-wise, but it adds so much savoriness and flavor. You could use fresh garlic and onion, but I find that granulated/powdered garlic and onion powder superior because you end up with a smooth sauce. Just be sure to get garlic power and onion power, not garlic salt or onion salt.
  • milk – just the tiniest bit of milk is going to thin out sour cream to a saucy, pourable consistency. I like using whole milk to keep the sauce creamy but if you don’t have milk on hand, you can actually use a bit of water.
  • salt and freshly ground pepper – this is pretty self explanatory, add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste to your sauce.

optional add ins: lemon/lime juice. If you want a bit of tartness and more sour acidity, add a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice to your sauce. This goes especially well with Mexican food. Thinly sliced green onions or chives create a classic sour cream and onion feel. Stir them in to taste or finish your sauce sprinkled with a generous amount.

sour cream sauce |

Can you heat up sour cream?

For this sauce, you don’t need to heat up your sour cream, so it’s not relevant, but for the sake of science, let’s talk about heating up sour cream. The answer is yes, you can. The key to adding sour cream to warm sauces is to add it at the end, when your hot sauce is off the heat. The residual heat of your sauce will gently heat and melt the sour cream without breaking it. If you heat it too high or too quickly sour cream has a tendency to break or curdle. If you want to add something that’s similar to a warm sauce that you bring to a boil, it’s better to reach for crème fraîche.

Is it the same as crema or crème fraîche?

Sour cream sauce is not the same as crema or crème fraîche, but you can certainly use it as a substitute, especially if you using sour cream to finish your dish.

sour cream sauce |

Crème fraîche vs crema vs sour cream

  • Crème fraîche – 30% butterfat, rich, thick, works well cold and hot. Naturally cultured cream with tang and richness.
  • Mexican crema – 30% butterfat, slightly thick but drizzleable, tangy, rich, works well cold and hot. Naturally tangy, slightly thickened cream that tastes like a mix of sour cream and crème fraîche.
  • Sour cream – 20% butterfat, lots of body, thick, mildly tangy, better for cold sauces/finishing. Naturally cultured, cooling, rich, and creamy.

tortilla soup |

What to use sour cream sauce for

This sauce is perfect for serving with:

Pasta too!

Also, if you love sour cream, please check out our sour cream and onion pasta recipe – it’s a warm sour cream sauce made with a roux (butter and flour cooked together) served on penne and it’s AMAZING.

Sour Cream and Onion Pasta Recipe |

Happy saucing!
xoxo steph

sour cream sauce recipe |

Sour Cream Sauce

Sour cream sauce adds delicious tart creaminess to chicken, fish, potatoes, and it's so easy to make.
Serves 1 cup
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 2 minutes


  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp milk of choice, whole milk preferred
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder


  • In a bowl, stir together the sour cream, milk, onion powder, and garlic powder. Taste and season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
    sour cream sauce |


If you need your sauce to be looser, stir in more milk, 1 tsp at a time, until the desired consistency.
Sauce will keep in the fridge, covered, for up to 1 week.

Estimated Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Sour Cream Sauce
Amount Per Serving (1 tbsp)
Calories 32 Calories from Fat 28
% Daily Value*
Fat 3.1g5%
Saturated Fat 1.9g12%
Cholesterol 6mg2%
Sodium 9mg0%
Potassium 23mg1%
Carbohydrates 0.8g0%
Fiber 0.01g0%
Sugar 0.1g0%
Protein 0.5g1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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  1. Sabrina says:

    5 stars
    I love sour cream on my days off of my diet, but I’ve never made a real sauce, just used sour cream out of the container, this is better, thank you!

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