Sammy and Bella

Home Cooking Experts

Ask An Expert

Can I freeze cream-based sauces and soups?  

Hi Sammy & Bella, Is it okay to freeze cream-based sauces and soups? I’ve read conflicting reports!

Answered Wednesday 11 September 2013

Although freezing cream based soups and sauces won’t hurt you health-wise, they can change texture and this will affect the flavour when reheated.

The problem is that dairy products tend to split when frozen and end up grainy and unpleasant on the palate. So why is it ok for ice cream? When making ice cream, you start with a custard which is effectively emulsified. This means that the egg has stabilized the mix and formed a bond for the proteins, preventing the water based molecules from splitting from the fat based molecules.

Commercially, food products often have an emulsifier such as xanthan gum or lecithin added during cooking to prevent splitting. If you’d like to experiment at home, these are available at retail at some supermarkets and health food stores, otherwise you can find them online.

More commonly, a good way to emulsify and stabilize a cream based sauce using a roux, a mix of butter and plain flour.

Dairy based soups and sauces will also split when heated at too high a temperature, or have an acid such as lemon juice added. So it’s also a good idea to reheat slowly on the stove top (don’t even bring it to the simmer, it should just be warmed through), and make sure you don’t have any acids in the sauce. Also, salt can cause curdling so it’s worth seasoning after you have defrosted.

It’s also worthy to note that the lower the fat content, the more likely it is to split. So if you’re planning on freezing, it’s best not to use skim milk. You can also consider leaving out the cream, and simply add it in fresh once you’ve defrosted.

So what happens if your sauce has split? Don’t throw it away just yet – there is one last chance to save it! Take some fresh cream and slowly reduce it down to 1/3 of its original volume. Slowly drizzle it into your sauce while whisking constantly and (fingers crossed) it should emulsify.

Home Cooking Experts

Sammy and Bella

These food-obsessed Sydney sisters find their cooking inspiration through family, friends and travel.

More Questions & Answers

Quick ideas 

HI Lucy,   My favourite recipe at the moment is a pasta called Cacio e Pepe, which is very simple, quick and delicious.   See recipe below: &n... Read more

storing cooked short crust pastry 

Hi Jill,   Thanks so much for your question.   There are a few reasons why your pastry could be hard but first ill give you some storing tips. After blind baking, allo... Read more

Cook yourself thin recipes. 

Hi Elsa,   Yes we do have many! has a huge selection of Vegetarian recipes.  But you can find all of our Vegetarian recipes here at SammyandBel... Read more

Dry Marinade 

Hi David,   Sorry we didn’t have better news for aging steak at home. You seem like a very keen steak eater, as are we, so we love getting questions thrown at us! If you can, do... Read more


Hi Gracie,   Apologies for the late response!   What a great theme for your portfolio, black and white might sound scary and difficult but it should really be quiet simple... Read more

Dream Sponge 

Hi Sue, Thanks so much for your question. Im not sure we have made a dream sponge cake before, so it may have been someone else you saw. But, I do have a great recipe I can share with you n... Read more

Vegan pasta 

HI Jane!   Eggless Pasta Dough   Eggless pasta dough is incredibly easy to make just like egg pasta dough. Eggless pasta dough is made with semolina which is 100% duru... Read more

red pepper flakes 

HI LIly, Thanks for your question. Descriptions of ingredients really vary from counrty to country, and even state to state in Australia (try getting a Victorian and a NSW person to agree on wh... Read more

Aging beef 

Hi David,   That’s a fantastic question!   Let’s start by discussing what aging means, exactly. Aged meat is juicier, more tender, and more delicious, and it&r... Read more

Cooking Steaks 

Hi,  Yes turning every 30 seconds is absolutely the best method! Our technique is adapted from Heston Blumenthal, and once you try it you won't look back! The main reason for this... Read more


Sign Out

Join the Conversation

Please note, LifeStyle cannot respond to all comments posted in our comments feed. If you have a comment or query you would like LifeStyle to respond to, please use our feedback form.