Freezing Beef Stroganoff Made with Sour Cream: The Complete Guide

Beef stroganoff is a classic comfort food that many families love. Its delicious creamy sauce made with sour cream is what makes this dish so irresistible. However beef stroganoff also takes time to prepare. Having leftovers or making extra to freeze can be a real time-saver. But can you freeze beef stroganoff that’s made with sour cream?

The short answer is yes, you can freeze beef stroganoff made with sour cream. However, some special handling is required to maintain the best texture and prevent the sour cream from curdling or separating when thawed.

In this complete guide, I’ll explain how to properly freeze beef stroganoff made with sour cream and tips for reheating it to retain that creamy flavor we all love.

Can You Freeze Beef Stroganoff with Sour Cream Already Added?

If you’ve already made a full batch of beef stroganoff and added the sour cream when cooking don’t worry – you can still freeze it. However for best results, I suggest stirring in the sour cream after thawing and reheating the stroganoff.

Dairy products like sour cream tend to break down and curdle when frozen. Thawing and reheating can make this worse. Adding the sour cream at the end helps maintain the smooth, creamy texture.

If you do freeze beef stroganoff that already has sour cream mixed in, be sure to use it within 1-2 months for best quality. Freeze in airtight containers, leaving some headspace for expansion. Gently reheat on the stovetop over low heat until hot, stirring frequently. The sauce may look a bit curdled at first but should come together as you stir.

For less risk of curdling, consider these tips:

  • Use full-fat sour cream, not low-fat or non-fat varieties

  • Make sure the stroganoff is completely cooled before freezing

  • Freeze flat in thinner layers rather than in a big mass

  • Reheat gently, adding a splash of milk or cream if needed

Tips for Freezing Beef Stroganoff Before Adding Sour Cream

For the best results, I recommend making and freezing the beef stroganoff without the sour cream first. Here are some tips:

Cook the beef stroganoff completely according to your recipe except for adding the sour cream at the end. Let it cool fully.

Portion into freezer-safe containers. Good choices are plastic freezer containers, bags, or quart containers. Leave 1 inch of headspace for expansion.

Remove air and seal the containers tightly. Excess air can cause freezer burn. You can use a straw to suck air out of bags.

Label with the contents and freeze date so you know how long it’s been stored.

Freeze for up to 3 months at 0°F or below. Place in the back of the freezer where temperature fluctuates less.

Stir occasionally during cooling and freezing for even freezing.

Avoid freezing stroganoff with pasta, rice or potatoes added. Cook them separately for best texture.

Following these tips will give you great results with beef stroganoff frozen pre-sour cream.

How to Thaw and Reheat Beef Stroganoff with Sour Cream

When you’re ready to enjoy your frozen beef stroganoff, use this process for thawing and reheating:

  • Thaw the beef stroganoff in the refrigerator overnight, allowing about 8-12 hours. Do not thaw at room temperature.

  • For a quicker thaw, place the sealed stroganoff bag or container in a bowl of cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes.

  • Reheat the stroganoff gently on the stovetop over medium-low heat. Add a bit of beef broth or water if it seems dry.

  • Stir frequently as it reheats to prevent scorching on the bottom. Bring to a simmer.

  • Once heated through, stir in the sour cream and continue cooking just until blended in and warm, about 2 more minutes.

  • Avoid boiling once sour cream is added, as this can cause curdling.

  • Add any pasta, rice or veggies you kept separate once the stroganoff is reheated.

  • Adjust seasoning if needed and serve hot! Enjoy your just-like-new beef stroganoff.

Following this process will give you the best results for beef stroganoff frozen with sour cream on the side.

Helpful Substitutions for Freezing Beef Stroganoff

If you prepare beef stroganoff specifically to freeze, you can use some ingredient substitutions to help it retain quality better after freezing:

  • Sour cream: Use full-fat Greek yogurt or crème fraiche instead. The higher fat content stays creamy when frozen.

  • Mushrooms: Try heartier mushrooms like portobello or cremini rather than white button mushrooms, which can get mushy.

  • Onions: Chopped onions can lose texture. Use onion powder or freeze caramelized onions instead.

  • Beef: Choose a fattier cut of beef like sirloin or ribeye rather than lean cuts like filet mignon. The fat helps keep it tender.

  • Noodles/rice: Freeze them separately from the stroganoff for best texture.

Making these simple swaps can help your frozen beef stroganoff retain maximum flavor and texture.

Storing and Reheating Individual Portions

For grab-and-go convenience, you can also freeze beef stroganoff in individual portions:

  • Freeze stroganoff flat in quart freezer bags rather than tall containers.

  • Lay bags flat while freezing to help portion contents evenly.

  • Reheat individual portions in the microwave or on the stovetop.

  • For microwave, defrost first then reheat at 50% power, stirring every minute.

  • For stovetop, thaw overnight in fridge then reheat over low heat until warmed through.

  • Stir in sour cream at the end once reheated.

Freezing in individual portions makes for quick, easy weeknight meals. Just remember to label them clearly!

Troubleshooting Freezing Beef Stroganoff

Follow these tips to troubleshoot any issues when freezing beef stroganoff with sour cream:

  • Prevent freezer burn by sealing containers airtight and removing excess air. Freezer burn can cause off-flavors.

  • Avoid overpacking containers which can lead to uneven freezing. Leave headspace.

  • If stroganoff separates after freezing, whisk vigorously when reheating to re-emulsify. May need to add a little milk, cream or extra sour cream.

  • If sour cream curdles when mixed in after reheating, cook over gentler heat and stir constantly to incorporate smoothly.

  • If beef texture suffers, choose a fattier cut of beef next time and freeze for shorter duration (1-2 months max).

  • If mushy veggies, use heartier vegetables and don’t overcook initially before freezing.

Following proper freezing, storage, and reheating methods can prevent many common issues with frozen beef stroganoff.

Enjoy Restaurant-Quality Beef Stroganoff from Your Freezer

With the right techniques, you can freeze and reheat beef stroganoff made with sour cream for maximum flavor and texture retention. Keeping the stroganoff and sour cream separate until reheating is ideal. Use freezer-safe packaging and reheat gently to get delicious results.

Making beef stroganoff ahead allows you to have this family favorite ready in minutes anytime. No more waiting until the weekend to enjoy creamy, comforting beef stroganoff in your own home. You’ll love the convenience of this freezer meal while still enjoying all the decadent flavor you’d expect from fresh.

Can you freeze beef stroganoff with sour cream?


Can Stroganoff with sour cream be frozen?

If you choose to make your stroganoff in a slow cooker, add the combined mustard and sour cream in the last 40 minutes to prevent it from curdling. Beef stroganoff is an ideal dish to freeze. To do so allow it to cool, then spoon stroganoff into an airtight container or large snap-lock bag. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Can you freeze food made with sour cream?

You can, however, freeze dishes made with sour cream, such as baked goods and soups, without affecting their texture and taste.

Can you reheat beef stroganoff with sour cream?

Refrigerate leftover beef stroganoff, tightly covered, for 3 to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop over medium heat until it’s heated through and the beef reaches 165°F. The sour cream may separate a bit as it reheats and make the texture different, but it will still taste good.

How to keep sour cream from curdling in beef stroganoff?

Sour cream can curdle if added directly to hot liquid. To prevent curdling, temper the sour cream by stirring a little of the hot liquid into it and then adding the warmed sour cream mixture to the pan. Buttered egg noodles (see below for details of our tasting) are the classic accompaniment to this recipe.

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