Homemade Cooking Cream

Homemade cooking cream is a versatile cream cheese based sauce that can be used to flavor appetizers, meats, fish, or vegetables. It’s easy and quick to make, too.

I love having really versatile items in my fridge. Give me a tomato, a red onion, and some cheddar cheese; I’ll give you one hundred dinner ideas (other ingredients required, of course).

That’s why I adore this recipe. I call it Homemade Cooking Cream because Philadelphia used to make a product called cooking cream, but you can’t get it anymore. So, I make my own!

What is Cooking Cream?

It’s kind of like slightly thinned cream cheese that is soft, even when it’s cold.

There used to be a plain “original” version and several different seasoned varieties (e.g., savory garlic, Italian cheese, and herb). You keep it in the fridge and then add a dollop to veggies, pasta, and more to create a quick creamy sauce.

Here I’ve made my own basic cooking cream and seasoned it with toasted and crushed cumin and coriander seeds, a lot of black pepper, and a burst of lime.

How Do I Use Cooking Cream?

  • Serve it as a dip for fresh veggies or pita wedges (an alternative to hummus or serve it alongside hummus). If doing so, crumble in some feta cheese for some extra tang, salt, and general snazziness.

Raw cauliflower and bowl of cooking cream.

  • Toss with hot cooked veggies to create a lightly seasoned sauce. To get an idea of amounts, I use 3 tablespoons cooking cream to one head of steamed cauliflower.

Cauliflower tossed with cooking cream.

  • Use it instead of sour cream in tacos or thin it with a bit of milk or water to use as a dressing for taco salad.
  • Spread it in a pita, add feta cheese, tomato, onions and chunks of hot cooked chicken.
  • Or, my favorite, toss a bit of homemade cooking cream with hot egg noodles and then add some fresh garnishes like grape tomatoes and parsley (toss a bit of the pasta cooking liquid with the noodles and cooking cream to thin the sauce, if desired).

Egg Noodles with Homemade Cooking Cream

  • You can even use this homemade cooking cream warmed up over baked fish. My recipe on how to cook fish from frozen will really help you quicken up the cooking time.

Here’s another plan: Whip up a batch of homemade cooking cream as the weekend approaches. You’ll have it on hand as an appetizer for company or as a quick snack for the family. Any leftovers get incorporated into Monday and Tuesday dinners, bringing some easy flavor to your week.

Now all you need is the recipe!

Here’s how to Make Homemade Cooking Cream with Toasted Cumin, Coriander, and Lime…



Homemade Cooking Cream

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 and 1/2 cups


This is a versatile sauce recipe that can be used as a condiment, a dip, or a flavorful sauce over meats, fish, or vegetables.


  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. whole peppercorns
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. fresh squeezed lime juice


  1. Spatter the cumin and coriander seeds into a heavy bottomed dry pan set over medium-low heat. Tossing the pan occasionally, toast the seeds until their fragrance is warm and intoxicating, about 5 minutes.
  2. Pour the toasted seeds and the peppercorns into a spice grinder or use a mortar and pestle. Grind coarsely.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the spices with the remaining ingredients. It’s easiest to use a fork to smooth the cream cheese into the other ingredients. Grab a cracker and taste for seasoning. You may want a touch more salt or lime juice.
This post originally appeared in May 2012 and was revised and republished in October 2020.
Homemade Cooking Cream

6 responses to “Homemade Cooking Cream”

  1. Everyday Mom says:

    This was a tasty little cream sauce with very little ingredients. I loved the ease and simplicity of it. I made it with the egg noodles/tomatoes/parsley. It worked well with about 8 ounces of egg noodles. It was a rich dish, so I would make it as a side. I really enjoyed this type of sauce so much more than those premade little pasta salads you often get at restaurants or grocery stores that taste mayonnais-ey, Cream cheese and sour cream are always a winner with me, especially when the seasonings are added. I would make this again!

  2. Ursula says:

    I never thought with just a few ingredients from the fridge would make a tasty recipe. Where did you get this idea from? Thank you very much for sharing this wonderful recipe!

  3. Katie says:

    this cream sounds awesome–never thought to make a cooking cream of sorts!

  4. Paula says:

    What a lovely recipe for home-made cooking cream. Sounds delicious and that pasta dish looks amazing.

  5. Mike Pittman says:

    Love veggie dips and pasta sauces, gonna have to try. Nice!

    • Christine says:

      Thanks Mike! I think you guys would really like it with the sour cream and cream cheese combined with grated parmesan, lots of garlic, salt and black pepper.

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