Whether you’re making a pasta dish or adding it to a grilled chicken recipe, creamy sauce is an essential ingredient. It adds a rich, velvety texture and a burst of flavor to your meal.
If you’re short on heavy cream but still want to make pasta or a pot of soup, there are several easy substitutes that work just as well! This includes milk, half & half, butter, flour, cornstarch and chicken stock.
Whole milk and skim milk are excellent one-to-one substitutes for heavy cream. While they won’t whip as much, they can still provide a creamy consistency to your pasta or soup. Just be sure to mix them thoroughly to ensure a consistent texture.
Another good substitute is to mix half n’ half with butter to mimic the fat content of heavy cream. The result will be a thick, creamy sauce that will last for several days in the refrigerator and reheat easily on the stovetop.
You can use melted butter to replace heavy cream in any soup or sauce, but you should increase the amount to match the recipe’s liquid. This will give you a more creamy sauce, but it will also have a drier texture than heavy cream.
A roux is a basic base for most sauces. It is made by melting butter in a saucepan over medium heat, then cooking flour in it to form a smooth paste. Whisking frequently, cook the roux until it turns golden brown.
This can take a few minutes, so be sure to babysit the pan! You don’t want to burn the butter or overcook the flour.
Using a large non-stick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the flour and continue to cook until lightly golden, about a minute.
Then, gradually whisk in the cream and simmer until thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
For a more intense garlic flavor, try adding 1 tablespoon of fresh grated parmesan cheese to the sauce before you serve it. This will help the cheese to melt quickly and smoothly into the sauce.
Other variations: You can add a little white wine or a splash of cayenne to the sauce to give it a kick! You can also stir in a couple of teaspoons of pesto or any other herb or spice to brighten the flavor.
This cream sauce is great poured over any pasta or added to a baked potato, or used as a base for a number of different recipes including macaroni and cheese. A few simple ingredients and a few minutes are all you need to create this delicious cream sauce!
You can even make this sauce ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Then, reheat it on the stovetop or microwave until hot and bubbling.
You can also freeze leftovers for up to 6 months. Simply transfer the thawed sauce to an airtight container and store it in the freezer until you’re ready to use it. It will re-solidify when it thaws, so you may need to add some additional liquid to thin it out.