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Uses for buttermilk? Reposted

  • s

Found this fantastic banana cake recipe which I've been dying to try. Only problem is that the recipe calls for only 1/3 cup of buttermilk and I've had a look at the supermarket and they only sell quarts of the stuff.

I'd hate to waste the rest of the buttermilk as it might end up sitting in my fridge for weeks. Does anyone have suggestions or other recipes buttermilk can be used for? I was thinking fried chicken but I don't think my arteries would like that very much.


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  1. You can buy a can of dry buttermilk that you can reconstitute for recipes. I know there are some that will quibble that the quality is not the same, but for me it is worth it for the convenience.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Scribbler

      Also to be considered: a quart of buttermilk is about $1.50. Not to advocate waste, but if quality is important it's not going to damage your pocket too severely if some buttermilk goes unused.

      Perhaps the easiest options for using the excess are pancakes (so much better to make them yourself than to use a mix) and soaking chicken breasts. Soaking them in buttermilk before cooking increases moistness and improves texture immensely. And, if one is worried about arteries, much healthier than fried chicken.



      1. re: rien

        For how long would you soak chicken breasts - like a brine, for a few hours, then pat dry, or what? Sounds like a great idea!

        1. re: DC in DC

          Rinse the chicken first, pat dry, cover with buttermilk, let sit (at room temp or refrigerate) for a half hour, then let the chicken drip back buttermilk back into the bowl for a few seconds before progressing. I don't bother patting them dry after.


      2. re: Scribbler

        It works just fine, use it a lot, but buttermilk it great for pan frying, I use it for fish and for chicken. It is a great marinade for chicken too to tenderiize. I have also used it on pork. I use it in dressing too and make some muffins or rolls and freeze them. It wouldn't go to waste that is for sure. Breakfast, pancakes, waffles or have them for dinner. I have used it in mashed potatoes, or even as a base for a cream sauce and in a casserole dish with potatoes, squash, or any of your favorites.

      3. Buttermilk Pie is also excellent. The best pancake recipe I have ever had is in the Edna Lewis/Scott Peacock cookbook. Plus, buttermilk keeps for WEEKS.

        1. Buttermilk Pie is also excellent. The best pancake recipe I have ever had is in the Edna Lewis/Scott Peacock cookbook. Plus, buttermilk keeps for WEEKS.

          1. I like to drink it by the glass.

            I also use it for smothered pork chops, any kind of cream gravy.

            1. It can be used in mashed potatoes in lieu of milk or chicken broth. Even works in the instant kind.

              Also, instead of frying your chicken, you can soak in buttermilk, bread, and bake it. I'm linking a recipe that I haven't tried, but I do something very similiar with chicken breasts. Can't find my recipe on line.

              Link: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

              1. After you have done what cooking you are going to with your buttermilk, remember that you can freeze what is left. After being frozen it is perfectly good for use in baking and mashed potatoes.

                1. Chocolate Buttermilk Cake or Buttermilk Waffles

                  1. Buttermilk biscuits, of course. That's what I'm about to make with my left over buttermilk.

                    1. Here's a radical idea - drink it! If you don't like the taste of plain buttermilk, you can flavor it as you would yogurt. Also, buttermilk can be used in almost any recipe that calls for milk or yogurt.

                      1. Buttermilk Ice cream is amazing. Buttermilk sorbet is pretty fine as well, and much better for you. I like buttermilk blackberry sorbet - just sugar, lemon juice, blackberries (can use a bag of frozen, thawed) and buttermilk.

                        1. Buy a package of Hidden Valley Original Buttermilk Ranch Dressing mix, and make some ranch the way it is supposed to be. Makes the bottled stuff taste terrible.

                          1. I use it a lot as a gravy base - 1 cup buttermilk and 2T wondra flour mixed into pan juices, or sauteed mushrooms or onions makes a mighty fine tasting sauce - almost sour cream-ish.

                            1. As someone mentioned, it lasts forever. Like literally weeks.

                              1. f
                                Frank Escobar

                                Use a little more of the buttermilk to make creme fraiche.

                                1 cup heavy cream
                                1 tablespoon buttermilk

                                Put the cream and buttermilk in a jar and tighten the lid. Shake it and let it sit out for 12-24 hours. It will keep 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

                                I like to make the stuff, but I too hate wasting a quart of buttermilk.

                                1. Buttermilk pancakes. And go for the fried chicken. Tell your arteries to get over it.

                                  1. Corn bread, biscuits,buttermilk bread, buttermilk soup with cucumbers. Butter milk freezes well too.

                                    1. Like another poster suggested, use it as yogurt, make lassi or eat it with an indian dish and rice.

                                      My favorite though, is buttermilk penna cotta. 2 cups of buttermilk, 1 cup of cream, 1 envelope of gelatin, 7 or so tablespoons of sugar. dissolve the gelatin with a couple tablespoons of cold water. head, not boil, the cream, add sugar put the gelatin solution in after turning off the heat. cool to room temp, add butter milk, chill in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight in ramekins.

                                      1. In place of buttermilk, you can use a cup of whole milk mixed with either a teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice. Let stand 5 minutes before adding to recipe.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: D.S.

                                          can i use the duplicated buttermilk(lemon juices plus whole milk) in making the buttermilk biscuit even though it is not authentic?

                                        2. I've been thinking about buttermilk for a few days now and came to a realization after a quick consultation of wikipedia. What is buttermilk (the cultured variety, anyway)? Basically, it's milk that has been treated and thickened with bacteria that create lactic acid. It's thick and sour. Then it came to me, that's pretty much what yogurt is, isn't it? So really, cultured buttermilk is really just milk that's half on its way to becoming yogurt!

                                          I've actually taken to using it like I would yogurt in a variety of ways. Take a glass of buttermilk, sweeten it a bit I like to sure stevia extract) and add some vanilla extract, for example. You have yourself a vanilla yoghurt smoothie-drink-type-thing.

                                          May use a whist to add in some jelly, or maybe sweeten and add cocoa powder for a chocolate yogurt/buttermilk drink. They may sound weird, but they're quite good!

                                          1. If it is only a 1/3c, I don't think it is doing much. Is there both baking soda and baking powder in the recipe?

                                            Yogurt would be a perfectly good substitute, as would sour cream. As long as there is some baking powder (not just baking soda) in the recipe, I suspect you could substitute plain milk. Another option is dry buttermilk.

                                              1. re: honkman

                                                I'm going to add my vote for buttermilk pancakes or waffles. Make a batch of both or either. You can freeze the extra and toast them up for quick breakfasts. Eating a homemade waffle warmed in the oven instead of a typical rushed breakfast makes any weekday brighter.

                                                1. re: newbatgirl

                                                  I made the ones in The Best Recipe this past weekend. They were amazing -- slightly crispy on the outside (cooked on the hot griddle) and tender on the inside. Buttermilk pancakes are the best. We always have a quart of buttermilk in the fridge!

                                                1. Meatballs made with bread moistened with buttermilk are really light, moist and tangy. Also good in mashed potatoes and in the dressing for cole slaw.

                                                  1. Well, since it's been reopened...

                                                    ...make yoghurt.

                                                    Fry two cups of steelcut (pinhead) oats in a tablespoon of butter (in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan) until fragrant, then add the remaining 3 2/3 cups of your buttermilk, 4 1/3 cups of regular milk, 1/4-1/2 tsp of freshly-ground nutmeg, 1/2 tsp of citrus zest (optional), 2 Tbsp of sugar, a heavy pinch of salt, and 1 tsp single-strength vanilla extract. Bring nearly to a boil, then simmer, stirring often, until it becomes the thickness of porridge.

                                                    1. Blue cheese salad dressing. Here is the recipe I made tonight with my leftover buttermilk. I liked the results very much; I will definitely make again. I substituted Gorgonzola in place of blue cheese.


                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Katballen

                                                        Looks like a close cousin to ranch dressing.