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What to do with too much buttermilk?

Bought some buttermilk for a recipe and all the store had was a half gallon (I only needed about 2 C). Besides the obvious of pancakes or biscuits, are there any recipes you guys know of that uses a LOT of buttermilk?? I can give it away or just pitch it, but was hoping to make some use of it.

The date on it is the end of the month, so I need to do something within the next week or so.

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  1. I have a chocolate cake recipe that uses buttermilk. You can also marinate chicken in it, which tenderizes the meat.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Chocolatechipkt

      didn't even think about marindaes - good idea! I didn't grow up in an area that uses much buttermilk, so don't have good ideas floating around in my head.


      1. re: Scirocco

        You can marinate chicken in buttermilk, I'd say for a half-hour to an hour. Then make a coating with flour, salt, pepper, and paprika, or any other spices that you like (Chinese five spice powder might be yummy.) I would normally say to dip the chicken in egg, then the flour, but given that it will be so moist from the buttermilk, you can skip it.

        Did you know you also can substitute buttermilk for sour cream? You add a tablespoon of white vinegar to a cup of buttermilk. It's an old trick from my mom's original Betty Crocker cookbook.

    2. p.s., sorry, I forgot to say bake the chicken in the oven at 350 for about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the thickness. If it's just boneless chicken breast, probably 45 minutes is enough.

      1. Laurel's Bread's whole wheat buttermilk bread is great, if you like to make bread. I use the Kitchenaid with dough hook to knead, which makes it easy, and this bread is delicious.

        Plus, a half gallon isn't that much, & it lasts a long time in the fridge.

        I buy extra buttermilk to pour down the drain (I've heard it makes for a healthy septic tank).

        1 Reply
        1. re: Babette

          I do like to make bread, so that's a good idea too. Will look it up.

          Also, you've made me feel better about pouring it down the drain if I have to! :-)

          1. re: fmed

            I was wondering if you could freeze it. Good to know!

            1. re: Scirocco

              Best way to freeze buttermilk is in an ice cube tray. Then you put the frozen cubes into a ziplock bag and return them to the freezer. That makes it easy to remove and use as many or as few at a time as needed.

              1. re: Sam D.

                Great idea! You've got me thinking I could also freeze in a ziploc draped into a 1 or 2 C measuring cup (since most recipes use 1 or 2 C at a time...). Once frozen, take it out of the cup.

                As an aside, just discovered my husband is not a fan of fried chicken (what??!). Guess he got burned out on it years ago. Didn't occur to me that I've never seen him order it...in 11 years! Anyway, so I'll be trying ice cream, dressings, and biscuits (although I'm not a southerner, so not very good at that yet!) and freezing what's left.

                1. re: Scirocco

                  Speaking of ice cream, last spring I started making rhubarb floats with seltzer and buttermilk sorbet. Martha told me to do it, and I always do what Martha says! ;-)

                  It's too early for rhubarb, I know, but keep it in mind... and I bet there's something else that can be done with the sorbet (like flourless chocolate cake):


                  1. re: erns53

                    i'm really liking martha's "simple food" (?) show on pbs....

                    1. re: alkapal

                      Oh, I haven't seen it.... I bet that would be good though, though I think Martha the person is kinda strange. Martha the empire, on the other hand....

          2. You can use a few tablespoons to make mock creme fraiche. Also, you can use it to make homemade ranch dressing.

            1. southern fried chicken!! with buttermilk biscuits. Delish.

              1. Devil's food cake or some red velvet cake recipes (which is really just a mutation of a Devil's food cake) use a cup or a cup and a half at a throw.

                You can freeze buttermilk in ice cube trays, then transfer the cubes to a Ziplock. Or you can freeze it in the exact quantity you need for whatever it is that you bought the buttermilk for.

                You might also check out the flour and sugar aisle in your supermarket--there are a couple of brands of powdered buttermilk.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Erika L

                  ha! that's what I bought it for in the first place - we made a Valentine's Day Red Velvet cake and it called for buttermilk. :-)

                2. Frank Stitt's buttermilk vinaigrette

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: NYchowcook

                    That's what I was going to post as well - I bought buttermilk for his cornbread, then ended up making that vinaigrette - with chives, the fried oysters (the oysters go into some buttermilk), and a fantastic hazelnut chocolate cake posted by a poster. I'll find the link.

                  2. Texas Sheet Cake, mashed potatoes and Ranch dressing come to mind.

                    1. marinade the chicken pcs in buttermilk to which you have added hot sauce, salt and pepper. then dredge in flour and fry. its to die for fried chicken.

                      1. I use buttermilk as salad dressing (very basic, don't even bother to mix it with other ingredients; usually the salad involves lettuce, celery, red onion, and some kind of bean). I've also used it in this orange sweet potato recipe with pretty good reviews.

                        1. This is what I hate about buying buttermilk anywhere but in the South, though even in Nashville many stores don't carry the pint cartons. Quarts is what I usually find, and that can be challenge enough. I do like to drink it on occasion, though not well enough to consume more than a glass or two, so I usually work out a strategy before I buy any. That typically entails a big batch of coleslaw, for which my dressing begins with a cup each of buttermilk and mayonnaise, plus a pan or two of cornbread or a couple of dozen biscuits, and then fried chicken to use up the rest. All of these things, you may note, add up to one pretty good meal...

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Will Owen

                            when's dinner? :-)

                            sounds like the best thing to do is frying either chicken or fish, make some biscuits, and some dressings. then get on the treadmill for about 2 days.............!

                            thanks everyone!

                          2. The best for fried fish-esp redfish. Soak filets in buttermilk in fridge for about 30min. Mix in a bowl 1/2 white flour and 1/2 corn meal. Season mix wth Cajuin spice of you choice. Shake excess buttermilk off fish coat and fry. Coating is crisp enough to even handle cream sauce of your choosing.


                              1. Is drinking it not an option? It is good for you, you know. :)

                                1. Soda bread......Here's Saint Delia's from the UK. 1 hour from starting to eating, and it's fabulous.


                                  Edit: Just re-read it and relised that in her book egg, plain flour, oatmeal and wheatgerm are not mentioned, so don't fret too much about them. (Book uses 1lb wholwheat flour, 10 fluid oz buttermilk plus a little water and 30 minutes at 425. Works fine.)

                                  1. Banana bread w/ candied ginger, coconut, and nuts of choice, if desired.

                                    Buttermilk ice cream is great.

                                    Spoonbread in a cup... Cornbread (particular sweet versions) crumbled in a glass with buttermilk poured over til soggy and soupy... add a little molasses or honey if desired.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Emme

                                      Ooo, forgot about ice cream too. I just had some cinnamon buttermilk ice cream the other day and it was great!

                                      With all these good ideas, I'm going to have to go out and buy some more - haa ha!!!

                                      1. re: ginnyhw

                                        If you like Indian food, there is a recipe for buttermilk curry from Mangoes and Curry Leaves that is supposed to be good (I have not tried it). I believe the recipe is available online at the 101cookbooks.com blog.

                                      2. My standard gravy base is 1 cup buttermilk and one Tablespoon corn starch, or 2T wondra. Dump it into the pan where you just pan-fried chops or burgers or ? and you have your pan gravy. It has a sour cream flavor without the calories. Or, saute some mushrooms and/or onion then do the buttermilk thing and you have a nice sauce.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: Sharuf

                                          THAT, my dear sharuf, is brilliant!

                                          1. re: alkapal

                                            Why thank you, luv! One of my better no-brainer inventions. It's also good flavored up with dill weed and paprika.

                                          2. re: Sharuf

                                            Mmmmm.........I LOVE gravy/sauce........... Like alkapal said, "brilliant!" :-)

                                          3. You can use it in waffles and my heros favorite corn bread. I also frequently add some to mashed potatoes especially if they are going to be kept warm in the oven add about 1/4 tsp baking soda to the buttermilk before mixing it in. Irish soda bread is another recipe that uses buttermilk it"s a non-yeast bread so goes fast.

                                            1. Make some good cornbread (preferably the skillet variety) and then break up the hot cornbread in a glass of buttermilk. Very Southern, very good snack.

                                              1. I had most of a quart of buttermilk in my fridge needing to be used up.

                                                I also still have lemons on my tree in the yard...

                                                So I used them together for this sherbert recipe:

                                                (tossed in some blackberries I had on hand as well


                                                Very refreshing! Definitely something I'd make again...

                                                1. Irish soda bread - there is one in the Silver Palate cookbook - not sure how much it calls for though, but the bread is fabulous!

                                                  1. I make my own buttermilk a gallon at a time and drink a glass every day. Buttermilk does not have a shelf life it just gets better, like a good cheese. If it smells like buttermilk and tastes like buttermilk it is still buttermilk.
                                                    I love buttermilk cornbread and buttermilk pie is fantastic, it is a custard pie made with buttermilk

                                                    1. Claudia Flemming's Buttermilk panna cotta http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/318375
                                                      Buttermilk dressing http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes... prefer it with more herbs and a bit of garlic
                                                      chocolate cake