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What to do with leftover buttermilk?

I've got half a quart of buttermilk leftover after making fried chicken. What can I make with it? Can I freeze it (using an ice cube tray) for use at another time?

I don't want the leftover to go to waste...help!


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  1. Use it to make oatmeal, bread, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, chocolate cake, scone & biscuits. And/or put it in cream and let it set until you have crème fraîche.

    Buttermilk is one of those things like brown sugar and browned butter that adds a flavor boost over the pale conventional go-to product. And you get thickness and low fat in the bargain. Just remember it separates when heated so you would do better using sour cream for a hot sauce.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rainey

      Good suggestions. Also pancakes. Or maybe salad dressings. Or just drink it, unless you can't stand the taste.

    2. Buttermilk pie is an old farm favorite and is pretty tasty, actually. Good, too, made with sliced apples.

      Sometimes I just season it with curry and bake chicken breast or pork chops in it.

      1. How about ranch dressing?

        1. The best coleslaw dressings include buttermilk as one of the ingredients, as do the best blue cheese dressings. Many cakes and muffins include buttermilk as an ingredient. Usually buttermilk has a relatively long shelf life - check the expiry date and depending on when you bought it, you might well find the date is one month or more beyond purchase date.

          1. It is freezable....I like the pancakes suggestion. You can use a combination of whole wheat flour and unbleached for a little healthier pancake...mix in some blueberries and you have a pretty nice pancake. Leftover pancakes can be refrigerated or frozen too.

            1. Make sure it's really cold then drink it straight out of the container. It's great!

              1. rednails, I freeze leftover buttermilk in cubes and add them to egg dishes, batter, baking recipes as needed. Just don't let them linger in the freezer too long...

                1. pancakes, raita, frosting/icing

                    1. Caramelized Banana Buttermilk Ice Cream

                      Recipe By: Nicole Wesson BakingBites.com


                      3 large bananas, peeled and sliced
                      1/2 cup Splenda brown sugar blend
                      2 1/2 cup buttermilk
                      2 teaspoon vanilla paste
                      1/2 cup nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped


                      Thinly slice the bananas and put them into a medium skillet with a pat of butter over medium heat to cook until golden brown all over. Transfer to a large bowl.

                      Whisk together sugar, buttermilk and vanilla in a medium bowl, dissolving most of the sugar, then stir it into the bananas. Refrigerate until cold (at least 30-60 minutes).

                      Pour mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze as directed. Add in walnuts, if using. Mine took about 15-20 minutes.

                      Transfer to a freezer-friendly container with a lid and freeze until firm (at least 30 minutes) before serving.


                      Nutmeg and Buttermilk Ice Cream

                      Recipe By: Bon Appetit, December 2004, page 44


                      1 cup buttermilk, chilled
                      12 large egg yolks
                      3/4 cup sugar, may be part brown sugar
                      3 cup heavy cream
                      1/2 cup whole milk
                      1 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
                      1/8 teaspoon salt


                      Place 3/4 cup of buttermilk in a large bowl; set strainer over bowl. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in heavy, large saucepan until the sugar is almost dissolved. Whisk in the heavy whipping cream, whole milk, nutmeg, vanilla and salt. Using a flat bottomed silicone spoonula, stir over medium-low heat until custard thickens and leaves a path on the back of the spoonula when finger is drawn across, about 11 minutes. Remove custard from heat; stir in the remaining 1/4 cup of buttermilk. Pour custard through the strainer into the bowl with the cold buttermilk. Remove the strainer; stir custard to blend. Refrigerate custard until cold, at least 6 hours. Stir in more nutmeg if desired keeping in mind that freezing the ice cream will mute the flavor.

                      Process the custard in an ice cream freezer according to the manufacturers instructions. Handling with great care not to contaminate the frozen custard with the salty brine, transfer ice cream to an airtight container. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 6 hours.

                      Check several hours before serving. If ice cream is very hard, alternate storing it in the fridge and the freezer until it is a scoopable consistency.

                      Makes 2 quarts


                      A flavor similar to eggnog makes this perfect to accompany Thanksgiving and Christmas desserts.

                      1. Great suggestions, everyone. I've got ingredients for some of the ideas and will freeze whatever buttermilk I have left over.

                        Thanks again.