9 Ways to Use Up Leftover Buttermilk


My favorite salad dressing recipe calls for a cup of buttermilk. The smallest size that I can buy at the supermarket is a quart, which leaves me with three cups of buttermilk. What the heck do you do with three cups of buttermilk? Turns out there are a lot of possibilities. Being a person who hates food waste, I discovered nine delicious ways to use it up.

1. Buttermilk Facial

My mother was always experimenting with food that doubles as beauty products. Her favorites were beer or vinegar for a hair rinse, fresh lemons as a hair lightener, and buttermilk as a facial. Try mixing ground oatmeal with buttermilk to make a facial mask. Leave on for 30 minutes, and rinse off. Here are two more buttermilk mask ideas, for your specific skin type.

2. Buttermilk as Hair Conditioner

Sure, you can buy buttermilk hair conditioner, but why not make your own. It's easy to have luxe locks!

3. Quick Chive Rolls

I came up with these quick rolls a few years ago. Mine still turn out sort of lumpy but boy, are they good. Fluffy, tender, and cryin' out for butter.

4. Coconut Grain-Free Pancakes

Avoiding grains? No trouble! You can still enjoy these coconutty pancakes, with buttermilk. The buttermilk helps them be fluffy, not flat. Drizzle a little coconut syrup on the top for extra sweetness.

5. Fried Chicken

Warning: You are going to get very hungry after watching this video for buttermilk fried chicken. You may want to have coleslaw, potato salad, and biscuits on hand.

6. Biscuits

Whip up a batch of these easy buttermilk biscuits and watch 'em disappear. If you have any left over, they make a terrific breakfast sandwich.

7. Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

Here is your new favorite mashed-potato ingredient: Buttermilk. It makes the potatoes super creamy. I prefer to use yukon gold potatoes (see recipe note). Add a few chives or bacon bits on top for color. I could just eat these and skip the turkey.

8. Beet and Buttermilk Soup

It's not just pretty, though — this Polish classic ("Chlodnik") is also surprisingly hearty, flavorful, and full of good things like buttermilk (of course), cucumbers, dill, beets, and egg garnish. It looks remarkably like a dragon fruit smoothie (minus the egg, of course).

9. Just Drink It!

Yes, it's an acquired taste, but buttermilk contains some really great stuff: Calcium (284 milligrams in a cup) and protein (8.1 grams in a cup). If drinking it plain just isn't working for you, try it Indian-style, with cumin, salt, and coriander.

Need buttermilk for a recipe and can't run to the store? You can always substitute one cup of milk with either a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar stirred in. Let it stand for 10 minutes before using.

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Guest's picture
Happy Love

You can freeze your leftover buttermilk until you need it again. If you freeze it in an ice cube tray (and store in freezer bag after the cubes are frozen), then you won't have to thaw the whole amount the next time you need 1 cup for a recipe.