How to Use Up the Last of Your Lingering Buttermilk

May 23, 2016

With buttermilk, it's always too much or too little. You need it when you don't have it; when you have it, the darn thing stares you down from the fridge door for weeks while you try to figure out what to use it in.

If you're buttermilk-poor, head here. But if you're buttermilk-rich and wondering what the heck to do once you've made the biscuits you bought the stuff for in the first place, get inspired by some of our favorite ways to use it:

  • Make a dressing for green salads or grain ones (or crunchy slaws). Buttermilk dressing sounds fussier than a quick vinaigrette, but it's just as simple—add a little buttermilk to a oil-vinegar base with lots of salt and pepper and bonus-points herbs. (Or get inspiration from this recipe.)
  • Or loosen mayonnaise with a glug of it and toss boiled potatoes with it. Don't forget the dill.
  • Or pour the last of the bottle into a bowl of mashed potatoes (or mashed sweet potatoes!) and regret nothing.
  • Drizzle over fresh fruit and sprinkle with a little brown sugar.
  • Make pancakes or waffles! They'll be tangy and tender and you'll be so glad you had buttermilk to put in the batter.
  • Or marinate meat in it. This buttermilk-marinated chicken is also toastily spiced.
  • Introduce a bowl of buttermilk to any recipe that calls for dredging—chicken or fish or even mushrooms.
  • Lend depth to a milkshake—especially a berry one.
  • Stir it into your polenta or oatmeal.
  • Put it in your buttercream frosting and bid achingly sweet icings adieu.
  • If you've never put buttermilk in a tray of fudge—well, there's no time like the present.

How do you cook with buttermilk? Share your secrets for actually finishing the carton in the comments below.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • laurenlocally
  • AntoniaJames
  • HalfPint
Writing and cooking in Brooklyn.


laurenlocally May 23, 2016
When the water cooler talk, aka the induction cooktop circle, comes to life!
AntoniaJames May 23, 2016
The dressing for this salad, from a very early contest here:
Spoonbread and sandwich loaves, https://food52.com/recipes/search?q=buttermilk+bread+antoniajames + this one (substitute buttermilk for whey): https://food52.com/recipes/10040-ricotta-whey-and-barley-bread
HalfPint May 23, 2016
Coincidentally, I made buttermilk biscuits on Sunday for breakfast. OMG so good. And I found full-fat buttermilk at the Mexican supermarket (woohoo!!!). It was a good weekend :)