What to Do With Leftover Half and Half: storage and freezing tips plus recipe ideas to use up the leftovers.
My “Waste Not” series is a series of posts dedicated to reducing food waste in the kitchen. They’ll give you storage tips and recipe ideas to use up the leftovers so you can toss out less and use up more.
For the latest post in this series, we’re going to chat about Half and Half.
Previous Waste Not Posts
- What to Do With Leftover Egg Yolks & Egg Whites
- What to Do With Leftover Pesto
- What to Do With Leftover Whipping Cream
- What to Do With Leftover Buttermilk
- What to Do With Leftover Pumpkin Puree
- What to Do With Leftover Tomato Paste
What is Half & Half?
Half and half is cream with a milk fat content of 10.5–18%. Not to be confused with whipping cream (30–36% fat) or heavy cream (36%+ fat).
It’s the lightest of the available cream options in the US and is a good option for adding creaminess to coffee and sauces without the heaviness (and calories) of heavy cream.
You’ll typically find half and half sold in pints, but many recipes call for only 1/2 to 1 cup of it, so it’s good to know your options when faced with the inevitable leftovers.
Storing Leftover Half and Half
How long will half and half keep in the fridge?
Half and half will stay fresh in the fridge for about 5 to 7 days.
How to tell when half and half has gone bad?
Like with milk, you’ll know it’s gone bad if it develops an “off” smell or begins to curdle or separate.
Can you freeze half and half?
Yes! Half and half can be frozen to be used in baking and cooking recipes just fine. It may separate slightly when frozen, but just give it a good shake or whisk once defrosted and it should come back together enough to be used in recipes.
However, because of this tendency to separate, I don’t recommend freezing half and half to use later as coffee creamer since the slight change in texture might be noticeable.
How to Freeze Half and Half
To freeze half and half, pour into freezer-safe containers, leaving at least 1 1/2 inch headspace (it will expand as it freezes) or pour into freezer-safe plastic bags and freeze on a flat surface like a baking tray or cutting board.
Once frozen, bags can be stored upright or wherever they will fit in your freezer.
How long will half and half keep in the freezer?
Frozen half and half will stay fresh for 2 to 3 months in your freezer.
Uses for Leftover Half and Half
Before we get to the recipes, here are some general things you can do with half and half without a recipe:
- Use it as coffee creamer
- Use it in mixed coffee drinks and hot chocolate—replacing some of the milk in these recipes with half and half will give you a much richer and creamier drink (try it with a Homemade Mocha and Easy Hot Chocolate).
- Make scrambled eggs—replace the milk you would normally use in scrambled eggs with half and half for an extra rich and delicious scramble.
Recipes to Make With Leftover Half and Half
Below are some of my favorite recipes to make with half and half. Some use as little as 1/4 cup all the way up to a full pint, so matter how much half and half you have, there should be something that works for you.
- (1/4 cup) Chicken and Broccoli Orzo
- (1/3 cup) Quick and Easy Fettuccine Alfredo for One
- (1/2 cup) Easy Pesto Chicken Pasta for Two With Oven Roasted Tomatoes
- (1/2 cup) Easy Chicken in Cream Sauce for Two
- (1 cup) Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Pasta Dinner for Two
- (1 1/2 cups) Lightened Up Copycat Carmela’s Chicken
- (2 cups) Easy Creamy Chicken Pasta With Bell Peppers
- (2 cups) Easy Fettuccine Alfredo With Broccoli
Who ever has leftover half & half?
Me, literally every time I buy half and half. LOL
So we are in Texas and just survived the winter storm. My husband was out looking for milk, which was scarce. He found a 1/2 gallon of Half & Half. Now I’m trying to figure out how to use a half a gallon of this stuff.
Janice Robinson says
Me when I accidentally ordered a whole half gallon of the stuff.
can you make hollandaise sauce with half & half?
If you’re replacing milk in the recipe with half and half, I’d say most likely yes. If you’re replacing heavy cream, I’d probably go with no, but without seeing the recipe and testing it, I couldn’t say for sure. Sorry!
Almost everyone! Most recipes don’t call for the entire pint or quart of half & half that it comes packaged in.
Gail Newby Wilkie says
I make butter with left over half and half, easy peasy.
I overbought half and half and hat4d to waste it. These ideas especially knowing that I can freeze it are helpful.