What to Do With Leftover Buttermilk: Buttermilk freezing instructions and 30+ buttermilk recipes for using up leftover buttermilk.
This is the first post in my new “Waste Not” series, a series where I highlight some of those ingredients that always seem to go to waste after their initial use.
Waste is one of my biggest pet peeves in the kitchen, but something I am totally guilty of and struggle with.
I’m hoping these posts will help me and others find creative ways throw away less, use up more.
More Waste Not Posts
- 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 Egg Whites
- What to Do With Leftover Egg Yolks
Up first, buttermilk. More buttermilk has gone bad sitting unused in my fridge than I want to think about. Most recipes call for a couple of cups at most, yet it’s generally only sold in quarts.
Here are some ideas on what to do with the leftovers…
What to Do With Leftover Buttermilk
The great thing about buttermilk is that it freezes beautifully. My preferred method is to freeze 3/4-cup portions (the amount most of my recipes call for) flat in plastic bags so it can be neatly stacked or filed in the freezer.
For smaller portions of buttermilk, you can freeze cubes of it in an ice cube tray and then store it all in one bag. Just take out a cube as needed.
When it comes time to defrost, put the bag of buttermilk in a large bowl just in case the plastic has been damaged (you don’t want buttermilk everywhere) and defrost on the counter.
Frozen flat, it defrosts in about 15 minutes (let it come to room temperature if you are using it in baking). The only caveat is that buttermilk has a tendency to separate in the freezer, so make sure to give it a good stir before using in dips or dressings.
For alternate freezing methods, see also America’s Test Kitchen and TheKitchn.
Buttermilk will stay fresh in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Recipes That Will Use Up Your Buttermilk
And now the fun part. If you have leftover buttermilk on hand and don’t feel like freezing it, why not take the opportunity to try something new?
Savory Recipes Using Buttermilk
(2 tablespoons) Individual Chicken Pot Pies for Two
(1/3 cup) Pie Crust Pizza Tarts
(1/2 cup) Dip Recipe Creations’ Cheddar Bay Biscuit Dip
(1/2 cup) Culinary Hill’s Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
(1/2 cup) Karen’s Kitchen Stories’ Oven Fried Onion Rings
(2/3 cup) Green Eggs and Ham Mini Quiche
(2/3 cup) Two Purple Figs’ Upside Down Veggie Kale Herb Cake
(1 cup) Game of Thrones Frey Pie
(1 cup) Baker Bettie’s Buttermilk Biscuits
(1 cup) The Cozy Cook’s Cheddar Biscuits
(2 cups) Aileen Cooks’ Buttermilk Ranch Chicken Tenders
(2 cups) Chew Town’s Baked Panko Buttermilk Drumsticks With Hot Sauce Mayo
Sweet Recipes Using Buttermilk
(2 tablespoons) Dutch Apple Galette for Two
(2 tablespoons) Marsha’s Baking Addiction’s Red Velvet Roulade
(3 tablespoons) Strawberry Shortcake Sundaes for Two
(1/4 cup) Mini Strawberry Breakfast Cake
(1/3 cup) Easy Dutch Apple Pie
(1/3 cup) Caramel Apple Pie Sundae
(1/2 cup) Small Red Velvet Cake
(2/3 cup) My Favorite Buttermilk Pie Crust
(3/4 cup) Domestic Gothess’ Buttermilk Spice Cake With Vanilla Mascarpone Icing
(3/4 cup) Living Lou’s Whole Wheat Gingerbread Muffins
(1 cup) Sweet Buttermilk Cornbread Muffins With Honey Butter
(1 cup) Say Grace’s Red Velvet Cupcakes in a Jar
(1 cup) Zag Left’s Lemon and Grapefruit Buttermilk Cake
(1 cup) Mon Petit Four’s Hazelnut Chocolate Cake With Caramel Marshmallow Ice Cream
(1 cup) The Flavor Bender’s Chocolate & Peanut Cake With Caramel Peanut Butter Nougat Filling
(1 cup) Keep it Sweet Desserts’ Fudgy Black and White Devil’s Food Cake
(1 cup) Ilona’s Passion’s Strawberry Shortcake Baked Mini Buttermilk Donuts
(2 cups) All Roads Lead to the Kitchen’s Cherry Buttermilk Popsicles
(3 cups) Living Sweet Moments’ Ricotta Filled Cornbread Recipe
Mica @ Let's Taco Bout It Blog says
You bring up a great point on food waste and I love that this post is tackling that problem. I plan to follow your “Waste Not” series. I like your idea of freezing buttermilk in ice trays. This method will not only save you a trip to the grocery store, but it’ll also save you a few bucks along the way. Great post!
Thanks, Mica! You are so right. I somehow forgot to mention that when we save food, we save money! 🙂 PS, I LOVE the name and the theme of your blog.
Ali @ Home & Plate says
What a great round up. I now have a buttermilk substitute recipe that I can use when I need it in a pinch. Love all the buttermilk recipes.
Thanks, Ali! It’s so handy to have around. It’s saved my bacon more than once. 😉
Mica @ Let's Taco Bout It Blog says
Awe thanks! I’ve been stalking your website for the last day and a half! Particularly the dessert section. Poe’s Jacket Star Wars Cookies are flippin’ cute. I am going to make these for my half’s birthday. He LOVES Star Wars.
Thanks, Mica!! I love those cookies because they let me go full fangirl on the blog. 😉 Let me know how they work out for you!
That is a pretty amazing collection!!! And I love posts that come p with great ideas to avoid waste. Great job. Now, I am going to check out some of these recipes!
Thanks, Meredith! You definitely should. I had so much fun looking through all of them to put this post together. My mouth was watering the entire time.
Sherri @ Watch Learn Eat says
Great buttermilk substitute recipe and awesome post on being mindful of waste! Love your recipe suggestions! 🙂
Thank you, Sherri!
Meghan | Fox and Briar says
Yes! Buttermilk is always a huge problem for me. In fact I usually substitute regular milk or just don’t make the recipe so that I can avoid buying it 🙂 I love these solutions here, and freezing is such a great option so that is is always on hand when you need it. The recipe for homemade buttermilk is super helpful too.
Right? When I learned I could freeze buttermilk, it was a total game changer, and now I don’t have to feel guilty every time I bake a cake because half the buttermilk goes to waste. 😉
Natasha @ Salt and Lavender says
This is such a useful post. I have to admit, I avoid buying buttermilk for the whole wastage reason!!
Thanks, Natasha! I was totally the same until I learned it was freezable.
Cynthia | What A Girl Eats says
Some great ideas here for that little bit of extra buttermilk we all sometimes have! Thank you for including me!
Thanks Cynthia! Your Carrot Cake Cupcakes were too adorable NOT to include. 😉
Chris @ SimpleFood365 says
We make our own buttermilk just like this as well. It is a great way to make just what you need!
Agreed. I love knowing I can always make some just in case!
I have often used your buttermilk substitute recipe! It always seems like when I don’t need buttermilk I have it, but when I do need it it’s never in the house! Anyone else feel like that??
You’re telling the story of my life here, Cassidy! Though since I started freezing it, I try to make sure I always have some on hand and it works out pretty well. 😉
Aileen @ Aileen Cooks says
Great post! Thank you for sharing my recipe!
Thank you, and it was my pleasure!