Do you ever avoid buying a carton of buttermilk at the grocery store because you're sure you won't use it all up? Maybe you resort to the old lemon-juice or vinegar in milk trick, so you won't have to buy any. My friend, you are missing out. Don't fear the carton, because we're here to give you some ideas on what to do with leftover buttermilk.
Buttermilk is traditional in recipes like fried chicken, cornbread, and buttermilk biscuits. And yes, these recipes never seem to use a whole carton, so maybe you make a batch of buttermilk biscuits or buttermilk pancakes, too. But there are so many things you can do with buttermilk. Check out this list of buttermilk recipes and maybe you'll find yourself buying two cartons of buttermilk!
What to Do With Leftover Buttermilk
Let's start with an easy one. Any quick bread, muffin, or scone recipe that uses milk or cream, you can swap in buttermilk instead. It's creamy and a little rich and adds so much flavor. And yes, buttermilk is great in waffles, too. It's a one for one swap, but there are great recipes that highlight the flavor of buttermilk, too.
Buttermilk adds a fantastic tangy bite to any recipe that uses dairy; in recipes where dairy is the star, buttermilk really shines. You can make buttermilk ice cream (try this recipe) or simply add it to milkshakes or smoothies for a fun twist on an old favorite.
I am not a fan of bottled dressings, not when it's so easy to make them at home. And ranch dressing is just better with tangy buttermilk. Make your own buttermilk ranch dressing or dip with a packet of ranch dressing mix and that leftover buttermilk.
Potato recipes love rich and tangy flavors, so swap plain milk or cream with buttermilk for tangy and tasty mashed potatoes.
Mac and Cheese
You can use buttermilk in place of plain milk for any mac and cheese recipe. If you're cooking boxed mac and cheese (which, let's face it, is sometimes just necessary), try using leftover buttermilk instead to make it special.
Try buttercream frosting made with buttermilk and you may never go back to plain frosting. Try it on top of cupcakes or a buttermilk cake (here's one recipe).
Slaw is meant to be tangy anyway, so using buttermilk makes it creamy and tangy and just plain good. Try this recipe for a twist on the summer cookout favorite.
Buttermilk caramel sauce (or buttermilk syrup) is delightful. It's sweet and tangy and you'll want to pour it over literally everything. This recipe is a great way to use up leftover buttermilk.
Crème fraîche is cream that's been soured (as opposed to sour cream, which is thicker). It adds an acidic tang when drizzled over anything from fruit to tacos, and it's so easy to make at home. Just add two tablespoons of buttermilk to a pint of heavy cream and let the mixture sit on the counter at room temperature for 12 hours (yes, it's food safe to leave it out that long, but refrigerate it after that).
Sometimes buttermilk should be the star of the show, not just something you swap in. Buttermilk pie is a Southern favorite, and since it uses a whole cup of buttermilk, it's a great way to use up leftover buttermilk. This custard-style pie got its start during the lean years of the Great Depression and World War II (and I can't count the number of church cookbooks I've seen recipes like this one printed in); it's definitely one you should know.