Emma Crist
August 09, 2016

 

Obviously, I love trying out new recipes. What I don't love is when the items I purchased especially for those new recipes go to waste. And yes, I am confessing that I have let items bought for one particular purpose go into the trash can or down the drain after failing to make use of them before they spoil. Case in point: I recently bought a carton of buttermilk to make a Saturday morning brunch feast with some friends that featured fluffy, golden-brown homemade buttermilk pancakes. Though I had perfectly good intentions of using it up throughout the next week (I mean, I can get down on some pancakes on a Wednesday--no problem), the carton was inevitably pushed to the back of the fridge only to be discovered well past it's due date.

If you can relate to this fairly upsetting moment of discovery, the good news is that buttermilk is ridiculously versatile. And once you really think about it... none of us have any excuse for letting this thick, rich, and creamy dairy gold go to waste. Because once I really thought about it, I found myself with this list of 16 ways I coulda/woulda/shoulda used that buttermilk up. So next time you find yourself with half a carton in the fridge, take advantage of my regret and put your buttermilk to use in one (or more) of the following recipes:

 

1. Biscuits

After baking hundreds of biscuits, our test kitchen landed on this winning recipe for Our Favorite Buttermilk Biscuit. This so-simple, no-fail formula for the most tender buttery biscuits will impress new cooks and old pros alike.

 

2. Coffee Cake

If you're ready to step up your brunch game, this beautiful cake will definitely do the trick. Serve with lots (and lots) of coffee.

 

3. Mashed Potatoes

Buttermilk adds a rich creamy factor and tangy depth to these garlicky mashed spuds. They're really easy to make, so there's no reason you can't put them your dinner menu tonight.

 

4. Brownies

A good brownie recipe becomes great with these 6 customized variations: Coconut-Macadamia, Peanut Butter and Pretzels, Coffee Bean, Malted Toffee, Oreo Cheesecake Swirl, and Honey-Nut. Click the image above to get the recipe for each of these delightful additions.

 

5. Icebox Pie

Sweetened condensed milk and buttermilk are the dream cream team that makes this gingersnap crusted icebox pie insanely rich and irresistible.

 

6. Soup

That's right, buttermilk can definitely go beyond the baking to drastically improve your soup game as well. The brightness it provides is perfect for paring with summer flavors, like in the Lady Pea Soup pictured above.

 

7. Fried Chicken

There's no way I was about to do a buttermilk recipe round-up and NOT mention fried chicken. These delicious homemade chicken fingers are great for an effortless and kid-friendly weeknight meal.

 

8. Homemade Hamburger Buns

Hello, weekend baking project. Significantly fresher and more flavorful than store-bought, these big, pillowy buns are well worth the effort. Plus, it's pretty legit to say you know how to make your own burger buns, like a boss. This recipe might make more than what you need for a single meal, but the buns freeze well.

 

9. Muffins

Here's a breakfast muffin you don't have to feel bad about. We opted for canola oil over butter, incorporated 50% white whole-wheat flour, and kept the added sugar low by leaning on the sweetness of ripe summer strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. Boom.

10. Homemade Ranch Dressing

Not only is ranch easy to make at home, it's way tastier and healthier than any bottled stuff you'll find at the store. Trust me, once you go DIY on this one... you will never look back.

 

11. Cornbread

This tender, cast-iron skillet cornbread is guaranteed to become a go-to recipe. Plus, it uses up 2 1/2 cups of that carton of buttermilk in your fridge. That might just be enough to empty it (but then you'll go buy more so you can make this recipe again--just a heads up).

 

12. Smoothies

This quick smoothie comes together in a flash. Just dump all ingredients in a blender, puree until smooth, and breakfast is served. Buttermilk adds a delightful tanginess to balance the sweet fruit.

 

13. Pound Cake

Unsweetened cocoa, cacao bittersweet chocolate morsels, and semisweet chocolate morsels combine to form a most powerful choco-squad in this indulgent triple-chocolate pound cake.

 

14. Pancakes

I'm telling you people, I love me some buttermilk pancakes. Now, don’t be fooled by their rich flavor, these light and fluffy pancakes deliver half the fat and all the scrumptious comfort food personality of your typical short stack.

 

15. Ice Cream

Dress up scoops of tangy buttermilk ice cream with in-season berries, sliced stone fruit, or lemon rind strips. P.S. waffle bowls are always the right thing to do.

 

16. Cream Cheese Spread

This simple spread is an amazing choice for any toast or crostini. The velvety smooth texture of the buttermilk-cream cheese mixture complements fresh vibrant produce and makes a marvelous bed for cured meats. While simple and satisfying, this creamy spread allows the flavors of any other desired toppings to shine through.

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