17 Recipes That Will Help You Use Up a Carton of Buttermilk

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How To Make Buttermilk Quick Bread (with 10 Variations)(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

What’s the deal with buttermilk? Often you buy a carton to make one recipe, and then find yourself with quite a bit left over. Yes, you can technically make a substitute for buttermilk with regular milk and either lemon juice or vinegar, but the results aren’t always as satisfying as using the real deal. And while freezing it is a worthwhile option, finding a few new recipes that make use of it should be part of the plan.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to use up this luscious, fermented dairy product — from biscuits to coleslaw to ice cream. Here are 17 of our favorite recipes that will help you use up that carton.

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(Image credit: Dana Velden)

Is there any better way to start a weekend morning than with pancakes? We don’t think so. And this fluffy pancake recipe is our favorite. Even better is the fact that you don’t have to whip the egg whites before incorporating them into the batter. Make this recipe if you are looking for rave reviews.

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(Image credit: Nealey Dozier)

This is the quintessential Southern side dish — you can’t have a barbecue without a side of slaw. And thankfully, this recipe is easy to make since it relies on bagged coleslaw mix. Of course, if you want to get fancy, you can come up with your own mix of cabbages, carrots, and veggies.

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(Image credit: Dana Velden)

Another buttermilk classic, you just can’t go wrong with biscuits. These perfectly light biscuits are ideal at any meal of the day, and you can even freeze them unbaked and bake a few off in the oven or toaster oven whenever you have a craving.

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(Image credit: Faith Durand)

Step up your oatmeal game and use buttermilk in place of the dairy you’d normally add. Because it’s made in a big batch in the slow cooker, it’s a great way to use up buttermilk and prep your breakfast for the week.

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(Image credit: Sara Kate Gillingham)

Buttermilk ice cream? Yes, please! The tartness of the buttermilk perfectly complements the sweet summer berries, and gives the dessert a whole new freshness.

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(Image credit: Faith Durand)

It doesn’t get any better than the buttermilk fried chicken from Thomas Keller’s Napa Valley restaurant. The meat is perfectly tender, and the coating is delightfully crispy. Plus, it takes a full quart of buttermilk to make it.

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(Image credit: Stephanie Barlow)

This upside-down cherry and buttermilk pound cake is a great dessert to have in your repertoire. It looks impressive, but is easy to make, and it freezes like a dream. It’s the ideal thing to bake in advance and stash in the freezer, so you have dessert on hand for unexpected guests or a rainy Saturday afternoon movie marathon.

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(Image credit: Dana Velden)

You won’t even need to turn on the stove to make this simple buttermilk soup. Instead stir up the buttermilk, tomatoes, herbs, garlic, and pesto, and you’ll have a refreshing and light summer dinner. Maybe served with some biscuits on the side?

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(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

Just because St. Patrick’s Day has passed doesn’t mean you can’t make a loaf of this dense Irish soda bread. Enjoy it slathered with butter along side a cup of afternoon tea.

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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

Thank goodness for quick bread — a recipe that truly lives up to its name. Simply dump a bunch of ingredients in a bowl, stir, and bake in a loaf pan. Suddenly you have a dense, impressive loaf to go alongside dinner. This recipe uses a full cup of buttermilk, so it will help you put a dent in that carton.

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(Image credit: Nealey Dozier)

Next time you come across smoked trout, pick it up and try this easy and surprisingly light lunch recipe. The buttermilk vinaigrette isn’t too heavy, and the fresh dill packs a lot of flavor.

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(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

Yes, this recipe is technically best when you’re trying to use up extra cranberry sauce post-Thanksgiving, but if you happen to have some frozen cranberries stashed in the freezer, here’s a good reason to pull them out. They play nicely with the tang of buttermilk in these fluffy pancakes.

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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

Potato salad is a summer staple, but this year it’s time to up your game and try a new recipe. We think this tomato-filled one with a tangy buttermilk dressing is a prime candidate. It even has a bit of honey in it for some sweetness.

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(Image credit: Anjali Prasertong)

This has to be one of the best ways to use up leftover buttermilk. You can mix up a batch and keep it in the fridge to top salads, or use as a dip on a crudité platter. Got wings or a dry sandwich that needs a companion? This buttermilk blue cheese dressing never thought you’d ask.

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(Image credit: Samantha Seneviratne)

If your only version of carrot cake is the double-decker one with pillows of cream cheese frosting, you need to try this simple and elegant one as well. Not too sweet, and made with beautiful carrot shavings, it’s an easy way to wow your dinner party guests.

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(Image credit: Nick Evans)

Bacon and cheddar — do we need to say anything else about why you should try this recipe immediately? It’s perfect with soup, barbecue, or even scrambled eggs.

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(Image credit: Melissa Ryan)

Sometimes you just get a craving for mashed potatoes, and nothing else will satisfy until you’ve had your fill. This easy stovetop recipe is exactly what you’ve been looking for; leaving the skins on the potatoes makes it easier and a bit more rustic.

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