5 Uses for Half-and-Half (Other than in Your Coffee)

updated Dec 9, 2022
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Credit: Cambria Bold

Half-and-half is one of the most versatile ingredients in your refrigerator. You might only use it every morning in your coffee, but it is a handy milk substitute in baking, makes pasta sauces creamier, and can add flavor and body to gravies and pan sauces. It’s not as heavy as cream yet more rounded than plain milk, and it keeps for a while, too.

If you somehow find yourself with a surplus of half-and-half, you can freeze it for future use (into ice cube trays for easy-to-use tablespoon portions) or you can try one of these five ways to use up a little or a lot of half-and-half.

Credit: Faith Durand

1. Make panna cotta.

For this, you need more than a half-used pint languishing in the fridge, but not much else. Panna cotta requires just a bit of sugar and unflavored gelatin to make one of the world’s most beloved chilled desserts.

2. Churn up the best chocolate ice cream.

Sure, you could use that half-and-half to make a simple chocolate sauce for topping ice cream, but why not take things just a bit further and make chocolate ice cream with that half-and-half surplus? This recipe doesn’t require eggs or heavy cream and can easily be mixed up without an ice cream maker.

Credit: Kelli Foster

3. Cook up creamier scrambled eggs.

The recipe below is for scrambled eggs in the microwave, but we sometimes also add a little half-and-half to our eggs as we scramble them on the stovetop. Add a few tablespoons to the beaten eggs and then cook slowly over low heat (which is better for making creamy eggs — half-and-half or not).

Credit: Joe Lingeman

4. Dress up pasta night with a splash.

As for classic pasta sauce, a little half-and-half goes well with tomatoes, helps the sauce coat the pasta, and adds dimension. You don’t have to create a cream sauce, per se, or even get the sauce to turn milky — just a few tablespoons will do it.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

5. Pour a cocktail (or just give your coffee an upgrade).

Like White Russians but not the idea of downing a glass of heavy cream? Use half-and-half instead. A splash mixed with Baileys over ice is good, too. For daily coffee drinkers, you can upgrade your morning cup with this 3-ingredient creamer recipe that tastes better than Starbucks’ Sweet Cream.

What are your other uses for half-and-half?

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