I’ve been at this for awhile now, so I’ve seen a lot of reader questions about cooking. One that comes in regularly is something along the lines of, “I bought a quart of buttermilk and just used a little. What do I do with the rest?” (Related: “How long will it last in the fridge?” Months, really.)

So much, and probably more than you realize. This cultured dairy product — what most people use these days, as opposed to the naturally occurring buttermilk left over after making butter — shines because of its tangy flavor and thick texture. Sure, I love a good batch of buttermilk pancakes (see below for my favorite recipe), and if that’s all you make with it, no judgment from me. If you’re open to some other possibilities, though, check out this mix of sweet and savory recipes from our archives.

Flaky Butter Biscuits, above. I’ve lost track of how many batches I’ve made of this recipe from King Arthur Baking’s Martin Philip, which starred in my in-depth guide to making better biscuits. They’re great on their own, as well as the base of sandwiches. For more options, check out Better Buttermilk Biscuits from our Baking Basics newsletter and Buttermilk Biscuits With Sausage Gravy from my colleague Aaron Hutcherson.


Stove-Top Naan. Buttermilk boosts the flavor, tenderness and rise of this skillet flatbread, which happened to be one of our most popular recipes of 2020.


Buttermilk Cornbread. Perfect to serve with soup or stew, this recipe comes together in a snap. Jiffy fan? Yes, you can use buttermilk there, too, as in Buttermilk and Scallion Jiffy Cornbread.

Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes. As promised, here’s my go-to pancake recipe. It’s an ideal weekend breakfast and takes whatever add-ins you want.


Buttermilk Sheet Cake With Peaches and Blueberries. Save this one for spring and summer fruit season, when you can mix and match the best of what you have.


Classic Fried Chicken. An overnight bath in a spicy buttermilk brine tenderizes and flavors the meat in this beginner-friendly recipe.


John Fleer’s Buttermilk Cornbread Soup. Leftover cornbread and leftover buttermilk? Combine the two in this tangy soup you can serve warm or cold.


Whipped Buttermilk With Horseradish and Tarragon. Serve this zippy condiment with your choice of steak or roast.

Green Salad With Chicken, Apple and Maple Walnuts in Buttermilk Dressing. Here’s a homemade dressing very similar to ranch, which you can, of course, use on any salad you like.

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