Buttermilk Substitute: 10 Easy Options

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Buttermilk Substitute

Are you looking for a substitute ingredient to use in place of buttermilk? I’ve got 10 options that work great as a buttermilk substitute, plus some are dairy free!

Buttermilk gives recipes a nice tangy taste. Have you tried buttermilk pancakes?

To be honest, I never buy buttermilk and I’ve been running a food blog since 2011 and wrote a Globe and Mail Bestselling cookbook.

I’ve never seen it at my grocery store. I’ve always relied on buttermilk substitutes. When I’ve eaten dairy free, I used dairy free buttermilk.

Fortunately, there are some easy ways to make a great alternative for buttermilk that can help in a pinch.

A glass of buttermilk substitute.

What is Buttermilk?

Traditionally buttermilk is a type of milk that is made from the liquid that is left over after churning butter. Modern-day buttermilk is milk that has been cultured milk (like yogurt and kefir), to transform it into tangy buttermilk.

What can you make with buttermilk?

Buttermilk is a fun ingredient to use in recipes to add a nice tangy flavor. Popular recipes that use buttermilk are biscuits, pancakes, waffles, cornbread, muffins, cakes, and cookies.

Buttermilk is also commonly used in marinades for chicken, pork, and fish, as it helps to tenderize the meat and give it a tangy flavor.

You can also use it in salad dressings, dips, and other savory dishes like buttermilk fried chicken and buttermilk ranch dressing.

If you’re wondering, what to use instead of buttermilk for recipes, I’ve got 10 options below.

Buttermilk pancakes can be made with a buttermilk substitute.

Substitute for Buttermilk

You can use these as a substitute for buttermilk in baking or savory recipes.

  1. Plain yogurt
  2. Sour cream
  3. Kefir
  4. Cottage cheese (You can blend it to make it smooth)
  5. Milk mixed with cream of tartar
  6. Milk mixed with lemon juice or vinegar
  7. Milk mixed with a little bit of melted butter
  8. Coconut milk mixed with lemon juice or vinegar
  9. Almond milk mixed with lemon juice or vinegar
  10. Heavy cream mixed with lemon juice or vinegar

Keep in mind that these buttermilk substitutes may not provide the same flavor as real buttermilk, but they should work well in most recipes.

How to Make a Substitute for Buttermilk

To make a buttermilk alternative, take one cup of milk (or dairy free milk) and mix it with 1 tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice and allow it to sit for a few minutes.

If you mixed it with milk it will curdle a little bit and develop a slightly tangy flavor.

Kefir used as a buttermilk substitute.

Substitute for 1 cup of Buttermilk

  1. 1 cup plain yogurt
  2. 1 cup sour cream
  3. 1 cup kefir
  4. 1 cup cottage cheese (You can blend it to make it smooth)
  5. 1 cup milk mixed with 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  6. 1 cup milk mixed with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar
  7. 1 cup milk mixed with a little bit of melted butter
  8. 1 cup coconut milk mixed with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar
  9. 1 cup almond milk mixed with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar
  10. 1 cup heavy cream mixed with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar

You do not need to mix the yogurt, sour cream, kefir, or cottage cheese with an acid since they are already acidic.

A pile of buttermilk biscuits that can be made with buttermilk substitute.

Non Dairy Substitute for Buttermilk

To make a dairy free buttermilk substitute use coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk, oat milk, etc mixed with vinegar or lemon juice.

These also work as a vegan substitute for buttermilk.

More substitutions to try

Homemade Buttermilk

Yield: 1 cup

Homemade Buttermilk

Kefir used as a buttermilk substitute.

Are you looking for a substitute ingredient to use in place of buttermilk? I've got 10 options that work great as a buttermilk substitute, plus some are dairy free!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk (or dairy free milk)
  • 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice

Instructions

    1. Take one cup of milk (or dairy free milk) and mix it with 1 tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice and allow it to sit for a few minutes.
    2. If you mixed it with milk it will curdle a little bit and develop a slightly tangy flavor.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

1

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 126Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 116mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 0gSugar: 12gProtein: 8g

Did you make this recipe?

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DISCLOSURE: Not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations is at the choice and risk of the reader. Ditch the Wheat is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. I only endorse products that I believe in.

Gluten Free Resources

Do you need help with gluten free meals?
I recommend this meal-planning app. It makes cooking gluten free dinners extremely easy and family-friendly.
What gluten free snacks can I eat?
Lots! I have a ton of practical gluten free snack recipes in my cookbook.
How can I eat dessert on a gluten free diet?
You can 100% eat dessert while eating gluten free. Try my dessert cookbook for easy gluten free dessert recipes.
How do I know what is gluten free and what isn’t?
I have a whole section is it gluten free?
How do I make substitutions?
If you need substitution advice I created a ton of resources here.

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