Our Best Sweet and Savory Buttermilk Recipes (That Go Way Beyond Biscuits)

Herbed Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
Photo: Alison Miksch

Have a quart of buttermilk hiding in the back of your fridge? Fear not: there are myriad ways to use this Southern staple ingredient, spanning from sweet to savory. Buttermilk adds moisture to some of our favorite baked goods, like our Glazed Buttermilk Donut Cake and our No-Knead Buttermilk Bread. It brings tang to our favorite salad dressings, like our Herbed Buttermilk Ranch. It adds richness to plenty of savory dishes, like our Buttermilk Alfredo Chicken Spinach Pasta. Is there anything that buttermilk can't do?

Just hearing the word buttermilk makes you think rich and delicious, and these recipes show you why that thought is correct. From fluffy waffles to biscuits, these buttermilk recipes highlight how many ways the staple can be used to add depth and flavor to a range of dishes. From the decadent Classic Southern Buttermilk Pie to the zest and spice of Korean Buttermilk Chicken Kabobs, these recipes prove that while buttermilk is a Southern kitchen staple, it can add robust flavor to a variety of meals. So grab a quart and see how these buttermilk recipes can liven up your menu and add delight to your table. As an added bonus, you can even learn how to make buttermilk yourself.

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Fluffy Buttermilk Waffles

Fluffy Buttermilk Waffles
Alison Miksch

Recipe: Fluffy Buttermilk Waffles

These are too delicious to save for breakfast. One bite and you'll be a believer, too.

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Classic Southern Buttermilk Pie

Classic Buttermilk Pie
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Classic Southern Buttermilk Pie

Silky, sweet, and perfectly decadent—this one is going to have you going in for seconds.

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Pork Chops with Dijon-Buttermilk Sauce

Pork Chops with Dijon-Buttermilk Sauce
Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Christina Daley

Recipe: Pork Chops with Dijon-Buttermilk Sauce


A flavorful pan sauce with buttermilk helps keep bone-in pork chops from drying out while cooking

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Oven-Baked Buttermilk French Toast

Oven-Baked Buttermilk French Toast
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Oven-Baked Buttermilk French Toast

Cooking French toast in a casserole dish is the best way to serve a crowd.

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Buttermilk Cornbread

buttermilk cornbread
Photographer: Isaac Nunn, Prop Stylist: Julia Bayless, Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn

Recipe: Buttermilk Cornbread

Hear us out: Brown sugar is a great compromise to the much debated sugar or no sugar debate.

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Buttermilk Chicken Tenders with Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans

Buttermilk Chicken Tenders with Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans
Greg DuPree

Recipe: Buttermilk Chicken Tenders with Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans

Homemade chicken tenders will be extra tender (and better than takeout) if you marinate them in buttermilk.

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Mini Triple-Chocolate Buttermilk Pound Cakes

Mini Triple-Chocolate Buttermilk Pound Cakes
Alison Miksch

Recipe: Mini Triple-Chocolate Buttermilk Pound Cakes

You'll hardly be able to bake these little gems before they're devoured.

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No-Knead Buttermilk Bread

No-Knead Buttermilk Bread
Greg Dupree; Prop Styling: Cindy Barr; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe: No-Knead Buttermilk Bread

Your Dutch oven will allow this bread to come together with no kneading required.

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Beef Flautas with Buttermilk-Avocado Crema

Beef Flautas with Buttermilk-Avocado Crema
Stephen DeVries

Recipe: Beef Flautas with Buttermilk-Avocado Crema

Having a dipping sauce is essential when serving flautas. This creamy sauce is a mix of avocado, sour cream, buttermilk, and lime juice.

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Buttermilk Frosting

Buttermilk Frosting
Lee Harrelson; Styling: Jan Gautro

Recipe: Buttermilk Frosting

Homemade buttermilk frosting is easy to make and requires just four ingredients.

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Chocolate-Buttermilk Pudding

Chocolate-Buttermilk Pudding
Photo: Alison Miksch

Recipe: Chocolate-Buttermilk Pudding

This is the perfect chocolately treat. Top with a dollop of buttermilk cream and a sprig of mint for the ultimate dish.

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Buttermilk-Soaked, Bacon-Fried Chicken in Gravy

Buttermilk-Soaked, Bacon-Fried Chicken in Gravy
John Lee

Recipe: Buttermilk-Soaked, Bacon-Fried Chicken in Gravy

It doesn't get much more Southern than fried chicken that's marinated in a hot sauce and buttermilk marinade. Plus, it's covered in gravy and bacon before serving.

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Buttermilk Biscuits

Plenty of Biscuits and Cornbread
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Buttermilk Biscuits

This versatile biscuit recipe only takes five ingredients to make.

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Glazed Buttermilk Donut Cake

Glazed Buttermilk Donut Cake
Caitlin Bensel, Food Styling: Margaret Dickey, Prop Styling: Kay E Clarke

Recipe: Glazed Buttermilk Donut Cake

Buttermilk balances out the sweetness of this donut cake that can be served for brunch or dessert.

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Grilled Wedge Salad with Buttermilk-Blue Cheese Dressing

Grilled Wedge Salad with Buttermilk-Blue Cheese Dressing
Greg Dupree; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch; Food Styling: Anna Hampton

Recipe: Grilled Wedge Salad with Buttermilk-Blue Cheese Dressing

Buttermilk-Blue Cheese Dressing is rich, creamy, and the ideal finish for grilled wedge salads.

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Buttermilk Alfredo Chicken Spinach Pasta

Buttermilk Alfredo Pasta with Chicken and Spinach
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Buttermilk Alfredo Chicken Spinach Pasta

Instead of heavy cream, we use buttermilk to give homemade Alfredo sauce a creamy finish.

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Buttermilk Pound Cake

Buttermilk Pound Cake
Southern Living

Recipe: Buttermilk Pound Cake

Buttermilk Custard Sauce is just the finishing touch this buttermilk pound cake needs.

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Air Fryer Buttermilk Chicken Tenders

Air Fryer Buttermilk Chicken Tenders
Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Air Fryer Buttermilk Chicken Tenders

Using this recipe for air frying chicken tenders will ensure that they're crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.

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Buttermilk Spoon Bread

Buttermilk Spoon Bread
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Buttermilk Spoon Bread

Think of this dish as a savory pudding and versatile side dish that can complete any holiday meal.

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Triple-Chocolate Buttermilk Pound Cake

Triple-Chocolate Buttermilk Pound Cake
Alison Miksch

Recipe: Triple-Chocolate Buttermilk Pound Cake

We took the traditional pound cake recipe and raised it a stunning, triple-chocolate twist. This cake means business. A duo of glazes—one creamy chocolate, the other subtle buttermilk—comes together atop this dreamy confection.

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Buttermilk Drop Biscuits

Buttery Chive-and-Mustard Drop Biscuits
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Cindy Barr; Food Styling: Tina Bell Stamos

Recipe: Buttermilk Drop Biscuits

Whole grain mustard and chives upgrade drop biscuits to ensure there's flavor in every bite.

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Buttermilk-Pecan Pralines

Buttermilk-Pecan Pralines
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Christine Keely; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer

Recipe: Buttermilk-Pecan Pralines

Using paper baking cups will help give every praline the ideal shape. You can remove them from the cups once the candy has set.

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Classic Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

Rustic Mashed Red Potatoes with Parmesan
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch Stelling; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Classic Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

If needed, these creamy mashed potatoes can be made a day ahead of serving.

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Buttermilk-Chocolate Cake

Buttermilk-Chocolate Cake
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas: Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Buttermilk-Chocolate Cake

This recipe uses cake flour and buttermilk for a light, tender finish.

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Gingery Carrots with Pistachios and Coconut-Buttermilk Sauce

Gingery Carrots with Pistachios and Coconut-Buttermilk Sauce
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Torie Cox; Prop Styling: Missie Neville Crawford

Recipe: Gingery Carrots with Pistachios and Coconut-Buttermilk Sauce

Chef Cheetie Kumar serves her tangy Coconut-Buttermilk Sauce over ginger carrots, but it would be delicious over any roasted vegetables.

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Parsnip-Buttermilk Tart

Parsnip-Buttermilk Tart with Spice Apple Butter
Peter Frank Edwards; Prop Styling: Kendra Surface; Food Styling: Anna Hampton

Recipe: Parsnip-Buttermilk Tart

Parsnips are given a sweet finish in this three-layer tart that starts with a homemade graham cracker crust and is finished with Pan-Roasted Apples.

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Black Walnut-Buttermilk Pie with Hibiscus-Cranberry Relish

Black Walnut-Buttermilk Pie with Hibiscus-Cranberry Relish
Johnny Autry; Food Styling: Keia Mastrianni; Prop Styling: Charlotte L. Autry

Recipe: Black Walnut-Buttermilk Pie with Hibiscus-Cranberry Relish

Give traditional buttermilk pie an extra punch of flavor with a seasonal Hibiscus-Cranberry Relish.

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Buttermilk-Fried Nashville Hot Fish Sandwich

Buttermilk-Fried Nashville Hot Fish Sandwich
Stephen DeVries; Prop Styling: Thom Driver; Food Styling: Mary Claire Britton

Recipe: Buttermilk-Fried Nashville Hot Fish Sandwich

This halibut sandwich was given Nashville's spiciest finish.

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Buttermilk-Peach Popsicles

Buttermilk-Peach Popsicles
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Buttermilk-Peach Popsicles

Make the most of fresh peaches with this five-ingredient popsicle recipe.

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BBQ in a Blanket with Buttermilk-Ranch Sauce

BBQ in a Blanket with Buttermilk-Ranch Sauce
Hector Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Recipe: BBQ in a Blanket with Buttermilk-Ranch Sauce

Assemble an easy and delicious lunch with pulled pork, refrigerated biscuits, and your favorite barbecue sauce.

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Buttermilk Chicken and Waffles

Buttermilk Chicken and Waffles
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Buttermilk Chicken and Waffles

Keep waffles warm in a 200° oven up to 30 minutes before assembling.

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Cucumber-Buttermilk Soup

Cucumber-Buttermilk Soup
Johnny Autry; Prop and Food Styling: Charlotte L. Autry

Recipe: Cucumber-Buttermilk Soup

Chilled soups are so refreshing during spring and summer months, especially when made with fresh cucumbers.

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Carrot-Pineapple Mini Bundt Cakes with Buttermilk-Vanilla Glaze

Carrot-Pineapple Mini Bundt Cakes with Buttermilk-Vanilla Glaze
Cedric Angeles; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Carrot-Pineapple Mini Bundt Cakes with Buttermilk-Vanilla Glaze

You'll find buttermilk in both the cake and the glaze of this carrot cake recipe.

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Slow-Cooker Buttermilk Grits

Slow-Cooker Buttermilk Grits
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling; Heather Chadduck Hillegas; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Slow-Cooker Buttermilk Grits

Grits made in the slow cooker are great to keep on hand for busy weekday mornings, or make a simple base for a fun weekend grits bar.

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Buttermilk-Ricotta Cheese Dip

Buttermilk-Ricotta Cheese Dip
Photo: Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Buttermilk-Ricotta Cheese Dip

If you've never tried homemade ricotta, then you're in for a tasty surprise. This will change the way you think about the store-bought kind.

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Buttermilk-Glazed Mini Fig Cakes with Vanilla Hard Sauce

Buttermilk-Glazed Mini Fig Cakes with Vanilla Hard Sauce
Photo: Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Buttermilk-Glazed Mini Fig Cakes with Vanilla Hard Sauce

Muffin pans make the perfect baking vessels for these little fig cakes.

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Buttermilk-and-Honey Chicken Kabobs

Buttermilk-and-Honey Chicken Kabobs
Photo: Jim Franco

Recipe: Buttermilk-and-Honey Chicken Kabobs

A buttermilk marinade ensures tender meat and juicy flavor. The kabobs are delicious on their own, but even better with Toasted Pecan Pesto or Romesco Sauce.

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Orzo Salad with Spicy Buttermilk Dressing

Orzo Salad with Spicy Buttermilk Dressing
Johnny Autry

Recipe: Orzo Salad with Spicy Buttermilk Dressing

The recipe is easy to double, and you'll have most of the ingredients in your pantry, so it's the perfect solution for a last-minute party or potluck.

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Herbed Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Herbed Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
Alison Miksch

Recipe: Herbed Buttermilk Ranch
Recipe: Lemony Ranch
Recipe: Blue Cheese Ranch
Recipe: Avocado Ranch

Master the main recipe for Herbed Buttermilk Ranch Dressing, then try one (or all) of the riffs for delicious flavors that will dazzle your greens.

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