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5 Easy Buttermilk Substitutes

Karen Frazier
Adding milk to bowl of flour

Buttermilk has many uses in recipes. In baking, its acidity adds tang and tenderness. In fried chicken, it can add lots of flavor and a tender, light crust. But what happens if you have dietary restrictions that exclude buttermilk, or you don't have any available? Fortunately, there are a number of acceptable buttermilk substitutes.

Make a Basic Buttermilk Substitute

The most common substitute for buttermilk is something you can make with ingredients you have in your kitchen right now.

Ingredients

  • Just under 1 cup of whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice

Instructions

  1. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the ingredients.
  2. Allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  3. Use as a 1:1 substitute for buttermilk.

Use Sour Cream in Place of Buttermilk

Sour cream has many properties similar to buttermilk; the biggest issue is it's too thick. The trick, then, is to thin the sour cream with a little milk to achieve a consistency similar to buttermilk.

Ingredients

  • Slightly less than 1 cup of sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and sour cream.
  2. Use as a 1:1 substitute for buttermilk.

Use Plain Yogurt and Greek Yogurt to Replace Buttermilk

With yogurt and Greek yogurt, you don't need to do anything other than use plain yogurt or Greek yogurt as a 1:1 substitute for buttermilk in recipes.

Make Vegan Buttermilk Substitute With Almond or Soymilk

To make a vegan buttermilk substitute, you can use almond milk or soymilk.

Ingredients

  • Just under 1 cup of plain, unsweetened almond milk or soymilk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the almond or soymilk and the lemon juice or vinegar. Whisk.
  2. Allow to rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  3. Use as a 1:1 substitute for buttermilk.

Low-Carb, Dairy-Free Buttermilk Substitute

If you're eating a low-carb, paleo, keto, and/or dairy-free diet, then you can use this buttermilk substitute.

Ingredients

  • Just under 1 cup of full-fat coconut milk (from a can)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. In a glass measuring cup, combine the coconut milk and vinegar or lemon juice.
  2. Whisk to combine well. Allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  3. Use as a 1:1 replacement for buttermilk in recipes.

Recipes to Use Buttermilk Substitutes

Consider using these buttermilk substitutes in the following recipes.

Buttermilk Substitutes for Everyone!

If you need a buttermilk substitute, there's a buttermilk substitute for just about any need or dietary restriction. Whether you simply don't have buttermilk available and don't feel like running to the store, or you have a dietary restriction such as a dairy allergy or special diet, try one of these buttermilk substitutes, and your recipe will turn out just right.

5 Easy Buttermilk Substitutes