Healthy Buttermilk Recipes

Find healthy, delicious buttermilk recipes from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Carrot Cake

Rating: Unrated
14
Carrots give carrot cake a health-halo effect--people think it's health food, but it's usually very high in fat and calories. But our version has about 40 percent less calories and 50 percent less fat than most. First, we use less oil in our batter. Then we skip the butter in the frosting (don't worry, it's still light and smooth). To ensure the cake is moist, we add nonfat buttermilk and crushed pineapple.

Cornbread-Topped Chili Casserole

Rating: Unrated
4
In this healthy casserole recipe--sometimes called tamale pie--the cornbread gets crusty at the edges, thanks to a cast-iron skillet. For the best texture, use yellow cornmeal with a medium grind. Serve with lime wedges for a little extra tang.

Banana-Bran Muffins

Rating: Unrated
36
By the end of the week, any bananas left in the fruit bowl are past their prime--just right for these moist bran muffins. Add a handful of dark chocolate chips to entice children to enjoy a fiber-rich treat.

One-Bowl Chocolate Cake

Rating: Unrated
20
This easy-to-make chocolate cake is dark, moist, rich--and only dirties one bowl! Not quite as easy as boxed cake mixes, but those often contain trans fats. Our simple “from scratch” recipe gives you a home-baked cake with healthful canola oil and whole-wheat flour.

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pies

Rating: Unrated
10
These mini vegetarian shepherd's pies feature lentils, carrot and corn, crowned with a velvety mashed potato topping. The recipe can also be made in a broiler-safe casserole dish. Serve with a spinach salad with oranges, walnuts and red-wine vinaigrette.

Southern-Style Oven-Fried Chicken

A blend of dried spices gives the crispy panko coating on these oven-fried chicken thighs plenty of flavor, and marinating the chicken in buttermilk makes it moist and juicy. If you don't have an oven-safe skillet, you can roast the chicken in a baking dish in Step 5. Serve with your favorite vegetables (bake them alongside the chicken to make it easy) for a healthy comfort food dinner that requires just 20 minutes of active prep time.

Slow-Cooker Pinto Bean Stew with Jalapeno-Corn Dumplings

Rating: Unrated
8
This healthy slow-cooker pinto bean stew recipe is bursting with veggies--onion, bell pepper, celery and corn--and topped with crunchy bits of radish and chile- and lime-flecked cornbread dumplings. If you're pressed for time, skip the dumplings and serve this pinto bean stew straight out of the crock pot, topped with crushed tortilla chips and a sprinkling of Monterey Jack cheese. Make sure to soak your dried beans before using them in the slow cooker to ensure even cooking.

Fish Amandine

Rating: Unrated
2
In this quick dinner recipe, fresh tilapia fillets are dipped in a buttermilk-panko coating, sprinkled with almonds and Parmesan, drizzled with melted butter and red pepper and baked until flakey. It may sound complicated, but it takes just 20 minutes from start-to-finish!

Easy Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread

Rating: Unrated
1
This quick soda bread is best eaten the day it's made--try it with butter and jam for extra flavor. Traditional Irish soda bread made with wheat flour requires a very light touch to avoid developing the gluten, which would make the bread tough. However this dough, which is made with gluten-free flour, should be beaten thoroughly. A stand mixer is perfect for the job.

Green Goddess Salad with Chickpeas

Rating: Unrated
2
In this cucumber, tomato, Swiss cheese and chickpea salad recipe, a healthy green goddess dressing is made from avocado, buttermilk and herbs. The extra dressing is delicious served with grilled vegetables.

Panko-Crusted Chicken

This recipe is the perfect way to add some extra flavor to your dinner. Combine this recipe with your favorite vegetables and a serving of whole-grains to make a balanced meal.

Green Goddess Salad with Chicken

In this cucumber, tomato, Swiss and chicken salad recipe, a healthy green goddess dressing is made from avocado, buttermilk and herbs. Any extra dressing is delicious served over grilled chicken or flaky white fish, such as cod or flounder.

Inspiration and Ideas

21 Healthy Chicken Recipes That Use Buttermilk for Extra Flavor and Richness

Make your chicken even more delicious with the addition of buttermilk. Buttermilk is a fermented dairy product that’s often used as a marinade for fried chicken. You can also use buttermilk as a salad dressing to add a tangy flavor. However you incorporate it, recipes like Chopped Salad with Chicken & Avocado-Buttermilk Dressing and Southern-Style Oven-Fried Chicken are flavorful and satisfying.

Air-Fryer Hush Puppies

These crispy and golden hush puppies, studded with bits of onion and jalapeño, get a healthy makeover by skipping the deep fryer. The air fryer delivers on the classic crispy crust while using just a fraction of the oil from the classic version.

Skillet Beef Potpie with Buttermilk Biscuits

Rating: Unrated
1

Using an oven-safe skillet (like cast iron) allows you to take this healthy homemade potpie from stovetop to oven without dirtying extra pans. A quick drop-biscuit topping made with white whole-wheat flour adds 2g fiber per serving and cuts the sodium in half compared to using refrigerated biscuit dough.