Recipes That Use a Lot of Milk

Don’t fear looming expiration dates — here's how to use up milk.

March 31, 2020
Related To:

Food Network Kitchen’s Instant Pot Yogurt

Photo by: Matt Armendariz

Matt Armendariz

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Worried that your milk is nearing its expiration date? You don’t have to chug that whole gallon. Here are some recipes that will help you make the most of all that milk.

First, a cooking tip: Some recipes may call for whole, reduced-fat (2%) or low-fat (1%) milk, but you can generally use them interchangeably. Simply recognize that there may be differing results in texture and flavor. Skim milk is best saved for drinking or adding to cereal or smoothies.

If you’d like to avoid the problem in the future, buy organic. Unopened organic milk has a long shelf life — think 40 to 60 days, compared to 15 to 17 days for non-organic. That's thanks to the shelf-life-extending process of ultrapasteurization. That said, all milk should be used within 10 days of opening.

Now, here are the best recipes that use up extra milk.

Food Network Kitchen's Homemade Whole Milk Ricotta, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Stephen Johnson, 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Channel your Inner Pioneer

Roll up your sleeves and take on a project that uses lots of milk.

If you're sitting on gallons of milk that are tip-toeing towards an expiration date, consider making homemade ricotta cheese (pictured). This recipe uses a whopping 7 cups of milk. No cheesecloth for straining? You can sub in a clean kitchen towel. Spread your ricotta on toast and top with berries and granola or toasted nuts and a drizzle of honey. Or dollop on pasta dishes.

Buttermilk can be hard to find — good thing making it from scratch is super easy. This step-by-step homemade buttermilk guide will walk you through the simple process of culturing milk. Then go crazy and make pancakes, pie, biscuits and an herb dressing — or pour a glug into a smoothie.

Making yogurt is easier than you think and a resourceful way to use up milk. This recipe doesn't require any special equipment — just time and patience. Or use your Instant Pot (pictured up top) and make tangy yogurt right on the countertop.

Photo by: Brian Kennedy ©(C) 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Brian Kennedy , (C) 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Stay Sweet

These treats use a respectable amount of milk.

Homemade pudding will make a dent in your milk reserves: Try traditional vanilla (pictured) and eat it plain or top with fruit, jam or crushed cookies. Make chocolate lovers happy with a milky version or get creative and try cereal milk pudding.

Upgrade a cold glass of milk and make milkshakes: There are 50 flavors to choose from — everything from toasted marshmallow to lemon meringue. Or make fruit-flavored milk as a healthy snack.

Get cozy with perfect hot cocoa — this recipe uses an entire quart of milk.

Go Savory

White Baked Ziti

Photo by: Teri Lyn Fisher

Teri Lyn Fisher

Make milk the star of dinner.

Bechamel is a creamy, versatile sauce. This recipe doubles easily: Pour it over steamed or roasted vegetables. Turn it into mac and cheese with a few handfuls of shredded Cheddar or add chopped herbs or a little tomato sauce to complete a pasta dinner.

Bake a creamy version of baked ziti (pictured) and use 1 quart of milk.

For an out-of-the-box meal try this roast pork recipe that uses an ample amount of milk for the sauce.

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