Can you use buttermilk instead of heavy cream in pasta? 

Heavy cream should not be a barrier for you to enjoy creamy pasta when you have buttermilk instead. However, can you use buttermilk instead of heavy cream in pasta for real? 

First, it is vital to understand the difference between the two in terms of cooking recipes. Heavy cream has a high-fat content and may easily be whipped. However, buttermilk has a low percentage of fat and cannot be whipped like traditional butter.

I recommend that you read my article on how long is pasta good for in the fridge

In simple and concise words, buttermilk cannot be whipped like heavy cream, but it turns out to be lighter and fluffier than heavy cream. And so, does this satisfy your curiosity? Not really.

Creamy pastas need that volume, which you get with heavy cream. However, you don’t get that with just buttermilk. Buttermilk and baking soda can turn the tables here. The combination of buttermilk and baking soda is slightly acidic instead of completely acidic. How? 

Buttermilk is sour, representing its acidic nature. In addition to baking soda, the acid in the buttermilk becomes a little basic, like cream. The pH of buttermilk is around 4.8, while the pH of heavy cream is over 7. Therefore, you need to add baking soda and make buttermilk a little less acidic to use in pasta. 

Now the new question arises: “How can you use buttermilk in pasta?” With two options of baking soda and baking powder, if you have soda, add ¼ tablespoon of it to each cup of buttermilk. Moreover, if you have baking powder available instead of baking soda, use ⅓ tablespoon of it for the same. 

Note that the baking soda or powder should be used in the given quantities. After adding baking soda or baking powder to buttermilk according to the quantity, leave it for 10 minutes to attain the consistency of heavy cream. 

After a while, you can finally use buttermilk as a pasta sauce. If the texture and taste turn out to be nice for you, we suggest choosing buttermilk over heavy cream the next time. 

Is using buttermilk healthier than cream? Buttermilk and cream are both made with milk. Nonetheless, both have nutritional properties. For example, buttermilk has 69% fewer calories than cream. 

On the other hand, heavy cream has a 30%–40% fat content, which is much more than the fat content in buttermilk. Even with so much nutritional value, buttermilk has its own set of pros and cons. 

On the list of pros, buttermilk is a great addition to your diet if you have blood pressure or hypertension issues. The potassium levels help patients with high blood pressure. Meanwhile, those with a weak immune system should also think about adding sour milk to their diet. 

It’s a wonder how buttermilk can be bad for you. Well, it can be if you are lactose intolerant. Because buttermilk is also a milk-based product, it contains lactose, resulting in it being on the “things to avoid” list for lactose intolerants. Moreover, it’s also not a very good choice for someone with kidney-related problems because of the high sodium content it has. 

In pasta’s case, buttermilk turned out to be a great substitute for the thicker cream because it didn’t have to be whipped. However, buttermilk cannot be substituted for thick cream all the time. 

For example, buttermilk cannot be used for cakes and pastries that require whipped heavy cream for icing. Remember, both of them have their individual uses and properties.

Different recipes have different substitutes. We learned the same thing with the pastry icing example. So, before ever swapping anything, make sure you check to see if it works or not. 

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Aron Blake

I am the lead copywriter on Homezesty and the Webmaster. I have a lot of experience in home renovations and the creation of style. I enjoy writing and sharing my tips on how to create the best living environment. My Linkedin Profile, My Twitter Account

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