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Lactose-Free Buttermilk Recipe


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DIY Lactose-Free “Buttermilk” for Low FODMAP Cooking

Recipe calling for buttermilk? Eating lactose-free and need an alternative? This is it. Commercial buttermilk is lower in lactose than regular cow’s milk and you could try it if you do okay with a little bit of lactose, but for lactose-free here is a simple solution.

making buttermilk

Faux Version

This is not classic buttermilk. You can read more about that in our Explore an Ingredient explaining Lactose-Free “Buttermilk”. This is a quick and easy soured milk that will work very well in recipes calling for buttermilk.

This recipe should be made right before you need it and can be halved, double or tripled with ease.

Lemon Juice or Vinegar?

As you will soon see, what you are going to do here is take lactose-free milk (I prefer whole milk) and then add a souring factor. I like to use lemon juice, but you can use vinegar, in which case use apple cider or rice wine vinegar.

You could try white vinegar but note that it has not been tested for FODMAPs.

closeup buttermilk

If you are leaning towards vinegar because you always have it around and lemon juice is scarce in your house, I recommend checking out Minute Maid 100% Pure Frozen Lemon Juice, available in the U.S. This product is the freshest tasting commercially available lemon juice and has quite a following among food folks.

With a bottle of this in the fridge and the freezer you will never be out of lemon juice! Trust me. Minute Maid stopped making it for a while and a bunch of us recipe developers were going a bit crazy and practically had to form a bereavement support group.

It is one of those freezer products that the Test Kitchen is never without and you will find many uses for it, too.

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Lactose-Free “Buttermilk” Recipe

"Buttermilk" can be low FODMAP if you follow our easy recipe.

Low FODMAP Serving Size Info: Makes 1 cup (240 ml); low FODMAP serving size can be up to 1 cup (240 ml), but we usually use it as a component.

Makes: 8 Servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Author: Dédé Wilson


  • 1 scant cup (230 ml) lactose-free whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, apple cider or rice wine vinegar


  1. Measure out milk in a liquid measuring cup and add lemon juice or vinegar and allow to sit for 5 minutes or until mixture has thickened.

  2. Use in recipe immediately.



  • If your recipe specifically calls for low fat or fat free buttermilk, you can use the corresponding lactose-free milk in lieu of the whole milk.
Course: Basic
Cuisine: American


Calories: 19kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin C: 0.7mg

All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more. For a more detailed explanation, please read our article Understanding The Nutrition Panel Within Our Recipes.