Uses for Leftover Evaporated Milk

Don't Let a Partial Can of Evaporated Milk Go To Waste

Evaporated Milk. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Often, a recipe calls for evaporated milk, but it doesn't call for a full can. If you are left wondering what to do with the leftovers, prepare to be amazed by the possibilities. Evaporated milk is an incredibly versatile product. Here are some ideas to help you finish off that can:

Nine Uses for Leftover Evaporated Milk

  1. Use it in place of the milk, cream or half and half in recipes. It works especially well in mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese and cream soups. Evaporated milk is cheaper than heavy cream and half and half, and it's lower in fat, too. (Heavy cream is 36% fat. Evaporated milk is as little as 6.5%.) And evaporated milk can take the heat, too. Many dairy products curdle at high temperatures, but evaporated milk won't. Just know that evaporated milk may not be the best stand-in for heavy cream if the recipe calls for whipping it.
  1. Add evaporated milk to coffee, tea or hot chocolate for a special treat. It'll lend a creamy richness to your favorite drink, without adding a bunch of fat. It's traditionally used for this purpose in Mexico and Asia.
  2. Use it in place of the water called for in bread recipes to boost the nutritional value. Try: Hot Cross Buns
  3. Reconstitute it (by adding enough water to double the volume). Then, use it like regular milk. Evaporated milk is just milk with 60% of the water removed. It probably won't taste as good to you as a fresh glass of milk, so consider using it as an ingredient, rather than as a stand-alone.
  4. Mix it with eggs to create your dipping liquid for breading meat and fish.
  5. Make pumpkin pie, fudge, Tres Leches or another dessert that calls for evaporated milk. 
  6. Whip it, and use it as a substitute for whipping cream. Since it has a much lower fat content, it won't whip as readily. To get around this, place the evaporated milk in the freezer for at least 30 minutes (along with the beaters that you plan to use). Then, beat at high speed until it turns stiff. Flavor it with sugar and vanilla just as you would regular whipping cream. It won't hold its shape for very long, so use it right away.
  1. Make salad dressing or an egg-free dressing for coleslaw, pasta salad and potato salad. When you combine cold or room temperature evaporated milk with an acid like lemon or vinegar, it thickens. Just don't add it to an acidic dish that you'll be heating -- the evaporated milk will curdle.
  2. Whip up a basic white sauce to thicken sauces and soups.

    How Long is Evaporated Milk Good For?

    According to Carnation, evaporated milk will keep for up to five days in the refrigerator. Before you place your leftover evaporated milk in the fridge, transfer it to another container with a tight-fitting lid. This will prevent a skin from forming on the milk.

    Make Your Own Evaporated Milk

    Want to avoid leftovers in the future? Learn how to make your own evaporated milk , so you can make just what you need. It's really easy to do.