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18 Ways to Use Whey, a By-Product of Greek Yogurt

If you like to strain regular yogurt (homemade or store-bought) to make Greek yogurt, you may be asking yourself what to do with all that whey. Check out these ideas for 18 Ways to Use Whey, a By-Product of Greek Yogurt. #1 and #17 are my personal favorites.

18 Ways to Use Whey--a By-Product of Greek Yogurt - Whey in a Mason Jar
Whey is the yellowish liquid strained from regular yogurt to make Greek or Icelandic yogurt.

My Whey Story

Recently, I made some punch for a party resulting in leftover lemonade. I offered my husband a glass, which he gladly accepted.

Sometime later, he went searching for more lemonade. After a quick survey of the fridge, he spotted a lemonade look-alike in a quart-size mason jar and unwittingly poured himself a big glass of whey-on-the-rocks. Unfortunately, I missed the show, but I understand he couldn’t get to the sink fast enough.

Do you feel like this?

In telling the story, he claimed it was the vilest stuff he had ever tasted. Of course, I promptly informed him it was supposed to be healthy.  He was unimpressed.

yogurt with whey gathered at the top near the pour spout
Notice the whey gathered at the pour spout.

Up until now, I felt the same way about whey. Consequently, I threw it out. But hey! I’m not the only whey-waster. The majority of you who participated in my survey on Facebook said the same thing.

Inspiration–Thanks to You

In preparation for writing this article, I browsed through the comment section of my post about making Greek yogurt at home. Y’all gave me some great ideas. It will take me a while to try all of them.

 I’m not endorsing or recommending any of these ideas. I’m just putting them out there because one of you said it worked.

How is yogurt whey different from cheese whey?

Acid whey is drained from yogurt or sour cream. Whey drained from cheese-making is referred to as “sweet whey.” This makes a big difference in how you can use it and of course, the taste.

Please note that some of the suggestions in the comments are more appropriate for sweet whey, not acid whey.

showing the process of separating or straining whey from yogurt

18 Ways To Use Whey–a By-Product of Greek Yogurt


Substitute whey for other liquids when baking.

 For instance, it gives bread and pancakes a unique sourdough-ish flavor. I have often used it as the liquid in My Favorite Pizza Dough and this Crusty French Bread. It adds a delicious taste to the crust.


Add whey to protein shakes.


Keep feta cheese fresh.

Submerge your chunk of feta in whey like they often do in Greek delis.


Whey makes excellent sauerkraut, fermented bean dip, beets, etc.

The whey promotes fermentation along with some salt.


Feed whey to outdoor plants.

Reportedly, tomatoes especially need and benefit from the extra calcium. If you have pink hydrangeas, you can reportedly pour whey on the soil around them to turn the blooms blue.


Mix whey and half-and-half with iced tea (or grape juice or orange juice.)

One person called it an “Arnold Palmer without the lemon-aid.”


Make Crème Fraîche.

Creme Fraiche made with yogurt or yogurt whey in a dish with a spreader

Get the extremely simple directions for making crème fraîche here. It’s the most extravagantly rich and slightly tangy condiment you can imagine.


Thin out a batch of homemade hummus or pesto with whey.


Use it for cooking quinoa.


Boil your oatmeal in whey.

Then top with dried Montmorency cherries reconstituted in (you guessed it!) whey.


Make lacto-fermented pickles.

The cookbook Nourishing Traditions explains how to use whey along with a brine.


Make ricotta cheese using whey

toast with ricotta and fresh peaches on top

Try whey instead of the more traditional lemon juice or vinegar. Just so you know, the process will produce even more whey, but at least you won’t have to buy lemons.


Think of whey as transparent buttermilk.

This idea resonated with me, so I started envisioning how I could do this with fried chicken. I marinated my chicken breasts in whey, then rolled them in seasoned flour for some pretty fabulous fried chicken.


Make light, flaky, and tender biscuits using whey as the liquid.

Based on suggestion #1, I recently made the flakiest, lightest, and most tender biscuits with whey.

Check out the recipe for Flaky Cinnamon Biscuits or the Glazed Flaky Biscuits Made with Whey (or Buttermilk)


Many people feed whey to their pets and claim they love it.

Looking for more ideas? Be sure to read the comments. My readers are the best!

Click here to get a FREE printable cheat-sheet for making Greek yogurt when you sign up for my FREE 6-day email course: “How To Make the Yogurt of Your Dreams.

What do you do with whey?

Have you tried something I don’t have listed here? Please share.

In case you don’t know much about making Greek yogurt, you can see the process from beginning to end in the video above.

Like I always say about making homemade yogurt, “Enjoy your science experiment in partnership with God.” Doesn’t it seem like a miracle?

Happy Yogurt-Eating!

What would you like to read next?

If you have a question or problem you need help with, please write it in the comment section below so I can respond back. You can also email me privately: paula at

Thank you for visiting!

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Yogurt -

Thursday 10th of September 2020

[…] The whey can either be tossed or put in a jar or container. There are plenty of ways to use it! Check some out here. […]


Friday 28th of August 2020

Substitute whey for the water when you cook your Thanksgiving cranberries!


Saturday 29th of August 2020

Laura, This is a brilliant idea! Thank you for taking the time to write.

10 Things to Make from Scratch - Family Footprint Project

Wednesday 19th of August 2020

[…] a couple of cups of curds. The remaining liquid, the whey, is essentially waste although there are ways to use it. This was eye opening for me and a reminder that the waste associated with the food we eat isn’t […]


Saturday 18th of July 2020

I've found that if you pour a thin layer of the whey back on top of the Greek yogurt the yogurt keeps much longer!


Saturday 18th of July 2020

Interesting TimM. I've never paid attention to this Time, but it happens naturally with my homemade Greek yogurt.


Monday 1st of June 2020

I've been using whey as the liquid in my sourdough starter.


Monday 1st of June 2020

Thanks, Eileen, I haven't tried that since I don't do sourdough bread (I can't keep up with the starter). But glad to know it works. Thank you for sharing.