How to Reconstitute Evaporated Milk

Running low on fat-free milk? No sweat. You can just reconstitute evaporated milk! Here's how to make the simple swap.

It’s happened to the best of us. We get halfway through a recipe only to realize—oh no—there’s no more milk in the fridge. Luckily, there’s an easy trick that doesn’t require a trip to the store. If you have a can of evaporated milk on hand, learn to reconstitute it!

By the way, do you know the difference between evaporated and condensed milks?

Can You Reconstitute Evaporated Milk?

Generally, yes. In a pinch, most recipes calling for fat-free milk can be adapted to use fat-free evaporated milk—but it’s not a 1:1 substitution. Evaporated milk is made when milk is heated and condensed to about half of its original volume. So, to reconstitute it, you’ll need to add that lost water back.

You’ll also want to consider your recipe. Evaporated milk has a light caramel color and a slightly sweet flavor, so make sure you’re using it in a dish where these factors won’t detract from the food’s final appearance and taste. We recommend using reconstituted milk in baked goods, meat loaves, soups, gravies and sauces—but not in your morning bowl of cereal.

How to Reconstitute Evaporated Milk

To reconstitute evaporated milk, combine equal amounts of milk and water. If, for example, a recipe calls for 1 cup fat-free milk, you’ll need to combine 1/2 cup evaporated fat-free milk and 1/2 cup water. Mix the liquids thoroughly, then add to your recipe as directed.

Treat any leftovers as you would fresh milk—store them in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Or, use up the can in one of these tasty evaporated milk recipes.