Tasty Ways to Use Up That Honey In Your Pantry

These chef-approved tips on how to use honey prove that the sticky liquid shouldn't just be drizzled in tea or on toast.

Honey on soft cheese
Photo: Verdina Anna/Getty

Flowery and rich yet mild enough to be extremely versatile — that's the allure of honey, and why Emma Bengtsson, the executive chef of Aquavit in New York, is a fan of coming up with modern, creative ways to use it in her cooking.

"Honey has an incredibly balanced flavor that bridges together almost any ingredients that might not otherwise pair well," she says. "I also love how it brings a luxurious smooth texture to sauces and its ability to give meat and fish a deep caramelized taste."

Not to mention, it's packed with health benefits. "Honey has anti-inflammatory properties and is rich in antioxidants, thanks to key flavonoid compounds," says Maya Feller, R.D.N., a Shape Brain Trust member. "It's also a source of vitamins and minerals."

To get the flavor and health perks, try out Bengtsson's sweet ideas on how to use honey below.

How to Use Honey — Besides Adding It to Tea

Add Heat to Sweet

"Pairing chiles with honey calms the fire," says Bengtsson. "I love to char chiles over a flame or on the grill, then peel and remove seeds, chop, and add to honey. Mix it with oil and vinegar, and drizzle over a salad of bitter greens — or anything, really — for a unique flavor twist."

Gloss Your Veggies

This unique take on how to use honey turns veggies into rich, intensely flavored treats. Roast carrots or your favorite vegetable in a pan with 1 or 2 tablespoons butter. Halfway through cooking, add a splash of water and a drizzle of honey. "Let the liquid cook off. What's left is a beautiful glaze," says Bengtsson.

Go with the Comb

"Honeycomb is mild and adds an unusual texture that enhances savory foods," says Bengtsson. "I like to break it apart and eat with a soft cheese. The sensation is melty, creamy, and chewy." Ugh, yes, please.

Give Meat and Fish a Crisp Coating

"Honey creates a really nice caramelized crust that adds intensity," says Bengtsson. Brush fish with honey, then sear in a pan. When baking chicken, coat the meat before putting it in the oven, and baste during cooking. (Seriously, you'll want to make this honey salmon recipe every single night.)

Amp Up Ice Cream

When you're thinking about how to use honey, creating a snazzy ice cream sundae probably doesn't come to mind. But promise, you need this hack in your life. Boil 1 cup not-fancy balsamic vinegar with a 1/2 cup honey until it gets thick and reduces by half. "It'll get fudgy with a sweet-tartness that's amazing on a scoop of vanilla," says Bengtsson. "Top with some sea salt."

Swirl Into Sauce

This creative take on how to use honey will add a punch of flavor to any dish. Combine 2 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 7 1/2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard, 6 dill sprigs, juice of 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon brewed espresso, and salt with 1 1/4 cups oil. This surprising ingredient combo is a go-to for Bengtsson: "The decadent emulsion of sweet, earthy, and bitter works on so many dishes, especially seafood."

Make Your Own Infused Honey

Add herbs to a jar filled with honey and let the flavors meld. "It becomes a grassy-candied blend that brings cheese or potatoes to life," says Bengtsson.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles