22 Simple Sourdough Discard Recipes That Empty Your Jar

When I started making sourdough in 2013, a little bit before I started writing this blog, I knew I’d have to find uses for the discard left over from feeding the new member of our family, my sourdough starter, Eleanor. I couldn’t simply waste all that flour and water! Since then, I’ve come up with many recipes for the discard. Even if you never bake the bread, you may want to keep a sourdough starter on hand just for these 18 recipes.

Multigrain Sourdough Discard Bread

multigrain sourdough discard bread sliced on a wooden cutting board, surrounded by the various seeds that go into it

This recipe helps clear out random seeds from your pantry—sunflower, flax, poppy, hemp, caraway—while putting a 1½ cup-size dent in your sourdough discard jar.


Scrappy Focaccia

Just before baking, if desired, top your prepared dough with little bits of produce on hand to reduce wasted food. This sourdough discard focaccia won’t go uneaten!



These crackers taste cheesy but contain no cheese. Make the dough in advance, refrigerate it for up to five days and bake crackers when you crave them.


Soft pretzels

soft pretzels
Soft sourdough pretzels

For this recipe, I sourdoughized this soft pretzel recipe that my daughter Charlotte makes. Like Charlotte’s recipe, this one calls for some active dry yeast. The discard doesn’t have enough life in it to make dough rise, but it has loads of flavor.



sourdough discard pancakes bubbling on a cast-iron skillet
Flip when the pancake becomes filled with bubbles

Since the birth of my starter Eleanor, I doubt a week has gone by during which I haven’t made these at least once. During Covid, I’ve eaten more than usual. Last year when I found myself stranded at my mom’s in Canada at the beginning of lockdowns, I cooked—and ate—stacks and stacks of these pancakes (I always travel with my starter).


Vegan pancakes

5-ingredient vegan sourdough pancakes

Fortunately, just before lockdowns last year, I had come up with a vegan version of my popular pancakes. I had no idea at the time that sourdough was about to explode (not literally, but that can happen also).


Overnight waffles

sourdough waffles
Sourdough waffles

Start the sponge in the morning for these and enjoy breakfast for dinner. They are crispy on the outside, soft-and-fluffy on in the inside. You can use the batter to make pancakes as well, if desired.



These flakey, scrumptious sourdough biscuits are one of the easiest recipes you can make with sourdough discard and they call for an entire cup.


Vegetable fritters

These fritters make a nice side dish for dinner or a tasty breakfast that uses up random vegetables. Their portability also makes them good for packing in lunches.


Vegan chocolate cake

Last year during the first lockdown, I needed chocolate. I had lots of sourdough discard at my mom’s but few other ingredients so I came up with this cake—a sourdoughized version of Depression era wacky cake.

Since I first posted this, loads of people have tagged me on Instagram with all kinds of variations of it—with sour cherries or nuts or orange liqueur or coconut… Lately I’ve been making it with unsalted broth left over from cooking black beans, a quarter cup of chocolate chips and a tablespoon of fresh orange zest.


Vegan carrot cake

frosting a sourdough carrot cake in the pan with coconut buttercream frosting
Sourdough discard carrot cake with coconut buttercream frosting

When we ran out of cocoa at my mom’s, I made a carrot version of the chocolate cake.


Vegan pumpkin (or squash) ginger cake

Thanksgiving. More lockdowns. More cake. This dessert will satisfy your vegan guest’s sweet tooth (or anyone’s for that matter).


Pumpkin-spice muffins

Make these with leftover pumpkin or winter squash and ensure two types of food are eaten—vegetables and sourdough discard.


Pumpkin-spice quick bread

This pumpkin (or kabocha squash) quick bread tastes like pumpkin pie in bread form.


Banana quick bread

a loaf of sourdough discard banana bread cooling in a glass pan on a silver rack placed on a white and gray marble background

Mashed bananas, like so many foods, freeze very well, which prevents food from going to landfill where it emits methane gas, a greenhouse gas much more potent than carbon dioxide. So if you see a good deal on brown bananas at the store, grab them, mash them, make this quick bread and freeze the excess mashed bananas to make more banana quick bread later.


Sourdough discard egg replacer

A glass bowl at the top contains a sourdough discard flax egg. The jar on the bottom left contains sourdough discard. The jar on the bottom right contains ground flaxseed meal. All three sit on a pale wooden background.
Sourdough discard flax egg (top), discard (bottom left) and ground flaxseed (bottom right)

This works so well for cookies! To adapt a cookie recipe that calls for flour, replace each egg with a sourdough discard egg and reduce the amount of flour in the recipe by three tablespoons. This works well for chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies, snickerdoodles, sugar cookies and so on.


Peanut butter cookies with a sourdough discard flax egg

A dozen peanut butter cookies made with a sourdough discard flax egg cools in a cooling rack. The rack sits on a white and grey marble background.

The sourdough discard flax egg in action! These contain only a small amount of discard but it all adds up. If desired, let the cookie dough ferment for a short time (four to six hours) on the counter.


Ranger cookies with a sourdough discard flax egg

A stack of 5 ranger cookies with sourdough discard sit in the foreground. In the background is a glass jar filled with the cookies

Ranger cookies are like oatmeal cookies with shredded coconut and dried fruit upgrades. No one can tell I’ve substituted the egg in these. They just ask if they can have some more.


Chocolate chip cookies with a sourdough discard flax egg

Closeup of cooling chocolate chip cookies with sourdough discard flax egg

Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with a sourdough discard flax egg

If you’re more of an oatmeal chocolate chip type.

Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with sourdough discard flax egg cool on a cooling rack set inside a silver cookie sheet

Pita bread

For this recipe, you can make the pita bread dough in advance, store it in the refrigerator and when you crave pitas, tear off a few hunks of dough and quickly make them. I’ve also frozen the dough.



Another excuse to make the cashew cheese

This pizza and the pita bread are the most popular recipe on my blog. Just about everyone likes pizza. My recipe calls for active dry yeast for leavening (my book includes a recipe for sourdough pizza made with a sourdough leaven only). Like the above pita dough, you can refrigerate or freeze the dough and bake later. The pizza blog post also includes a formula for sourdoughizing other recipes.


9 Replies to “22 Simple Sourdough Discard Recipes That Empty Your Jar”

  1. I love these sourdough posts. Are all of these in your new book?

    1. Thank you! Sourdough is my favorite thing to make 🙂

      I have updated versions of the crackers, pancakes and waffles in the book and a recipe for tortillas that isn’t on my blog (you can make the dough ahead for those and then refrigerate it). I came up with the cakes, pizza and pitas after I sent in my manuscript. Maybe the next book 😉 Those discard recipes are in addition to new sourdough recipes: sticky buns, pizza (not with discard, just all leaven), graham crackers and brownies. And if you have preordered the book, I have a bonus recipe download of six recipes not in the book or on the blog. One of those is whole wheat bread with discard. You can find out about that bonus bundle here if you like: https://zerowastechef.com/2021/03/09/bonus-recipe-bundle/

      ~ Anne-Marie

      1. OK thanks for the info!

  2. Goldie Goldwasser says: Reply

    Could we have the recipe for the crackers please?

    1. Thank you Dorothy!
      ~ Anne-Marie

  3. so useful, thank you.

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