With its strong, tangy flavor profile and rich and creamy consistency, Greek yogurt is commonly used as a healthier alternative to regular yogurt. It can also be used to elevate the flavor of sauces, dressings, and baked goods. Greek yogurt is loaded with protein, probiotics, and nutrients, making it a popular favorite health food.
So, what do you do when you run out of this ingredient but are preparing a dish that features it? Here are some of the best Greek yogurt substitutes that’ll help you save the day!
1. Sour Cream
Sour cream has a sharp, tangy flavor that adds an indulgent bite to a dish. It is thick and creamy in texture, very similar to Greek yogurt. The only disadvantage is that sour cream has a higher fat and calorie content, which may not make it an acceptable stand-in for people on a diet.
While sour cream is a tad bit tangier than Greek yogurt, it can be used as an alternative in almost all types of savory dishes, dressings, and sauces without negatively affecting the recipe’s overall taste. Its silky texture renders itself beautifully in dressings, dips, and sauces as well as in baked goods like cakes and brownies.
1 cup Greek yogurt = 1 cup sour cream.
2. Plain Yogurt
Plain yogurt is less expensive and has a milder flavor than Greek yogurt. It is also slightly less tangy and less creamy, but it works well as a substitute in a variety of recipes such as dressings, sauces, marinades, and baked goods without bringing in any difference in taste.
But, remember, plain yogurt has a thinner, more runny consistency compared to Greek yogurt, which may not be suitable for all recipes. To make plain yogurt firmer and thicker, strain it through a cheesecloth to remove excess moisture.
Plain yogurt also has a neutral flavor, so you can add a teaspoon of lemon juice or distilled white vinegar to mimic the sharp flavor profile of Greek yogurt if needed. Just make sure to use plain unsweetened yogurt as added sweeteners can spoil the recipe’s overall flavor.
1 cup Greek yogurt = 1 cup plain yogurt.
3. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese, a nutritional powerhouse, has a mild flavor and rich, chunky texture but does not have the tanginess of Greek yogurt. Its neutral flavor can be a huge plus in many recipes as it allows the complex flavors of other spices and seasonings to take center stage. This high-fat ingredient can be substituted for Greek yogurt in various dishes like pancakes, salads, waffles, cheesecakes, and lasagnas.
When using this versatile ingredient as a substitute, keep in mind that it lacks the acidity of Greek yogurt. So, the overall flavor profile of the recipe may differ slightly from that of the original ingredient. As to the difference in textures, you can easily remedy that by blending or whisking the cottage cheese to achieve a smooth, whipped consistency before adding it to recipes.
1 cup Greek yogurt = 1 cup cottage cheese.
Buttermilk is fermented milk or the liquid that remains after butter has been churned. This creamy dairy product contains an acidic element that can be used to activate baking soda, which helps cakes and breads rise. It is also rich in flavor and imparts a tangy taste to a range of recipes, making it an excellent substitute for Greek yogurt.
Keep in mind that buttermilk is thinner than Greek yogurt, which may produce an over-acidic or weak and watery result. To ensure it doesn’t spoil your dish, start with a small amount and then adjust to taste. You can also make your own buttermilk at home by combining 2-3 teaspoons of lemon juice with a cup of plain milk or cream, then chilling it for a few minutes before using it in your recipe.
1 cup Greek yogurt = 3/4 cup buttermilk.
5. Silken Tofu
Made from soybeans, silken tofu is perfectly creamy and has a mellow flavor, making it one of the best Greek yogurt substitutes, especially for those who follow a dairy-free diet.
Please keep in mind that silken tofu has a neutral flavor and a slightly chunky texture. When using it as a substitute for Greek yogurt, mix it with a few teaspoons of lemon juice to give it a burst of acidity and creamier, pudding-like consistency. You can add it to sauces and dressings to achieve the desired results. If your recipe does not require a tart punch, you can blend the tofu as-is.
1 cup Greek yogurt = 1 cup silken tofu.
Mayonnaise, a classic condiment, is made with eggs, vegetable oil, vinegar or another acid, and may also include olive oil and avocado. It has a rich, creamy texture and a flavor profile that can enhance the appeal of any dish, making it an excellent substitute for Greek yogurt.
Mayonnaise’s flavor and creamy consistency work well in both sweet and savory recipes. It blends so well with the other ingredients that you won’t even notice you used mayo instead of Greek yogurt! Please keep in mind that mayonnaise is slightly thinner than Greek yogurt, so you may need to add a thickener to get the desired texture.
1 cup Greek yogurt = 1 cup mayonnaise.
Avocado, or “nature’s butter” as it is popularly called, has a buttery texture similar to Greek yogurt and a mild, neutral flavor that does not interfere with the flavor of the final recipe. It is also high in healthy fats and nutrients, making it a good substitute for Greek yogurt in sauces, salads, and dressings, as well as in some rich and decadent dessert recipes.
Because avocado has a fairly neutral flavor profile, you can enhance it with other ingredients such as lime or lemon juice to mimic the tartness of Greek yogurt. This vegan, creamy-textured ingredient can also be used in baked goods. However, keep in mind that it will produce slightly less moist and flatter results and may also give the baked goods a slightly green hue.
1 cup Greek yogurt = 1 cup mashed avocado.
8. Mashed Banana
Mashed bananas are a dairy-free alternative to Greek yogurt. They add a burst of sweetness to dishes and can be successfully used in baked goods. Mashed bananas also reduce the amount of butter and oil needed while keeping the dish moist, just like Greek yogurt.
When using bananas as a substitute for Greek yogurt, add a teaspoon or two of lemon juice to make up for its lack of acidity. On the same note, make sure to cut down the sugar in your recipe as bananas are naturally sweet. Please keep in mind that mashed bananas may give off a slight flavor and scent of bananas in the final dish; so, if that’s a concern, explore other options.
1 cup Greek yogurt = 1 cup mashed banana.