14 Ways You Should Be Using Greek Yogurt

Victor Protasio

Greek yogurt has a reputation of being a health food ingredient. Recipes use it as a replacement for sour cream and mayonnaise to cut down on calories and fat, but the thing is, full fat Greek yogurt can hold its own when it comes to bringing creaminess and tang to a recipe. In fact, at MyRecipes we’re not just swapping Greek yogurt into meals for a healthier twist, but we’re using it as an indulgent, flavorful addition to our recipes.

Sure, Greek yogurt is better for you, but it’s also a killer ingredient we keep on hand at all times. We’re all about embracing Greek yogurt as a key to delicious food instead of as a replacement. So, toss it into your favorite sweet or savory (yes, for real) dishes, and Greek yogurt will quickly become a staple in your kitchen. Here are 14 ways to use Greek yogurt to get you started.

Easy never tasted so awesome.

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Dips

Sure, sour cream-based dips have their place at a party spread, but yogurt can lend to Mediterranean flavors better and allow for a more refreshing dip. Toss in some feta cheese, bell peppers, and herbs for this Easy Greek Dip or go with a bold, Mediterranean-style app like this Charred Eggplant Dip with Tahini.

Burger Topper

Take a break from Tex-Mex burgers piled high with guacamole and pico de gallo, and say hello to the glorious Greek Turkey Burgers. A savory cream of yogurt, lemon juice, and olives creates a vibrant sauce you’ll want to dive right into.

Cake

Honestly, there are few things better than a super-moist cake at the end of a meal. The addition of Greek yogurt lends extra tenderness to the crumb and a subtle tang to the batter itself. Try this Yogurt Pound Cake with Pomegranate Syrup or serve a Blueberry Yogurt Cake at brunch.

Roasted Veggie Base

Grab a spoon and swirl a luscious dollop of Greek onto a serving plate. Then, top with roasted veggies and fresh herbs to create a dynamic, elegant side. The yogurt provides a cool and creamy element to balance the heartier, caramelized flavors of roasted veggies, giving an easy and impressive upgrade to a standard weeknight dish. Try it with roasted carrots, curried cauliflower, or even as the base to this roast chicken with carrots and lentils.

Smoothie

Blend Greek yogurt into your favorite morning smoothie, and it creates a distinctively rich morning beverage that will keep you satisfied until lunch. Plus, Greek yogurt’s natural tang helps balance sweeter ingredients, like in these Strawberry-Rhubarb-Banana Smoothies.

Salad Dressing

For heartier leaves like kale or mustard greens, a bold, creamy dressing is the perfect match. We love this yogurt-Parmesan dressing recipe, which yields a vibrant and savory sauce to pour over your favorite salad. This recipe adds a touch of olive oil to enrichen the yogurt, likening it to mayonnaise, but the dressing has a lighter, tangier bite than your typical mayo-based dressing.

Broccoli Salad

Usually when a mayonnaise-based salad swaps in Greek yogurt, it’s to keep the calories in check. But this broccoli salad calls for Greek yogurt to comfortably blend with the lemon-forward flavor, and it’s going to be your new favorite, packable lunch side.

Soup

Mix a generous dollop of Greek yogurt in to get a tart, yet creamy finish for soups that need that punch of luscious brightness to push them to their full flavor potential. Ingredients like avocado in this Chilled Avocado and Yogurt Soup or sweet potato in Sweet Potato and White Bean Soup don’t necessarily need the additional creaminess, but are brought into balance with the yogurt’s acidity.

Marinade

Yogurt marinade lends to an extra-decadent finish on meat, fish, and vegetables alike. The creamy mixture encourages flavors to meld together in a most delightful fashion, as is the case with these Tandoori Cauliflower and Harissa-Roasted Chicken with Chickpeas recipes.

Ice Pops

If you love frozen yogurt, you’ll love cooling off with a Greek yogurt-packed popsicle. These Tahini Buttermilk Pops blend both sour cream and Greek yogurt for an ultra-creamy layer and these Peanut Butter-Banana Breakfast Pops are an excellent superfast breakfast to have at the ready.

Protein Pairing

We like to keep this Buttermilk-Dill Sauce in our back pocket to top a quick pan-fried fish fillet on a weeknight, but Greek yogurt is the dairy addition all your favorite proteins need. Stir it into mint yogurt sauce and serve with lamb, add Jalapenos and serve with chicken skewers, use as a base for meatballs, or even under crispy fried eggs.

Potatoes

Not everyone is keen on a dollop of Greek yogurt over a baked potato (because sour cream rules), but sweet potato dishes can definitely benefit from the smoother tartness of yogurt over sour cream. Take this recipe for Sweet Potatoes with Spiced Yogurt and Honey which blends yogurt with pumpkin pie spice, orange rind, and red pepper for a sweet and spicy bite. Plus, if you’re willing to give Greek yogurt and yellow potatoes a go, try these Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Herbed Greek Yogurt which results in an addictively tangy and creamy side dish.

Street Corn Glaze

Mexican street corn just got an upgrade with Israeli-inspired flavors. Grilled corn is coated in an unctuous yogurt sauce packed with cayenne, lime zest, and cilantro, then dusted with feta cheese and zaatar.

Pie

We’re not just talking about the pie fillings here (but you should give this Strawberry Yogurt Cream Pie with Cereal Crust a try). If you have plain whole-milk yogurt (not Greek-style) on hand, it makes for a Perfectly Flaky Yogurt-Butter Pie Dough. So bake away and fill with all your favorite fixins.

Super creamy and rich, protein packed Greek Yogurt Alfredo Sauce – So amazing you’ll ditch store-bought versions for good!

Well, it’s Monday folks.

This is probably one of the less stressful Mondays for me. Mostly because I mailed hard copies of my senior thesis to my committee members on Friday and now all I can think about is how I only have five (1,2,3,4,5) assignments and just one final exam left. That, plus my Oral Defense is the rest of my bachelors degree in a nutshell.

It’s a beautiful, small, completely tolerable nutshell and I’m basking in that relief today.

I feel pretty badly that I’ve been slacking in the blogging department lately. I’m sorry! Forgive me friends. I have tons of amazing recipes coming your way – I’ve just been running out of hours in the day lately with all of the research I’ve been doing for my thesis on top of typical homework drudgery.

This week I planned on making 12 new recipes for you. But we have a storm coming through over the next couple of days. So you miiiiight have to settle for 5 or 6.

But NEXT week, it’s looking sunny sunny sunny and that means hoards of new recipes will be created in this old 70’s kitchen of mine.

No promises though – Utah weather is notoriously fickle.

In the meantime, I’ve got a handful of really yummy things planned out for the blog this week and If I know you like I think I do – you’re gonna like em.

First up: Greek Yogurt Alfredo Sauce.

One of my many quirky cooking habits includes finding sneaky ways to get greek yogurt into my dishes. It’s loaded with protein and if you’re using 0% fat which I always do, it’s even healthier. It adds yummy flavor to your dishes – way better than sour cream if you ask me. When I worked it into this alfredo sauce recipe, I was instantly hooked. So creamy, so much flavor, so much goodness on top of any pasta you desire.

I’ve been in a carby, pasta mood lately so a stash of cooked fettuccine noodles have taken up residence in my fridge along with a jar of homemade greek yogurt alfredo sauce.

Stop buying the jarred stuff and makes some of this gorgeous sauce at home. You. will. love. it.

What people are saying about this Greek Yogurt Alfredo Sauce

“Oh my gosh, I did not expect this sauce to come out tasting exactly like alfredo, but it completely and absolutely DOES. Maybe even better. I will always make alfredo this way from now on.” – Shannon

“This is absolutely phenomenal! My husband and I both vastly prefer it to regular alfredo, and it’s so easy to make! Thank you for sharing!” – Karissa

“I have made this sauce a couple times now, I must say that it’s really really delicious!” – Jordan

Pin 4.93 from 13 votes

Greek Yogurt Alfredo Sauce

Super creamy and rich alfredo sauce made with protein-packed greek yogurt! So amazing you’ll ditch store-bought versions for good!
Course Main Course, Sauce / Condiment Cuisine Italian Keyword alfredo, greek yogurt Prep Time 5 minutes Cook Time 5 minutes Total Time 10 minutes Servings 4 Author Tiffany

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup milk or water (I used fat free half & half)
  • 3/4 cup plain greek yogurt (I used 0% fat)
  • 1/2 – 2/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional: 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley (or 1 teaspoon fresh)
  • 8 ounces pasta noodles, cooked

Instructions

  • In a medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in garlic powder. Stir in milk (or water). Remove from heat and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes. Gradually whisk in greek yogurt.
  • Add parmesan cheese to sauce and stir until melted. (If the cheese doesn’t melt completely because the sauce is too cool, return to stove on low for a couple of minutes) Add salt and pepper to taste and toss with your favorite cooked pasta noodles.

Notes

*Store any leftover sauce in the fridge in an airtight container such as a jar. The sauce tends to get very thick – almost solid – after being chilled, just add 1 tablespoon of water or milk and heat it up in the microwave, then stir til smooth and serve!

Recipe adapted from Eating Well Magazine

Greek yogurt has become a staple in our house. We might not have bread or bananas, but there is almost always a container, or three, of Greek yogurt in the fridge. I started baking with it out of necessity; when I was out of sour cream or buttermilk, Greek yogurt came to the rescue.

Let me show you three ways to bake with Greek yogurt! For baking, I strongly suggest using full-fat or 2% yogurt, not fat-free. And use plain, not … key lime pie flavored yogurt.

Substitute for sour cream

One of my favorite ways to use Greek yogurt is as a substitute for sour cream. Swap it out 1:1; it has a similar tang and texture. Stay tuned for an old-fashioned chocolate snacking cake made with Greek yogurt. (I’ve even used Greek yogurt atop Mexican food in place of sour cream. No one was the wiser.)

Substitute for buttermilk

I think this all started for me several years ago when my sister called to say that she’d made pancakes with Greek yogurt. (You and your sister have meaningful conversations about pancakes too, right?) I always mean to have buttermilk on hand, but typically, it’s been pushed to the back of the fridge and two months past its expiration date. To substitute, use about 2/3 Greek yogurt and 1/3 milk for the amount of buttermilk you need.

Substitute for heavy cream

This is a good trick when heavy cream isn’t the key player. In other words, I wouldn’t serve Greek yogurt whipped cream. Try this cheesecake, though. I shared the recipe here last year, and I used Greek yogurt instead of heavy cream. The resulting cheesecake is luscious, creamy, but lighter. Use a 1:1 ratio, or thin with a little milk, depending on the recipe consistency.

Now let me introduce you to this Old-Fashioned Greek Yogurt Chocolate Snacking Cake. This is based on a recipe I got from my mom about 25 years ago, and I’m not sure how long it had been around before that.

The cake originally called for sour cream. I swapped sour cream for Greek yogurt and made a few other tweaks to the recipe and method. The resulting cake is moist, tender, and the perfect cake for a midday snack or a weeknight dinner. The whole thing is topped off with an easy, beautifully swirly chocolate frosting.

Try Greek yogurt in some of your favorite recipes and report back! It’s a staple in my kitchen, whether for eating with a spoon or baking, and I bet it will become one in yours as well.

Old-Fashioned Greek Yogurt Chocolate Snacking Cake

January 3, 2017 0

Prep Time: 20 Minutes Difficulty: Easy Cook Time: 35 Minutes Servings: 24 Servings

  • FOR THE CAKE:
  • 1-3/4 cup Unbleached All-purpose Flour
  • 3/4 cups Natural Unsweetened Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 2/3 cups Salted Butter, Room Temperature
  • 1-3/4 cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups Plain Greek Yogurt, 2%% Or Full-fat
  • FOR THE FROSTING:
  • 6 Tablespoons Salted Butter, Room Temperature
  • 3 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Natural Unsweetened Cocoa
  • 1/4 cup Milk, Or More If Needed
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, cream butter and sugar together until creamy. Beat in eggs and vanilla, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
On low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the Greek yogurt. After the last addition, scrape down the bottom and sides of bowl, and beat until combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth evenly. Bake for 35–40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Set on a wire rack to cool.
Make the frosting. Beat the butter until creamy. Whisk the powdered sugar and cocoa together, then gradually add to the butter on low speed. Beat in the milk and vanilla, mixing until smooth and thick. Add more milk if needed for spreading consistency. Spread over the cooled cake using an offset spatula.

Bridget

Bridget Edwards likes cookies. She’s been decorating them for over a decade and eating them for as long as she can remember. The author of two cookie books, Decorating Cookies and Decorating Cookies Party, Bridget believes: 1.) Cookies are made to be eaten, not to be perfect. 2.) Making pretty shouldn’t require an art degree or a fancy overhead projector. 3.) Your time is better spent EATING cookies with family and friends than slaving over decorating them. Bridget shares cookies and recipes for all things sweet on her blog, Bake at 350. She resides in the Lone Star State with her husband, teenage son, and two kitties.

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Savory Uses for Greek Yogurt

There are so many great conversations on the Hotline — it’s hard to choose a favorite. But we’ll be doing it, once a week, to spread the wealth of our community’s knowledge — and to keep the conversation going.

Today: You probably have Greek yogurt in your fridge — discover some savory ways to put it to work.

Shop the Story

Greek yogurt is a wonderful, versatile ingredient that’s great to have in your kitchen arsenal. But once you’ve moved past the fun of subbing it into baking recipes and enjoying it with large amounts of granola and honey for breakfast, you can sometimes hit a lull in your Greek yogurt consumption. Yet you still have tubs of the stuff in the fridge, waiting to return to the table.
That’s how lizabeth felt, and she turned to the Hotline in search of savory Greek yogurt recipes. Luckily, the community served up some dairy good solutions:

Get Saucy

  • Greek yogurt does really well as part of a sauce. One of QueenSashy’s favorites is Lamb Meatballs with a Broken Yogurt Saffron Sauce: “The sauce is amazing and quite versatile — you could use it with potatoes or grilled cauliflower, for example.”
  • Dinner at ten loves yogurt mixed with “a little tahini and salt as a sauce for roasted or grilled vegetables.”
  • A nice Greek yogurt sauce pairs well with pasta, too. Jilhil enjoys Diane Kochilas’ Pasta with Yogurt and Caramelized Onions, which is a great way to use utilize a lot of the stuff.

Add A Dollop

  • The next time you make a soup, throw a dollop of Greek yogurt in. “I like to make cold soups with yogurt and vegetables (peas, beets, asparagus, cucumber, tomatoes, scallion, everything works),” says QueenSashy.
  • Greek yogurt is a great substitute for a sour cream dollop, too. Brady Klopfer shares: “I love it as a sour cream substitute on top of a quesadilla or burrito!” You can also subsitute Greek yogurt for mayonnaise in coleslaw, as Susan W suggests, or add some into mashed potatoes, as Aliwaks does.

More Options

  • You can even use Greek yogurt to make pizza dough — Amy Molony explains: “Mix 1 cup of plain yogurt with 1 1/2 cups of self-rising flour for a basic, delicious pizza base.”
  • Summer of Eggplant likes to keep things simple with a Greek yogurt dip. “I mix it with a variety of herbs — lemon zest and chives or green onion — and use it as a dip for artichokes instead of butter.”
  • Amysarah suggests turning Greek yogurt into labneh. “Labneh — creamy yogurt cheese — is easy to make. It’s delicious spread on toast, pita, bagels — anyplace you’d use cream cheese.”

More: If you’re not familiar with labneh, learn more about it before making your own.

Do you have a favorite savory way to use Greek yogurt? Tell us in the comments or join in the conversation over on the Hotline!

Photos by James Ransom, Ryan Dausch, and Rivka

You Need to Start Using Greek Yogurt in Savory Dishes

Sara Tane

Hopefully this isn’t coming to you as earth-shattering news, but Greek yogurt is a clutch ingredient in both sweet and savory situations. If it is, well then, my work here is done. Yes, there are other (…better…) ways to consume this thick, creamy dairy product besides topped with berries and honey (although that option is super legit, too). For a lot of people, the thought of mixing in plain Greek yogurt into a savory concoction might sound a bit offputting at first, and if you’re one of those hesitant folks, I’m here to convince you otherwise. Trust me when I say that there is a time and place for Greek yogurt in savory dishes.

Watch Now: How to Make Instant Pot Yogurt

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You can get away with adding plain Greek yogurt to just about anything because it doesn’t have a assert any strong distinct flavors beyond tanginess, so its main perk is that it provides a smooth, decadent textural component with a dairy-based backbone. In other words, it’s probably going to get along with just about anything. If you’re still not convinced, some starter ideas to hop on the savory Greek yogurt train include smearing it on a plate and topping with fried eggs, spooning it on top of grilled veggies or grilled meat, mixing it into a creamy dressing for a cold vegetable salad, dolloping on top of a taco bowl, or incorporating into a hearty grain bowl. In all applications, the silky smooth texture envelops the rest of the dish and the creamy richness complements salty flavors.

Was that the most varied, incoherent list of ideas you’ve ever seen? Yes, maybe it was. That’s because, in my eyes, Greek yogurt is the universal dairy topper and you’re just going to have to trust in the Greek gods (like, Zeus and his squad) that this unsuspecting refrigerator staple has so much unlocked potential (!!!!!). When I’m feeling extra Grecian and exquisite, I’ll spoon a hearty dollop of it into a bowl, top it with extra-virgin olive oil, flaky salt, pepper, and some chili flakes, and go to MF town. Seriously, try it.

I’m not saying it doesn’t belong in your smoothies, and I’m certainly not dissing you while you top your blueberry muffins with a sizable smear of this stuff. I support you in your sweet endeavors. However, I truly believe that it would be a travesty if you let your preconceived notions of Greek yogurt keep you from truly understanding the breadth of its usage.

So you bought a large container of plain yogurt, Greek or not, and besides topping it with granola, you aren’t sure how to use it up. Lucky for you, there are so many delicious ways to include the tangy dairy into a variety of dishes. Here are some of our favorites.

Before we start, we prefer cooking with full fat plain or plain Greek yogurt. It adds great flavor, protein and probiotics and our bodies do need some good fat to keep us fueled.

Photo by James Ransom

Creamy Yogurt and Caramelized Onion Pasta

Need a last minute dinner idea? This is your ticket. A five ingredient recipe with great flavor is always a winner, in this case it is thanks to the sweet onions and tart, creamy yogurt. See the recipe.

Sriracha “Aioli”

A simple Sriracha mayonnaise sauce seems to be the go-to topping for sandwiches, wraps, salads, tacos and more. Switch out the mayonnaise with a cool yogurt for added health benefits and a balanced flavor. An easy recipe is just yogurt, a pinch of salt, and Sriracha, but feel free to spruce things up with lime juice and garlic. Try this recipe.

Overnight Oats

Make your morning a breeze by preparing breakfast the night before. Mix oats with milk or water and plain yogurt for a creamy taste and spruce up with honey, cinnamon, or nuts for crunch. It’s along the same lines as yogurt and granola, but much more filling. Try this recipe.

JOHN KERNICK

Meat Marinade

Marinate your meats in acidic yogurt to help bread down tough cuts and make a perfectly moist, tender meal. This works especially great on keeping moisture in white meat of chicken and keeping turkey from drying out, but it can be used with just about any kind of meat. We love using it to marinate our lamb recipes. Try this recipe for Yogurt Marinated Curry Chicken or Yogurt Grilled Lamb.

Eva Kolenko

Frozen Yogurt

Use the high fat content of Greek or plain yogurt to make a deliciously creamy frozen dessert with awesome tang. Blend with a fruit sauce or jam for a beautiful combination of sweet and sour. If you don’t want to spin the ice cream, freeze into bites in a ice cube tray instead. Try this yogurt bites recipe or this frozen yogurt sorbet.

Zucchini Cake

A great way to use up yogurt that is about to go bad is to stir it into a cake or pancake batter. It will help the cake rise when baking, keep it soft and help it not try out once you cut into it. Try this recipe.

Chicken or Egg Salad

Swap out the heavy mayonnaise of a chicken or egg salad with yogurt. Add cool yogurt to a spicy curry chicken salad for a beautiful duo. Or, try this recipe for smoky egg salad.

Easy Garlic Sauce

Making a Lebanese garlic sauce into a delicious emulsion can be tricky. Instead, make a garlic sauce with yogurt as a cheat. Drizzle on salads, pita pockets, over hummus, lamb burgers, and so much more. See the recipe.

Yogurt Cheese

You thought making cheese was hard? Well this is beyond easy. Also known as Lebneh, this drained yogurt cheese is easy and a delicious appetizer. Incorporate herbs for fun flavor. Try this recipe, scroll down for the english recipe.

Creamier Soups

Whether a chili topping or stirred into a pureed squash soup, plain yogurt is a great addition that has more nutritional benefits than heavy cream. Plus, it adds an acidic contract to most hearty, rich winter flavors. Try this recipe.

Got leftover yogurt? These 6 recipes are your solution.

There are very consistent culprits when it comes to fridge odds and ends that never seem to go away, that no matter how much you chip away at what’s left, there is always a little more to use up. (Do they just . . . regenerate?) At the top of my list: salsa, ketchup and mayo. Also, yogurt: As much as I eat the stuff (and I eat a lot of it), I often end up with an awkward amount at the bottom of the container — usually not enough for a meal.

So what should you do with that last bit of yogurt that also might be a little exciting? These recipes from our archives should provide the inspiration we need.

Ginger-Marinated Zucchini With Lime Yogurt, above. This refreshing 20-minute weeknight dinner from deputy Food editor Bonnie S. Benwick jazzes up a modest amount of yogurt with lime zest, olive oil and black pepper. Now’s the time to practice your artful swooshes since the yogurt serves as the bed for the grilled zucchini.


(Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; Food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

Za’atar Chicken With Chickpeas and Yogurt. This is another keeper from Bonnie. Garlicky roasted chickpeas get mashed and stirred into the yogurt, creating a tangy, chunky sauce. Full-fat yogurt is best here.


(Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

Super-Quick ‘Baked’ Fruit and Yogurt Mug. Use the juices from fruit cooked in the microwave to flavor vanilla Greek yogurt. Store-bought yogurt parfait on your way to work? Not anymore.


(Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post)

Dorie Greenspan’s Mediterranean Yogurt Cake. If you’d like the leftover yogurt to disappear into whatever you’re making, I can’t recommend this easy crowd-pleaser enough.


(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Slippery When Wet. Only have a teaspoon of Greek yogurt to spare? Use it in a cocktail. This one includes gin, strawberries, lemon juice and honey.


(Jennifer Chase for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

Dill and Mint Yogurt Dip. I couldn’t end this list without at least one suggestion if you have a heftier amount of yogurt hanging around. You’ll use 2 cups in this riff on the ubiquitous sour cream and onion dip.

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Greek yogurt for breakfast

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