Greek yogurt is one ingredients that adds an extra kick to your cooking. It has a thick, creamy consistency, with a naturally sweet and tart, tangy flavor. It can be used in many dishes, including soups, sauces, dips, casseroles, marinades, garnishes, and baked goods.
And while it’s not an unhealthy ingredient, here are some alternatives on the market to suit people with special dietary restrictions.
- Plain Yogurt
- Sour Cream
- Cream Cheese
- Cottage Cheese
- Almond Butter
- Cashew Milk
- Pistachio Yogurt
Fage, a Greek-owned and operated company, first introduced this product to consumers. The name stuck as time went by.
There’s also the fact that others have adapted food preferences and cultural practices that limit their use of Greek yogurt.
If you’re in the same boat or you simply ran out of Greek yogurt to use, the list below can help you decide which substitute to add in its place.
Dairy Greek Yogurt Substitutes for Baking
Greek yogurt is highly concentrated with protein, aside from active probiotics and micro-nutrients. In fact, a serving of Greek yogurt has more protein and less sugar than the same serving size of plain yogurt.
This is because the straining process it undergoes removes the excess liquid from its yogurt base. For this reason, making Greek yogurt needs more time, effort, and raw ingredients.
It requires using more milk than what would usually be enough for the same amount of plain yogurt. Despite its naturally light sweetness, it contains very little sugar.
In most cases, Greek yogurt can be more expensive and less readily available than other ingredients. Here are some alternatives to consider if you run of greek yogurt.
Perhaps the simplest way to replace Greek yogurt with something else is to use the plainer variety in its place. Aside from being a common ingredient in dressings and sauces, people already use it for making cakes and pancakes.
It has the same flavor as Greek yogurt but without the latter’s thick, creamy consistency. This might change the texture of your baked good. But if that’s not a problem for you, you can directly substitute an equal amount of it for the original ingredient listed in your recipe.
It’s more popularly classified as a savory condiment, but mayonnaise has some nifty uses in the baking world too. Mayonnaise is affordable, readily available, and perfect for lactose-intolerant people.
It has the same consistency and tangy quality as Greek yogurt. And it’s made from eggs and oil, two components that will make finished products such as chocolate cake rich and creamy.
It doesn’t have an overly strong flavor, so the other ingredients in your recipe can easily compliment the taste that it leaves in your baked goods.
Like the other substitutes here, you can match an equal amount of mayonnaise for Greek yogurt. However, you should also be aware that it might give your baked goods a rougher, rubbery texture because of its egg ingredient.
You can add a thickener to mayonnaise to improve the texture it creates.
Similar in silky texture and natural tang, sour cream is available in most markets and is widely used for cooking. It makes baked goods such as cakes, muffins, and brownies equally soft and moist when used.
It has enough acidity to help activate leavening ingredients such as baking soda. This gives baked goods that fluffy goodness most people love to feel on their tongue.
The full-fat variety might contain more fat and calories than Greek yogurt, but this only adds to the richness that your cake or other pastries will have after baking.
To use sour cream in place of Greek yogurt, replace the amount you need for your recipe with the same portion size. For example, you can swap one cup of sour cream for a cup of Greek yogurt if the instructions call for it.
Even though it’s more commonly used for marinades, sauces, and savory dressings, sour cream is considered one of the best substitutes for Greek yogurt.
Cream cheese has a tangy flavor, thick consistency, and, as the name implies, a creamy quality that can match Greek yogurt. What’s more, it can be found in the cold storage of many grocery stores and markets. It’s already a staple of several bread and cake recipes that call for moistness and fluffiness.
It’s important to note that cream cheese is milder when it comes to acidity, so it might not lend the same tart edge that Greek yogurt tends to leave.
This substitute might make your baked goods heavier or more moist than intended. Cream cheese fresh from the refrigerator will be thicker than Greek yogurt, but you can remedy this by thawing it out to room temperature.
Once you’ve warmed it until it’s thin enough, you can directly substitute an equal measure of cream cheese for Greek yogurt in your recipe.
You can also thin it out by adding water, milk, or cream along with drops of lemon juice to mimic Greek yogurt’s tartness. You can use an equal portion of the thinned mixture.
Cottage cheese is not only low in sugar and rich in protein like Greek yogurt, but it also has a high calcium content that will help keep your bones strong.
However, unlike Greek yogurt, this substitute has a chunkier texture because of its tapioca-like curds. That’s why most people prefer to throw cottage cheese into a blender first until it comes out smoother. After blending, you can directly substitute an equal portion of cottage cheese for Greek yogurt in the recipe you’re following.
Buttermilk is significantly thinner and runnier than Greek yogurt, but what makes this ingredient a good substitute is that it can lend the same tangy taste and moistness to your baked goods.
It is good at helping bread and cakes rise, adding to their moisture and fluffiness. Outside of baking, buttermilk is sometimes used for marinating because it can tenderize meat.
Because it has a more liquid consistency, it’s best to replace any measure of Greek yogurt with only three quarters’ worth of buttermilk.
For example, if your recipe calls for a cup of Greek yogurt, three-fourths of a cup of buttermilk will be enough to take its place. However, if you want to keep the ratio of buttermilk to Greek yogurt equal, you can add more flour to the mixture you’re preparing until you achieve the consistency your food should have.
Non-dairy Greek Yogurt Substitutes for Baking
If you happened to be lactose intolerant, here are some other alternatives to replace greek yogurt in your baking receipe.
Almond butter, a paleo alternative, is high in monounsaturated fat, which helps lower blood cholesterol levels. It is naturally sweet and creamy, qualities that call back to the sweet-and-tart characteristic of Greek yogurt.
The moistness that it imparts also helps to bind baking ingredients together.
For easier mixing, you can melt almond butter for 20 seconds in a pan or the microwave. And because almond butter adds so much moisture, it’s best to use only half the amount of the Greek yogurt listed as a replacement.
Half a cup of almond butter is enough to take the place of one cup of Greek yogurt.
Cashew Milk or Cashew Mayo
Cashew milk is packed with many nutrients such as vitamin D, vitamin E, calcium, and iron that help to improve eyesight and prevent heart ailments.
Cashews, the vital ingredient to this substitute, contain polyphenols, carotenoids, and other antioxidants that are good for the body. Cashew milk can be used in various cake recipes that call for Greek yogurt.
Pistachio yogurt, another paleo ingredient, contains unsaturated fat that helps regulate blood pressure, blood sugar, and blood cholesterol levels.
It’s also rich in fiber and minerals, which help strengthen the immune system. Pistachios can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis and manage body weight.
Soft Tofu or Silken Tofu
This is a substitute that any vegan or foodie looking for dairy-free alternatives will appreciate. Silken tofu has a naturally neutral flavor, but its soft, creamy consistency is similar to Greek yogurt.
It differs from regular tofu because it is lighter, perfect for incorporating into food that should come out with a softer, more delicate quality. You can directly substitute an equal amount of silken tofu with Greek yogurt.
If you want to mimic the tangy edge of the latter, you can add a few drops of lemon or lime juice to the portion you’ll be using.
This dairy-free substitute is a thick substance that you can scoop off the top of full-fat coconut milk. In addition to vitamins like B and C, coconut cream contains antioxidants that improve your immunity and help your body remove toxins.
Because of its higher fat content, coconut cream adds an extra dose of creaminess and richness to any cooking. However, it can also infuse a distinct coconut flavor into your food. If this doesn’t pose a problem, directly swapping an equal amount of coconut cream for Greek yogurt will work well.
Coconut cream is easy to find at your local grocery store or supermarket. It comes out thick and creamy after being refrigerated and whipped, so it’s perfect for baked goods and sauces that require this type of consistency.
Of note, coconut cream usually isn’t as sweet as yogurt, so you might need to add a bit more sugar to your recipe to make up for this.
Much like coconut cream, coconut milk can be used instead of Greek yogurt. It’s much thinner and more liquid than coconut cream, but you can still directly swap an equal amount for your recipe if you’re not concerned with the final consistency of your food.
If you want your finished product to at least resemble its intended taste with Greek yogurt, you can add a little lemon juice to the mixture.
Unlike Greek yogurt, coconut yogurt contains less protein and more fat. In fact, it has three times the total fat that Greek yogurt has and about four times more saturated fat.
But this doesn’t put it out of the running as a good substitute. Its fat content does add a significant amount of richness to baked goods, and its coconut base provides some healthy nutrients to compensate. You can use an equal amount of coconut yogurt to substitute Greek yogurt.
There’s more to avocado than being just a creamy fruit with a large seed. It’s also another great, dairy-free substitute for Greek yogurt.
Avocado’s naturally buttery texture not only works well with sauces and dressings but also traditional desserts. And even if it leaves a greenish hue without the use of food coloring, it’s a good source of folate, potassium, and vitamin C, as well as healthy fats.
Mousse and pudding are some dishes that can benefit from avocado. It does not have the tangy quality that Greek yogurt does, but like many alternatives here, you can simply add freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice to an equal portion of mashed avocado.
You can then use it in place of the original ingredient.
Bananas are yet another example of a plant-based, dairy-free alternative that you can use. Mashed banana or banana puree has a creamy consistency that closely resembles Greek yogurt if made right.
It has been used in other recipes and procedures like coffee cake mixtures and bread loaf baking, so it’s safe to say that it’ll work just as well as Greek yogurt.
Of note, bananas are naturally sweet. It would be better to reduce the sugar and other sweet ingredients for your recipe. Less ripe bananas will also be milder in sweetness than ripe yellow ones.
Therefore, it might be best to use the former as a replacement. That being said, you can substitute an equal amount of mashed bananas for the portion of Greek yogurt you need. Incorporating water or almond milk into the mash will give it a thick and creamy consistency. Add a bit of lemon juice for extra tang.
Although not the first choice for replacing Greek yogurt in some baking recipes, you can experiment with this ingredient to create baked goods with a different consistency.
It can impart a fun twist to baked goods such as carrot cakes, cookies, and muffins. It helps keep your pastries moist. The unsweetened variety is also a neat alternative for reducing your food’s overall sugar content.
Since it comes from either peeled or unpeeled apples, applesauce delivers all the healthy vitamins and antioxidants found in the fruit.