You might be in need of a yogurt substitute due to an allergy or a diet preference. Or maybe you simply ran out of your current stock. Fortunately, there are plenty of dairy and non-dairy alternatives available to use.
What Is Yogurt?
Yogurt is a dairy product that is made using milk and bacteria known as yogurt culture. The culture ferments the lactose sugars in milk, giving it a distinct and tangy flavor.
Common Uses for Yogurt
- Sauces and dips
- Desserts and cakes
- Confectionary and baking
- Stews, soups, and curries
- Casseroles and bakes
- Smoothies and frozen dessert products
16 Best Yogurt Substitutes
Dairy Substitutes for Yogurt
1. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is very similar to the normal yogurt you might know and love. But there is a slight difference in nutritional value.
You can use both interchangeably in recipes without any adjustments. Healthline explains the differences between normal and greek yogurt best.
2. Sour Cream
A great yogurt substitute since it is so similar is sour cream. They are both dairy products that are tangy, and their consistencies are very similar. Sour cream has a similar nutritional content to greek yogurt, and the key differences are described by Masterclass.
3. Creme Fraiche
Creme fraiche is a decadent soured dairy product that is less tangy than yogurt but works just as well in dips, added to recipes, or enjoyed over fresh fruit. Try this creme fraiche dip from Inspired Taste that is similar to tzatziki, only using creme fraiche in the yogurt’s place.
Since both buttermilk and yogurt are fermented dairy products, you’ll get the closest flavor substitution with buttermilk in a lot of recipes. The consistency of buttermilk is more liquid than yogurt, so slowly adjust the amount you add to your recipe to achieve the same texture. FoodStruct has a good comparison of both dairy products.
5. Milk and Vinegar
Making your own DIY buttermilk from yogurt and vinegar is an easy cost-effective way to substitute buttermilk for yogurt. You likely already have the ingredients in your home, so no running to the store. Taste Better From Scratch shows you how to make your own buttermilk.
6. Cottage Cheese
A good low-fat replacement for yogurt is cottage cheese. Plus, it’s packed with protein. Use it in recipes that you won’t mind the extra flavor it will add, like in this cottage cheese tzatziki recipe from Food Network.
7. Cream Cheese
Cream cheese is a luxurious replacement to yogurt in any recipe, but you will have to thin it out with a bit of milk to achieve the same texture and consistency as yogurt. Add it into a soup, as My Food And Family did in their cream of broccoli soup.
8. Heavy Cream
Although heavy cream doesn’t have the texture or tangy flavor like that of yogurt, it does work well as a substitute in sauces, dips, and baked goods. Souper Sage compares both dairy products for a better nutritional understanding of their differences.
Substitutes for Yogurt That Are Dairy-Free
Made with egg yolks and oil instead of milk and yogurt cultures, mayonnaise can work well as a dairy-free substitute for yogurt in savory sauces and dishes. It might not work well in sweeter recipes, but it makes cake moist, just like in this chocolate cake recipe from All Recipes.
10. Coconut Milk
Whole-fat coconut milk has a thick consistency and a creamy texture, ideal for replacing yogurt in recipes. It has no tang to it, but it does have a slight coconut taste to it, which pairs well with soups, stews, and curries like in Low Carb Africa’s recipe for lamb stew.
11. Plant-Based Yogurts
If you want a plant-based alternative to yogurt, you can find a whole variety of plant-based yogurts to suit your needs. Some of them are less creamy and thick than traditional yogurt but work just as well. My Quiet Kitchen uses plant-based yogurt in their yogurt cake.
12. Plant-Based Sour Milk
Similar to DIY buttermilk, you can use plant-based milk to create the same substitution for yogurt. Keep in mind that the consistency will be much thinner due to the high water content of plant-based kinds of milk. Loving it Vegan shows you how to make it.
13. Silken Tofu
Silken tofu is an ideal substitution for yogurt in recipes since it has a neutral flavor and can be blended with a splash of plant-based milk or water to get the same consistency as yogurt. Vegetafull has a recipe for tofu yogurt using some sugar to sweeten it up.
Using mashed bananas as a 1:1 replacement in cakes, smoothies, and overnight oats for yogurt works very well. Using slightly underripe bananas will reduce the potent banana flavor in your recipes. One Green Planet explores the use of mashed bananas as an alternative to yogurt and other dairy products.
Using mashed avocado as a replacement for yogurt works well and keeps a rich, creamy taste to the dish you’re adding it to. It has a neutral taste which means you’ll lose the tanginess of the yogurt but keep the creaminess. Versus shows the benefits of choosing avocado over yogurt.
16. Chia Seed Pudding
Chia seeds soaked overnight will cause them to gel up and become thick, similar to yogurt. Adding this to your morning smoothie can add a bigger boost of protein than yogurt can. Vibrant Plate shows you how to make a delicious and healthy breakfast smoothie that doubles as pudding.
What Does Yogurt Do in Baking?
In baking, yogurt adds moisture and taste. Yogurt is often added to recipes due to it being high in protein and low in calories or added for its rich and tangy taste.
What Can I Replace Yogurt With for Protein?
Chia seed pudding is the best high-protein replacement for yogurt, although it is better used in recipes where you blend ingredients together than using it to make a sauce, dip, or add to baking.
Finding a good yogurt substitute is not difficult at all since a lot of dairy and non-dairy alternatives might be in your fridge or pantry already. Explore alternatives to yogurt if you want to change your dietary preferences, make healthier choices or change up a recipe.
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