Greek Yogurt is a thick, creamy, and protein-rich dairy product that has made itself invaluable in the kitchen with its versatility and impressive health benefits. It serves different culinary purposes depending on how you use it.
Greek yogurt is also referred to as strained yogurt because of the process used to make it. However, this additional process makes it a bit more expensive than regular yogurts and other dairy products. This is why some find themselves looking for a good Greek Yogurt substitute that can give the same flavor, texture, and health qualities. This article aims to provide you with the best alternatives if you find yourself out of this good stuff or simply cannot find one.
What is Greek yogurt?
After fermenting, Greek yogurt is strained to remove the whey, making it thicker and richer in the process while preserving its tanginess. This process makes it a healthier choice for those looking for a high-protein, low-sugar option.
When added to batters, greek yogurt makes baked goods fluffy and moist. It is also used to make other breakfast and dessert goodies like smoothies, parfait, ice cream, and pudding. It is also a common ingredient in making sauces and soups richer and thicker, plus it makes our dips, marinades, and dressings a lot more flavorful with its tangy goodness!
What are the possible greek yogurt substitutes
Below is a list of the best substitutes that are pretty easy to find. It is important to know that not all these ingredients can be used as an alternative to all types of recipes. So, we included which choices are best for baking or cooking and some dairy-free options as well.
Perhaps the most versatile alternative of them all. This cultured dairy product has almost the same creamy texture and sour taste. It is made of fermented cream, giving it higher fat and calorie content than Greek Yogurt. You can use it on a 1:1 substitution when baking, making dips, dressings, and sauces. I used this when making my Almond Mini Bundt Cakes with Orange Glaze and Lemon Blueberry Cake, and they always come our deliciously soft and fluffy!
This particular alternative works best as a baking substitute. If you are not familiar with buttermilk, it is also a type of fermented dairy extracted after churning butter from cultured or fermented cream. It is rich in flavor and has a thicker consistency compared to regular milk but is thinner than Greek yogurt. Its acidity level helps give your baked good the lift it needs, making it fluffier and softer. When using it as a substitute, use around a fourth less than what the original recipe calls for.
Helpful Tip: Do youknow that you can easily make your own buttermilk at home using 2 ingredients only? All you have to do is mix 1 teaspoon white vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk. Let it sit at room temperature for at least 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Easy peasy!
This is the most accessible substitute that you can get at a lower price. Since it is unstrained, it will have a thinner consistency and tastes less sharp than Greek yogurt but can be a good 1:1 substitute when baking. However, when using it as a thickener for soups and sauces, you can buy it whole-fat, add more or make your own.
Helpful Tip: How to Make Your Own Greek Yogurt? It is actually quite easy to turn your regular yogurt into Greek yogurt. As described earlier, the difference between the two is the straining process. All you have to do is place the yogurt in a filter paper or cheesecloth. Leave it for a few hours or overnight to drain in the fridge, and you will have yourself a yummy, thick Greek Yogurt in the morning!
Non-dairy greek yogurt substitute
If you are either lactose intolerant or vegan, there are a lot of brands out there that sell non-dairy yogurts that you can grab. In case you do not have access to those, however, here are some nice alternatives that you can choose from.
- Non-dairy Buttermilk- follow the steps written above on how to make buttermilk at home but this time, use dairy-free milk like almond, soy, oat, hemp, or rice milk. Perfect for making vegan cakes, cupcakes, and bread!
- Silken-Tofu- once you blend this, it will have the same thickness as Greek yogurt, but none of the tanginess and acidity. However, you can always add a splash of lime or lemon juice to achieve that sour flavor and sharpness.
- Avocado- same with silken tofu, mashed avocado becomes creamy and thick. But, unlike tofu, avocado has a sweet, buttery taste that might affect the outcome of the dish. But hey, avocados are delicious, right? We recommend using this when making salad dressings, dips, and sweet desserts. On the other hand, you can give it a dash of acidity and zest by adding citrus juices.
Some other less popular options are mayonnaise, cottage cheese, cream cheese, and butter. While they are great as thickeners for soups and sauce or to give dips and dressings a richer taste, they are not suitable for recipes that require acidity and tanginess.
Nothing can exactly replicate the goodness that comes from a tub of Greek Yogurt. I cannot imagine making my Swirled Berry Popsicles without it. But, these substitutes will come in very handy when you are in a pinch or cannot find one in a grocery near you. Always take note that ingredient swaps are not always clear-cut. Measurements would have to be adjusted, and some need to be either omitted or added. It is always wise to review the full recipe before deciding whether a sub will work. But having said that, it always pays to explore and experiment, right?