What’s the Best Substitute for Greek Yogurt?

Published Categorized as Food
What Are the Best Substitutes for Greek YogurtNadia Borovenko /123RF

1) Regular yogurt, 2) whole milk yogurt, 3) almond yogurt, 4) sour cream, 5) soy yogurt, 6) mayo, 7) coconut cream, 8) cream cheese.

The king of yogurt, Greek yogurt—or ‘strained yogurt’—is thicker than regular yogurt, and it typically has higher levels of proteins and sugars.

For many of us, Greek yogurt is the go-to yogurt, a natural default option. Time after time online recipes will call for Greek yogurt over any other variation.

When substituting Greek yogurt, you will want to look for a similar texture, taste, and in an ideal world, appearance (especially if you’re serving a meal).

And while many of these substitutes are great for swapping out Greek yogurt one-for-one when making a meal, they’re not too great alone.

Before we dive in, it’s worth noting that Greek yogurt can range quite significantly in terms of fat, so bear in mind the fat contents of some of these options.

What Can I Use as a Substitute for Greek Yogurt?

Regular/Plain Yogurt (Non-strained)

If you don’t have Greek yogurt at home, you most likely have at least regular yogurt. It’s easy to get hold of and it won’t complicate things with potentially odd tastes.

However, you will miss out on Greek yogurt’s proteins and sugars. Plus, plain yogurt is not as high in fat content, and it will not be as thick.

How to make it work: One-to-one, plain yogurt is the most practical substitute for Greek yogurt, you’ll probably not have issues using it.

Whole Milk Yogurt (Non-strained)

Similar to regular yogurt, whole milk yogurt is fatter with around 4% in fat content, which can match a variety of Greek yogurt brands. It also usually comes in more flavors than regular yogurt.

Its fat contents make it the closest dairy yogurt alternative to Greek yogurt, but that level of fat could be a turn-off for some. 

How to make it work: You can also substitute whole milk yogurt for Greek yogurt one-to-one for sauces, baking, and dips.

Almond Yogurt

Yogurt doesn’t need to start with dairy! There are many non-dairy options to substitute Greek yogurt and almond milk yogurt is a rising star.

There is a slight tradeoff with nutrients, however. With almond yogurt, you gain vitamin B, niacin, and thiamin, but you also get more carbs and saturated fat.

How to make it work: With a close consistency, you shouldn’t have an issue substituting almond yogurt for Greek yogurt.

Sour Cream

Sour cream is a top Greek yogurt substitute for any sauces or soups, and also works awfully well when baking.

The most notable drawback of sour cream is that it is more savory than Greek yogurt, so consider that when planning how you’ll use it.

How to make it work: Sour cream can work as a one-to-one substitute. Take note of the fat content, as, like Greek yogurt, sour cream ranges considerably.

Soy Yogurt

Also known as ‘soygurt’ or ‘yofu,’ soy yogurt, as you can guess is another vegan, non-dairy alternative to yogurt made from soy.

Just like almond yogurt, expect significant differences in terms of nutrients. While almond yogurt is lighter in calories (up to 41%), you won’t get as much protein.

How to make it work: Soy yogurt can be used interchangeably with Greek yogurt, but you may want to add herbs and spices to mask some of its taste.

Mayonnaise

Thick and creamy, mayonnaise is another substitute you probably have at home or can easily find at a store.

It has a similar range of flavors to Greek yogurt, but it can come with an unmistakable mayo taste. Mayonnaise is a noteworthy option for baking.

How to make it work: One-to-one, fatter mayonnaise options can work better as they are closer to Greek yogurt. Won’t work as a standalone substitute.

Coconut Cream

Our third and final vegan substitute for Greek yogurt, coconut cream, is surprisingly versatile, though, the taste could be a little too distinct for some palettes.

Also worth noting is that coconut cream is significantly higher in calories than Greek yogurt. However, aside from this coconut cream is widely viewed as healthier.

How to make it work: Coconut cream can be used as a one-to-one substitute. If you can’t get a hold of coconut cream, you can refrigerate coconut milk.

Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is a limited substitute that’ll definitely work on toast but there is a disagreement on whether it works well in baking.

Cream cheese can also be fattier and higher in sodium and cholesterol, but it does contain a larger number of useful vitamins, such as vitamin E.

How to make it work: Cream cheese is usually thicker, so to make cream cheese super effective, add a dash of milk to help it reach a closer consistency.

What Is a Good Substitute for Greek Yogurt?

Substitutes for Greek yogurt are only as good as the job they’re needed to complete.

There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to Greek yogurt and there are probably plenty more (and in some cases better)alternatives we’ve never heard of.

Here’s a quick summary of what substitutes you can use for Greek yogurt and their most notable feature:

  • Regular and whole milk yogurt are the most convenient substitutes for Greek yogurt.
  • Almond and soy yogurt are non-dairy choices but differ a lot in terms of nutrients.
  • Sour cream is best used when making something savory.
  • Mayonnaise is a good baking substitute but not a good standalone substitute.
  • Coconut cream is higher in calories and may have a unique coconut taste.
  • Cream cheese is great if you add a bit of milk.

Two other substitutes worth mentioning are mashed bananas and avocado.

However, we decided to keep these two off the list because they require a lot more effort and could drastically change whatever you’re trying to make.

What Is a Healthier Alternative to Greek Yogurt?

Plain yogurt could be a healthier alternative if you want to skip out on fat content and increase calcium, but it gets more complicated the more alternatives you look at.

As mentioned earlier, Greek yogurt can vary in fat content. Some brands have 0% fat content while at the other extreme, they can range to 4.5% or even 7% fat.

So, it might not be so much about finding a healthier alternative to Greek yogurt but finding a healthier brand of Greek yogurt.

And when it comes to non-dairy alternatives—almond and soy yogurt, and coconut cream—there is a huge tradeoff in nutrients.

It depends on how you are looking to change your diet.

Also worth noting is that most Greek yogurt alternatives lack protein, and while they may be lower in fat, they can more than makeup for it in calories.

What Is a Good Vegan, Non-dairy Substitute for Greek Yogurt?

Our top vegan, non-dairy substitutes for Greek yogurt are:

  • Almond milk yogurt.
  • Soy yogurt (‘soygurt’ or ‘yofu’).
  • Coconut cream.

What Is a Good Substitute for Greek Yogurt in Baking?

From our list, four could make good substitutes for Greek yogurt when baking. They are regular yogurt, sour cream, mayonnaise, and cream cheese—though the last is debatable.

Regular yogurt, sour cream, and mayo are ideal for when you need to keep your baked goods moist, the same effect you may look for when baking with Greek yogurt.

Cream cheese should be more reserved for pastry crusts or to improve frosting.

By Craig Britton

As children, we’re told not to play with our food. But I find that food tastes best when you experiment with it. I love trying out new recipes and cooking techniques almost as much as I love eating the end result.

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