If you need a yogurt substitute you've come to the right place because I made a list of the best ingredients to use in place of yogurt! Whether you are cooking, baking, or making sauces, these ingredients are the perfect stand-in for yogurt in any recipe! I've even featured some dairy-free options if you you are looking for a yogurt substitute to meet your dietary needs!
The Best Yogurt Substitutes
You may be surprised when you are going through your recipe and realize it calls for yogurt. Isn’t yogurt a breakfast food? Yes! It is also a wonderful ingredient for baking and cooking!
The thick and creamy texture of yogurt is a wonderful addition to soups, sauces, and stews. Moreover, yogurt is amazing for adding moisture to baked goods. Not to mention, the tanginess of yogurt enriches the flavor of any recipe.
These benefits are truly not to be missed out on! Luckily, in addition to yogurt, there are a dozen other ingredients that will give you similar experiences. There are even a handful of dairy-free options! Keep reading to find the best yogurt substitute for your recipe.
1. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt has made quite a name for itself in the last decade. With its added punch of protein, many people have replaced their regular morning yogurt with Greek Yogurt. Therefore, while you may not have plain yogurt you may have Greek yogurt in your fridge.
Greek yogurt has the same rich tangy flavor as regular yogurt. This makes it an ideal substitute for flavor. The texture of both yogurts is also quite similar. However, Greek yogurt is a bit thicker than regular yogurt so you may need to thin it out.
If using Greek yogurt in baking (muffins, cakes, bread, etc.) mix ¾ cup Greek yogurt with ¼ cup water to replace 1 cup of regular yogurt.
In cooking, such as for dressings and sauces you can add ¾ Greek yogurt directly to the dish without diluting it (¾ cup Greek Yogurt = 1 cup regular yogurt). If it is too thick you can add up to ¼ cup of water to reach the desired consistency.
You may be surprised to learn that mayonnaise is one of the best substitutes for yogurt! While made from whole egg yolks rather than milk, mayo has a similar consistency to yogurt.
Moreover, while it is distinctly tangier than yogurt, this rich flavor brings out the same flavors that yogurt does in cooking. It can even be used in baking!
Try replacing yogurt with mayo for a decadent and moist chocolate cake or breakfast bread. Replace the yogurt in a savory sauce with mayo for a rich and creamy sauce.
Mayo is easy to use as a 1:1 substitution for yogurt in baking and cooking. Remember to stick with the full-fat version for the best results (and avoid miracle whip – it won’t give you the same outcome).
3. Sour Cream
Sour cream is another favorite replacement for yogurt. When replacing full-fat yogurt with full-fat sour cream you get the same texture.
While sour cream is also a soured dairy product, its flavor is slightly different than yogurt’s.
Yogurt has a brighter tangy flavor and sour cream is more savory. However, when used in baking and cooking the flavor of sour cream lends a similar overall experience to yogurt.
If you want a really moist baked good, try using sour cream in place of yogurt. Moreover, adding sour cream to a soup, sauce, or stew will bring out the creaminess and elevate the savory and salty flavors.
Use sour cream in an easy 1:1 replacement for yogurt.
4. Crème Fraiche
Crème Fraiche is a common condiment found in Europe. This thick and decadent cream is made from heavy cream that has been soured by a cultured dairy product (usually buttermilk or yogurt).
While crème fraiche is soured, its overall flavor leans more towards the richness of the heavy cream. Therefore, it is not quite as tangy as yogurt. It will still lend a wonderful flavor to any dish though.
Even though crème fraiche can be mixed into a recipe, it is delightful as a topping. The higher fat content from the cream creates a decadent and rich flavor that pairs perfectly with fresh fruit. It is also wonderful on top of pastries.
Crème fraiche is slightly thicker than yogurt, but it can still be used in a 1:1 substitution in most recipes. If your recipe seems too thick once you’ve added it, you can slowly add water to reach the desired consistency.
When it comes to flavor, buttermilk is one of the best substitutes for yogurt. Both are cultured dairy products that are made similarly.
The biggest difference between buttermilk and yogurt is the texture. Buttermilk is a liquid base, while yogurt has a thicker cream texture. Despite the difference in texture though, these two can be used interchangeably in many recipes. Especially in baking.
Buttermilk is an exceptional choice for adding the right amount of tang and moisture to cakes, cupcakes, muffins, and quick bread. Buttermilk is also a good choice for marinades, dressings, and batters.
In most recipes, you can use a 1:1 substitution. However, to avoid anything being too runny start with ¾ cup of buttermilk in place of 1 cup of yogurt. Increase to a full 1:1 exchange if needed.
6. DIY Buttermilk
If you don’t have buttermilk in your fridge, you can make your own! This DIY buttermilk is quick and easy – all you need is whole milk and either lemon juice or vinegar.
Mix 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar (white or apple cider). Let sit for 10-15 minutes. When the milk begins to thicken and curdle it is ready to use. Use this as a yogurt substitute in the same way it is suggested to use buttermilk above.
Note: While you can use any milk, whole milk or 2% will give you the closest texture to buttermilk and yogurt.
7. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is high in protein and a healthy alternative to many other high-fat creamy products. It is one of the most versatile foods out there!
While cottage cheese is a wonderful replacement for yogurt in many recipes it does add its own flavor and texture. Therefore, it is important to consider what recipes it will work best in.
Cottage cheese is saltier than yogurt and has a curdled texture. The best way to use it as a substitute for yogurt is by blending it with a splash of milk or cream. This will give you a creamy texture that resembles yogurt. To elevate the tanginess, you can also add a squeeze of lemon juice.
Once you have doctored up your cottage cheese you can use it in a 1:1 swap for yogurt in many recipes. Due to its saltiness, it works better in savory dishes like dips and dressings. It is also a better choice for cold dishes rather than hot ones (when heated it is watery and can ruin the texture of the recipe).
8. Cream Cheese
Cream cheese isn’t just for bagels! This creamy condiment can be used as a substitute for many foods, including yogurt!
Like cottage cheese, cream cheese is best when you give it a little bit of attention before adding it to your recipe. Mix your cream cheese with a splash of milk or cream to get a creamy consistency. It won’t be exactly like yogurt, but it will be closer in texture than solid cream cheese.
The flavor of cream cheese is more decadent than yogurt. It is also less tangy. To enrich the tanginess, feel free to add a squeeze of lemon juice to the milk + cream cheese mixture.
Once you have smoothed out your cream cheese you can use it in a 1:1 replacement for yogurt in many dishes. While it can be used in baking, it works especially well for adding a thick and creamy texture to soups, stews, and sauces. Cream cheese is also excellent for savory dips!
9. Heavy Cream
Heavy cream does not have the tanginess or texture of yogurt. However, when heavy cream is heated or mixed with other ingredients it creates a thick and creamy consistency. Therefore, it can work in place of yogurt.
While it does not have the tanginess of yogurt you can imitate this with a squeeze of lemon juice. Moreover, if you want to elevate the texture and tang try making a soured cream first. Mix 1 cup of heavy cream with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (or vinegar). Let it sit for 10-15 minutes to curdle.
Start with using ¾ heavy cream for 1 serving of yogurt (¾ heavy cream for 1 cup of yogurt). Add up to a full 1:1 exchange if desired.
Need a substitute for yogurt simply because you don’t eat dairy? Not to worry! Here are four wonderful non-dairy substitutes you can use in place of yogurt. While they will not be identical in texture or taste to yogurt, these substitutes will still add creaminess and moisture to any dish.
10. Coconut Milk
Coconut milk has a wonderful thick texture that can be used to replace yogurt. While the rich flavor of coconut will be prominent, it can be a nice addition to many sweet and savory dishes.
Use coconut milk in a 1:1 swap for yogurt in baking and cooking.
11. Plant Based Yogurt
Plant-based yogurts will lend a similar texture to dairy yogurt. However, depending on what plant-based milk the yogurt is made from the flavor will vary quite a bit.
Be mindful that this may impact the overall taste of your final dish. Plant-based yogurts can be used in a 1:1 swap for regular yogurt in any recipe.
12. Plant-Based Sour Milk
Plant-based milks can be used to make a DIY sour milk like the DIY buttermilk above. Just mix 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (or vinegar).
Even with the addition of lemon juice, be mindful that most plant-based milk has a distinct flavor that comes through (almond and soy milk will have the most neutral flavors).
In addition, plant-based milks have high water content. Therefore, they will likely change the overall texture of your dish and be less creamy than other substitutes.
Start with a ½ to ¾ serving of soured plant milk. Add up to a full 1:1 substitution if desired.
13. Silken Tofu
Silken tofu is the best choice for a non-dairy yogurt substitute that will not impact the flavor of your recipe. The neutral taste of tofu will take on the flavors around it, rather than imparting its own.
For the best results, blend your tofu with a splash of plant milk to get a smooth consistency. If you want to add a bit of tanginess to replicate the yogurt, add a squeeze of lemon juice.
Tofu can be used in a 1:1 swap for yogurt in baking and cooking.
We hope you found the perfect yogurt substitute for whatever recipe you're making! Let us know how it turned out in the comment section below!
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Best Yogurt Substitute: Greek Yogurt (+More Great Tasty Alternatives!)
Best Yogurt Substitutes - Greek Yogurt, Mayo, or Sour Cream
- To use Greek yogurt in place of yogurt in baking recipes, combine ¾ cup Greek yogurt with ¼ cup water. Stir to combine, then use in a 1:1 ratio to replace yogurt in your recipe.¾ cup Greek yogurt
- Greek yogurt can be mixed in to most other recipes quite easily with just replacing each 1 cup of yogurt called for in a recipe with ¾ cup Greek yogurt instead.
- Both mayonnaise and sour cream are also easy substitutes to use for yogurt. Both can be used in an equal 1:1 ratio.1 cup mayonnaise, 1 cup sour cream
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!