What could I use instead of Greek yogurt?

Greek yogurt has become a popular ingredient in many recipes and is known for its thick, creamy texture and tangy flavor. However, some people can’t eat dairy or simply don’t like the taste of Greek yogurt. Luckily, there are several substitutes that can be used in place of Greek yogurt in both sweet and savory applications.

What is Greek Yogurt?

Greek yogurt is a strained yogurt that has been filtered to remove the whey, resulting in a thicker consistency than regular yogurt. The tangy, tart flavor comes from the lactose (milk sugars) that are converted to lactic acid by the bacterial cultures added to the milk to make the yogurt. The straining process also removes some of the moisture, leaving behind a higher concentration of protein per serving compared to regular yogurt.

In addition to being thicker and richer, Greek yogurt contains less sugar and more protein than regular yogurt. It has become popular as a high protein breakfast or snack. Greek yogurt can be used in place of sour cream, mayonnaise, and cream cheese in dips, dressings, and spreads. It’s also commonly used in smoothies and parfaits.

Reasons to Substitute Greek Yogurt

There are several reasons why someone may need or want to use a substitute for Greek yogurt, including:

  • Dairy allergy or intolerance – Some people are allergic to the proteins in dairy or are lactose intolerant.
  • Vegan diet – Vegans do not eat animal products, including dairy.
  • Flavor/texture preference – The tangy flavor and thick texture of Greek yogurt isn’t for everyone.
  • Restricted diet – People restricting fat or calories may want a lower calorie substitute.
  • Cost – Greek yogurt tends to be more expensive than regular yogurt.

Luckily there are many non-dairy, plant-based ingredients that can be used in place of Greek yogurt for those who can’t or would rather not use dairy products.

Non-Dairy Greek Yogurt Alternatives

Here are some of the most popular non-dairy substitutes for Greek yogurt that can work well in either sweet or savory recipes:

Soy yogurt

Soy yogurt has a similar texture and tangy flavor to Greek yogurt. It’s made from soy milk and soy protein isolate. Make sure to choose unsweetened, plain varieties. Soy yogurt contains about 6-10 grams protein per serving.

Almond yogurt

Almond milk yogurt has a creamy, rich consistency similar to dairy yogurt. It’s made by fermenting almond milk with live cultures. The tangy flavor comes from added lemon juice or citric acid. It’s naturally protein-rich with about 2-3 grams protein per serving.

Coconut yogurt

Coconut yogurt is dairy-free and made from coconut cream or a blend of coconut milk and water. It has a thick, creamy texture with a lightly sweet, tropical coconut flavor. Coconut yogurt contains 1-2 grams protein per serving.

Oat yogurt

Oat yogurt is made from fermented oat milk. It has a mild oat-y flavor and can have a yogurt-like thickness depending on the brand. It contains 2-3 grams protein per serving. Thicker varieties work best as a Greek yogurt replacement.

Cashew yogurt

Cashew yogurt is made by fermenting cashew milk. It’s rich and creamy with a mildly sweet, nutty taste. Cashew yogurt contains about 1-2 grams protein per serving.

Non-Dairy Yogurt Protein per Serving Flavor Notes
Soy yogurt 6-10 grams Tangy, tart
Almond yogurt 2-3 grams Tangy, mildly nutty
Coconut yogurt 1-2 grams Mildly sweet, tropical
Oat yogurt 2-3 grams Mildly oat-y
Cashew yogurt 1-2 grams Mildly sweet, nutty

Dairy-Based Greek Yogurt Alternatives

If you can tolerate dairy but want an alternative to Greek yogurt, here are some options:

Regular yogurt

Regular yogurt has a thinner, more liquid-y texture and milder flavor than Greek yogurt. It contains less protein per serving at about 5-8 grams. However, it can work well in recipes where a less thick yogurt texture is desired.


Skyr is an Icelandic strained yogurt that is very similar to Greek yogurt in nutrition and texture. It’s also high in protein with around 15-20 grams per serving.


Labneh is a Middle Eastern strained yogurt cheese with a thick, spreadable texture. It contains about 8-12 grams protein per serving. Dilute it with water to match a Greek yogurt consistency.

Cottage cheese

Small curd cottage cheese has a mild flavor and can be blended until smooth to mimic the texture of Greek yogurt. It has about 13 grams protein per serving.


Quark is a fresh European curd cheese similar to Greek yogurt. It has a mildly tangy flavor and contains 10-15 grams protein per serving.

Ricotta cheese

Whole milk ricotta can be used as a substitute in baked goods, though it has a grittier, drier texture. It contains around 14 grams protein per serving.

Dairy-Based Alternatives Protein per Serving Notes
Regular yogurt 5-8 grams Thinner texture
Skyr 15-20 grams Very similar texture and tang
Labneh 8-12 grams Thick spreadable cheese
Cottage cheese 13 grams Blend to smooth out texture
Quark 10-15 grams Fresh European cheese
Ricotta cheese 14 grams Use in baked goods

Non-Dairy, Non-Yogurt Substitutes

If you want to avoid yogurt altogether, there are several non-dairy, non-yogurt ingredients that can stand in for Greek yogurt in recipes:


Blended silken tofu can mimic the texture of Greek yogurt quite well. For a tangy flavor, blend in a little lemon juice. Silken tofu contains about 6-8 grams protein per serving.

Cottage cheese

As mentioned above, blended cottage cheese can replace the texture and protein of Greek yogurt. Just make sure to use small curd. Large curds may not blend as smoothly.

Mashed avocado

The richness of mashed avocado can substitute for the fat content and creamy texture of Greek yogurt. Use lemon juice and garlic powder for a savory flavor. Avocados have about 3 grams protein per serving.


For a dip or spread, hummus can provide a similar texture and tanginess as Greek yogurt. Combine chickpeas, tahini, lemon, and garlic to make your own. Hummus has around 8 grams protein per serving.

Pureed beans or lentils

Pureed white beans, cannellini beans or cooked lentils can all stand in for Greek yogurt in savory dishes. They mimic the texture while providing protein. Beans and lentils contain about 8-10 grams protein per serving when pureed.

Nut or seed butters

Nut and seed butters like almond butter, cashew butter and sunflower seed butter can replicate the rich, creamy texture of Greek yogurt. They contain about 4-8 grams protein per serving.

Non-Dairy, Non-Yogurt Substitutes Protein per Serving Notes
Silken tofu 6-8 grams Blend to creamy texture
Cottage cheese 13 grams Blend to remove curds
Mashed avocado 3 grams Provides creamy richness
Hummus 8 grams Tangy chickpea dip
Pureed beans/lentils 8-10 grams White beans or lentils
Nut/seed butters 4-8 grams Provide rich, creamy texture

How to Substitute in Recipes

Here are some tips for substituting alternate ingredients for Greek yogurt in recipes:

  • Match the thickness – Choose substitutes like soy or coconut yogurt for a thicker texture needed for baked goods or smoothies. For thinner consistencies, try regular yogurt, hummus, or pureed beans.
  • Consider fat content – If a recipe relies on the fat content of Greek yogurt, opt for more fatty substitutes like avocado, nut butters or coconut yogurt to replicate it.
  • Account for tanginess – If a recipe needs that tang, use soy yogurt, lemon juice, vinegar, or hummus for a similar sourness. In sweeter recipes, milder flavors like almond yogurt or silken tofu work better.
  • Add protein – If you need a protein boost, use high protein substitutes like cottage cheese, tofu, skyr or ricotta. Or, add nuts, seeds, or protein powder to plant-based alternatives.
  • Adjust liquid – Yogurt alternatives may have different moisture contents, so the amount of other wet ingredients may need adjusting.

Start by substituting yogurt alternatives in equal amounts to the Greek yogurt called for. Taste and adjust seasoning or thickness as needed. The quantity or balance of other ingredients like sugar, acids, liquids, leaveners or thickeners may need tweaking depending on the substitution used.

Recommended Substitutes for Specific Uses

Certain Greek yogurt alternatives tend to work better in specific types of recipes. Here are some recommended substitutions:


For baked goods like muffins, breads and cookies try:
– Soy, coconut or cashew yogurt
– Silken tofu
– Applesauce or mashed banana
– Cottage cheese or ricotta


For creamy smoothies, use:
– Soy, almond or oat yogurt

– Silken tofu
– Avocado
– Cottage cheese

Savory dips

In savory dips and dressings, go for:

– Soy yogurt
– Hummus

– Pureed white beans
– Mashed avocado
– Soft silken tofu

Overnight oats

For overnight oats try:
– Almond yogurt

– Soy yogurt
– Applesauce
– Cashew yogurt


For yogurt parfaits use:
– Coconut yogurt
– Almond yogurt

– Cashew yogurt
– Cottage cheese
– Ricotta cheese

Key Takeaways

  • Popular substitutes for Greek yogurt include soy, almond, coconut, oat, and cashew yogurts for a non-dairy option.
  • Dairy-based alternatives include regular yogurt, skyr, labneh, cottage cheese, quark, and ricotta.
  • Non-yogurt substitutes can be silken tofu, mashed avocado, hummus, pureed beans/lentils, or nut butters.
  • Consider thickness, protein content, tanginess, and fat content when substituting for Greek yogurt.
  • Adjust liquid and leaveners in baked goods based on moisture content of substitutions.
  • Choose substitutes suited for specific uses like baking vs smoothies vs savory dishes.

With so many plant-based, dairy, and non-yogurt options available, it’s easy to find a tasty substitute for Greek yogurt whether you avoid dairy, want more protein, or simply want a different flavor. Experiment with different alternatives to find your perfect replacement in any recipe.

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