The Best Yogurt Substitutes And How To Use Them

Yogurt Substitute

What can be good yogurt substitutes? Yogurt is delicious, healthy, and incredibly versatile. From eating it raw to cooking and baking, yogurt finds use in a lot of dishes. In the event you need a replacement for this food,  you might find yourself perplexed. 

Thankfully, there are a few other foods that can work as suitable alternatives to yogurt. While finding food that can replace yogurt in all its uses is difficult, these alternatives can work on specific requirements.

Let’s take a look at what works best.

Most Useful Yogurt Substitutes To Consider

1. Sour Cream

Sour Cream is the ideal yogurt alternative in pretty much all recipes. It has a very similar taste and texture as yogurt, so it will find use without any trouble. When used in recipes, the sourness from the cream can add a nice twist to the overall taste and flavor. 

All of this works only with the conventional version of sour cream. If you go with the fat-free variety, the substitution will be more limited. Consider it best used for dips or similar cold foods. In most cases, sour cream is a 1:1 replacement for yogurt.

2. Greek Yogurt

If you want a substitute for baking, dips, and sauces, look at Greek yogurt. It has a very similar profile to regular yogurt, but there are some pointers to note before plonking it in a dish. Greek yogurt has lower moisture content. So, when using it as a substitute for yogurt in baking, consider diluting it with a bit of water first. 

Adding water helps with the texture in baking. For undiluted Greek yogurt, the texture gets a bit tougher and the baked goods rise more than normal. Adding water helps get the texture pretty close to the original. 

For sauces and dips, it isn’t necessary to thin Greek yogurt, though you can do it to get the form right. Usually, Greek yogurt substitutes plain yogurt in a 1:1 ratio,

3. Mayo

The texture and consistency of mayo get rather close to yogurt. It might feel a bit sweeter or even savory with some recipes, but it can get the job done quite well. 

Mayo works best as a yogurt replacement in salad dressings or sandwich spreads. For the latter, it often works better than yogurt. Plus, there is a good range of choices available. Brands offer mayo in several flavors and variants, which taste fantastic on sandwich spreads. Conventionally, mayo is made from fresh whole eggs, though eggless variants are available as well.

Don’t use mayo to replace yogurt in baking. The lack of acidity in mayo means it won’t react as well with the leavening agent (like baking soda). So, the taste and texture of the dish will be way off.

4. Buttermilk

Buttermilk is a decent yogurt alternative, though not an excellent one. The consideration here is the thickness, since buttermilk is pretty much like water. As long as you adjust the water content, the recipe should work just fine.

It has a bit of acid content, so it can work for baking. Buttermilk can easily replace yogurt in drinks, marinades, and baking. It’s also worth a shot in creating batters for dishes like crispy fried chicken, but give it a trial run first to be on the safe side.

5. Cottage Cheese

Let’s face it, cottage cheese (paneer) isn’t winning any awards for being a yogurt replacement. Although for some specific recipes and when you’re really in a pinch, it can come through as an acceptable solution. 

It has significant differences from yogurt where taste and texture are concerned. Yet, since it is made by curdling milk, it has some very striking similarities to yogurt. 

The use here is limited to specific options and where you’re willing to sacrifice some texture. Although to be fair, cottage cheese itself lends an excellent texture to many recipes. Use it as a topping for salads, pasta, and sandwiches. Even desserts can benefit from a sprinkling of cottage cheese.

6. Pureed Silken Tofu

Pureed silken tofu is a good choice if you’re looking for a non-milk alternative. This tofu is already moisture-rich and has a good texture. Once pureed, it takes on a more curd-like appearance. Its uses, however, are limited and it’s best utilized in heartier dishes.

The conventional replacement ratio is 1:1. Though pureed silken tofu can work by itself, you can add a few drops of lemon juice to introduce some tartness.

7. Plant-Based Yogurt Alternatives

Going vegan? Well, then many of the other alternatives listed here won’t be your cup of tea (or yogurt). Thankfully, just like plant-based milk alternatives, you can find plenty of plant-based yogurt alternatives.

You can find several varieties, including almond yogurt, cashew yogurt, and a lot more. Many of these have a taste and texture profile similar to conventional yogurt. As such, they can find use in many recipes, including dips and spreads. 

Their use in baking remains somewhat questionable since the composition of the yogurt varies by brand, variety of plant(s), and similar factors.

8. Cream Cheese

Need a substitute for spreads and dips? Cream cheese can do the job just as well as yogurt. Although, I feel this is more a change in the recipe rather than a simple substitute. Cream cheese has its own distinct flavor and texture, which will affect the food or recipe you prepare.

It’s a good idea to use it for dips and spreads. In these recipes, it becomes a nice addition and adds texture and taste. The resulting dish, however, is completely different from the original. 

Don’t use cream cheese as a yogurt replacement in baking. Though it is possible to use it for frosting.

9. Coconut Milk

We’ve discussed some plant-based yogurt alternatives, some plant-based milk alternatives can get in on the action too. Coconut milk is a good option to use for baking, though you can as easily use it for soups, smoothies, and more. Also, use it for curries to hit those full, thick, and flavorful notes.

10. Almond Milk

Here’s another plant-based milk that can substitute yogurt in some recipes. Almond milk brings creaminess and body to soups and curries, while also adding a nice touch of flavor to desserts. It is an acceptable substitute in most of these cases, though not an ideal one.

If you need a plant-based substitute for your recipe, consider plant-based yogurts first. Plant-based milks get some requirements right, though they’re not ideal substitutes. 

More Things To Know About Plain Yogurt Substitutes

What Is A Good Substitute For Yogurt In Baking?

Best options to use in place of yogurt in baking include sour cream, Greek yogurt, and buttermilk. Used in the right amount, these keep the consistency and texture of the baked goods close to the original. A key element here is the presence of acid in these ingredients. The acid reacts with the leavening agent (like baking soda) to provide the desired texture.

Many of these options require some additional ingredients for use. Greek yogurt is best used when diluted with water, while the use of buttermilk will require reducing the amount of water used in the recipe.

What Can You Substitute For Yogurt In Smoothies?

There are plenty of alternatives to replace yogurt in smoothies. If you want to keep the creamy texture, give a shot to coconut cream or non-dairy yogurts like almond milk yogurt. In case you want to thin it down a bit, using milk, buttermilk, or even water is a good option. 

If you’re willing to play with texture and taste further, the possibilities are endless. Bring in nut butters, avocados, Chia seeds, flaxseeds, bananas, and whatever else floats your boat!

Read more: Can You Substitute Heavy Cream For Milk?

Replacing The Versatile Yogurt In Your Food

As we all know, yogurt is healthy, tasty, and versatile food. It is a staple for health-conscious people and it does wonders in various recipes and dishes. 

But, a food so popular and so often used also runs the risk of running out at home. Or maybe you just don’t like something about this food. Whatever the reasoning, using alternatives above could save the day. The list here offers several yogurt substitutes, which can be as healthy and useful as this food.

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