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There are several options if you’re all out of Greek yogurt! Here’s the best Greek yogurt substitute to use in recipes and baking.

Greek yogurt substitute
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All out of Greek yogurt, or working around a dietary restriction? Greek yogurt is a creamy, rich type of yogurt that has lots of nutrients and protein. It’s gotten massively popular in recent years, but the health claims really do stand up. The creamy texture of Greek yogurt makes it a healthy substitute for sour cream when dolloping soups and tacos. It’s also used in baking recipes as a substitute for oil or buttermilk, like in Greek yogurt pancakes.

Don’t have time to shop for Greek yogurt? Or trying to make a recipe dairy-free or plant-based? Here’s the our best Greek yogurt substitute to use in recipes and as a topping.

But first…how can you use Greek yogurt as a substitute?

Before we start…are you looking for the opposite? Do you have Greek yogurt and want to know what it can replace in your food? Here are a few foods Greek yogurt can substitute. See this Yogurt Substitution Guide for more details!

  • Sour cream
  • Oil
  • Butter
  • Mayonnaise
  • Buttermilk
  • Heavy cream

Best Greek yogurt substitute

Note that how these options work depend on the type of recipe and how the Greek yogurt is used.

1. Plain yogurt.

The best Greek yogurt substitute? Plain yogurt. Plain yogurt has a looser texture than the Greek variety. If you’re using the replacement in baking or pancakes, you can use plain yogurt as a 1:1 substitute for Greek yogurt. For dips or other recipes where you want at thicker consistency, here’s a trick: make your own Greek yogurt.

You can actually make Greek yogurt out of plain yogurt! Straining plain yogurt gives it a similar thick texture. Here’s what to do: place the plain yogurt in a fine mesh strainer and place it over a bowl. Let it sit in the refrigerator for 1 to 3 hours until it drains its liquid and becomes thicker.

2. Sour cream.

The next best Greek yogurt substitute? Sour cream! Like Greek yogurt, sour cream is a cultured dairy product. It has a creamy texture similar to Greek yogurt and a tangy flavor, though the texture is slightly looser. Use this as a 1:1 substitute for Greek yogurt baking recipes and for dolloping chili and tacos.

3. Vegan sour cream (dairy-free option).

A substitute for Greek yogurt that’s dairy free? Try this Vegan Sour Cream! It’s oddly similar to the flavor and texture of yogurt, but it’s made with cashews, tofu and lemon juice. Do not use this as a substitute for sour cream in baking recipes. But it’s perfect for dolloping chili and tacos!

4. Other (case by case).

There are a few other Greek yogurt substitutes, but you’ll have to assess them on a case by case basis. Making something creamy like tuna salad or egg salad and there’s Greek yogurt in it? You can use mayonnaise instead, because the standard recipe was adapted to use Greek yogurt.

Are you baking something? You can use butter as a substitute for the Greek yogurt in baked goods, but beware. It makes sense as a 1:1 swap for small quantities, but don’t add 1 cup butter in a recipe where it’s standing in for Greek yogurt! You may need to add a combination of butter and another food that adds moisture to baked goods, like applesauce or mashed banana.

There are so many types of uses for Greek yogurt that we can’t give you a hard and fast rule. Not sure what to do? Add a comment below.

Here are a few of our favorite recipes with Greek yogurt:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Angie says:

    I made this using light sour cream as a sub for the yogurt. I also doubled the recipe for a larger pan. I mixed it in a seperate bowl, since I was skeptical about how greased the pan would be after using IT as the mixing bowl. Cook time was longer, but it came out beautifully! Very good and moist. I did not put anything on top. Just serve with coffee!!

    1. Cindy Robinson says:

      May I ask what you made..tia

  2. Shirla Taffe says:

    So I want to make naan bread .. can I use mayonnaise instead of Greek yogurt?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      No, the dairy in the greek yogurt is important in this case.