yogurt substitute

Top 8 Substitutes For Yogurt That Add Creaminess and Flavor To Your Meals

Many people see yogurt as just a breakfast food. However, this food is truly versatile and can serve various purposes in baking and cooking. Still, not everyone can use or eat yogurt, so you may need to know about possible alternatives.

What Is Yogurt?

This food is the result of bacterial fermentation of milk. Yogurt is high in live cultures, but also considered a probiotic food, meaning it contains good bacteria that can help regulate the gut.

This has been around for years, particularly because it contains protein, vitamins, minerals, and is low in fat. 

Nowadays, you can find many kinds of yogurt, including regular, low-fat, Greek, full-fat, and non-dairy. Since it contains less lactose, this food is also consumed by some people who have lactose intolerance.

Yogurt is creamy and acidic, but it also mixes well with many flavors, which is why it can be on its own or as part of sauces, soups, pasta, cakes, desserts, and more.

Why Replace Yogurt, Anyway?

There are various reasons why you would need to replace yogurt, here are some of the most common:

  • Lactose Intolerance: While yogurt contains less lactose than milk, it can still cause discomfort for those that are intolerant to lactose.
  • Vegan Diet: Since yogurt is a dairy product, those that follow a plant-based diet can’t consume this food.
  • Dairy Allergy: For those that have a dairy allergy, yogurt is out of the equation as it can trigger a severe allergic reaction.

What Can I Replace Greek Yogurt With?

For Baking, Muffins, Banana Bread, and Pancakes

#1. Plain Yogurt

If you need to replace Greek yogurt, then this is a good option to use, particularly when it is plain flavored. This yogurt is a bit sweeter and has more fat, but it is still useful when you need to bake things like muffins, cakes, or want to make pancakes. 

You can use this yogurt when making sauces too, but be careful about the sweetness.

#2. Buttermilk

This choice is great when you are baking, as it gives your food thickness, texture, and that tartness that yogurt has. Buttermilk is fermented butter or cream that is often used to bind and thicken baked goods.

Use buttermilk in muffins, pancakes, biscuits, and cakes, but make sure you adjust for sugar as this option tends to be more tart than yogurt.

Also, keep in mind that buttermilk is extremely sour, so it may not be good to use on its own or to have in the same way that you would yogurt.

See More: Buttermilk Substitutes

#3. Applesauce

This option works well when you need a vegan choice, but also want to bake delicious and healthy products. Applesauce is simply mashed roasted apples that are sweet, so they can be part of the binding process in baking. 

You can add applesauce when you bake muffins, cakes, pancakes, or banana bread.

You can make your applesauce at home, but remember that this choice isn’t creamy, so your final product can come out a little drier. It may be beneficial to add some non-dairy products, like coconut milk or almond milk.

See More: Applesauce Substitution

#4. Avocado

While it may seem weird to add avocado to this list, the truth is that this fruit is a great binder and thickener in baking. 

Avocados are very tasty, creamy, and contain a high amount of unsaturated fatty acids, which makes them a healthy choice. Still, the flavor of avocado is unique, so you should consider this. 

Some good baked products to use avocado in, include muffins, savory cakes, biscuits, and even pancakes. You can add more sugar or sweetener to counterbalance for the slight bitterness of avocados.

For Smoothies, Marinades, Curry, and Indian Cooking

#5. Sour Cream

Sour cream is a great choice if you need to make a marinade, curry sauce, or any other Indian dish. This product is acidic but not sweet, so it goes well when you want to add creaminess and texture. 

You can use the same amount of sour cream as you would yogurt, but consider adjusting for sweetness if necessary. 

This choice is also a bit higher in fat, so it can result in a thicker texture, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You could use sour cream in baking as well without any problems.

See More: Sour Cream Alternatives

#6. Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is another vegan option that works extremely well in any dish. You can pick the sweetened or unsweetened kind, but make sure you adjust for flavor, as this can taste a bit like coconut. 

This choice is perfect for curry dishes, marinades, Indian cuisine, and even in smoothies.

See More: Coconut Milk Replacements

#7. Cream Cheese

This option is another easy one, as you can buy it anywhere these days. Cream cheese is higher in fat than other choices in this list, but it is creamy and slightly acidic. If you need to make curry, sauces, or desserts, then this choice is the right one.

Cream cheese is versatile, but it is also higher in calories, so it may be best to mix it with a bit of milk or a non-dairy milk product.

See More: Best Substitutes for Cream Cheese

#8. Heavy Whipping Cream

Since yogurt serves a specific purpose in certain dishes, like adding creaminess and texture, then using heavy whipping cream doesn’t seem too crazy. 

Consider, though, that this option is high in lactose and fat, so it may not be suitable for everyone. 

Use this choice when you want to make a curry sauce, Indian dishes, soups, or dips. This choice is the least healthy of this list, but it is also the most indulgent and creates a very creamy final product.

See More: Best Replacements for Heavy Whipping Cream


Can I substitute milk for yogurt?

Yes, you can use yogurt instead of milk and vice versa. Yogurt is less liquid and more tart than milk, but it can create a similar creamy texture. Milk can add the flavor that you need, but it also adds more liquid to the recipe.

What can I use if I don’t have Greek yogurt?

Substituting Greek yogurt shouldn’t be too hard at all. Use things like plain yogurt, non-dairy yogurt, buttermilk, sour cream, or cream cheese. If you want to save calories, consider using apple sauce or coconut milk instead.

Is Greek yogurt the same as natural yogurt?

The two are types of yogurt, but the difference is in the preparation. Greek yogurt is usually strained three times to reach a thicker consistency and less fat. Natural yogurt is strained only twice and contains a bit more liquid and fat.


Using yogurt is a daily thing for most of us, whether it is at breakfast, as a snack, or in cooking and baking. Yet, there are many reasons why yogurt can be difficult to use, so it is beneficial to find alternatives. Try any of these 8 substitutes to achieve a creamy and tasty final product.

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