5 Amazing Greek Yogurt Substitutes

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Even though Greek yogurt has recently gained popularity, it can still sometimes be hard to find at the grocery store. Thankfully if you want to find the best Greek yogurt substitutes, you may not need to look any further than what’s already in your refrigerator. Having Greek yogurt substitutes on hand is always a good idea if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen!

Greek yogurt is a thicker, creamier style of yogurt than American yogurt. It is strained multiple times to remove as much lactose and whey as possible. This makes the yogurt dense and concentrated, with stronger flavors and more protein.

Greek Yogurt Substitutes

If your recipe calls for Greek yogurt, the best substitutes include the use of plain yogurt, sour cream, buttermilk, cottage cheese, and silken tofu among others.

A white plate of cottage cheese on a white wooden table

Plain Yogurt

Depending on the recipe, plain, unsweetened yogurt will work as a substitute for Greek yogurt. Plain yogurt is slightly less tangy and thick, but when it’s used in baking, the difference is practically indistinguishable. Be sure to only use the plain varieties, with no sweeteners or vanilla, and whole-fat choices are preferable.

Sour Cream

Sour cream is thick like Greek yogurt and has more tang, which maintains the same sharpness of Greek yogurt in recipes. This is an excellent substitution, especially when making dips or sauces. It also works both ways, meaning that many people choose to use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream in recipes because it has less fat.


If you’re substituting for Greek yogurt in a baking or bread recipe, buttermilk is an excellent choice. The added acidity of the buttermilk will help your dough rise even higher. However, since buttermilk is much thinner than Greek yogurt, be sure to adjust the recipe to use slightly less liquid.

If you don’t have buttermilk or sour cream in your refrigerator, you can make your own by adding 2 or 3 teaspoons of lemon juice to a cup of plain milk or cream. Let the liquid sit and thicken for a few minutes, and then it will be ready to use or keep in your refrigerator.

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese definitely lacks the tang of Greek yogurt, but it makes up for it by having a high-fat content. Drain and then blend your cottage cheese first, to make it smooth, before adding it to recipes. This substitution will give you the dairy fat content, but a much milder taste.

Silken Tofu

For vegetarians, vegans, or people simply practicing a dairy-free diet, buying vegan yogurts and sour creams can get expensive. Silken or soft tofu makes an excellent substitute for Greek yogurt but is far less expensive than pre-made non-dairy items. Just blend one package of silken tofu until smooth. A few teaspoons of lemon juice will add the acidity you want.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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