Recipe SWAT dips into Greek yogurt this week
Lisa of Creole Contessa makes a cheesy white sauce with Greek yogurt for this hot wing lasagna.
Thick, creamy, and rich Greek yogurt has cooks everywhere lining up and dipping in. With a consistency best described as a hybrid between yogurt and cheese, Greek yogurt is earning serious street cred as a healthy alternative to sour cream and crème fraîche. The Greeks got it right, so to speak, straining the yogurt in a cloth or filter to remove the whey, which gives it a thicker and richer texture. Opa!
Click here to see 11 New Ways to Use Greek Yogurt (Slideshow)
Moving beyond breakfast and tzatziki dip, we put the Culinary Content Network and our staff to the test to come up with new ways to use Greek yogurt — and they didn’t disappoint. Here are some of the highlights:
· We love Becky Winkler from A Calculated Whisk because she made No-Bake Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars — and made them healthier with Greek yogurt. Becky is a member of the Culinary Content Network.
· Arthur Bovino, executive editor at The Daily Meal, kept it in the family with Greek spanakopita, which reminded us of a Greek spinach pot pie, sans the chicken, with all the ooey-gooey creaminess.
· Lisa of Creole Contessa completes "Mission Hot Wings" to create a winning recipe for hot wing lasagna complete with creamy Greek yogurt cheese sauce. Lisa is a member of the Culinary Content Network.
All of the recipes featured can be made at home for about $30 or less, excluding the cost of small amounts of basic ingredients such as butter, oil, flour, sugar, salt, pepper, and other dried herbs and spices.
Emily Jacobs is the Recipe editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyRecipes.
45 Healthy Ways to Use Plain Greek Yogurt
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Greek yogurt is a wonderful way to add protein to your diet. For those following the Weight Watchers program, plain, non fat Greek yogurt is now low points on MyWW Green and ZERO points on MyWW Blue and MyWW Purple, so we are extra motivated to find ways to enjoy it! However, plain Greek yogurt is very tart and may be an acquired taste. If you are looking for new ways to enjoy this high-protein treat, here are 45 healthy ways to use plain Greek yogurt.
Table of Contents
- The Difference between Greek and Regular Yogurt
- How to Incorporate Greek Yogurt Into Your Cooking
- Go Classic with Tzatziki
- Make a Dressing: Greek Yogurt Ranch
- Bake a Springtime Quick Bread: Lemon Blueberry Bread
- Sub It for Sour Cream: Chicken Tacos with a Chipotle Crema Drizzle
- Replace the Mayo: Greek Yogurt Tuna Salad
- Healthier Alfredo Sauce for the Win
- Make a Marinade: Middle Eastern Chicken Kebabs
- Greek Yogurt Cake Frosting
- Delicious Greek Yogurt Brownies
- Fall In Love with Apple Streusel Cake
- A Yummy Summer Treat: Homemade Frozen Yogurt
The Difference between Greek and Regular Yogurt
Yogurt (both regular and Greek) are fermented dairy products made from the same ingredients, like milk and certain bacteria or starter cultures. The main difference between the two yogurts is how each is made.
Making regular yogurt requires you to heat milk, add bacteria, and let it ferment until it reaches a certain pH. Then you can add other ingredients to sweeten it or spruce it up.
Greek yogurt is heated, and bacteria is added (just like regular yogurt) and strained multiple times to remove the whey and other liquids. This leaves you with a tangier and much thicker yogurt in the end.
Generally, Greek yogurt is more expensive because it takes much more milk to make than the same amount of regular yogurt. However, it’s also packed with way more protein and healthy vitamins than regular yogurt.
How to Incorporate Greek Yogurt Into Your Cooking
Greek yogurt has been popular for years due to its ability to work in multiple meals while packing more nutrients than regular yogurt. Below are some things you can replace with Greek yogurt:
- Sour cream: This is one of the most popular ways to use this ingredient. The texture and flavor are so similar, many say they don’t notice any difference at all, so opt for yogurt if you’re looking for a health-conscience replacement. Add a dollop to a taco, spoon it over a bowl of soup or chili, or anything you would normally use sour cream for.
- Mayo (sometimes): The tangy or sour flavor works well in tuna, chicken, or egg salads. However, for favored foods like BLTs or cold lobster rolls, we recommend you stick with mayo.
- Heavy cream or buttermilk: Keep in mind that yogurt is much thicker, so you’ll want to thin it out a bit with milk or water before measuring and adding it to your recipe.
Replacing foods with this versatile ingredient is only one way to make the most of that large tub in your fridge. Let’s look at 11 delicious recipes that call for Greek yogurt.
Go Classic with Tzatziki
Love and Lemons
We love making homemade Tzatziki for its fresh and tangy flair! The best part about tzatziki is that it’s fit for so much more than just plain old pita bread. Grill some kabobs and fresh veggies, then accompany it with this lemony dill-infused masterpiece.
Or, you can serve it as a dip with fresh raw veggies at your next get-together. It’s delicious in sandwiches, too!
Make a Dressing: Greek Yogurt Ranch
Well Plated by Erin
Remember when I said Greek yogurt makes a fantastic sour cream or mayonnaise substitute? Well, here’s a prime example. It’s so good that the author of this recipe even wrote a song about it, and her masterful lyrics are spot-on: “it’s totally guilt-free, so dip it away.”
Using all the ranch-inspired flavorings like garlic powder, dried dill, and salt, you’ll learn to whip up a healthy version worth every bite. Dip your veggies and pizza, or throw a dollop over a salad.
Bake a Springtime Quick Bread: Lemon Blueberry Bread
Tastes Better from Scratch
We love quick bread for so many reasons! There’s no kneading or yeast required, and you can still end up with a sweet or savory loaf. Plus, Greek yogurt tastes amazing in a seasonal quick bread like this Lemon Blueberry Bread.
The tangy lemon zest combined with sweet bursts of blueberries creates a delicious little snack or breakfast treat. Please don’t skimp on the lemon glaze drizzle it’s the perfect finish to a lovely loaf.
Sub It for Sour Cream: Chicken Tacos with a Chipotle Crema Drizzle
Here’s another fantastic sour cream sub idea. Using adobo sauce leftover from canned chipotles, Greek yogurt, a few other spices, and lime juice, you’ll have a crema sauce with a bite.
The sauce accompanies tacos just right, but you can also drizzle it on a taco salad or dip a few quesadillas in it, too! The possibilities are endless.
Replace the Mayo: Greek Yogurt Tuna Salad
Girl Heart Food
Tuna, yogurt, crunchy veggies, avocado, and lemon juice, work flawlessly in creating a fresh and flavorful tuna salad.
Serve it with crackers, make a sandwich or plop a large spoonful over a tasty salad. Either way, you’ll have a wholesome meal to enjoy.
Healthier Alfredo Sauce for the Win
Creme de la Crumb
If you love all the delicious components of rich alfredo but can’t manage to nix the guilt afterward, we have a healthy solution. Using protein-packed Greek yogurt, garlic powder, parmesan, and butter, you’ll learn to whip up a quick and creamy alfredo sauce worth indulging in.
Make a Bianca pizza topped with fresh veggies, toss it over some pasta, or dip your favorite crusty warm bread in it. There is so much you can do with this rich and creamy sauce.
Make a Marinade: Middle Eastern Chicken Kebabs
Once Upon a Chef
Grilling chicken with a Greek yogurt marinade is one of our absolute favorite ways to cook with Greek yogurt. The tanginess combined with lemon garlic and various spices works flawlessly to create a savory grilled dinner.
Pair it with grilled veggies and a bed of saffron rice, or your pilaf of choice.
Greek Yogurt Cake Frosting
Greek yogurt has similar characteristics to heavy cream, which makes it a perfect frosting option. You just combine yogurt with vanilla extract, coconut flour, and powdered sugar in this recipe.
It’s particularly perfect for cakes topped with fresh berries!
Delicious Greek Yogurt Brownies
Who knew you could make fudge brownies that both taste amazing and aren’t so bad for you? Using flour, sweetener, cocoa powder, and Greek yogurt, you’ll learn to make a batch of gooey brownies that boast 100 calories in each square.
Now that’s a brownie worth biting! The recipe calls for vanilla or plain yogurt, but the author prefers using Greek yogurt.
Fall In Love with Apple Streusel Cake
Similar to our favorite spring and summer quick bread, you’ll have an opportunity to use Greek yogurt through fall with this apple streusel cake, too. While granny smith apples play a huge role in this recipe, we mustn’t forget about our star ingredient: Greek yogurt. Its natural ability to provide a moist loaf is incomparable to other ingredients.
A Yummy Summer Treat: Homemade Frozen Yogurt
Enjoy those breezy summer evenings with a bowl of homemade frozen yogurt—no ice cream maker required!
Just mix your few ingredients, freeze, stir, then freeze a little while longer. Within a few hours, you’ll have a delicious (and healthy) dessert.
As you can see, Greek yogurt has made its way into breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert recipes. Which one do you plan to try? Your body (and taste buds) will thank you!
Emilee Unterkoefler is a freelance food writer, hiking enthusiast, and mama with over ten years of experience working in the food industry. Read Full Bio »
When discussing which yogurt is lighter, Greek yogurt takes the cake. Greek yogurt contains nearly half of the calories and carbs traditional yogurt does, making it healthy food to enjoy if you're following a low-carb diet.
Looking for ways to add more protein to your diet? You've found it. Greek yogurt contains twice as much protein as regular yogurt—which is a lot! It's a high-protein treat that you don't have to feel guilty about diving into.
Usually when a mayonnaise-based salad swaps in Greek yogurt, it’s to keep the calories in check. But this broccoli salad calls for Greek yogurt to comfortably blend with the lemon-forward flavor, and it’s going to be your new favorite, packable lunch side.
Mix a generous dollop of Greek yogurt in to get a tart, yet creamy finish for soups that need that punch of luscious brightness to push them to their full flavor potential. Ingredients like avocado in this Chilled Avocado and Yogurt Soup or sweet potato in Sweet Potato and White Bean Soup don’t necessarily need the additional creaminess, but are brought into balance with the yogurt’s acidity.
Here's how to make your evaluation and treatment smoother
Few things are as scary as having to go to the emergency room. Perhaps, walking down the aisle (kidding!)? In truth, the E.R. is there to either save your life or to help you feel better. The important thing is that you utilize emergency services when you need to, and not allow fear of having a bad experience dissuade you from going. Interesting fact: according to the most updated CDC website, in 2016, the mean wait time to see a medical provider was 24 minutes in less busy emergency rooms and 48 minutes in the busier ones. Expectedly, people with more concerning symptoms such as chest pain are seen quicker than those with the complaint of a stubbed toe (I really did think I had broken it).
For those of you who are off to the emergency room, here are some (hopefully) helpful tips for making your evaluation and treatment smoother. Of course, depending on your symptoms and on whether you are being brought to the emergency room by an ambulance, you may not have the time or capacity to follow these tips (it's difficult to pack an overnight bag when you are unconscious).
Bring Another Set of Eyes and Ears
Whether it be a friend, family member or a work colleague. Having someone there to help advocate for you (asking the charge nurse why you haven't been seen in six hours) and to also listen to what the nurses and doctors tell you is extremely helpful. Additionally, s/he can act as a liaison and keep your other friends and family members informed of how you are doing.
This step can be done months earlier in anticipation. You should keep an updated list of your current medications along with dosages (including vitamins and herbal supplements) as well as a record of your medication allergies. A great place to store this information is under notes if you use a smartphone. Otherwise, the old-fashioned method of keeping these details on a piece of paper tucked away in your wallet will also suffice. Other particulars you should keep handy are your insurance information, your doctor's name and phone number, a brief summary of your medical history, such as previous diagnoses such as asthma or kidney problems, and a list of your prior surgeries. For those of you with a history of heart disease or who are presenting to the emergency room with chest pain, shortness of breath or dizziness, having a copy of your most recent electrocardiogram (EKG), which is an image of your heart's electrical activity and can signify signs of heart disease, can be extremely helpful. In fact, you should consider keeping a copy of your most recent EKG under pictures if you use a smartphone, or in your wallet, if you are a technophobe.
Try to Be as Nice and Understanding as You Can Be
Clearly, you are likely very nervous and not yourself, as being in pain and not feeling well can bring out the worst in us. However, it is important to remember that the professionals in the emergency room are likely working their hardest and have the best of intentions, and you are likely not their only patient. Try to envision how you would respond if you had to deal with your worst self (frankly, I would probably call security and have myself thrown out).
Common Ingredients you can substitute
Plain Greek yogurt can be a very useful ingredient to have in your home. Not only does it make a delicious healthy snack on its own, but it can also save you a trip to the grocery store when you realise you&rsquove forgotten another ingredient too.
Here are a few ideas for ingredients you can substitute with Greek yogurt in recipes:
Or try reducing the quantities of other ingredients. For example, instead of 1 cup of butter, use 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt and 3/4 cup of butter. These small changes all add up to big health benefits.
Sometimes I switch out the mayonnaise in this egg salad recipe for Greek yogurt for a healthier alternative and it still tastes just as good.
Find more ingredient substitutions in case you find yourself short of an essential for your next recipe.
6. Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad
Here's a great take on chicken salad. It's cool, refreshing, and the Greek yogurt makes it incredibly rich, tasty, and healthy. Try it as a healthy lunch or eat it for dinner on those hot days that call for cooler foods.
1 large chicken breast, cooked, cooled, and chopped
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 lemon, juice
1/8 tsp dried dill weed
1 stick celery, diced
4 celery leaves (from the top of your celery stick), minced
2 Tbsp red onion, diced
1/2 cup apple, cut into chunks
1 heaping Tbsp raisins
6 walnuts, roughly chopped
8 grapes, sliced in half
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Serve alone or over a potato for a complete meal.
16 More Reasons to Heart Greek Yogurt
Yes, Greek yogurt makes an awesome breakfast, a fabulous snack and a protein-packed dessert. But don't relegate it to just those uses: This yogurt is capable of so much more!
First, the nutritional stats: When compared to most regular yogurt, Greek yogurt has 2 times the amount of protein. In fact, 1 cup has as much protein as 3 ounces of chicken. It's also rich in calcium (important for strong bones and teeth and a healthy heart and nervous system). Lastly, Greek yogurt is rich in probiotics, which improve digestive health by maintaining levels of "good" bacteria in the gut (make sure the label says "active cultures").
Because 1 cup of fat-free Greek yogurt has just 120 calories and 0 grams of fat, it offers an excellent way to slim down recipes while adding tang. Even whole-milk Greek yogurt has just 190 calories and 9 grams of fat per cup (compare that to 1 cup of regular sour cream with 492 calories and 48 grams of fat).
Here are 16 healthy ways to make the most of it.
• Use instead of sour cream in macaroni and cheese and other baked pasta dishes.
• Mash with boiled potatoes for creamy mashed potatoes.
• Use to replace all of the milk and half of the fat (butter or oil) in quick breads, muffins, biscuits, cakes and coffee cakes.
• Jazz up plain Greek yogurt by pureeing with canned pumpkin sprinkle cinnamon on top.
• Use in cheesecake recipes instead of sour cream.
• Blend with ricotta cheese and fresh herbs to create a healthy dip or sandwich spread.
• Place a dollop on thick stews and chili fold in a little chili powder or ground cumin for added flavor.
• Use as a base for creamy salad dressings (add fresh herbs, lemon juice or vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper).
• Use between layers of angel food cake and fresh berries for the ultimate trifle.
• Puree with fresh avocado, lime, garlic, and cilantro for creamy and healthy guacamole.
• Use as a base for fruit smoothies instead of milk or juice.
• Use to marinate chicken, fish and pork simply use Greek yogurt instead of oil.
• Add a little vanilla extract and use as a topping for angel food cake, quick breads, coffee cake and oatmeal.
• Create Greek yogurt sherbet by adding a little lemon juice, lemon zest and honey freeze until firm. If desired, puree in a food processor before serving.
• Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla extract and use as a glaze for breakfast muffins (banana, blueberry, bran), quick breads, pancakes and waffles.
• Use to replace half of the mayo in pasta salad, coleslaw, chicken salad and spinach dip.
9 Unexpected Ways To Use Greek Yogurt
By now, you and everyone you know has probably eaten a fair share of trendy superfood Greek yogurt, likely in some pretty traditional ways. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. The low-calorie, high-protein ingredient tastes great in classics like smoothies and parfaits, and there’s no denying that.
But those aren’t the only things it’s good for. There are many exciting ways to use this kitchen staple to up the healthy ante on all of your favorite meals—both sweet and savory! Use these nine tricks to give every recipe a bit of extra protein and a subtle Mediterranean flare.
If you’re obsessed with that sour cream onion dip that’s always at parties (because, like, who isn’t?), but want a lower-calorie option, consider using Greek yogurt instead. In fact, anywhere you might use sour cream (on tacos and salads), you can easily cut down on calories by subbing it in for sour cream.
Abbey Sharp, dietitian and blogger at Abbey’s Kitchen, tells SELF that she likes to replace half the mayo in chicken or tuna salad to boost protein. You can even go as far as removing it entirely as Gimme Some Oven does in this lightened-up chicken salad sandwich recipe. Even try swapping it into deviled eggs if you feel like getting fancy.
Classic ranch typically combines about a cup of buttermilk and 1/4 cup mayonnaise. This recipe from Show Me The Yummy adds Greek yogurt while completely nixing the mayo and reducing the amount of buttermilk to just 1/3 cup. The whole recipe (which makes 1 1/2 cups) is only 206 calories total, while a 2-tablespoon serving of that classic ranch has about 140 calories.
Overnight oats are so yesterday…and not just because you made them yesterday. Muesli is the new cool oat-y kid on the block (at least Stateside in Europe it’s a common breakfast option). What is muesli? you might be wondering. It’s a lot like granola—a combination of raw oats, dried fruits, and nuts—but, unlike granola, it’s entirely raw and best mixed up with some kind of dairy product. That’s where our buddy comes in: Add Greek yogurt to either homemade or store-bought muesli (you can find it at Whole Foods nationwide), mix it up, and dig in. You don’t even have to wait overnight!
Have you ever noticed that yogurt chicken is always super tender? There’s a reason for that: According to Epicurious, the active bacteria in yogurt helps break down the meat, making it a great natural meat tenderizer. Sharp likes to combine Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and dried herbs, then use that mixture to marinate either pork or chicken.
If you want a bit of creaminess (and a little extra protein) in your next soup, top it with a dollop of Greek yogurt. This trick works best in spicy chilis and hearty veggie stews, but you can try it on any recipe you like.
These tricks are some of Sharp’s favorites. “I add [Greek yogurt] to my guacamole to boost the protein and and stretch the yummy avocado flavor,” she tells SELF. And you can do the same to hummus if you’re looking to eat more protein. Bonus: It gives both of these dips an alluring, tangy bite.
This is a great way to get more protein into breakfast treats that are otherwise low in important nutrients. We especially love the way Crème De La Crumb uses Greek yogurt in this pancake recipe, and how it’s used in these chocolate chip muffins from Well Plated.
Yes, there is a way to make mac and cheese healthier, and, of course, it involves Greek yogurt. If you’re making boxed mac and cheese (SELF loves these brands), swap the ’gurt in for melted butter. It’ll still give your pasta that moist, creamy texture, with fewer calories and a tangier flavor.
You may also like: Healthy Low-Carb Egg Muffins Under 200 Calories