Strained yogurt, what we refer to as Greek yogurt, has long been eaten as a savory component of meals throughout the Middle East. There, it’s called labneh and typically paired with spices (za’atar!) and olive oil.
And it’s sooo good. Why should we relegate our bougie expensive yogurt to being consumed when we’re half-awake, why not during lunch, or even dinner, when we can fully enjoy it?
Whatever your style, you’ve made it this far because you want to use up the languishing tub of Fage in the back of your fridge for a solid protein-filled (Pinterest-worthy) lunch, and I’m here to help you make it so.
Header image of Jalapeño-Cilantro Yogurt Spread from CHOW
1. Sriracha Chickpeas and Roasted Cauliflower Over Greek Yogurt
How could this be bad? Salty, roasty, nutty, pickled sweetness—and instead of boring old spinach, toss it over yogurt for a #meatlessmonday.
Photo and recipe from Reclaiming Provincial
2. Fried Cherry Tomatoes with Spicy Yogurt
This fried dish is healthy because it's accompanied by yogurt, right? It doesn't matter, it's delicious.
Photo and recipe from Betty Crocker
3. "Everything" Smoked Salmon Yogurt
The bagel is the best part of a bagel, but this recipe combines the second best parts of an everything bagel with calcium-packed yogurt (and salmon) so you won’t fall asleep under your desk. Bonus: capers! Every lunch with capers feels fancy. Like tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
Photo and recipe from Olives & Garlic
4. Corfu Savory Greek Yogurt with Lentils, Basil, and Apples
This is the perfect postworkout meal from Men’s Fitness. It’s probably a miracle superfood since I’ve seen those dudes on the cover, and daaaamn.
Photo and recipe from Men's Fitness
5. Beets with Yogurt and Chervil
A dish so pretty you almost don't want to eat it. Almost.
Photo and recipe from Jean-Georges
6. Burrito Bowl Salads
Replace sour cream with yogurt, and voilà, burrito craving crisis averted while staying healthy! Yes, it’s very Pinteresty, but pretty doable if you’ve got leftovers. Looking for a pretty presentation? Try serving your tortilla-less burrito in a jar.
Photo and recipe from Strictly Delicious
7. Garlic Yogurt with Aleppo Butter, Chimichurri Pesto, and Poached Eggs
I’ll shut up here. Come on, just look at that photo.
Photo and recipe from Lady and Pups
8. Savory Yogurt Bowls with Mango, Avocado, and Chile
They’re gooooood fattts. You can totally eat the whole avocado. You’ve had a long week and you’re thinking about going to SoulCycle, so you deserve it. Just thinking about working out counts, right?
Photo and recipe from Tasteseekers Kitchen
9. Savory-ish Apple Parfait
I think nondessert things that get contorted to taste like dessert things is deranged, but maybe I have no imagination. A latte ought to taste like a latte, not a cupcake. But this here yogurt option would be delicious if you just kept the apples savory (or use sweet potatoes!)—and maybe add a sprinkle of shallots and bacon. Lunch is served.
Photo and recipe from The Diva Dish
10. Savory Yogurt Three Ways
With just eight simple ingredients, you can whip up three satisfying savory yogurt bowls. My favorite? The caprese combo, obviously.
Photo and recipe from Foxes Love Lemons
11. Harissa and Feta Yogurt with Olive Oil
It’s spicy and flavorful enough to potentially crush any cravings you might have for supersalty gyros. Eat by the spoonful, or as a hearty dip with pita chips; either way, you won't look at Greek yogurt the same way.
Photo and recipe from Shape
What's your favorite savory use of yogurt? It's time to engage, ladies and gentlemen!
Vanessa W. Simmons is a former cook living in San Francisco, helping to run a food business. She's probably hungry, but if not she could eat.