Greek yogurt is packed with double the protein and less sugar than regular yogurt, both are a great source of calcium and protein. And don’t shy away from the good-for-you milkfat: whole milk yogurt, full of fat-soluble nutrients, may be better for you than non-fat and low-fat. (That said, if you eat a dairy-free diet, you can find coconut yogurt, oat yogurt, and other non-dairy options with many of the same health benefits, if not always at the same level.)Just one serving of yogurt is a significant source of potassium, phosporous, riboflavin, iodine, zinc, vitamin B5, and vitamin B12. While
Be on the lookout for the words “live and active cultures” on your yogurt—which will be most brands you can find in stores—to know they contain good bacteria that help regulate the digestive system. These bugs help keep out the harmful microorganisms and benefit your gut.
Related Reading: Are Shelf-Stable Probiotics Actually Good for You?
Aside from all the healthy goodness, yogurt can be deliciously incorporated into your meal any time of day, from creamy salad dressings to taco or fajita toppings and, of course, frozen yogurt. Use it creatively to add a healthier twist to recipes that traditionally use cream or heavier toppings. Whether it’s classic, Greek, Australian, or Icelandic-style, we believe in eating yogurt for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.
Here are some of our best yogurt recipes to incorporate the dynamic dairy into any meal:
It’s a classic for a reason: One of the most versatile ways to eat yogurt is plain in a bowl—ready to be paired with granola, fruit, nuts, honey, chia seeds, and more. We recommend using unflavored yogurt with no added sugars, making your own taste sensations with inventive toppings and natural sugars. See how to Make Your Own Yogurt. (Our recipe uses a good old-fashioned saucepan, but of course, you can also make Instant Pot yogurt.) That said, any of these recipes taste just as good with your favorite store-bought brand.
If you want to get a jump on your morning routine, mix yogurt, chia seeds, and a few other nutritious and delicious ingredients together the night before so all you have to do in the a.m. is grab a jar from the fridge and dig in. Top it with whatever fruit is tasting best at the moment, or use thawed frozen berries. Get our Overnight Oats recipe.
Kilner Glass Breakfast Jar Set, $14.99 from World Market
Yogurt-based smoothies are good for a boost at any time of day—whether it’s at that 5 a.m. wake-up call or after a 9 p.m. gym session—but they are especially useful for those on-to-go moments. Throw together this easy recipe and be out the door in 10 minutes (or at least in front of your laptop for your next virtual meeting on the couch). Get our Healthy Blueberry Smoothie Recipe.
Related Reading: The Best Reusable Straws for Sustainable Sipping
An entirely different and equally delightful kind of yogurt drink, Indian lassi is often sweetened with lush mango, but it can skew a bit more savory too, like this version with fresh mint and toasted cumin seeds. It’s a refreshing option and extra good with a sprinkle of Indian black salt on top. Get our Salted Lassi recipe.
Dips are notorious for sneaking calories and junk into an otherwise healthy snack like chopped veggies. With a yogurt-based dip, pack in good-for-you probiotics and protein to your dipping. This recipe is just as perfect for the Super Bowl as for your next summer dinner party. Get our Yogurt Dipping Sauce with Lemon and Basil Recipe.
Guacamole is a great, but adding yogurt makes it even creamier, while also lightening up the taste with its signature tang. Cumin, garlic, lime, and a touch of vinegar add even more flavor. Thin this out with a little water for a pourable salad dressing (try it on a shrimp and greens salad), or use it as-is on your next crudité platter. Get the Avocado Yogurt Dip recipe.
You’ll be surprised at how versatile this 5-minute recipe can be: Use it with fries, burgers, or calamari. With just four ingredients and some salt, it can be used to on any sandwich with would normally call for heavy mayonnaise too. Get our Garlic-Mint Yogurt Spread Recipe.
Yogurt sauce is an excellent way to make a moist, flavorful salmon steak. It’s simple, light, and easy—pairing perfectly with a healthy side of steamed vegetables. Get our Cedar-Planked Salmon with Herbed Yogurt Sauce Recipe.
Yogurt is super useful in marinades, where it both tenderizes and flavors meat; just take a look at chicken tikka masala. For an easy, healthy, and delicious protein option that goes with pretty much everything you might want to pair with it, get our Spicy Yogurt Chicken recipe. You can also broil the skewers instead of grilling. (If you want to roast a whole bird, the same trick works wonders in our Fake Tandoori Chicken recipe.)
Pita and yogurt spread is a classic combo, and for good reason. This healthy Mediterranean meal uses a refreshing yogurt sauce with cooked lamb, but we recommend making a double serving of the sauce for dipping. Get our Lamb Pitas with Cucumbers and Yogurt Sauce recipe, or try our Lamb Meatballs with Lemon-Cumin Yogurt recipe (which are just as good in wraps). And if you’re not a lamb fan, try our Ground Beef Gyro recipe instead.
This classic Indian flatbread is easy to make at home even without a tandoor oven—it may not be quite the same, but cast iron (or an outdoor grill) will do an admirable job of blistering and browning these yogurt-enriched yeast breads. Serve them with your favorite Indian main course and condiments, or use as a wrap for any fillings you fancy. Get our Naan recipe.
12. Broccoli Slaw
This extra crunchy slaw is healthier than the usual mayo-sodden affair, thanks to a dressing that mixes a simple vinaigrette with Greek yogurt. Serve with anything that needs a little perking up, from roasted or grilled meats to basic sandwiches. Get our Broccoli Slaw recipe.
Yogurt adds a nice creaminess to this curried turkey salad. Light, healthy, and easy to prepare, this is an ideal make-ahead recipe to bring to work or school all week. Use it in a sandwich or over greens. Get our Curried Turkey Salad Recipe. You can also make it with chicken. Try our yogurt-bound Mexican Chicken Salad recipe too.
Baked pasta is a cold weather comfort food favorite, but it can be heavier than a weighted blanket. Yogurt helps lighten up this vegetarian baked penne a bit, but it’s still plenty rich and hearty (and creamy, of course). Add cooked crumbled sausage or sauteed mushrooms if you want more protein. Get our Baked Penne with Spinach and Feta recipe.
Yogurt is also a common ingredient in conventional baking, where it lends moisture, tang, and a little leavening to things like our Easy Carrot Cake recipe or this Seeded Apple Bread with Honey and Thyme. Normally, we only bake with plain yogurt (whether Greek or otherwise), but for our Strawberry Vanilla Bundt Cake recipe, you can use a vanilla flavored yogurt if you like. Just choose a brand with less sugar—always a good rule of thumb.
No yogurt recipe list is complete without a good frozen yogurt recipe, and this is one of our favorites. Using fresh blackberries, this homemade frozen yogurt hits the ideal balance of tangy goodness and fruity sweetness. But when fresh berries aren’t in season, you can use frozen for a taste of summertime. Get our Frozen Yogurt with a Blackberry Swirl Recipe.
Related Video: Make This Easy Peach Frozen Yogurt for Breakfast
Emily Payne wrote the original version of this story in 2017. It has been updated with additional images, links, and text.
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