Yogurt Substitute: What Can You Use?

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I adore yogurt. I love adding it to my meals, cooking with it, making sides and sauces, and even eating it straight out of the tub. But when I have relatives visiting who are lactose intolerant or who simply don’t like yogurt, I have to get creative with substitutes. 

Of course, there are days when I have already finished my yogurt and don’t have any more in the fridge, so I have to find alternatives to yogurt. 

So what can you use to substitute yogurt? Surprisingly, there are many substitutes to consider.  

Depending on why you are substituting yogurt, you can choose a dairy substitute such as sour cream, cream, cottage cheese, milk, or buttermilk. For some dairy-free alternatives, consider cashew yogurt, avocado, mayonnaise, and coconut milk or coconut cream.  

When choosing your substitute for yogurt, it’s important to consider what the yogurt adds to a recipe, such as creaminess, flavor, or thickening.

Choose an alternative that has the same qualities, and nobody needs to know you’re out of yogurt at all.  

What Can Be Used Instead of Yogurt?

Greek yogurt is a favorite dairy addition to many recipes, and at 4% fat content, it’s quite healthy too. However, not everyone likes the taste, and you may not have it in your fridge. 

Alternatively, you can choose to use cream, sour cream, cottage cheese, milk, and buttermilk, depending on your recipe. 

For non-dairy alternatives, choose cashew (or other nuts) yogurt, avocado, mayonnaise, and coconut milk or coconut cream. 

10 Best Yogurt Substitutes

So let’s check out the best substitutes and alternatives to yogurt to use in cooking and baking. 

Here are the dairy substitutes first.  

Sour Cream

Sour cream or Crème Fraîche is made in a similar way to yogurt, with the addition of extra fat in sour cream as opposed to yogurt. Sour cream has a 35% fat content, making it a much richer and flavor-filled taste than yogurt. 

For substitutes with sour cream or Crème Fraîche, it’s important to consider your recipe’s overall flavor profile. 

If your recipe is already quite rich, you may need to tone things down by substituting in a ratio of 1 part yogurt to ¾ part sour cream. Adding a little milk can help even things out and introduce more liquid to the recipe. 

Cream or Double Thick Cream

The cream can also do if you’ve run out of yogurt, but like sour cream, keep in mind that it’s going to be a much richer and denser substitute than real yogurt. 

Thin cream a little with some milk if you are going with a double thick cream. 

Substitute in equal parts for dips and sauces, but thin slightly and use in a ratio of 1 part yogurt to ¾ part double cream for baking and cooking. 

Cottage Cheese

For a chunky alternative, try cottage cheese instead of yogurt. Since cottage cheese is basically yogurt that’s fermented longer, the taste will be very similar, but it is also thicker and creamier than yogurt. 

For sauces, you would have to thin it somewhat by whisking in some milk, but it will work fine in baking, though you may need to add a little extra liquid. 

Substitute yogurt with cottage cheese in equal proportions, adjusting slightly by adding liquid such as milk if the cottage cheese is too thick. 

Milk and Buttermilk 

Milk and buttermilk are the runnier versions of yogurt. You can absolutely use them as substitutes, though buttermilk will be much richer than yogurt, while both contain more liquid than yogurt. 

For baking, these will work well, but if you are making a sauce where the yogurt is added as a thickener, you would have to add an additional thickening agent. 

Substitute in equal measure with both milk and buttermilk. 

For people who are lactose intolerant, allergic to milk, or vegetarian, these are some yummy non-dairy substitutes. 

Cashew Yogurt

Believe it or not, blending nuts in a food processor will produce a creamy substance that’s very similar in texture and flavor to yogurt. 

Serve the nut yogurt on its own or add some lemon juice for some tang. I also like to add a teaspoon of coconut cream for an extra level of flavor. 

When substituting cashew or other nut yogurt with traditional yogurt, you will have to consider the liquid requirement of your recipe. 

For baked goods, you may need to add extra fat or oil to balance the drier nut yogurt with traditional yogurt’s moisture content. 

Substitute in equal measure for baked goods, with slightly more nut yogurt instead of dairy yogurt in sauces and sides. 


Yip, avocado isn’t just good for making guacamole; it’s also a great double for yogurt since it has a similar creaminess and flavor. With a squeeze of lemon, you may not be able to tell your recipe is dairy-free. 

Substitute in equal measure when replacing yogurt with smashed avocado. Adding a spoonful of coconut cream will improve the texture to better match the yogurt. 

In sauces, keep in mind that avocado can turn black so you’d have to add some oil and lemon juice to reduce browning. 


Whether you are choosing a vegan-friendly mayonnaise or using a regular type, mayonnaise makes a great substitute for yogurt in baked goods and in sauces. 

Substitute in equal measure.

Coconut Milk and Coconut Cream

A close match to dairy is to use coconut milk or coconut cream to substitute yogurt. With a rich flavor and similar consistency, you can easily substitute in equal measure.   

Can I Substitute Milk for Yogurt?

You can substitute milk for yogurt as yogurt is basically milk that’s been fermented to thicken it. To get a more authentic yogurty taste and texture, you can add lemon juice to milk to curdle it before adding it to your recipe instead of yogurt. 

Note that milk contains much more liquid than yogurt, so you may need to adjust your recipe or add a thickening agent to help balance liquid to solids in your recipe. 

What Can You Use Instead of Cream Yogurt?

Creamed yogurt is richer than traditional yogurt as it has a higher fat content. Substitute with equally fat-rich substitutes such as coconut cream, double cream, or cottage cheese. 

My Last Foodie Thoughts 

I love cooking with Greek yogurt, but with all these alternatives to regular old yogurt, I am excited to try different substitutes simply to taste the difference and innovate new recipes as I go. 

Which is your favorite substitute for yogurt in making sauces, baking, and cooking?

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