How To: Greek Yogurt Makes a Surprisingly Great Substitute for Mayo & Other Dairy

Greek Yogurt Makes a Surprisingly Great Substitute for Mayo & Other Dairy

Greek yogurt has always been in my regular snack rotation. Packed with more protein than plain yogurt, it fills me up and stabilizes my energy with its low levels of carbohydrates and sugar.

I have always tended to go the sweeter route, adding berries, honey, and coconut flakes for added taste and texture... but it turns out that using it in my favorite savory entrées can be just as delicious. Just substitute Greek yogurt for any recipe that calls for cream (or a combination of milk and butter) and you'll be set!

Here are five recipes that use Greek yogurt for a healthier, but equally delicious meal or side dish.

1. Greek Yogurt Macaroni & Cheese

A warm bowl of creamy mac and cheese on a cold day is one of life's greatest comforts; in my opinion, there is nothing that this classic dish cannot cure. Like most great comfort foods, though, it is heavy on the calories.

Substituting Greek yogurt instead of the usual milk and butter allows for the same intense level of cheesy goodness, but without putting you in a food coma afterwards. It may seem like an odd match at first, but trust me: you won't even notice the difference once you take the first bite.

This recipe by Lauren from a Dash of Soul is a great blueprint for making an addictive and healthy mac and cheese.

2. Greek Yogurt Guac

Guacamole is a classic game day staple, and adding a touch of sour cream often ups the velvety texture—as well as gives it a complex tang. You can easily swap out sour cream for Greek yogurt to the same effect: and for much less guilt.


  • ½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • ½ to 1 lime, to taste
  • 2 small tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¼ tsp. cumin
  • salt, to taste
  • paprika or tabasco sauce, to taste
  • a few pinches of cilantro (optional)


  1. Dice up your tomatoes and garlic and put them together in a bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, mash up your avocados and add lime juice immediately to prevent browning.
  3. Add the Greek yogurt to the avocados.
  4. Mix the two separate bowls together until blended well.
  5. Sprinkle the cumin, salt, and paprika or Tabasco sauce in slowly and keep taste testing it until you find your preferred level of spiciness.

(If you have any dip leftover, learn about how to stop your guac from browning in the fridge here.)

3. Skinny Buffalo Chicken Dip

This is healthy alternative to another game day classic dip—buffalo chicken dip. Substituting Greek yogurt for sour cream will give hungry fans an extra punch of protein without the added calories.


  • ½ block (4 ounces) of reduced-fat cream cheese
  • ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup hot sauce
  • ¼ cup light blue cheese crumbles
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups cooked shredded chicken


  1. Put all of the ingredients into a medium saucepan and set the stove to medium heat.
  2. Stir frequently until completely heated and cheese is melted (around 15-20 minutes).
  3. Serve it warm with some of your favorite fresh veggies or chips.
Image by Naomi Imatome-Yun/Food Hacks

4. Greek Yogurt Coleslaw

There is nothing that does not go well with coleslaw, whether it accompanies sandwiches, fried chicken, or BBQ. Using Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise still creates a creamy, delightful tang—but without the empty calories that mayo is so well known for.


  • ½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 ½ Tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 16 oz. (about 6 ¼ cups) bagged coleslaw blend or shredded cabbage


  1. In a small bowl, mix the Greek yogurt, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper and whisk until smooth and thoroughly blended together.
  2. Place cabbage in a large bowl, then pour in the Greek yogurt mixture. Stir to coat cabbage thoroughly.
  3. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (ideally around 30 minutes).
Image via Knorr

5. Greek Yogurt Pasta Sauce

Pasta with tomato sauce is a dish that is easy to whip up in the kitchen on a weekday night when you have to make dinner in a crunch. To avoid being weighed down by this hearty meal, sub Greek yogurt for heavy cream in your pasta sauce for a great alternative that is bound to make regular appearances in your dinner lineup.

For a heart-healthy sauce, try Popsugar's recipe here.

Once you discover that Greek yogurt has more applications beyond a quick and easy breakfast or snack, you'll feel less guilty when indulging in your favorite comfort foods. Enjoy your savory appetizers and dishes without having major calorie regret afterwards!

More Smart Healthy Hacks:

Just updated your iPhone? You'll find new features for Podcasts, News, Books, and TV, as well as important security improvements and fresh wallpapers. Find out what's new and changed on your iPhone with the iOS 17.5 update.

Photos by Julia Kitlinski-Hong/Food Hacks (unless otherwise stated)

Be the First to Comment

Share Your Thoughts

  • Hot
  • Latest