Greek yogurt isn't only rich and creamy, but it's also super high in protein, calcium, and probiotics. From sauces and dressings to pizza crusts and baked goods, more and more recipes call for Greek yogurt. However, Greek yogurt can be expensive, and some brands are extremely tangy and strong in flavor, which makes it somewhat of a polarizing food. Additionally, its wide usage in cooking and baking can be difficult to navigate if you’re vegan or on a non-dairy diet.

If you're out of Greek yogurt at home, looking for a non-dairy option, vegan, or simply don't like it, there are a few Greek yogurt substitutes that are cheap, less tangy, and more likely to be in your fridge. Here are the best substitutes for Greek yogurt that you may already have on hand.

1. Sour Cream

cake, chocolate, apple
Maya Giaquinta

You can use sour cream in almost any recipe that calls for Greek yogurt, but it works especially well in dressings and sauces. You use exactly the same amount of sour cream as you would yogurt (1:1 ratio). Sour cream will add a more indulgent bite to any dish, but the texture of the dish will remain the same.

#SpoonTip: Try this buttery and sweet sour cream coffee cake.

2. Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese often gets a bad rap because of its consistency. Nevertheless, it's a nutritional powerhouse that’s high in protein, low in sugar, and full of calcium.

Hope Steele

You can use the same amount as you would Greek yogurt. Try it in pancakes, cheesecakes, salads, lasagna —the possibilities are endless.

#SpoonTip: Try blending your cottage cheese to get a smoother consistency similar to that of Greek yogurt. 

3. Mashed Banana

If you’re looking for a dairy-free, vegan option to add some sweetness to your dish, mashed bananas can be a good substitute for Greek yogurt in certain dishes, particularly baked goods. Substituting mashed bananas in a recipe is one way to cut down on butter and oil while still keeping the recipe moist — the same applies to using it as a Greek yogurt substitute.

Laura Rodriguez

Since bananas lack the tangy quality of Greek yogurt, you may want to incorporate a bit of acidity (such as a teaspoon or two of lemon juice) when using this substitution. Additionally, bananas have natural sweetness that Greek yogurt doesn't totally have, so you may want to adjust the other added sugars in your recipe to compensate. For the best results, you can do a direct swap, trading in a half-cup of mashed or pureed bananas in place of a half-cup of Greek yogurt.

#SpoonTip: Choose less ripe, yellow bananas if you want a milder flavor, as opposed to selecting the brown, mushy fruit that is prized for making banana bread.

4. Buttermilk

Buttermilk is the liquid left after butter has been churned. It may sound kinda gross, but it's actually rich in flavor. It will help cakes and breads rise and give them a bit of tang and tenderness. Always use a 1/4 less buttermilk than the amount of Greek yogurt that the recipe calls for. 

#SpoonTip: Try making this irresistible buttermilk banana bread

5. Milk

Yes, milk can be used instead of Greek yogurt when baking. Add one tablespoon of lemon juice or white distilled vinegar for each cup of milk to create a sour milk. This will provide a similar flavor profile to Greek yogurt. Like buttermilk, though, use ¼ less milk in the recipe than the recipe calls for.

6. Cream Cheese

bread, cream, butter, cheese, jam, baguette
Caroline Ingalls

Yogurt toast is becoming more popular, but I honestly prefer cream cheese. Cream cheese and cucumber on toasted bread is the perfect way to start my morning (along with a big cup of coffee, of course). You can substitute the same amount of cream cheese for Greek yogurt in baked goods.

7. Avocado

avocado, vegetable, guacamole, sweet
Sarah Silbiger

If you're vegan (or simply an avocado lover), try substituting Greek yogurt with the same amount of mashed-up avocado. This substitution works well with sauces, dressings, and even in some baked goods. The flavor will be slightly different, but avocado is fairly neutral so it shouldn't affect the final dish too much. Avocado is nature's butter, after all.

#SpoonTip: Add lime or lemon juice to bring out the avocado flavor and add a bit of that tang you'd get from Greek yogurt. 

8. Coconut Cream

Like mashed banana, coconut cream can be a rich, decadent choice when you need a dairy-free swap for Greek yogurt. However, make sure you're not confusing coconut cream that comes in the can with coconut milk found in the carton — the latter is much thinner and more watery, and won't deliver the same results as Greek yogurt.

For the best results, do a direct swap, using a cup of coconut cream where you would have used a cup of Greek yogurt.

9. Mayo

sandwich
Nicole Lacasse

Mayo is a classic condiment that we should never forget about. I'm from the Chicago area, and we're famous for Portillo's chocolate cake. Why is it so popular? Probably because their "secret" ingredient is none other than good ol' mayo.

You can add the same amount of mayo as you would Greek yogurt to all your favorite recipes. It's just eggs and oil after all; for a vegan option, try Veganaise

10. Plain Yogurt

cream, sweet, chocolate, milk, dairy product, whipped cream, cake, dairy, yogurt
Lara Taniguchi

Don't be ashamed to buy plain yogurt over Greek; it's often cheaper and isn't as strong in flavor. For any recipe that calls for Greek yogurt, you can substitute exactly the same amount of plain yogurt. It's slightly less creamy and tangy, but it's essentially Greek yogurt's cousin.

#SpoonTip: You can even turn plain yogurt into Greek yogurt with this easy trick. 

You don't need to empty your wallet or clear out your fridge for a tub of Greek yogurt. You also don't need to deprive yourself of everything that's tangy and creamy in the world. Use Greek yogurt substitutes that you already have on hand, and have fun experimenting in the kitchen.