20 Delicious Ways to Transform Plain Yogurt Into Something Extra Special
Sure, you can enjoy it just as it is, but we think plain yogurt is so much better gussied up. Here are 20 recipes that utilize this staple to make something even better.
Sure, yogurt is great as a healthy, probiotic-rich breakfast or snack, especially when it's mixed with fresh fruit and granola. However, it can also serve as magic, understated ingredient in so many different sweet and savory recipes. Next time you find yourself with an abundance of plain yogurt on your hand, try mixing it into one of these recipes.
While store-bought plain yogurt will work great in all of our recipes, you can also try your hand at making your own yogurt in an Instant Pot, the results of which are pictured here. It's a genius and totally innovative take on a basic dairy aisle staple. From here, try whipping it into a sweet frozen dessert such as popsicles or frozen yogurt. We have a couple of colorful recipes that the entire family is sure to love, thanks to their creamy, indulgent texture, vibrant colors, and fruity flavor. Yogurt is also a fabulous addition to panna cotta, a chilled gelatinous Italian dessert. Using yogurt will make this extra-special treat creamier than you ever could have imagined—plus, it's healthier, too!
Yogurt also achieves great things in savory recipes, whether as a dipping sauce, salad dressing, or burger topping. And whether you use plain regular yogurt or strained yogurt, it adds a touch of tang and plenty of decadence that you'll love. Looking for something energizing? Plain yogurt is one of our go-to ingredients for a balanced smoothie. Dozens of nutritious yogurt-based smoothie recipes have been published in Living over the years, but here we're sharing just one of our favorites.
Plain yogurt is absolutely worth celebrating and we have not one, not two, but 20 ways to make use of it.
Turn It Into a Dipping Sauce
Serve It with Salad
Use plain yogurt in this fragrant salad dressing, which is drizzled over a simple and vibrant salad made from bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, thinly shaved fennel, plum wedges, and toasted almonds.
Tuck It Into a Pita Bread Sandwich
Make Frozen Yogurt
Serve It for a Savory Breakfast
Yogurt fruit parfaits are a classic breakfast treat, but this savory spin is also worth trying. Plain strained yogurt is spread over the bottom of a bowl and is then topped with an energizing combination of roasted vegetables (use leftovers!), fried eggs, and plenty of fresh herbs.
Use It as a Burger Topping
Move aside, ketchup! The tanginess of yogurt cuts through the gamey flavor of lamb burgers in this recipe for a spectacular, balanced bite.
Spread It on Toast
Upgrade how you serve yogurt (and toast!) at breakfast time with this colorful bite. Top a slice of toasted whole grain bread with strained yogurt, clementine segments and raspberries, plus a drizzle of honey for a sweet start to your day.
Swirl It Into Soup
Two genius ingredients—plain yogurt and a Yukon gold potato—make this eye-catching soup ultra-silky without adding tons of extra fat or calories.
Turn It Into a Festive, Stunning Dessert
It looks luxurious, but this fruity panna cotta doesn't have a long ingredient list. Plain yogurt is whisked into a mixture of whole milk, fresh basil, gelatin, and fresh grapefruit juice, which is then poured into ramekins and chilled until set. It's topped with grapefruit-infused honey syrup for a hint of sweetness.
Top Waffles with It
Serve It with Poached Eggs
Turn It Into a Cheese Spread
Similar to Boursin but healthier, our garlic-herb yogurt cheese is creamy, herby, and highly addictive. Draining the yogurt gives it a thicker consistency; adding garlic and herbs turns it into the perfect accompaniment for crudités and crackers.
Blend It for a Smoothie
Our twist on the classic creamy fruit salad swaps out cream for whipped plain Greek yogurt.
Use It in a Tart
In lieu of a traditional custard filling for a tart, try this yogurt-based version.
Lassis aren't the only Indian yogurt beverage. Chaas, a refreshing drink popular in the country's northern region, is thinner than a lassi and just as delicious. Try three of these delicious variations: Curry-Leaf and Cumin Chaas, Salty Lime Chaas, and Sweet Lime Chaas.
Mix It Into Cake Batter
Working plain Greek yogurt into this batter ensures a moist cake with a tender crumb.
Freeze It for a Cool Treat
It doesn't get any easier—or more delectable—than this. Simply fold strawberry jam into plain Greek yogurt, pour into ice-pop molds, and freeze.