Five New ways to use yogurt

From dips to desserts we’ve got inspiration to make the most of yogurt.

If you’ve been looking for new ways to use that tub of yogurt in the fridge, you’ll find all the inspiration you need in this guide to using your favourite dairy staple in new and unexpected ways. From creamy salad dressings to dessert barks, here are five new ideas for incorporating this surprisingly versatile ingredient into your everyday meal plan.

A quick yogurt 101

Non-fat and low-fat yogurt is made from skim or low-fat milk. Its thin consistency and tart flavour works best in recipes for salad dressings, sauces, and marinades.

Non-fat and low-fat Greek yogurt is made from yogurt that has been strained of most of its whey, resulting in a thick and creamy mouthfeel without any added fat. Greek yogurt has a stiff texture which makes it ideal for dips and creamy desserts.

Yogurt with added flavour or fruit (including non-fat and low-fat yogurt) is typically chock-full of sugar and other additives. Adding your own fruit to plain yogurt and drizzling it with a small amount of honey or maple syrup is a tastier and more nutritious alternative if you prefer your yogurt sweetened.

Be careful adding non-fat or low-fat yogurt to hot sauces and soups as heat causes the yogurt to break apart and curdle. Remove the sauce or soup from the heat before adding the yogurt, stirring to combine and serving immediately.

1. Creamy salad dressing

Traditional recipes for creamy salad dressing, such as ranch and Caesar salad dressings, are often packed with mayonnaise and other rich ingredients. Try replacing the mayo with regular or Greek yogurt for the same classic flavour and mouthfeel. The inclusion of a small amount of fat, such as olive oil or mashed avocado, makes the swap undetectable. Depending on the recipe, you might find the recipe needs less vinegar or lemon juice because of the yogurt’s natural tang, so begin with half of what the recipe calls for and continue tasting until the salad dressing is to your liking.

Dips

The addition of Greek yogurt to your favourite dip recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser, whether you pair it with chicken wings, crudites or pita chips. Some dips, such as raita and tzatziki, are already made with yogurt as a base so there are no ingredient substitutions. Dips that are traditionally on the rich side, such as buffalo and French onion dip, are just as delicious when prepared with Greek yogurt in place of mayo.

Marinade

Regular non-fat or low-fat yogurt makes an incredible base for a marinade, the naturally-present lactic acid in the yogurt quickly works to tenderize chicken breasts, fish, shellfish, and any other animal protein. If you’re marinating chicken breasts, make extra marinade and add it to chicken breasts in resealable freezer bags before freezing. You’ll have a perfectly tender chicken breast to enjoy during the week, no prep before cooking required.

Sauce

From savoury to sweet recipes, a well-made sauce adds flavour and finesse to everything from lamb burgers to seasonal fruit. Make a batch of yogurt-based sauce at the beginning of the week and enjoy for the next 2 to 4 days. Keep in mind that yogurt sauces with garlic or chilis will become stronger as the sauce sits in the fridge and that sauces with watery ingredients (such as shredded cucumber) should be stirred before serving.

Dessert bark

Greek yogurt forms the perfect tangy base for dessert bark, a sheet of frozen fruit and yogurt that the whole family will love. While the recipes below are made from fruit, you can also add chocolate chips, toasted coconut and chia seeds for added flavour.