Using Leftover Yogurt

Delicious, Creative Ways to Use Leftover Yogurt

I don't eat much yogurt on its own, but I often cook with it. I prefer whole milk yogurt, which isn't as easy to find as I would like. Almost all those small cartons of yogurt in the dairy case at my stores are a) flavored; b) low- or non-fat, or both. That means I end up buying a whole quart. Fortunately, I've discovered lots of ways to use it before it goes bad. Sauces and salad dressings, marinades and biscuits are all great uses for it. Check out these delicious recipes, all of which will help use the other half of that leftover yogurt.


​​If you're a fan of Greek-style yogurt, you can save money by buying regular whole milk yogurt and draining it—that's all the more expensive Greek yogurt is. Spoon your yogurt into a sieve lined with cheesecloth (or a basket-style coffee filter) and let it sit, refrigerated, for anywhere from 20 minutes to several hours, depending on how thick you want it. That's it!

  • 01 of 04

    Salad Dressings

    Yogurt in bowl with leaf, close-up

    John Foxx / Stockbyte / Getty Images

    Yogurt is a natural in salad dressings, either on its own, as in Turkish carrot salad, or in combination with mayonnaise in coleslaw or potato salad. I use it in tuna salad for tuna melts, where its acidity is a good match for the rich tuna and cheese. And it forms the base for a delicious creamy herb and garlic salad dressing for tossed greens.

  • 02 of 04

    Coating Fried Foods

    Fried chicken

    Krit of Studio OMG / Moment Open / Getty Images

    One method for coating foods to be fried, called three-stage breading​ consists of coating food first in flour, then in egg, and finally in breadcrumbs or more flour. Adding yogurt to the eggs for the second stage not only thickens the eggs slightly but also seems to make it easier to blend the yolk and white, resulting in a more homogeneous mixture for dipping. Anytime you have a recipe that calls for dipping in egg, try adding a little yogurt to the mix. we guarantee the results will improve.

  • 03 of 04

    Baked Goods

    Bacon-cheddar biscuits
    Dave Scantland

    While buttermilk is more common in baked goods, yogurt also makes a wonderful addition to biscuits, scones or cakes. Because I usually have yogurt on hand and seldom have buttermilk, we've taken to substituting it in all kinds of baking recipes.

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    Fruit and Yogurt

    Finally, if you enjoy yogurt by itself, try blending half a cup of plain whole-milk yogurt with a teaspoon or two of honey, jam or sugar and topping it with your choice of fruit. It's much better tasting than the flavored versions, better for you, and less expensive too.