Yogurt Cooking Tips, Measures, and Substitutions

Substitute plain yogurt for sour cream for less calories

Yogurt with granola and blueberries
Westend61 / Getty Images

Yogurt Cooking Tips

• Because of the acid content of yogurt, it makes a fabulous marinade to tenderize meats.

• Baking soda needs an acidic counterpart to produce a leavening effect. Yogurt fits the bill admirably.

• Yogurt can be used to thicken sauces much like heavy cream, but you will need to add some starch to keep it from curdling. This is because yogurt lacks the fat of heavy cream. Whisk in 2 teaspoons of cornstarch or 1 tablespoon of flour to 1 cup of yogurt before adding to hot liquids.

Whisk as it simmers and thickens, and never let it boil.

• To avoid separation when adding to hot liquids, make sure the yogurt is at room temperature.

• If the yogurt does separate during cooking, it is sometimes possible to fix it. Make a paste of 1 teaspoon cornstarch or 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour mixed with 1/2 tablespoon cold water. Stir paste into separated mixture and heat gently until it thickens and recombines.

• Beating yogurt or vigorous stirring will break it down. Gently fold it in when blending with other ingredients.

• Use yogurt in equal measures as a substitute for mayonnaise or sour cream in dip and salad dressing recipes to reduce the calories.

• For those watching their fat intake, yogurt can be substituted for sour cream in baked recipes and will save you 48 grams of fat per cup.

• Yogurt tenderizes baked goods and helps keep them moist, particularly in breads using dried fruits.

• Do not use aluminum pans when preparing anything with yogurt. The acid in the yogurt will react with the aluminum.

Yogurt Measures, Equivalents, and Substitutions

• For marinating and cooking purposes, 1 cup of buttermilk may be substituted for 1 cup of yogurt and vice versa.

• Eight ounces of yogurt equals 1 cup.

• Soy yogurt can be substituted measure for measure for milk yogurt in most applications.

• Three cups non-fat yogurt will produce 1 cup of yogurt cheese.

• For salad dressings and dips, sour cream and plain yogurt may be used interchangeably.

More about Yogurt and Yogurt Recipes:

What is yogurt? FAQ
• Homemade Yogurt
• Homemade Yogurt Cheese
• Yogurt Recipes