Yogurt is so much more than an on-the-go breakfast food. As an ingredient, it adds great flavor and texture to all sorts of dishes. From decadent sweets and creamy condiments to the best marinade for tender grilled meats, yogurt’s culinary potential is boundless. We’ve rounded up our favorite recipes using yogurt.
All of these sweet and savory recipes work great with store-bought yogurt but
making it yourself is simple and results in creamy, fresh-tasting yogurt that’s exactly as tart as you like. From that base, you can make variations like smoked yogurt or labaneh, a thick, strained yogurt common in Middle Eastern cuisine.
Yogurt is popular in India, where it’s made into a condiment called raita that is perfect for taming a fiery curry. The potential for flavoring raitas is virtually endless. Try cucumber and tomato or beets and asafoetida, a spice common in India. For a sweet-spicy twist, we love making raita with pineapple, coconut, and chiles.
When it comes to adding body to chilled soups, yogurt shines. Some of our favorites are a curried yogurt soup called kadi and a peach soup and a peach soup with ginger and carrots. Or use it to add tangy lightness to a spinach and chive soup topped with grilled scallions.
Yogurt’s creaminess makes it a great dessert base. Frozen yogurt gets a bad reputation as a trendy health food, but our spiced persimmon yogurt is as satisfying as any ice cream. If you can’t find persimmons, try our strawberry-rhubarb yogurt pops.
Find all these dishes and more in our collection of yogurt recipes.
These refreshing frozen treats come from pastry chef Jen Yee at New York City’s
Lafayette. Get the recipe Strawberry Rhubarb Yogurt Pops »
Spinach, Chive, and Yogurt Soup with Grilled Scallions
Breakfast, brunch, or snack, we could serve (and eat) this quick-cured, no-cook fish dish from John Karangis of
Union Square Events, any time of day. It works exceptionally well as a summer starter, served with a savory lime yogurt and refreshing cubes of ripe watermelon, then sprinkled with flecks of shichimi togarashi: a spicy, tangy, earthy Japanese spice mix. Get the recipe Cured Fluke with Yogurt, Watermelon, Sunflower Seeds, and Togarashi »
The overt sweetness of white chocolate is tamed here by the addition of tart Greek yogurt. Chef John Karangis of
Union Square Events serves it as a bed for juicy roasted plums and a sweet, anise-tinged tarragon white wine granita—it’s an elegant way to end a summer dinner. Get the recipe for Plum, White Chocolate, and Tarragon Parfait »
Chef Steven Brown of Tilia serves these custards in egg-shells, but espresso cups work just as well. The yogurt helps to balance the sweetness of the rosemary-infused custard.
Get the recipe for Bay and Rosemary Custard »
Similar to raita, this Iranian sauce differs with the addition of minced fresh yellow onion. Make it a day ahead to allow the flavors to really marry before serving.
Get the recipe for Cucumber Yogurt »
This creamy yogurt-based chutney is made with cilantro, lime, and fresh green chiles.
Get the recipe for Cilantro Yogurt Chutney »
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This passion-fruit-drizzled cake gets its tangy moist crumb from yogurt.
Get the recipe for Yogurt Bundt Cake with Passion Fruit Sauce »
At the Indian table, a variety of yogurt-based raitas mollify the tongue-searing effect of chiles. This version, made fruity and sweet with the addition of coconut and banana, is adapted from
Foods of the World: The Cooking of India (Time Life, 1969). Get the recipe for Yogurt with Banana and Grated Coconut »
Chickpea flour acts as a stabilizer, preventing yogurt from curdling in this aromatic soup.
Porous lotus root sops up spiced yogurt gravy in this Kashmiri specialty.
This zippy raita gets its punch from green Thai chiles and its sweetness from pineapple. A piquant mixture of black mustard seeds, dried red chiles, and curry leaves lends the sauce an earthy spice.
Get the recipe for Spicy Pineapple Yogurt (Kaitha Chaka Pachadi) »
Labneh, a thick strained yogurt, is the base for this vanilla-spiked tart.
For a twist on the classic Waldorf salad, try tossing sweet apples with crisp watercress and nutty kohlrabi in a sumac-infused yogurt dressing.
Pigeon Pea Fritters with Yogurt-Tomato Sauce (Vadai Pachadi)
These lamb shoulder chops tenderize in a yogurt marinade flavored with cumin and cardamom before grilling.
Looking for a March breakfast? This egg dish is perfect. Pair it with warm bread to mop up extra egg yolk and yogurt.
Grated cucumber marries with chopped herbs and aromatics in this iconic Greek yogurt condiment.
Get the recipe for Cucumber Yogurt Dip (Tzatziki) »
Light, tangy yogurt replaces rich mayonnaise in the herb-laced dressing for this salad.
Copious amounts of lightly caramelized onions are piled atop pasta and served with yogurt and herbs in this recipe inspired by Claudia Roden’s
. The New Book of Middle Eastern Food Get the recipe for Tagliatelle with Yogurt and Fried Onions (Rishta bi Laban wa Bassal) »
Pistachios, cardamom seeds, and saffron are mixed into yogurt to make this cool and creamy dessert.
Smoking yogurt over wood and mixing it with white miso creates a complex, unusual dip.
Get the recipe for Smoked Yogurt »
Classic frozen yogurt gets a boost from floral persimmon and toasted spices.
This basic raita is a cooling counterpoint to fiery foods, thanks to its foundation of full-fat yogurt, cucumber, and mint. Plum tomatoes add a hint of acid, Thai chiles heat, and cumin a slight earthiness.
This cooling yogurt mix can be served as relish, dip, salad, or side.
This vibrant okra stew is thickened with chickpea flour.
Thick, tart, and creamy, this yogurt-like cheese, is perfect eaten with olive oil, pita bread, and za’atar.
Garlicky lamb and rice baked under a thick, tart veil of yogurt is a dish beloved throughout Albania.
Get the recipe for Albanian Baked Lamb and Rice with Yogurt (Tave Kosi) »
Puréed canned peaches form the base of this delicate soup, which is thickened with tart Greek yogurt and spiced with fresh ginger.
Get the recipe for Cold Peach Soup »
Toasted carob powder, yogurt, and grated sweet potato add complex flavor and chewy texture to this Croatian take on focaccia from home cook Tatjana Ciciliani.
Curried Potato Salad
Across the Levant, eggplants are grilled and mashed to make baba ghannouj, a silky, delicious dip for flatbreads and vegetables.
Get the recipe for Mashed Eggplant Dip (Baba Ghannouj) »
Yogurt tempers the heat of this coconut chicken curry, a variation on a classic lamb dish from the state of Rajasthan in western India.
Get the recipe for Rajasthani White Chicken Curry (Safed Maans) »
Bluefish gets the haute cuisine treatment at
Puritan & Company in Cambridge, where chef-owner Will Gilson serves it as a smoky paté.
Throughout India, creamy, chilled lassis are the go-to beverage for cooling off during the warmer months. To make them, milk or water-thinned yogurt is blended with ingredients such as Rooh Afza, a scarlet-colored syrup tasting of rose petals and pine, or—for this recipe—ripe mangoes, resulting in a refreshing drink that’s as thick as a milkshake.
Throughout India, creamy, chilled lassis are the go-to beverage for cooling off during the warmer months. To make them, milk or water-thinned yogurt is blended with ingredients such as ripe mangoes or, as in this recipe, rose water and strawberries.
Get the recipe for Strawberry Lassi »
Throughout India, creamy, chilled lassis are the go-to beverage for cooling off during the warmer months. To make them, milk or water-thinned yogurt is blended with ingredients such as strawberries or ripe mangoes. In the South India city of Hyderabad, the most popular lassi is made with Rooh Afza, a rose-scented syrup made with botanicals and sugar.
Cumin and other savory spices combine with mint, cilantro, and chile to flavor this Bangladeshi yogurt drink.
Get the recipe for Bangladeshi Spiced Yogurt Drink (Burhani) »