There's really nothing fancy about Greek yogurt. Thicker than its non-Greek counterpart, Greek yogurt is made from cultured and fermented milk. It's drained using a mesh cloth, which is why it's less watery and denser than other kinds of yogurts.
Despite its near-basic status, Greek yogurt is full of healthy benefits. Registered dietitian Jessica Bouchard, RD previously told Well+Good that Greek yogurt is high in protein, with 16 grams per half-cup serving. It's also high in calcium and probiotics, the latter of which is good for gut health. Bouchard also says that Greek yogurt is low in lactose, which means people who are sensitive to lactose in other yogurts may still be able to tolerate Greek yogurt. Below is a full nutritional run-down of Greek yogurt for a half-cup serving, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture:
Protein: 16 grams
Fat: 6 grams
Carbohydrates: 7 grams
Calcium: 248 grams
Potassium: 240 milligrams
While you can certainly eat Greek yogurt straight, there are many ways to cook with it too; many don't realize how versatile it can be. Rounded up here are 11 Greek yogurt recipes for some ideas on how to incorporate it into every meal of the day.
11 healthy, delicious Greek yogurt recipes
Including Greek yogurt in your oatmeal ensures you're starting the day off with enough protein to power through your morning. It also makes the texture super creamy. Here, it's mixed with old-fashioned oats, banana, cinnamon, vanilla, and a pinch of sea salt.
Get the recipe: Greek yogurt oatmeal
This breakfast tastes like a banana split, but all the ingredients pack in a nutritional punch ideal for first thing in the a.m. Besides the Greek yogurt, it has peanut butter and flaxseed, which are both full of protein. The banana adds fiber, potassium, and sweetness. And it takes less than five minutes to whip it up.
Get the recipe: Peanut butter banana Greek yogurt bowl
If you're looking for a snack to eat on the go, this recipe is a great one to have up your sleeve. All you need to make it is Greek yogurt, blueberries, pistachios, and pomegranate seeds. It's loaded with antioxidants, which are good for heart and brain health.
Get the recipe: 4-ingredient blueberry Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt is a great substitute for mayo in chicken salad if you're looking for more protein and less fat in your meal. Add this chicken salad to a bed of greens for an easy salad or as a sandwich filling for a quick and easy lunch.
Get the recipe: Greek yogurt chicken salad
Greek yogurt works well as a sub for mayo in egg salad, too. Lemon and dill are used in this recipe to make it taste bright and fresh. (Not into dill? Basil or cilantro taste great in this recipe, too.)
Get the recipe: Greek yogurt egg salad sandwich
Craving something warm, gooey, and comforting? These quesadillas will hit just the spot. Made with red lentils, Mexican chili pepper, and garlic, they're as full of protein as they are flavor. (And yes, there's lots of cheese too—a quesadilla must.) The Greek yogurt is used to make a creamy cilantro sauce which truly takes this meal to a whole new level.
Get the recipe: Red split lentil quesadillas
This is another meal that's all-out comfort food. Mixing Greek yogurt into your mac-and-cheese makes it super rich and decadent. Pro tip: use an alternative pasta to up the fiber and protein. (This recipe uses chickpea pasta.)
Get the recipe: Greek yogurt mac-and-cheese
Watch the video below to see what alternative pasta a registered dietitian likes best:
Greek yogurt's dense texture makes it the perfect ingredient to make a simple soup richer. In this recipe, it's blended with vegetable broth, veggies, and Parmesan cheese. Enjoy it on its own or pair it with a sandwich or salad.
Get the recipe: Cream of broccoli soup
Heavy cream isn't the only way to make a delicious, creamy pasta sauce. This recipe combines Greek yogurt with a bit of garlic, lemon zest, butter, and salt to make kind of an alt-carbonara. Bonus points if you toss in some roasted cherry tomatoes or spinach, too.
Get the recipe: Greek yogurt lemon pasta
Ready for dessert? If you have Greek yogurt and dark chocolate on hand, you can whip up a truly satisfying dessert. (Perk: The protein and probiotics in the yogurt make it the perfect pre-bedtime snack.) FYI, this chocolate mousse does take a few hours to make, so just keep that in mind and don't wait until you're ready to eat it to get started in the kitchen. But trust us: It's worth the wait.
Get the recipe: Greek yogurt chocolate mousse
These Greek yogurt bars are another super-simple dessert. Besides the yogurt, you only need granola, peanut butter, and whipped cream. (You can also add in fruit, like blueberries or strawberries, if you happen to have them on hand.) This recipe also doesn't require any cooking whatsoever—another reason why it's a great one to bookmark.
Get the recipe: Frozen Greek yogurt bars
As you can see, Greek yogurt can be enjoyed at any time of day. Have fun experimenting with your own ways to work it into your meals. However you cook with it, you'll be adding more protein and calcium to your meal, making it a win before you even take a bite.
Get more recipe inspiration in Well+Good's Cook With Us Facebook group.
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