If you're only eating yogurt for breakfast, you're not doing it justice.
what is really in greek yogurt
Credit: Photo by haha21 via Getty Images

If you can’t think beyond your morning yogurt-and-granola breakfast, you’re not using yogurt to its full potential. Yogurt’s creamy tang is an obvious choice in sweet applications, but definitely has a place in savory dishes as well: It’s often used to balance the heat of spices, tenderize meat, and provide creaminess in recipes across a wide range of cuisines. These seven recipes demonstrate just a handful of the many great ways to make use of yogurt in unexpected ways. They’re also excellent ideas if you’re simply looking to use up a carton of plain yogurt that’s been lingering in the fridge.

1. Strawberry Yogurt Cream Pie with Cereal Crust

Strawberry Yogurt Cream Pie with Cereal Crust
Credit: Sara Tane

Sara Tane

This breakfast-inspired dessert uses whole milk Greek yogurt, cream cheese, frozen whipped topping, and strawberry pudding for a smooth, creamy, and just-tangy-enough filling that firms up in the freezer instead of the oven.

2. Garlic and Yogurt-Marinated Chicken Thighs

Garlic-Yogurt-Marinated Chicken Thighs
Credit: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Greek yogurt teams up with lime juice to help tenderize the chicken thighs while they marinate, and also helps cool the heat of jalapeño peppers. This garlicky, flavorful recipe is a great summertime grilling dish, but also works well indoors with a grill pan.

3. Chilled Avocado and Yogurt Soup

Chilled Avocado and Yogurt Soup
Credit: Thomas J. Story

This Greek-inspired soup can be served as a cooling side or appetizer, ideal in hot weather. Fresh dill, mint, garlic, and avocado are the flavor stars in this recipe, while yogurt and buttermilk provide a lusciously smooth consistency and rich tang. The best part? The whole dish comes together in minutes.

Copyright 2017. All right reserved.
| Credit: The Food Gays

Copyright 2017. All right reserved. Photo: The Food Gays

Skewers are a fast and fun weeknight dinner, but the flavors of bright, zippy citrus and nutty sesame oil make these feel extra-special. Yogurt and mint in the dipping sauce balance the heat of the peppers.

5. Tahini Buttermilk Pops

Tahini Buttermilk Pops
Credit: Sara Tane

Sara Tane

These creamy, nutty popsicles only take 20 minutes to assemble—so keep them stocked in the freezer to keep them on hand whenever you want a sweet, feel-good treat. While store-bought ice cream pops are often cloyingly sugary, these frozen yogurt treats offer perfectly balanced sweetness and tartness, plus a deep hit of toasty bitterness from the tahini. They offer full satisfaction, sans sugar coma.

6. Cauliflower Korma

Credit: Cauliflower Korma

Cauliflower Korma

Yogurt brings creaminess to this mildly spiced, fragrant dish that makes for a filling meatless main. Make sure to mix a little of the hot cooking liquid with the yogurt to temper before incorporating it into the dish to prevent the yogurt from separating.

7. Kibbeh meatballs with Spiced Yogurt Sauce

Kibbeh Meatballs with Spiced Yogurt Sauce
Credit: Photo: Randy Mayor

Bulgur helps bulk up and bind the lamb in these meatballs that make for a great appetizer, or main dish if paired with rice or pita bread. A Greek yogurt, cucumber, and garlic dipping sauce partners beautifully with the warmer spices of the meatballs like cinnamon, red pepper, and cumin.