Substitute for Yogurt in Marinade (7 Best Substitutes)

Many people who are on a diet, or just want to eat healthier, opt for marinades instead of sauces. Marinades can be used for meats, vegetables, and even tofu.

They often contain yogurt as an ingredient, but if you’re lactose intolerant, there is no need to worry. There are several substitutes that can be used in place of yogurt while still retaining the flavor and consistency of the marinade.

Keep reading to find out what ingredients work best.

Read more: What to Do With Leftover Bean Sprouts

Best Substitutes for Yogurt in a Marinade

substitute for yogurt in marinade

Coconut milk

If you’re looking for a delicious and healthy way to add some flavor to your food, try using coconut milk in place of yogurt in your next marinade.

Coconut milk is a great source of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, and it has a lovely creamy texture that makes it perfect for use in a marinade.

It’s also very easy to find coconut milk that is already flavored with flavors like curry or ginger, which can add an extra dimension to your dish.

To use coconut milk in a marinade, simply substitute it for the yogurt called for in the recipe. You may need to thin the marinade out slightly with water or another liquid if it seems too thick, but other than that, there’s no need to make any other changes.

Buttermilk as an alternative

Buttermilk is a fermented dairy product with a slightly sour flavor. It’s perfect for marinades because it helps to tenderize the meat and add flavor.

To replace yogurt with buttermilk in a marinade, simply whisk together equal parts of buttermilk and your other ingredients. Then, let the meat soak in the marinade for at least 30 minutes before cooking.

Buttermilk is a versatile ingredient, so feel free to experiment with different flavors. For example, you could add garlic, herbs, or spices to your buttermilk marinade to give it an extra boost of flavor.


Another great option for replacing yogurt in a healthy and flavorful marinade is kefir. Kefir is a fermented milk product that has a tart and tangy flavor. It’s also packed with beneficial probiotics, which can help to boost your immune system.

To use kefir in a marinade, first, whisk together all of the other ingredients. Then, add in the kefir and whisk until everything is well combined. You can then use the marinade on chicken, fish, or vegetables.

Let the food sit in the marinade for at least 30 minutes before cooking.

Sour cream

You can also easily substitute sour cream for yogurt in most cases. The main difference between the two is that sour cream is thicker and has a higher fat content than yogurt, so it will add a richer flavor to your marinade.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that sour cream can also curdle more easily than yogurt. So if you’re using a high-acidic ingredient like lemon juice or vinegar, be sure to add it gradually and taste as you go.

With a little trial and error, you’ll be able to create a delicious marinade that’s tailored to your taste buds. Who knew sour cream could be so versatile?

Heavy cream as a viable substitution

Heavy cream is another dairy product that can be used in place of yogurt. It has a similar texture to sour cream but with a higher fat content. This makes it perfect for creating a richer and more flavorful marinade.

First, you need to whisk together all of your other ingredients. Then, add in the heavy cream and whisk until everything is well combined. You can then use the marinade on chicken, fish, or vegetables.

Let the food sit in the marinade for at least 30 minutes before cooking.


How about using some mayonnaise in your next marinade? It’s a common condiment that’s made with egg yolks, oil, and vinegar or lemon juice.

The texture of mayonnaise is creamy and thick, which makes it perfect for use in a marinade. Plus, it adds a lovely richness to the dish.

To replace yogurt with mayonnaise in your marinade, first, whisk together the mayonnaise, acid (vinegar or lemon juice), and spices. Then, add your meat or vegetables to the mixture and coat evenly.

Let the marinated food sit for at least 30 minutes (up to 12 hours for tougher cuts of meat) before cooking.

Greek yogurt

Finally, if you want to use yogurt in your marinade but are looking for a lighter option, try Greek yogurt. It’s strained to remove some of the whey and lactose, resulting in a thicker, richer texture. Plus, it has a slightly tangy flavor that can help to tenderize meat.

To use Greek yogurt in your marinade, simply whisk it together with the other ingredients. Next, you will want to let the meat sit in the marinade for at least 30 minutes (up to 12 hours for tougher cuts of meat) before cooking. This will allow the flavors to meld together and create a delicious dish.


What are the benefits of using a marinade?

There are many benefits to using a marinade. A marinade can add flavor, tenderize meat, and help prevent the formation of harmful compounds during cooking.

When used correctly, a marinade can make a big difference in the taste of your food. A well-chosen marinade can add depth of flavor and make even the toughest cuts of meat more tender.

Marinades typically contain oil and an acid, such as vinegar or citrus juice. The acid helps to break down the tough fibers in the meat, while the oil adds flavor and helps to keep the meat moist.

In addition to flavor, a marinade can also help to prevent the formation of harmful compounds during cooking.

What can you use as a marinade?

You can use just about anything as a marinade, but the most common ingredients include acid (vinegar or citrus juice), oil, herbs, and spices.

How do you make a marinade?

One simple way to make a marinade is to combine equal parts acid and oil, then add herbs and spices to taste.

What are some tips for using a marinade?

Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your marinade:

  • Choose the right acid. Vinegar and citrus juice are both popular choices, but each will impart a different flavor to your food.
  • Don’t forget the oil. The oil helps to add flavor and keep the meat moist.
  • Season to taste. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different herbs and spices to find a combination that you like.
  • Give it time. The longer you marinate, the more flavor your food will have. Just don’t overdo it, or the acid in the marinade can start to break down the meat.
  • Use common sense. If your marinade contains raw meat, poultry, or seafood, be sure to cook it thoroughly before eating.

When used correctly, a marinade can make a big difference in the taste of your food.

Can you freeze a marinade?

Yes, you can freeze a marinade. However, it is important to note that the freezing process will not kill bacteria.

Therefore, it is important to thaw the marinade in the refrigerator, rather than at room temperature, to prevent food poisoning.

How long should you let food sit in a marinade?

The general rule is that you should marinate food for at least 30 minutes but no more than 12 hours.

If you marinate meat for too long, the acid in the marinade can start to break it down.

Can I use mayo instead of yogurt in the marinade?

Yes, sometimes you can use mayonnaise instead of yogurt. If the recipe requires yogurt, then the water will make it less tasty.

Can you use milk instead of yogurt to marinate chicken?

Milk is best for tenderizing meat. You can also use it in a stew or curry if the yogurt is also meant to smooth out the heat of the dish. If you want to marinate chicken, add some milk or cream.

What can I use if I don’t have yogurt?

You can use buttermilk instead. Or, if you don’t have it, use milk that has been mixed with lemon juice or vinegar. Use 1/4 less milk than the amount of yogurt called for in the recipe.

Can I substitute milk for yogurt?

There is a type of yogurt, plain yogurt, that you can use in recipes instead of milk. Use the same amount as you would with milk.

But if you are using Greek yogurt, then first mix it with some water before adding it to your recipe.

Can I use applesauce instead of yogurt in baking?

Yes, you can use applesauce instead of yogurt to bake. Yogurt has less fat, and your baked goods will have a thick and creamy texture.

What can I replace yogurt with in biryani?

You could use cream instead of yogurt. Sour cream is another option.

You could also use mashed potatoes or vegan milk.

Why does my yogurt taste sour?

When milk is heated, lactic acid bacteria will grow and produce lactic acid. This is what causes the yogurt to taste sour.

The yogurt will keep for a while as long as it has live bacteria cultures in it. If the yogurt doesn’t have any cultures, it will spoil quickly.

Can you make yogurt without a starter culture?

It is possible to make yogurt without a starter culture, but it will not be as thick or have the same flavor. You can add a little bit of store-bought yogurt to the milk to get started.

Is there a difference between Greek and regular yogurt?

Yes, there is a difference between Greek and regular yogurt. Greek yogurt is thicker because the whey has been strained out. It also has a more intense flavor.

How do you make Greek yogurt?

To make Greek yogurt, you will need to strain the whey from regular yogurt. You can do this by using a cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer.

What is the difference between yogurt and kefir?

The main difference between yogurt and kefir is that kefir contains yeast in addition to bacteria. Kefir also has a more sour taste.

What can I use instead of yogurt in butter chicken?

You can use heavy cream or half-and-half. Add it to the curry sauce, and it should thicken up.

You could also add sour cream, but it will taste a little different than yogurt.

Can I use mayonnaise instead of yogurt?

Yes, but the recipe will not taste as good. So it should only be your last resort

What is the vegan substitute for yogurt?

Vegan yogurt substitutes are made from healthy ingredients like peas, soy, coconut, cashews, and almonds. The best vegan yogurts have no added sugar and contain plenty of protein. (source)

How do you make yogurt with milk?

You make yogurt with milk by adding the yogurt and whisking until it becomes smooth and is dissolved in the milk.

Gently whisk the thinned yogurt into the warm milk. Then pour this mixture of yogurt and milk into a bowl or pot with a lid to keep it warm. Leave for eight hours to make your own homemade yogurt. (recipe)

Can sour cream be substituted for yogurt?

Sour cream is a good substitute for yogurt. If your recipe calls for 1 cup of sour cream, you can replace it with 1 cup of yogurt.

Can you substitute sour cream for yogurt in a marinade?

Yogurt is a good choice for marinades and sauces, but you can also use sour cream instead. It has a lot of fat, but it can be used for baking and many other things too.

Can we use curd instead of yogurt?

No, curd and yogurt are not the same. Yogurt is good for weight loss because it has fewer calories, but curd is good for skin and hair.

Can you marinate with milk?

It is tricky. Finding the balance is hard. Milk can form a good part of the food.

Whole milk and buttermilk are traditional in Southern cuisine, and there are good reasons to use them, but you need to know how to treat the meat so it doesn’t become chewy or mushy.


In short, there are many different options for replacing yogurt in a marinade. Whether you’re looking for a dairy-free option or just want to try something new, there’s sure to be an ingredient that will work for you.

So go ahead and experiment with different flavors and textures to find the perfect replacement for yogurt in your next marinade.

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