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12 Unexpected Ways Greek Yogurt Can Up Your Cooking Game

From pasta sauce, to cake, to simple chicken marinades.

Ellie Sunakawa / BuzzFeed

Just about everyone is familiar with using Greek yogurt in smoothies and breakfast bowls — but those aren't the only things you should be using it for.

From enchiladas to quick pasta sauces, Greek yogurt can (and should!) be used in a variety of sweet and savory recipes. Here are 12 of our favorite ways to use it:

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1. Greek Yogurt Hollandaise

Hollandaise — that velvety sauce that tops eggs Benedict — is both tricky to make and loaded with butter, so it's not usually something you cook everyday. This recipe swaps most of the butter with Greek yogurt to make it both lighter and a bit easier to prepare. You won't have to worry about it breaking as much, and the tang gives it a bright flavor that compliments the lemon. Get the recipe.

2. Greek Yogurt Alfredo Sauce

Greek yogurt makes the perfect quick pasta sauce that tastes pretty darn similar to Alfredo. Just jazz it up with whatever flavors you like (in this case, parmesan, garlic, and a little bit of butter) then toss it with hot pasta. It's not only delicious, but lighter than your typical cream sauce — a true win-win. Get the recipe.

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3. Greek Yogurt Turkish Flatbread

thecafesucrefarine.com

Greek yogurt makes this flatbread pillowy, tender, and soft. The classic recipe is pretty darn easy to make, and it's the perfect base for all kinds of toppings — from peanut butter to hummus. The dough also makes the perfect base for homemade pizzas. Get the recipe.

4. Greek Yogurt Cheese

This simple technique transforms Greek yogurt into a soft cheese spread just by straining out the excess water. All you have to do is place the yogurt in cheese cloth over a bowl — the whey will start to drip out and leave you with a thick, spreadable "cheese" you can use on toasts, sandwiches, and flatbreads. If you've ever had labneh (super strained yogurt), this recipe will taste pretty familiar. Get the recipe.

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5. Gin, Jam, and Yogurt Cocktail

Yogurt in cocktails may seem weird, but the flavor can actually work really well. This recipe pairs it with chili jam to cool the heat. The same technique would work well for spicy jalapeño cocktails, or ones that are missing a creamy component to round them out. Get the recipe.

6. Greek Yogurt Chocolate Cake

bakerbynature.com

Using yogurt in cakes may not be the most unusual use, but it can seriously take your cakes to the next level. This recipes uses an entire cup of it to help keep the cake moist and tender — similar to how sour cream gives coffee cake its signature moist crumb. Get the recipe.

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7. Greek Chicken Marinade

Greek yogurt is a popular ingredient in many marinades thanks to its powerful tenderizing powers. Even just 15 minutes of marinating can help make the chicken more tender. Using yogurt as the base, feel free to throw in whatever flavorings you want (pesto, spices, etc.) and your marinade is ready to use. Get the recipe for this Greek version.

8. Peanut Butter Greek Yogurt Frosting

sallysbakingaddiction.com

This recipe only takes fives ingredients (Greek yogurt being the base) to make a super easy frosting perfect for just about anything. There are actually plenty of yogurt-based frostings online, and it's easy to modify to fit your flavor profile. Get the recipe for this peanut butter version.

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9. Easy Fish Tacos With Lime Crema

aheadofthyme.com

Just about any recipe that gets garnished with sour cream can easily be swapped with Greek yogurt. The flavor profile is very similar — and you can add fresh lime juice and a dash of salt to make a fresh crema, or hot sauce to make a hot and creamy sauce. Get the recipe.

10. Greek Yogurt Mac and Cheese

runninginaskirt.com

Using yogurt as the base of your mac 'n' cheese sauce not only makes it way easier to make, but also tastes surprisingly good. The cheese melts into it to create a silky sauce that doesn't require you to make a roux (aka melted butter and flour) — and the texture is nice and light. Get the recipe.

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11. Greek Yogurt Bark With Mango and Strawberry

Taylor Miller/BuzzFeed

Just imagine frozen yogurt, but in bark form. All you have to do is sweeten Greek yogurt with whatever you want (honey, pureed fruit, etc.), spread it onto a piece of parchment paper, then freeze it. After a few hours it'll solidify into a frozen bark you can keep in the freezer and snack on anytime. Get the recipe.

12. Greek Yogurt Banana Bread

lecremedelacrumb.com

The secret to making perfectly moist banana bread? You guessed it: yogurt. Just like chocolate cake, Greek yogurt helps keep the bread moist and tender. Get the recipe.

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