5 Savory Ways to Eat Yogurt for Lunch

published Mar 12, 2014
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Yogurt with fruit and granola is perhaps one of our most basic breakfasts — I think all of us here at The Kitchn eat it from time to time, if not more frequently. But yogurt is a flexible staple, one well-suited to lunch as well as breakfast, and easily made savory, if sweet isn’t your speed.

Here are five ideas for working tangy yogurt into your lunch — all savory!

1. Topped with fresh vegetables.

The first person I turned to when thinking about yogurt was my friend Cheryl Sternman Rule (you probably know her wonderful blog, 5 Second Rule and her book, Ripe). Cheryl is working on a second book all about yogurt. Here’s her favorite way to eat yogurt on the savory side.

“For lunch, I often spread a thin layer of plain Greek yogurt (full-fat, please) in a shallow bowl and top it with a mound of assertively-dressed slaw (shredded carrots, fennel, and fresh herbs, say). Stream on some nice olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and you’re done. If you want to add a sweet burst, add a shredded apple or toss in some plumped currants, but the key is to embrace (rather than mask) the yogurt’s tart qualities. If packing this lunch to go, keep the slaw and yogurt in separate containers until serving-time.”

Um, yum. Thanks Cheryl!

2. Mixed with savory granola.

For a savory twist on that favorite breakfast, top plain yogurt with savory granola, like Anjali’s Curry Coconut Granola. Stir in a few chunks of cooked carrot or zucchini to add some vegetables.

Yogurt Barley Soup (Image credit: Emily Han)

3. In soup (or on it).

Soup is an obvious place to add yogurt — we love the creaminess and tanginess it adds to a plain vegetable soup. For a truly yogurt-centric soup, try Emily’s Yogurt Barley Soup, an Armenian-inspired recipe.

  • Get the recipe: Yogurt Barley Soup

Or just top a lentil or vegetable soup with yogurt, as Emma does in this lentil soup.

4. As a salad dressing.

If you’re jonesing for a creamy salad dressing but don’t want to commit to anything too rich, try yogurt! It makes a wonderful base for dressing. Try the dressing in the salad recipe here:

5. In a spread.

Similar to a salad dressing, sure, but a little more stand-alone. I make a dip or spread almost every week as part of my lunch routine. Sometimes it’s baba ghanoush; sometimes it’s hummus. Lately I’ve been really gravitating towards yogurt-based dips. A scoop of dip and a pile of celery sticks, cucumber, and a few crackers is actually a substantial snack or even small lunch for me.

Beyond these ideas, yogurt is great substituted almost anywhere for sour cream. Emma says, “I use it with a lot of Mexican food like chilaquiles, tacos, burritos.”

And use it to make a bowl of lentils or beans a little more exciting, topping them with a dollop of yogurt and stirring it in to make it creamy. As Anjali did in that dish pictured up top, yogurt is oh-so-good on mujadarah.

Are there other savory or surprising ways you like to incorporate yogurt into your lunch?

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