We Tried 10 Brands of Greek Yogurt — And the Winner Is One We Never Expected

published Jan 25, 2024
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Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Styling: Tom Hoerup

Open any one of our editors’ fridges and you’ll almost always find a tub of Greek yogurt staring back at you. (If not, it’s on next week’s shopping list!) After arriving stateside in the late ’90s, the creamy and thicker-textured yogurt “totally changed American tastes,” according to Statista; today it accounts for more than 50% of all U.S. yogurt sales. 

Its rise in popularity brought an influx of brands. Have you ever felt a little overwhelmed standing in front of all those Greek yogurt options? Same! Which is why we were determined to suss out which tastemaker is worth its weight in liquid whey.

Credit: Mara Weinraub

We stuck to plain whole-milk Greek yogurts, avoiding any that have added flavors. Most of the Greek yogurts we chose are made with non-organic milk and were priced between $5 to $7 for 32 ounces. We prioritized name brands that are readily available and several store brands sold at retailers with locations across the country. We also asked The Kitchn editors for recommendations and looked at recent sales data, new launches, and past taste tests to round out the selection. 

After an afternoon of tasting and tallying, this is the Greek yogurt we’ll be stocking in our fridge from here on out (plus, a very worthy and iconic runner-up).

Quick Overview
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Styling: Tom Hoerup

Best Greek Yogurt: Simply Nature Organic Whole Milk Plain Greek Yogurt

After securing a solid second place in our canned pumpkin taste test, Aldi has finally outdone itself (and the nine other brands vying for the top spot here). Simply Nature — one of the discount grocer’s popular store brands — Organic Whole Milk Plain Greek Yogurt is the only contender to score threes or higher, earning mostly fours and fives across all criteria. Simply Nature is, in a word, balanced. 

Made with organic milk and live active cultures, the “glossy” looking Greek Yogurt has a more mild smell than other brands we tasted, many of which had a scent more reminiscent of sour cream. Tasters, like Raquel, our account manager and “Big Greek Yogurt Lover,” also rewarded Aldi’s Simply Nature for its “great tang” and “smooth, but thick [and] creamy, but light” texture (although some think it could be a bit firmer). Several, including our Social Media Manager, Sam, think it’s a good base for mix-ins like granola, fruit, and honey. 

What’s So Great

  • Satisfying tang and creamy texture
  • A topping’s BFF

Good to Know

  • For some, a bit too thin

Find it in stores: Simply Nature Organic Whole Milk Plain Greek Yogurt, $6.79 for 32 ounces at Aldi

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Styling: Tom Hoerup

Runner-Up: Fage Total 5% Whole Milk Plain Greek Yogurt

What if you don’t live near an Aldi? Well, Fage Total 5% Whole Milk Plain Greek Yogurt is no slouch either — plus it’s the OG import and available at multiple retailers in all 50 states! Five tasters ranked this very formidable runner-up in their top three. Beyond its accessibility, though, this tub more than held its own.  

Like Aldi, Fage’s Greek yogurt has a mild “milky scent” that all tasters find “pleasing” and a “super subtle tang,” which Raquel likens to labneh. Where the two diverge is texture: In a sea of sameness, Fage’s “Thick!” (capital T, exclamation point!) consistency stands out just by the looks of it. In addition to those good looks, the “fluffy, airy texture, yet creamy taste,” says Raquel wins nearly every taster over (two find it to be a little too thick). Greg, our workplace experience manager, calls it “rich” and even gives it a ⭐ (and he can be a tough critic).

What’s So Great

  • “Thick and fluffy”
  • Available everywhere — and often goes on sale

Good to Know

  • For some, a bit too thick

Buy: Fage Total 5% Whole Milk Plain Greek Yogurt, $5.99 (on sale!) for 32 ounces at Kroger

Credit: Mara Weinraub

How We Tested the Greek Yogurts

We held a taste test of 10 different plain whole-milk Greek yogurts and recruited eight “BIG fans!” (so you know they’re qualified), who work in our office to participate in this one-day test. 

Tasters were interested in a Greek yogurt they could eat straight from the tub and also use as a dip or in any number of recipes that feature it as an ingredient. Thickness was very important, as was a “bit of zing/bite” as Greg puts it. Several tasters were weary of a sour harshness that can overwhelm some store-bought brands. Balance is key!

Each Greek yogurt was scooped into plain white ceramic serving bowls by Maya, our studio assistant, and placed in larger metal or glass bowls filled with ice to preserve freshness. The Greek yogurts were assigned letters to conceal each brands’ identities ahead of the tasting. We also had sample-sized cups of granola and pitchers of cold water on hand for palate cleansing. 

Credit: Mara Weinraub

Tasters rated each of the Greek yogurts on a scale of one to five (1 = No, thanks; 2 = Meh; 3 = Pretty good; 4 = Really like; 5 = Yes, Please!) across four criteria — look, smell, texture, and flavor — and included any specific observations, tasting notes, and general opinions worth mentioning. They were also asked to answer, arguably, the most important question of all: Would you buy this Greek yogurt?

Credit: Mara Weinraub

Why You Should Trust Us

This was a blind taste test, which means tasters had no knowledge of the brands being evaluated ahead of or at the time of the tasting. It was held over one day and tasters were instructed to sample the Greek yogurts in random order (to stave off palate fatigue and not give any one mix an unfair advantage). The group of tasters included a mix of food professionals and some very enthusiastic Greek yogurt lovers who work at The Kitchn and/or Apartment Therapy Media (The Kitchn’s parent company). All participated in the taste test voluntarily, and we thank them for being so generous with their time and feedback. 

Speaking of, each taster filled out a score sheet (without discussion or influence) ranking the Greek yogurts across several criteria (listed above). The results were also tabulated without any visibility into the brands. Only after the numbers were finalized did we reveal which brands corresponded to the winners.

Did your favorite Greek Yogurt make the list? Tell us about it in the comments below.