Yogurt instead of Mayo for the win!

Greek Yogurt instead of Mayo

I like to view healthy eating as a bit of a game.   See, I’m a foodie and absolutely love a well-crafted, delicious meal.  But I also love how I feel when I eat a healthful meal.

It becomes a fun challenge to try to combine the two into a truly great meal.

Sometimes, it’s as simple as finding a tasty and good-for-you recipe.  Other times, it’s about making creative substitutions.

The best kind of substitution is one in which you can swap out a Really Bad Food™ with a Really Good Food™ and find that it tastes just as good — if not better!

As you likely know, mayonnaise is one of the most fat-laden, calorie dense foods out there.

Case in point:  A good friend of mine once told me that his college roommate used to eat mayonnaise right out of the jar; he was a broke rock climber, you see, and found that mayo gave him the most calories for his buck.  Yuck!

Personally, I think that low-fat mayonnaise tastes downright awful, even when it’s “hidden” in other foods.  Instead, I’ve been enjoying Greek Yogurt as a spectacular substitute for mayo. It’s much thicker than regular yogurt — almost like a custard or a mascarpone cheese — and is much higher in protein.

One of my favorites is Fage Fat-Free Greek Yogurt, though unfortunately it’s not certified Organic.  (It’s pronounced “Fa-Yeh,” by the way).  Trader Joe’s also sells good 0% Greek Style Yogurts (both Organic and Not), but I find they’re a bit tarter than the Fage. There are a few other brands out there as well, of course, so go with whatever you find and/or prefer.

I should point out that I’m not telling you to never eat mayo.  I’m just saying that when you do, make it count — don’t use it as an ingredient where it  “disappears” into the recipe.

So here’s my “Hooray, it’s the weekend!” gift to you:  Two recipes in which the yogurt sub works particularly well.  You’ll never miss the mayo.

Salmon Salad

Wild Alaskan Salmon Salad
  • 1 can (6 ounces) Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon
  • (Although it's found in pretty much any well-stocked grocery store, it can be pricey. Costco sells a good one in packs of six; you can also get it at Trader Joe's. Make sure it's packed in water, not oil. Even better: Get it with no-salt-added*.)
  • 1 stalk Celery, chopped
  • ⅓ cup Fat-Free Greek-Style Yogurt
  • ½ tsp. Mustard
  • ¼ tsp. Dill
  • Pinch of Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
  • Other items you can throw in for some crunch, color, and nutrients: Chopped Red Bell Pepper, Onion, Cucumber, Jalapeño... you get the idea.
  1. Combine all ingredients.
  2. Serve half the mixture rolled up in a 100% Whole Wheat Tortilla with a leaf of lettuce and some diced tomato (or however else you like).
* Trader Joe's charges twenty cents more for the salt-free variety. Seems kind of backwards if you ask me, but, well, drop the two extra dimes and keep your blood pressure a bit lower.

Spinach Artichoke Dip
  • 1 can Artichoke Hearts, rinsed, drained, and chopped
  • ½ cup chopped, cooked frozen Spinach (thawed)
  • ½ cup Fat-Free Greek-Style Yogurt
  • ¼ cup low-fat Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • ¼ cup Shredded Parmesan, Romano, and/or Asiago Cheese
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder (not garlic salt)
  • Pinch of Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
  1. In a large, microwave-safe bowl, combine all ingredients.
  2. Heat on high in the microwave, in 30-45 second increments, stirring each time to be sure it heats evenly.
  3. Alternately, you can double the recipe and bake in a casserole dish at 350° for 30 minutes, covered.
  4. Sprinkle a little more mozzarella on top and bake uncovered at 450° for about 8 more minutes, until the cheese is browned.
Serve with 100% Whole Wheat Bread, Ak-Mak Crackers, or a few Reduced-Fat Triscuit Crackers.

Do you have a great yogurt-for-mayonnaise idea?  Please share it in the comments or email it to me at andrew@eatingrules.com.

Total” © 2009 chrisinplymouth, used under creative commons license.

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34 Comments on "Yogurt instead of Mayo for the win!"

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Mmmm spinach artichoke dip. I love this recipe!!! Thanks for sharing.


Sounds good!! I buy the the Costco salmon too, it’s pretty good!! Will try both recipes soon!! 🙂


Sounds good. Here’s a question for ya – generally speaking, when making the yogurt/mayo substitution, is it a one-to-one swap out?

Also, as on board as I am with this, sometimes you can’t beat french fries with REAL mayo (MAJOR CHEAT MEAL). 🙂

John V

Hey Andrew, have you tried using Greek yogurt to make aiolis as a mayo sub? Was thinking about this today, as I’m craving a burger with a nice aioli on it.

John V


Tried making an aioli with the yogurt today… worked great. As its a bit thinner than the mayo you need to use a bit less olive oil, or it gets too watery, but once I got that resolved came out tasting no different than a mayo-based aioli!


Help! I hate mayo and recently discovered that I could substitute greek yogurt in it’s place, which I love. My question is, can I use the yogurt in a dish that is baked in the oven. I’m concerned because it’s a dairy product.


h,i saw a recipe on t.v usng half avacado and half plain greek yogurt


I skip the yogurt all together. Add a bit of extra virgin olive oil and squirt of lemon juice and a bit of onion chopped fine rinsed then add to salmon. Toast the bread and add a bit of goat cheese. Yum!!


Anyone used greek yogurt as a substitute for mayo in quiche?


I went ahead and tried it with the Faje plain non-fat yogurt, and was told that it was as good as any quiche I had previously made. I don’t know if I would go that far, but it certainly worked as a healthy substitute. Thumbs up!

Hello has anyone tried to use fage instead of mayo to make tuna fish with albacore tuna?
Hello has anyone tried to use fage instead of mayo to make tuna fish with albacore tuna?

Hello has anyone tried to use fage instead of mayo to make tuna fish with albacore tuna?


I make my tuna with yogurt instead of mayo and it is wonderful!


Came upon these conversations from a google search. “Can I substitute yogurt for mayonnaise”. Southerner here and mayo is it’s own food group. I’m going to try greek yogurt in Chicken Salad with pecans and tarragon tomorrow. Glad to read it should work well!


Thanks for the tips. I used greek yogurt in a southwestern chicken salad tonight, and loved it: chicken, avacado, corn, black beans, cilantro, flowered pepper, lime. It’s awesome alone or with spinach in a whole wheat wrap.

Kathryn Trubey

I use Fage Greek Yogurt as well ~ in a variety of things. My husband (an underweight diabetic!) loves tuna salad. Replace the mayo with the Fage yogurt, add a bit of smashed avocado -a terrific tuna salad! I also make a terrific tartar sauce for fish with the yogurt, some relish, a dash of mustard and garlic pepper – awesome! I used to use mayo in just about everything ~ but have replaced it with Greek yogurt for better health (and lost a few pounds as well!). It works great in pasta salads and so much more. I highly recommend the switch ~ you won’t miss the fat in mayo!!


I love your friend Dana! That is the BEST, but very happy for your ideas to help me cut down on my love for mayo.