Yogurt instead of Mayo for the win!

5 from 1 vote

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

Greek Yogurt instead of Mayo
5 from 1 vote

Wild Alaskan Salmon Salad

By: Andrew Wilder
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.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 1 minute
Total: 6 minutes
Servings: 2 servings


  • 1 can 6 ounces Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon
  • 1 stalk Celery, chopped
  • 1/3 cup Fat-Free Greek-Style Yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp. Mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. Dill
  • Pinch 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.


  • Combine all ingredients.
  • 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).


Calories: 24kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 3g, Cholesterol: 2mg, Sodium: 44mg, Potassium: 99mg, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 135IU, Vitamin C: 1.2mg, Calcium: 45mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!
Greek Yogurt instead of Mayo
5 from 1 vote

Spinach Artichoke Dip

By: Andrew Wilder
Using yogurt instead of mayonnaise really lightens up this crowd favorite.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 10 servings


  • 1 can artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped, cooked frozen spinach (thawed)
  • 1/2 cup Greek-style Yogurt
  • 1/4 cup low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan, romano, and/or asiago cheese
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder, not garlic salt
  • Pinch ground pepper, to taste


  • In a large, microwave-safe bowl, combine all ingredients.
  • Heat on high in the microwave, in 30-45 second increments, stirring each time to be sure it heats evenly.
  • Alternately, you can double the recipe and bake in a casserole dish at 350° for 30 minutes, covered.
  • 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.


Calories: 66kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 4mg, Sodium: 77mg, Potassium: 42mg, Vitamin A: 75IU, Vitamin C: 0.9mg, Calcium: 67mg, Iron: 0.2mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

Do you have a great yogurt-for-mayonnaise idea?  Share it in the comments below!

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

A photo of Andrew Wilder leaning into the frame and smiling, hovering over mixing bowls in the kitchen.

Welcome to Eating Rules!

Hi! My name is Andrew Wilder, and I think healthy eating doesn’t have to suck. With just three simple eating rules, we'll kickstart your journey into the delicious and vibrant world of unprocessed food.

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October 17, 2012 11:24 am

I have recently found out I have high cholesterol and amy trying to find the mayo substitute for whatever mayo is required in or on, how does this Greek yoghurt (or any low-fat plain yoghurt) translate to the requirements for low cholesterol eating?
Thanks for the input. Much appreciated

October 7, 2012 10:14 am

can plain greek yogurt be used in a basic crab salad? Should I cut back on the amount since the recipe also calls for dijon. My dr. has put me on a low carb, whole food diet and I need ideas for ways to substitute “bad habits” for “good habits”. I’m the primary cook for the house so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

October 3, 2012 8:25 pm

I also use Fage in tuna salad. I don’t have exact measurements for my recipe (sorry) but I blend in onion powder and a fairly light sprinkle of celery salt. Yum! A little white pepper can be added to that also. Blend yogurt and spices first, then add tuna and break up large tuna pieces so they’re well coated… then add any vegetables such as onion, cucumber, tomato (diced), shredded carrot, celery etc. My son and I had created this “GARDEN TUNA” originally with mayo. This was a terrific solution to get him to eat a nice variety of veggies. Making the transition to yogurt was easy- these few spices gives it enough “zip”. Doubtful I’ll ever return to mayo. : )
P.S. READ your tuna can! Soy seems to be in most of them- probably GMOs.

Ellie Naill
August 7, 2012 2:47 pm

I love Tuna salad and Greek yogurt, Fage is also my favorite. Thanks to your site I am having them together with gluten free crackers for lunch. I guess I should be eating it on those abundant cucumbers from the garden.. gotta try that!. I am wondering if I can get this past my hubby?Thx.

June 15, 2012 9:45 am

Thanks for all the great tips…from everyone. I’m trying a new Broccoli, Grape, Pecan Pasta Salad today and am substituting greek-yogurt (also whole wheat pasta). So excited to try it!

June 3, 2012 3:07 pm

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.

Kathryn Trubey
April 11, 2012 11:59 am

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!!

April 4, 2012 9:57 pm

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.

January 20, 2012 9:05 pm

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!

Hello has anyone tried to use fage instead of mayo to make tuna fish with albacore tuna?
November 19, 2011 12:13 pm

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!