our everyday life

How to Use Yogurt or Sour Cream Instead of Mayo

by Brynne Chandler

Mayonnaise offers a creamy tang to a wide variety of both hot and cold foods, but it is high in calories and saturated fat. Mayonnaise also contains eggs, which can be a problem for anyone with an egg allergy. Yogurt is available in low-fat and nonfat versions, which also makes it a good substitute for anyone counting calories. Sour cream is available in low-fat and nonfat versions as well.

Yogurt

Substitute an equal amount of unflavored yogurt for mayonnaise on sandwiches or in cold salads. Greek yogurt is thicker than most yogurt sold in the U.S., but it also has a tangier flavor, so don’t be afraid to experiment. Lemon or vanilla Greek yogurt complements chicken salad and many sandwiches without adding too much sweetness.

Mix yogurt with flour or cornstarch when using it to replace mayonnaise in baked casseroles. Flour is not as efficient a thickener as corn starch, so use 2 tablespoons of flour or 1 tablespoon of corn starch for every 1 cup of yogurt.

Add a little bit of the hot liquid from dishes like stroganoff to yogurt thickened with corn starch or flour and stir it well before adding it to the rest of the dish. This will keep it from curdling.

Bake casseroles or other baked goods containing yogurt at temperatures no higher than 325 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure that the yogurt will not curdle. Curdling will not affect the taste of the food, but it can have an unpleasant impact on the texture and the way the food looks.

Sour Cream

Replace mayonnaise with sour cream by simply substituting an equal amount. If your recipe calls for 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, for example, add 1/2 cup of sour cream instead.

Use sour cream instead of mayonnaise in dips and cold salads for a fresher, lighter taste. Add lemon and salt to approximate the flavor of mayo, but be careful. Sour cream is not as sturdy as mayonnaise and can become almost liquid if stirred too aggressively. Fold seasonings into sour cream gently before adding it to the dish when flavoring your recipe.

Add sour cream to simmered dishes at the very end of cooking, preferably after you have removed the skillet from the heat. When sour cream curdles it affects the texture of the dish as well as its appearance.

Items you will need
  • Corn starch or flour
  • Lemon
  • Salt

Tip

  • Mix yogurt or sour cream with mayonnaise in small amounts, increasing the substitute-to-mayo ratio with each serving to slowly wean your family off mayonnaise.

Warning

  • Never boil either yogurt or sour cream because they both curdle at high heat.

About the Author

Emmy-award nominated screenwriter Brynne Chandler is a single mother of three who divides her time between professional research and varied cooking, fitness and home & gardening enterprises. A running enthusiast who regularly participates in San Francisco's Bay to Breakers run, Chandler works as an independent caterer, preparing healthy, nutritious meals for Phoenix area residents.

Photo Credits

  • John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images