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01/04/2014 07:44 am ET | Updated Mar 12, 2015

Surprising Ways To Cook With Greek Yogurt

This wonder ingredient goes way beyond breakfast, to cooling off spicy dishes, keeping burgers juicy and even helping you make a last-minute cake.

By Lynn Andriani

  • A Light -- But Still Creamy -- Mac 'n' Cheese
    Thinkstock
    Sure, you can make swaps to turn this classic comfort-food dish into a healthy dinner, but if you go too far -- e.g., using fat-free cheese, or a butter alternative -- you may sacrifice the richness. Greek yogurt, though, ensures a finished casserole that's just as thick and filling as traditional versions.

    Get the recipe: Healthy Mac 'n' Cheese
  • Cupcakes (or Cake) Without Any Fancy Ingredients
    Joel Brown
    The two-ingredient yogurt cake recipe we've been seeing all over Pinterest (just add cake mix!) certainly sounds intriguing. Even if you're skeptical, though, it does drive home the point that if you've got yogurt, you can probably make a cake. (The same holds true for sour cream, but these days, fridges are more likely to contain a tub of plain Greek yogurt than a tub of sour cream.) Adding a cup of yogurt yields a cake that's moist and keeps well for days.

    Get the recipe: Blueberry Yogurt Cupcakes
  • A Cool Counterpoint To Spicy Soup
    John Kernick
    We're totally stealing this recipe's trick for taming the heat on a hot soup: You thin plain Greek yogurt with water (use three parts yogurt and one part water), and then drizzle it over whatever you're eating. In this case, it's a curried (and cayenne-d) Indian lentil and chickpea stew, but the technique would work great with chili, too.

    Get the recipe: Curried Red Lentil and Swiss Chard Soup
  • Healthy Burgers That Stay Juicy
    Christopher Testani
    Turkey burgers are such a wonderful alternative to burgers made with fattier meats, but all too often they're dry and crumbly. The fix: a quarter-cup of Greek yogurt (for a pound and a half of meat). It's better for you than eggs, and couldn't be easier: just gently mix it into the meat before forming the patties.

    Get the recipe: "Jucy Lucy" Turkey Burgers
  • A Dipping Sauce That Goes With Practically Anything
    Johnny Miller
    O mag food columnist Sunny Anderson likes to dip fried green tomatillos into this sweet and spicy mix of Greek yogurt, sour cream, honey and hot sauce -- but the creamy accompaniment has tons more uses. Try it on a BLT instead of mayo, with quesadillas or alongside appetizers from potato skins to chicken fingers.

    Get the recipe: Fried Green Tomatillos with Spicy Cream Sauce

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