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How to use up leftover yogurt

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Wondering what to do with the remainders of your yogurt pot? Here are 10 ways to use up any leftover natural and Greek yogurt in a range of sweet and savoury dishes.

Recipes including curries and iced desserts often call for the addition of yogurt, but what do you do with anything leftover in the pot? Spoon it onto morning granola, use as a salad dressing, swirl it through spicy soups, add to it bakes and more.

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Discover some creative ways to use up leftover yogurt below, then check out our collection of recipes using natural yogurt, Greek yogurt recipes and our best frozen yogurt recipes. Looking for more ways with leftovers? See our guides for ideas with leftover egg whites and yolks, ways to use up leftover cream cheese and ways to use up ripe bananas, plus find more ideas for how to use up leftovers on our hub page.

10 ways to use leftover natural yogurt

1. Fluffy scones

Fresh scones on a wire rack

If a scone recipe calls for buttermilk, you can replace it with yogurt. Simply loosen the yogurt with 1 tbsp milk before using. Check out our best scone recipes here.

2. Meat marinade

Spatchcock chicken on a barbecue

Mix leftover yogurt with spices, garlic, lemon or herbs to create a moreish marinade for meat. We recommend coating chicken thighs in a mixture of yogurt, ground turmeric, grated ginger, garlic and seasoning. Yogurt tenderises the meat, allowing the flavours to penetrate. This is also a great way to prepare chicken before barbecuing as with our spiced yogurt spatchcock chicken. Here, the marinade helps to keep the inside of the meat moist whilst the outside becomes crispy and charred.

3. Flatbreads or pizza bases

Two flatbreads next to a pot of hummus

Mix equal quantities of natural yogurt and self-raising flour with a pinch of salt to make a dough. Press or roll into a flat disc, then use as a pizza base. Or, cook for a few minutes on each side in a dry frying pan until puffed and browned, then brush with garlic butter and serve with a curry. Try John Torode's easy yogurt flatbreads, or check our more flatbread recipes.

4. Smoothie lollies

Four frozen banana lollies

Blitz leftover yogurt with any fruit that needs to be used up, such as bananas or berries. Spoon into lolly moulds and freeze, or loosen with a little milk and enjoy as a smoothie.

5. Yogurt & tahini dressing

Sweet potatoes topped with chickpeas, pomegranates, spinach and tahini yogurt

Yogurt and tahini make the start of a great dressing for jacket potatoes, coleslaw, roasted vegetables, salads or falafel. Mix 60g Greek yogurt with 2 tbsp tahini and a little lemon juice, then drizzle over your dish of choice.

6. Yogurt cakes

Sliced cake with icing and almonds

Incorporating yogurt into cake batter can result in a beautifully moist sponge. This citrus and almond cake also uses a couple of tablespoons of natural yogurt in the icing to give a silky smooth texture, which contrasts well with a crunchy nut topping.

7. Breakfast topping

Two bowls of baked oats topped with yogurt and blueberries

Give your breakfast an extra touch of luxury by dolloping some yogurt over granola, porridge or baked oats. Alternatively if you’ve got a decent amount leftover you can use it as a base for cereal, fruit compote, honey and all kinds of other toppings.

8. Harissa yogurt topping

Courgette fritters topped with poached eggs with a side of harissa yogurt

Combine spicy rose harissa with cooling yogurt to make a mouthwatering marinade or topping for savoury brunches and dinners. This recipe for courgete and ricotta fritters with poached eggs and harissa yogurt uses just 60g Greek yogurt so is ideal for finishing off a pot. This tangy combo also works a treat spooned over our creamy spinach dhal.

9. Soup topping

A bowl of beetroot soup topped with sukkah and yogurt swirl

Substitute yogurt for cream as a lower fat topping in soups and stews. It still gives a luxuriously creamy consistency and coolness which balances well with any spices or chilli. Spoon a dollop over this spiced carrot and lentil soup or combine it with crunchy dukkah in our beetroot and cumin coriander soup.

10. Pancake batter

A pile of cinnamon pancakes on a plate

We know that yogurt makes a great topping for pancakes, but have you tried adding it to the batter too? These easy cinnamon pancakes are given a satisfyingly thick and fluffy texture by mixing 125g natural yogurt with eggs and milk, then combining with the dry ingredients. It's a handy backup if you are low on milk too.

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Discover more ideas for using up leftovers...

Leftovers recipes
Leftover chocolate recipes
Leftover cheese recipes
Top 16 ways with leftover egg whites and yolks
Top 10 ways to use up leftover bread
How to make soup from leftovers
How to use up leftovers: all our guides

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