Is Yogurt Vegan?

Sometimes, finding out what products are suitable for vegans and which ones aren’t can be a challenge.

While some foods may seem like they are vegan, they could contain specific ingredients that make them not vegan-friendly.

Is Yogurt Vegan?

On the other hand, some foods might appear to contain animal products but are actually vegan!

Yogurt is one of those foods that tastes delicious on its own but is also regularly included as an ingredient in many other recipes. However, is it suitable for vegans?

Unfortunately, most types of yogurt are not vegan as it is made with animal products.

However, there are vegan yogurts available as well as a wide range of alternatives.

Even for experienced vegans, determining what products are suitable can be difficult.

That’s why we’ve created this guide to explain whether yogurt is vegan and what vegans can use instead of yogurt.

Why Isn’t Yogurt Vegan?

As we explained in the introduction, unfortunately, yogurt is not vegan.

This can be difficult for many people who are starting their journey as a vegan because yogurt is used in so many different ways and is seen as a healthy and delicious food.

Yogurt isn’t vegan, however, as it is one of many foods that is made from dairy products.

Like cheese, cream, and kefir, milk is one of the main ingredients in yogurt. 

The name “yogurt” comes from the Turkish word “yoğurmak” which means “to knead” or “ to thicken” and it refers to the process by which yogurt is made.

This process involves adding bacterial cultures to milk that cause it to thicken into yogurt.

As you can see, you can’t make yogurt without including milk.

As vegan diets exclude all animal products, including milk, this makes yogurt not vegan.

It’s often suitable for vegetarians, who usually only exclude meat, fish, poultry, and seafood and will still eat dairy products. 

Is Greek Yogurt Vegan?

Greek yogurt is a form of yogurt that is prepared in a different manner.

It’s seen as a healthier type of yogurt than regular yogurt and has a thicker texture. Does this mean that Greek yogurt is vegan?

Unfortunately, no, Greek yogurt is also not vegan. It is still made from fermented milk and starts life in a similar way to regular yogurt.

The difference between yogurt and Greek yogurt is that Greek yogurt is strained so that the whey is removed and the consistency is thicker. 

Whey is a dairy product but removing this from Greek yogurt doesn’t make it vegan as it was still there to begin with and other dairy products remain. 

What Vegan Alternatives Are There To Yogurt?

Is Yogurt Vegan?

If you’re craving some yogurt or need some for a recipe, then there are some vegan alternatives out there. They usually take one of two forms.

Vegan Yogurt

There are many brands that sell vegan yogurt.

It’s often called non-dairy or dairy-free yogurt too, but you should be able to see on the label that these are also suitable for vegans. 

Vegan and non-dairy yogurt is also popular with those who are lactose intolerant so the market for vegan yogurts has expanded in recent years.

You should be able to find vegan yogurts in large supermarkets such as Walmart as well as more specialist health stores.

Instead of using milk to make yogurt, these vegan alternatives use other types of milk such as coconut milk or soy.

Greek yogurt often uses coconut cream to get a thicker texture.

Whether these vegan alternatives taste as good as dairy yogurt is a matter of personal taste and you may have to try a few brands before you find one that works for you.

Yogurt Substitutes

There are also other foods you can use in place of yogurt that are suitable for vegans.

This is especially the case when a recipe calls for yogurt as the other flavors in the dish will help to mask any differences between your substitute and regular yogurt.

Here are some of our favorite dairy-free yogurt substitutes. 

Cashew Yogurt

This is an easy yogurt substitute that you can make at home. It’s a little like sour cream so it is great as a side dressing or as a replacement for yogurt in sauces.

You only need 200 grams of cashews (or almonds if you prefer), a teaspoon of soy sauce, three tablespoons of lime juice, and half a cup of water to make it.

Blend the ingredients together until they become thick and creamy.

Avocado Or Guacamole

The consistency of these can be similar to Greek yogurt as they’re all thick and creamy.

The light taste of avocado makes it a great substitute for yogurt as the flavor is unlikely to overpower any other flavors.

However, we wouldn’t recommend them in baked goods as the color and flair will be noticeable.

Vegan Mayonnaise

Vegan mayonnaise can be used in place of yogurt in many different situations. It is richer than yogurt so do keep that in mind.

It’s suitable for use in savory recipes, but you should only use mayonnaise when it’s added at the end of a recipe.

Don’t include it in recipes where it will need to be cooked.


Hummus is another suitable substitute for yogurt that works as part of a sauce. It shouldn’t be used in baked or savory recipes, but as a sauce or a dressing, it is perfect.

Final Thoughts

Regular yogurt is not vegan as it is made from milk. Usually, cow’s milk is used, but some yogurts might use goat’s milk instead.

This is the case for all types of regular yogurt, including Greek yogurt and low-fat varieties.

Thankfully, there are some yogurt alternatives available for vegans to choose from. Vegan and dairy-free yogurt is relatively easy to find and is often carried in large supermarkets such as Walmart.

There are also several dairy-free substitutes that can be used in recipes.

We hope that the information in this article has answered any questions you have about whether yogurt is vegan or not.
Kimberly Kidd
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