Do you ever get confused when it comes to picking out the best food product or ingredient when there are several (or many!) options? Today I’m going to answer the question of which is the best dairy free yogurt to substitute for plain yogurt so that you won’t have to spend an hour staring at the dairy free yogurts wondering which one to buy.

For those of you who eat dairy free or who have thought about switching over to the dairy free lifestyle, the thought of not being able to eat yogurt can be a bit of a downer. Fortunately, yogurt makers and food companies have taken notice and there are a lot more options on the market compared to even just a year ago.

With so many choices, it can seem overwhelming as to which option to try, so I did a taste test of seven dairy free yogurts to see which one would make the best substitute for plain dairy yogurt.

(Before I go any further, I want to make sure you know I didn’t receive any payment or free product or anything else for writing this yogurt review. All opinions are my own and 100% unbiased!)

What is non dairy yogurt made of?

Before I get to the findings of my taste test, I want to go over a few things related to dairy free yogurt. The first question many people have is what is non dairy yogurt made of?

Similar to how dairy yogurt is based on cow’s milk (which means it’s not dairy free and should not be consumed on a dairy free diet), dairy free yogurt is based on a dairy free milk, such as a nut milk, soy milk or coconut milk.  

When it comes to the best dairy free yogurt to substitute for plain yogurt, there is a clear winner, one that tastes great and is also versatile. In this blog post, I share the results of my review of 7 different plain dairy free yogurts. This was not a sponsored post, and I didn’t receive any payment or free product to write this so all opinions are 100% my own and unbiased!

How Can I Use Plain Dairy Free Yogurt?

When I did my comparison of non-dairy yogurts, I focused on plain, unsweetened versions of the yogurt as much as possible. 

The reason I went this route was because I wanted to find the most versatile dairy free yogurt on the market. I knew that if I could find a really good, creamy, rich non-dairy yogurt that was unflavored and had very little sweetness, I could use it for all of my yogurt needs and wants. 

Remember, I like keeping things simple in the kitchen, and being able to use one yogurt in multiple ways helps me with that goal!

Some of the brands I tasted didn’t have a plain unsweetened version, and in those cases, I tasted the plain version even if it was slightly sweetened to see how the flavor compared with plain dairy yogurt.

Here are a few ways in which you can use a plain dairy free yogurt:

  • Add it to fruit smoothies
  • Use it to make frozen “nice cream” (aka: dairy free version of ice cream)
  • Use it like you would use sour cream as a topper for casseroles, soups, tacos, fajitas or other Mexican favorites
  • Use it to make fruit and granola parfaits. If you need to add a little honey to make it a bit sweeter, go ahead, and if you need an easy granola recipe, try one of my granola recipes:

Crunchy Nut Free Granola Recipe
Nutty Cinnamon Granola

How I Evaluated the Dairy Free Plain Yogurts

When I tasted and evaluated the yogurts I was comparing, I kept the following in mind:

  • Separation (how watery/separated the yogurt looked when I opened the carton)
  • Color
  • Creaminess
  • Thickness
  • Sweetness
  • Tanginess
  • Overall Flavor

As I mentioned above, my goal was to find a good substitute for plain cow’s milk yogurt, so that was my benchmark when I was evaluating the yogurts.

I bought the yogurts I tasted from Whole Foods Market as well as my local grocery store. I also looked at Trader Joe’s but they didn’t have a plain version of dairy free yogurt available.

Dairy Free Yogurt Comparison

When it comes to the best dairy free yogurt to substitute for plain yogurt, there is a clear winner, one that tastes great and is also versatile. In this blog post, I share the results of my review of 7 different plain dairy free yogurts. This was not a sponsored post, and I didn’t receive any payment or free product to write this so all opinions are 100% my own and unbiased!

Forager Organic Dairy-Free Cashewgurt (unsweetened, plain) 

INGREDIENTS: cashew milk, tapioca starch, pectin, coconut cream, locust bean gum, agar, live active cultures

PER CARTON (5.3-oz) NUTRITION STATS: 110 calories, 7g fat, 1.5g sat fat, 0mg cholesterol, 5mg sodium, 9g total carbs, 0g fiber, 1g sugars, 3 g protein, 2% calcium

PROS: 

  • Very creamy consistency
  • Medium to low amount of separation upon opening the carton
  • no added sugar
  • medium tanginess, making it seem similar to dairy yogurt
  • medium thickness

CONS:

  • Not bright white (more of a grey tone)
  • Has a distinct nutty flavor

Kite Hill Greek Style Dairy Free Almond Milk Yogurt (plain, unsweetened)

INGREDIENTS: almond milk, tapioca starch, pectin, locust bean gum, agar, live active cultures

PER CARTON (5.3-oz) NUTRITION STATS: 160 calories, 10g fat, 1g sat fat, 0mg cholesterol, 10mg sodium, 8g total carbs, 4g fiber, 2g sugars, 11g protein, 10% calcium

PROS:

  • Smooth, creamy consistency
  • Thick and rich tasting yogurt
  • No Added Sugar
  • Similar tanginess to regular dairy yogurt

CONS:

  • medium to high amount of separation upon opening the carton
  • Not a bright white color (more brown)
  • Has a distinct nutty flavor, slightly toasted flavor
  • Chalky mouthfeel

365 Everyday Value Almondmilk Non-Dairy Yogurt (unsweetened, plain)

INGREDIENTS: almondmilk, tapioca starch, pectin, agar-agar, live and active cultures

PER CARTON (5.3-oz) NUTRITION STATS: 140 calories, 11g fat, 1 g sat fat, 0mg cholesterol, 10mg sodium, 8g total carbs, 2g fiber, <1g sugars, 5g protein, 4% calcium

PROS:

  • Similar tanginess to regular dairy yogurt
  • Smooth, creamy consistency (after stirring it all together)
  • No Added Sugar

CONS:

  • High amount of separation upon opening the carton
  • Not a bright white color (more brown)
  • Has a distinct nutty flavor
  • Not as thick as some of the others; feels more watered down
  • Chalky mouthfeel

Lavva Dairy-Free Plant-Based Yogurt (No Added Sugar)

INGREDIENTS: coconut water, coconut cream, plantains, pili nuts, coconut powder, cassava root, lime juice, Himalayan salt, live vegan cultures

PER CARTON (5.3-oz) NUTRITION STATS: 179 calories, 13g fat, 10g sat fat, 0mg cholesterol, 65mg sodium, 11g total carbs, 1g fiber, 7g sugars, 2g protein, 2% calcium

PROS:

  • Smooth, creamy consistency
  • No Added Sugar

CONS:

  • High amount of separation upon opening the carton
  • Not a bright white color (more brown with some brown flecks throughout)
  • Not as tangy as regular dairy yogurt
  • Tastes slightly sweet even though there’s no added sugar
  • The flavor is very different than plain dairy yogurt; it has a grain-like flavor to me
  • Not as thick as some of the other options

Chobani Non-Dairy (slightly sweet plain)

INGREDIENTS: cultured coconut blend (water, coconut, tapioca flour, agar, cultures), cane sugar, water, chicory root fiber, fruit pectin, natural flavors, lemon juice concentrate

PER CARTON (5.3-oz) NUTRITION STATS: 130 calories, 8g fat, 7g sat fat, 0mg cholesterol, 5mg sodium, 16g total carbs, 7g sugars, 1g protein, 0% calcium

PROS:

  • Bright white color
  • Similar tanginess to regular dairy yogurt
  • Flavor is neutral and good (do not taste much, if any, coconut flavor); would be a good substitute for plain dairy yogurt except it is much sweeter

CONS:

  • Has added sugar, which makes it taste different than plain dairy yogurt
  • Very high level of separation upon opening the carton
  • The yogurt doesn’t stir into a smooth consistency; it looks slightly lumpy even after stirring
  • Not as thick as some of the other yogurts

So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Milk Yogurt Alternative (plain)

INGREDIENTS: Coconut milk, cane sugar, rice starch, calcium citrate, pectin, live and active cultures, Vitamin D2, Vitamin B12

PER CARTON (5.3-oz) NUTRITION STATS: 110 calories, 5g fat, 4g sat fat, 0mg cholesterol, 30mg sodium, 17g total carbs, 2g fiber, 10g sugars, <1g protein, 25% calcium

PROS:

  • Bright white color
  • Low level of separation upon opening the carton
  • Smooth, creamy consistency
  • Similar tanginess to regular dairy yogurt
  • Flavor is neutral and good (do not taste much, if any, coconut flavor); would be a good substitute for plain dairy yogurt except it is much sweeter
  • Medium thickness
  • Is fortified with calcium, and Vitamins D and B12

CONS:

  • Has added sugar, which makes it taste different than plain dairy yogurt

So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Milk Yogurt Alternative (unsweetened)

INGREDIENTS: Coconut milk, rice starch, calcium phosphate, pectin, dipotassium phosphate, locust bean gum, live cultures, Vitamin D2, Vitamin B12

PER CARTON (5.3-oz) NUTRITION STATS: 70 calories, 5g fat, 4.5g sat fat, 0mg cholesterol, 30mg sodium, 7g total carbs, 2g fiber, <1g sugars, <1g protein, 35% calcium

PROS:

  • Bright white color
  • Low level of separation upon opening the carton
  • Smooth, creamy consistency
  • Very tangy, like regular dairy yogurt
  • Flavor is very neutral (do not taste any coconut flavor)
  • No Added Sugar
  • Medium thickness
  • Is fortified with calcium, potassium, and Vitamins D and B12

CONS:

  • NONE in my opinion!

Overall Conclusion

In my opinion (which I’m not getting paid to write, btw!) is the best dairy free yogurt to substitute for plain yogurt is the SO DELICIOUS DAIRY FREE COCONUT MILK YOGURT ALTERNATIVE (UNSWEETENED). It can be used in all the ways you would use plain dairy yogurt and would work well as a substitute for sour cream too!

If you found this review helpful, please let me know by leaving a comment below! Also, share this article with any of your friends or family who may benefit from the information. AND, one more thing, if you would like me to evaluate and taste-test any other gluten free or dairy free products, let me know in the comments!