This Greek Yogurt Pasta is a quick, easy, and frugal dish. The unexpected use of Greek yogurt makes this much healthier than pasta with a heavy cream sauce. It’s simple to make, but loaded with flavor – the kids love it!
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Incredibly Easy Greek Yogurt Pasta Sauce
I first tasted this Greek yogurt pasta with garlic at our local Greek festival when I was a newlywed, over 30 years ago. There was a cooking demonstration of Greek dishes. Many I was familiar with, and some I was not, including this incredibly easy and delicious pasta dish.
The instructor threw some butter, yogurt and garlic into a saucepan with the cooked pasta, swirled it around, and it was done in just a few minutes.
The tangy yogurt, combined with the butter and garlic, makes a surprisingly delicious pasta sauce. I’ve adjusted it slightly by adding just a touch of lemon juice and zest for a little more tang. I prefer to use high quality, full-fat Greek yogurt, as it has creamy richness that I haven’t found in regular yogurt.
Because this dish is budget friendly, it’s great for an end-of-month meal, or for a there’s-nothing-in-the-fridge meal. Since it’s just pasta, yogurt, butter and garlic, a bit of freshly grated Parmesan cheese is always a nice addition.
I’ve featured it with regular pasta, but gluten free or low-carb noodles work equally well. You can also make it with macaroni or fusilli, both of which would hold the creamy sauce well.
This recipe uses Parmesan cheese which is similar to Greek Mizithra cheese. You can also use Pecorino Romano or crumbled feta cheese. Whatever you do, don’t use the fake parmesan in the green cylinder.
Making Creamy Pasta with Greek Yogurt
This recipe for pasta with yogurt sauce couldn’t be easier. Once you’ve assembled the minimal ingredients, it’s ready in less than 15 minutes.
Simply cook your pasta to al dente and drain, reserving some pasta water. In the same pan (but while the pasta is draining), heat the butter and cook the garlic just until fragrant.
Once the garlic is golden, stir in the yogurt and add the pasta back to the cooking pot, tossing to coat. Finish with a squeeze of lemon and zest.
Garnish with parmesan cheese and fresh chives or parsley.
This Greek yogurt pasta is great for a simple vegetarian meal. Add a classic Greek Salad to get in some vegetables. You can also serve it as a side-dish with Greek Grilled Chicken for a heartier meal.
This dish was first published on June 8th, 2015 and has been updated with nutritional information.
Greek Yogurt Pasta
- 1 pound pasta Fettuccine or macaroni
- 4 ounces unsalted butter
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 16 ounces Greek yogurt full-fat
- 1 small lemon zest and juice about 3 Tablespoons juice
- 1/4 cup Freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 2 Tablespoons fresh chives or parsley for garnish (optional)
- Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- Cook pasta according to directions on package, depending on type of pasta. Make sure to add salt to the water for best results.
- Drain pasta, but do not rinse! Reserve some pasta cooking water.
- In the same pot you cooked the pasta, melt butter over medium heat until melted.
- Add minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until garlic is fragrant, but not brown.
- Turn heat to low and add yogurt, stirring to blend. Toss in pasta, stirring to coat pasta. Add reserved pasta water to thin sauce if necessary, 1 Tablespoon at a time.
- Add zest and juice of half a lemon and salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with grated cheese and fresh parsley or chives.
- Use full-fat yogurt for best results
- Use more garlic if desired
- Don’t substitute bottled lemon juice. You won’t get the same flavor.