Many cultures, especially in the Middle East, use yogurt as a core ingredient for everything from sauces and salads to stews and sweets. It's the perfect ingredient for the Milk Street cook because with the most minimal of additions, yogurt can take on a wide range of flavors and styles; it is one of the most all-purpose ingredients we know.

Check out some of our favorite ways to use yogurt, and watch how quickly it enters your daily repertoire. (Note: We suggest Greek yogurt since it has a firm texture, perfect for a wide range of applications.)

Dress It up for an Easy but Elegant Snack

Spoon out a puddle of Greek yogurt on a soup plate, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, and dust with coarse salt, za’atar, black pepper and a pinch of chili flakes, smoked paprika or Aleppo pepper. Swipe up with crusty bread, carrots, cucumbers, sugar snap peas—whatever the crisper drawer yields up. If you have a few extra minutes, try making a batch of Dukkah, a simple spice-and-nut blend that punches well above its weight, to sprinkle on top.

Throw Together a Last-Minute Dessert

Top a bowl of Greek yogurt with apricot jam or honey, a handful of crushed almonds or hazelnuts and a dusting of cardamom. Equally good for breakfast.

Spread It Under a Eggs

While the soft-on-soft texture of poached eggs on a bed of garlicky yogurt might seem boring, this wildly popular Turkish dish is terrifically delicious. Serve with a baguette or pile of pita bread to swipe up every last minute of the garlicky sauce, chili-spiked butter and fresh herbs.

See here for the recipe for Turkish-Poached Eggs with Garlicky Yogurt (Çilbir)

Use It Instead of Whipped Cream

Swap out a cup of Greek yogurt blended with honey or brown sugar to taste, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, a pinch of salt and a ¼ teaspoon each ground cardamom and cinnamon.

Make a Spiced Yogurt Dressing

This takes minutes to prepare, stores well for up to five days in the refrigerator and gussies up everything from simple salads to roasted potatoes and chickpeas or roasted chicken, salmon or lamb. It can even invigorate the driest rotisserie chicken. See here for the recipe.

See here for the recipe for Spiced Yogurt Dip

Swap Yogurt for Mayo as a Sandwich Spread

Skip the mayo and blend a cup of Greek yogurt with 2 tablespoons of harissa paste and herbs to taste. It’s terrific with turkey or chicken with avocado or a tall stack of thinly shaved carrots, radishes and tomato. Add feta if you like.

Mix It with Tahini for a Quick Pasta Sauce

In Greece, yogurt is paired with sesame tahini in a quick pasta. We use whole-wheat pasta and a crunchy walnut-cumin seed garnish.

See here for the recipe for Pasta with Yogurt and Tahini-Yogurt Sauce

Or Swirl in Brown Butter for Another Simple Pasta

This is a simplified spin on a Turkish sauce is usually paired with tiny dumplings. It’s a unique, comforting combo that’s utterly addictive (and a sleeper hit in our kitchen).

See here for the recipe for Pasta with Browned Butter, Yogurt and Herbs