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Greek Yogurt vs. Sour Cream: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on December 6, 2023
Greek yogurt is a strained yogurt with a thick consistency and tangy flavor, while sour cream is a dairy product made from fermenting regular cream with lactic acid bacteria.

Key Differences

Greek yogurt is known for its thick, creamy texture due to the straining process which removes whey. Sour cream, on the other hand, has a lighter, smoother consistency, attributed to its cream base and fermentation process.
The flavor of Greek yogurt is distinctively tangy and less sweet, often described as more intense compared to regular yogurt. Sour cream, while also tangy, tends to have a milder, creamier taste, making it a versatile ingredient in both savory and sweet dishes.
Greek yogurt is a protein-rich food, offering more protein per serving than sour cream. Sour cream, being a cream-based product, contains higher amounts of fat, particularly saturated fat, and fewer proteins.
In cooking, Greek yogurt is often used as a healthier alternative to mayonnaise or as a base in sauces and dips. Sour cream is commonly used as a topping for baked potatoes, soups, and Mexican dishes, and in baking to add moisture.
Greek yogurt has its roots in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines, where it has been a staple for centuries. Sour cream originated in Eastern Europe and has become an integral part of many Western cuisines, especially in the United States and Europe.

Comparison Chart

Base Ingredient






Protein Content


Culinary Uses

Healthier substitute, sauces
Toppings, baking

Greek Yogurt and Sour Cream Definitions

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is a strained dairy product with a rich texture.
I love adding Greek yogurt to my smoothies for extra creaminess.

Sour Cream

Made from cream fermented with lactic acid bacteria.
The lactic acid in sour cream gives it a unique taste.

Greek Yogurt

It's known for its high protein content and tangy taste.
Greek yogurt is a great post-workout snack due to its protein.

Sour Cream

It's a popular topping for Mexican cuisine and baked goods.
Sour cream is essential in my taco night spread.

Greek Yogurt

It is versatile in both sweet and savory recipes.
I use Greek yogurt to make dressings and desserts.

Sour Cream

It has a tangy taste and is used as a condiment or ingredient.
Sour cream adds a tangy flavor to my baked potatoes.

Greek Yogurt

This yogurt variety is thicker and less sweet than regular yogurt.
I prefer Greek yogurt in my parfaits for a less sugary option.

Sour Cream

Sour cream is a fermented dairy product with a creamy texture.
I top my nachos with sour cream for extra richness.

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt can be a healthier alternative to sour cream or mayonnaise.
I substitute Greek yogurt for mayo in my chicken salad.

Sour Cream

Sour cream is higher in fat and adds moisture to recipes.
I use sour cream in my cakes to keep them moist.


What are the health benefits of Greek yogurt?

Greek yogurt is high in protein and probiotics, beneficial for digestion and muscle recovery.

Can Greek yogurt be used as a sour cream substitute?

Yes, Greek yogurt can often substitute sour cream in recipes for a healthier option.

How is sour cream made?

Sour cream is made by fermenting regular cream with lactic acid bacteria.

Is sour cream suitable for baking?

Yes, sour cream is often used in baking to add moisture and richness.

What is Greek yogurt?

Greek yogurt is a strained yogurt, thicker and higher in protein than regular yogurt.

Is Greek yogurt suitable for a keto diet?

Full-fat Greek yogurt can be suitable for a keto diet in moderation.

Can lactose intolerant individuals consume Greek yogurt?

Some lactose intolerant people may tolerate Greek yogurt better due to its lower lactose content.

Can sour cream be frozen for later use?

Freezing sour cream may alter its texture, but it can be used in cooked dishes post-thawing.

Is sour cream vegan?

Traditional sour cream is not vegan, as it is made from dairy cream.

Are there non-dairy alternatives to Greek yogurt?

Yes, there are non-dairy Greek yogurt alternatives made from coconut, almond, or soy milk.

What is the fat content in Greek yogurt?

Greek yogurt can vary in fat content from non-fat to full-fat versions.

How long does sour cream last in the fridge?

Sour cream typically lasts about two weeks in the refrigerator once opened.

Does sour cream have probiotics?

Yes, sour cream contains probiotics due to the fermentation process.

Can sour cream be homemade?

Yes, sour cream can be made at home by fermenting cream with a culture.

What is the difference in calorie count between Greek yogurt and sour cream?

Greek yogurt generally has fewer calories than sour cream, especially the non-fat varieties.

Is sour cream or Greek yogurt better for a low-fat diet?

Non-fat Greek yogurt is generally better for a low-fat diet compared to sour cream.

Can Greek yogurt be used in savory dishes?

Yes, Greek yogurt is versatile and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.

What dishes commonly use sour cream?

Sour cream is commonly used in soups, baked goods, and as a topping for Mexican dishes.

Is Greek yogurt a good source of calcium?

Yes, Greek yogurt is a good source of calcium.

Does sour cream contain gluten?

Plain sour cream is gluten-free, but flavored varieties may contain gluten.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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