The Key To Making No-Mayo Bean Salad That's Still Wonderfully Creamy

Bean salad provides a tasty, nutritious, and easy-to-assemble respite from a long list of mayo-based salads and slaws. Most bean salad recipes apply an oil or mustard-based dressing as a lighter and zestier alternative to mayonnaise. However, if you're looking for a no-mayo bean salad that's as rich and luxurious as its mayo-based counterparts, try using Greek yogurt.

Mayonnaise may be America's favorite condiment, but Greek yogurt has gained formidable ground as a household staple. Greek yogurt is an eggless dairy product with a fraction of the fat and calories and exponentially more protein than mayonnaise. Perhaps because of its nutrient makeup, Greek yogurt's thick and creamy consistency rivals that of mayonnaise without weighing a dressing down.

Considering Greek yogurt is a common substitute for mayonnaise, the two have similarly sharp flavor profiles that pair well with savory, sweet, and salty ingredients. Greek yogurt is slightly more sour than mayonnaise, but that extra tang is a better compliment to the earthy, savory flavor profile inherent in all types of beans.

Yogurt-based bean salad ideas

Greek yogurt's versatility encompasses a broad range of flavors and cuisines. You can thus mold the dressing, the salad components, or both to fit your meal's culinary theme. The simplest way to incorporate yogurt into a bean salad dish is to add it to the oil and vinegar or honey-mustard dressing called for in a traditional recipe by using one-third the amount of oil and replacing the remaining two-thirds with yogurt. With honey-mustard, you'd add a cup of nonfat Greek yogurt for every quarter cup of mustard and honey respectively. You could also doctor this recipe with relish to double as a mayo-free deviled egg filler.

Furthermore, you could draw inspiration from Greek yogurt's Mediterranean origins to model a yogurt-based bean salad dressing off of yogurt-based mezze. For example, you could blend yogurt, dill, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil for a dressing reminiscent of tzatziki sauce to dress a salad with fava beans, green beans, garbanzos, and chopped cucumbers. Another Mediterranean-inspired recipe blends yogurt with ultra-savory tahini, lemon juice, and olive oil for a creamier take on classic tahini sauce.

Just as Greek yogurt makes for creamier crave-worthy guacamole, you can blend it with avocado, cilantro, and lime juice to make an ultra-rich and zesty dressing. And yogurt avocado dressing would make the perfect addition to a Southwestern black bean and corn salad.