As much as I love naan, the oh-so-delicious Indian flatbread, sometimes I can’t make the original recipe because I’m out of yogurt. But this doesn’t mean I have to give up naan altogether. Over the years, I’ve experimented with different substitutes for the yogurt or curd that’s typically used in naan dough. Some worked great, while others were flops. Through trial and error, I’ve found six yogurt alternatives that make deliciously soft and puffy naan.
And although coconut milk is probably the best yogurt alternative for naan, nut butters, nut-based yogurt, tahini, silken tofu, and nutritional yeast are just as good and effective. But, let’s see how to use each substitute and why do I recommend them.
Coconut milk is my go-to substitute for yogurt in naan. It provides a rich, creamy texture without the dairy.
To use coconut milk, just replace the yogurt in your naan recipe 1:1 with full-fat coconut milk. Make sure to whisk the coconut milk well before measuring, as the cream and water can separate in the can.
The coconut flavor comes through subtly in the naan, adding a hint of natural sweetness. Coconut milk works great and helps create moist, chewy, and slightly flaky naan — just like the yogurt version.
Coconut milk has a higher fat content than yogurt, so your naan may become denser. You can thin out the coconut milk with a bit of water or milk to reach your desired consistency. You can also use light coconut milk for a less fatty option.
Whether you need a dairy-free, vegan-friendly substitute or just want to experiment with new flavors, coconut milk creates naan that’s irresistibly soft, lightly sweet, and packed with coconut essence. Your taste buds will thank you!
If you are lactose-intolerant or simply don’t consume dairy, you will be thrilled to discover nut butters are a perfect replacement for yogurt in naan. Almond and cashew butters are my favorites.
- Almond butter adds a mild nutty flavor and creamy texture. Just substitute the same amount of almond butter for the yogurt. The almond butter helps create a soft, chewy naan with hints of almonds.
- Cashew butter provides a slightly sweet, buttery flavor. Use 3/4 the amount of cashew butter for the yogurt. The cashew butter makes the naan rich and decadent.
- For extra protein, try peanut butter. Use 2/3 the amount of peanut butter for the yogurt. The peanut butter gives the naan an irresistible peanutty aroma and robust nutty flavor.
Nut butters also add healthy fats and protein to help make the naan more satisfying. And they have a similar tangy quality as yogurt, providing the right amount of moisture without making the dough soggy. 
Tahini, a paste made from ground sesame seeds, is a great non-dairy substitute for yogurt in naan. Tahini has a nutty, earthy flavor and creamy texture that works well in flatbreads.
To use tahini in your naan dough, simply substitute the same amount of tahini for the yogurt in your recipe. The tahini will add moisture to the dough, like yogurt, helping the naan become soft and pliable. It also enhances the hearty, wholesome flavor of the naan.
Tahini is high in protein and several minerals like copper, magnesium, and phosphorus. It contains thiamine, folate, and vitamin B6 as well. This makes tahini-based naan a nutritious alternative. Tahini is typically found in most grocery stores, natural food stores, and Mediterranean markets. 
Silken tofu is an ultra-smooth vegan yogurt substitute that works great in naan.
Silken tofu has an amazingly creamy texture, providing the perfect base for naan. Just blend 1/2 cup of soft silken tofu with 1/4 cup water or non-dairy milk until completely smooth and creamy. This vegan “yogurt” base has a mild flavor and creamy white color, nearly indistinguishable from real yogurt.
The mild flavor of silken tofu benefits from extra flavorings. This is why I also like to add the following:
- 1 tbsp lemon or lime juice
- 1 tsp maple syrup or agave nectar
- 1/4 tsp garam masala or curry powder
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Since you can make the texture quite similar to yogurt, the baking process doesn’t change significantly. Still, making homemade naan differs quite a lot from the original process, which includes tandoor, an urn-like oven perfect for naan baking. Here you can see how it’s usually made:
Nutritional yeast adds a savory, cheesy flavor to naan without the dairy. It has become my secret weapon for recreating a cheesy taste in naan and other baked goods.
Nutritional yeast is made from deactivated yeast, so it’s dairy-free and vegan. It has an umami-packed, savory flavor that’s remarkably similar to cheese. I like to mix a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast into the naan dough before baking for cheesy naan that’s 100% yogurt-free. You can also sprinkle it on top of the naan for extra flavor once it comes out of the oven.
A little nutritional yeast goes a long way, so start with 1-2 tablespoons and add more to taste. Nutritional yeast can be found in most health food stores or ordered online. Store any unused portion in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several months.
Almond milk yogurt has a mild nutty flavor and a consistency similar to Greek yogurt. I like to use it as a one-to-one replacement for cow’s milk yogurt. It works great in naan, adding moisture and a subtle almond essence. You can find almond milk yogurt at most grocery stores, usually in the refrigerated section.
Cashew yogurt is rich, decadent, and almost cheesecake-like. It has a creamy mouthfeel from ground cashews. The cashew flavor comes through but isn’t overpowering. I prefer cashew yogurt with fruit or in desserts, though in small amounts, it would make naan deliciously creamy.
Have you tried any of these? Please share your naan experiences in the comments below. I would love to read about them!
Naan Bread With Silken Tofu
- Cast Iron Skillet
- 1 ¾ cup All-Purpose Flour
- ½ tsp Kosher Salt
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 ½ tsp Dry Yeast
- ½ cup Warm Water
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 3 tbsp Ghee (melted)
For the Silken Tofu
- ½ cup Silken Tofu
- ¼ cup Water
- ¼ tsp Garam Masala
- 1 tsp Lemon Juice
- Combine warm water, sugar, and dry yeast and let it activate for 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, put all the ingredients for the silken tofu in the blender, and blend them together until smooth, yogurt-like consistency. If the mixture is too thick, add more water, and if it's not thick enough, add more tofu.
- Sift the flour onto a flat surface and make a well in the middle.
- Add the salt, oil, silken tofu, and the yeast mix into the well, and knead until smooth. It should take about 10 minutes or so.
- Cover the dough with a cloth, put it in a warm place, and let it double in size for about one hour.
- Flour your flat surface lightly, divide the dough into 6 pieces, then roll each piece.
- Rub a cast iron skillet lightly with oil, and put it over high heat to let it heat.
- Place dough onto the skillet. Once it bubbles and gets slightly charred, turn it over and repeat. It should take about 1 minute for one side to cook.
- Brush your naan with melted ghee, and enjoy!
Before diving into the nutritional details, please review our Nutritional Disclaimer page for important context and clarifications.