What Are the Different Types of Dairy-Free Yogurt?

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

Dairy-free yogurt is a popular choice for people that follow a dairy-free diet, or those who are lactose intolerant. There are many different types of dairy-free yogurt available, many of which use alternative bases to create a product with the texture and health benefits of traditional yogurt. Some of the most popular varieties include coconut yogurt, soy yogurt, almond yogurt, and rice yogurt. Dairy-free yogurt can also be made at home with a non-dairy starter mix.

Dairy-free yogurt.
Dairy-free yogurt.

Coconut yogurt is one of the most popular trends in non-dairy yogurt products. Using a base of coconut milk, this type of yogurt comes in dozens of flavors. One of the hallmarks of coconut products is a rich, silky texture and a hint of coconut flavor. The calorie and unsaturated fat content of coconut products tends to be a little higher than traditional dairy based yogurt, but this may depend on brand and flavor choice. Coconut yogurts are excellent in smoothies, and often contain the same healthy bacteria cultures as regular yogurt.

Coconut yogurt is a popular type of a non-dairy yogurt product.
Coconut yogurt is a popular type of a non-dairy yogurt product.

Soy yogurt can be a good option for those who do not like the taste of coconut yogurt, or have coconut allergies. Based on soy products, this type of yogurt is naturally high in protein, and can be a great choice for a post-workout snack. A single-serving soy yogurt tends to have slightly fewer calories than a serving of whole milk dairy yogurt, and is generally low in fat. Soy yogurt should be avoided by anyone with a soy allergy.

Many people have an allergy or intolerance to the lactose found in dairy products.
Many people have an allergy or intolerance to the lactose found in dairy products.

Almond dairy-free yogurt is made from almond milk, and can be difficult to find in many grocery stores. Nonetheless, this delicious non-dairy alternative has a smooth, nutty flavor, with all of the healthy fats and protein found in almonds. Almond yogurt is fairly easy to make at home, using prepared almond milk or blending and straining whole almonds to create the milk. By combining the almond milk with a pro-biotic culture and heating, yogurt can form in a matter of hours.

Soy or coconut yogurts may be used to add probiotics and protein to smoothies.
Soy or coconut yogurts may be used to add probiotics and protein to smoothies.

Rice-based dairy-free yogurt is another popular way to enjoy the benefits of yogurt without the dairy ingredients. Created using rice milk, this option can be a good choice for people with nut or soy allergies, as well as those who eschew dairy for lifestyle or dietary purposes. Rice yogurt is a fairly rare commercial product, but can be made at home with prepared yogurt starters. The texture of rice yogurt may not be as silky or consistent as other dairy-free yogurt products.

Creamy dairy-free yogurt garnished with strawberries and blueberries.
Creamy dairy-free yogurt garnished with strawberries and blueberries.
Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a wiseGEEK writer.

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Discussion Comments


Making your own almond yogurt can be a good option if you need a dairy-free yogurt and your grocery store doesn't carry any options. All you really need to make almond yogurt are a few ingredients, and there are lots of helpful instructional videos online.

For myself I found that the hardest part about making almond yogurt was waiting for it to ferment. This can take around 8 hours out of the fridge, plus another 5 or 6 hours in the fridge.

Making almond yogurt really takes some planning in advance, but it does taste great when it's finished. I usually add honey so it is as sweet as I like it.


I really think that coconut yogurt is the most delicious kind of dairy-free yogurt and it is great because it also has a lot of health benefits. For one thing coconut yogurt can provide a person with quite a bit more dietary fiber than you would see in something like traditional yogurt. The extra fiber can help your stomach to process foods more easily.

Also, some people might argue that coconut yogurt has more fat that traditional yogurt, but I think there has to be something said about the quality of the fat. The fat in coconuts is actually good for you and can help you to have shinier hair and healthier looking skin.


I had no idea coconut yogurt even existed, let alone was so popular. When I get dairy free yogurt I stick to soy, and all natural when I can get it. There is a great local brand from my state that makes good soy products and really does have only the few necessary ingredients. Overall, though, I agree with other comments that there are some with way too many strange ingredients, much like dairy yogurt sometimes has, including gelatin. Read labels and make sure any yogurt you buy is really dairy free, or vegetarian, or vegan, depending on what you're looking for.


@Acracadabra-I was just about to mention that there have been some studies that products made of soy that may have been reengineered might not be as healthy for you as you think.

I think that you have to read the labels and check with your doctor to make sure. I know that a lot of soy products like yogurts and milk are delicious and have a lot of vitamins, but there have been studies that say that soy based products are not recommended for women that have a history of breast or ovarian cancer because these are hormonally based cancers and the consumption of soy might raise the risk of developing these cancers later on.

The best thing to do is to check with your doctor because soy has a lot of benefits but it may not be right for everyone.


It's wonderful that there are more and more options for non-dairy yogurts these days. Some of the flavors are quite unique, like the soy milk cinnamon bun yogurt I had a while ago.

Just a word of warning though. Do be sure to check the packaging for information about how the product was manufactured. If it was made in the same area as dairy products I'd pass, as this is a major risk for those with severe allergies.


I'm a new and slightly fanatical convert to the world of dairy-free yogurt. I honestly never expected I'd be writing that, and in a public place too!

Falling in love with a lactose intolerant vegan tends to change the way you see food, and in my case it's for the better. I have lost ten pounds in the last six months, which I think is all thanks to my revised eating plan.

For those who have never tried a coconut milk based yogurt I can only say 'don't hesitate'. Some brands even make a frozen option, which is perfect for dessert at dinner parties.

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