Craving a luscious, creamy red pasta sauce, but want to skip the cream? Enter this Greek yogurt pasta sauce! It’s a creamy version of my homemade marinara sauce, and uses simple pantry ingredients including canned tomatoes. You’ll be amazed at the silky texture that protein-rich Greek yogurt brings to this sauce!

Looking for more nutritious ways to cook with Greek yogurt? Why not try my popular Greek yogurt salad dressing, Greek yogurt smoothie, Greek yogurt ranch dip, or tuna salad with Greek yogurt?

white stoneware bowl with creamy red sauce rigatoni surrounded by some ingredients

Did you know that you can make a creamy (yet entirely creamless) pasta sauce using Greek yogurt? You better believe it!

Swapping heavy cream for Greek yogurt gives this sauce a boost of protein and reduces the saturated fat content.

As a Registered Dietitian who ADORES pasta, I’ve got quite a collection of healthy pasta sauce recipes – like my well-loved green sauce for pasta, cottage cheese vodka sauce, rosé wine & tomato pasta sauce, vegan sun-dried tomato pasta sauce, creamy kale pasta, and my cauliflower alfredo sauce.

But, this Greek yogurt tomato pasta sauce has got to be the simplest and most straightforward of the bunch.

It’s essentially a three step recipe:

  1. Cook up a simple homemade marinara sauce on the stovetop.
  2. Mix a little bit of sauce with plain Greek yogurt to temper the yogurt.
  3. Stir the tempered yogurt into the rest of the sauce.

And voila! You have a creamy pasta sauce ready to eat.

Add your favorite cooked pasta (I love this recipe with rigatoni) and dig in. This recipe makes enough sauce for 1 pound of cooked pasta, or 4-6 servings.

Greek yogurt pasta sauce ingredients measured out on white backdrop

Ingredients

Everything you’ll need to make this recipe, below:

  • Greek yogurt: I strongly recommend using full fat Greek yogurt for this recipe for optimal taste and texture. It’s richer, smoother, and less tangy than low fat and nonfat options. Only have regular yogurt? Make your own greek yogurt with my shortcut recipe!
  • Canned crushed tomatoes: I prefer the texture of canned crushed tomatoes (as opposed to diced tomatoes) when making tomato marinara sauce. If available to you, get a can of San Marzano tomatoes for the best flavor!
  • Onion: White or yellow onion builds the flavor base for marinara sauce.
  • Garlic: Plenty of garlic helps build a base of flavor and complexity in this sauce.
  • Basil: Fresh basil is best to add a bit of sweetness to the sauce.
  • Oregano: Fresh or dried (I’ve tested both), oregano is a classic marinara sauce ingredient.
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil

Kitchen equipment needed

  • Large saute pan or shallow pot, 12 inches
  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife, 8 inch
  • Measuring cups

Visual step-by-step instructions

garlic and onion cooking in a stainless steel saute pan
1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a saute pan on the stovetop. Cook diced garlic and minced onion until fragrant.
tomato sauce being cooked in a stainless steel saute pan
2. Add canned crushed tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook covered, stirring occasionally.
tomato sauce with fresh and dried herbs being cooked in a stainless steel saute pan
3. With about 5 minutes left on the timer, stir in the basil and oregano.
small bowl of greek yogurt mixed with tomato sauce
4. Temper the Greek yogurt by mixing it with a little of the warm tomato sauce until cohesive. This prevents the yogurt from curdling in the sauce.
Greek yogurt tomato pasta sauce in a saute pan with a wooden spoon
5. Stir the tempered yogurt into the rest of the sauce until totally combined. Taste and add more salt as desired.
rigatoni pasta in a creamy red sauce in a saute pan
6. Stir your favorite cooked pasta directly into the sauce to coat all the noodles.

Serving suggestions

Pasta with a side salad or a simply prepared vegetable side dish is a perfect meal in my opinion!

Here are a handful of recipes from around the blog you can prepare alongside your creamy pasta:

Storage

Store Greek yogurt pasta sauce in a jar or airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.

Reheat it gently over low heat in a saucepan until warmed through.

white stoneware bowl with creamy red sauce rigatoni

Greek yogurt nutrition benefits

Greek yogurt is known to be high in protein, but it also has several other important nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and probiotics.

A 7 ounce portion of Greek yogurt provides:

  • 20 grams of protein
  • 218 mg calcium (18% of your daily needs)
  • 180 mcg Vitamin A (20% of your daily needs)
  • 0.466 mg riboflavin (36% of your daily needs)
  • 0.940 mg pantothenic acid (19% of your daily needs)
  • 1.04 mcg Vitamin B12 (43% of your daily needs)
  • 274 mg phosphorus (39% of your daily needs)
  • 24.8 mcg selenium (45% of your daily needs)

Read more about the nutrition benefits of Greek yogurt here!

Let me know if you love this post by leaving a comment or star rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
rigatoni pasta in a creamy red sauce in a saute pan

Quick & Healthy Red Pasta Sauce with Greek Yogurt

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star No reviews
  • Author: Alex Aldeborgh, RD
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: sauces and dressings
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: American, Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Craving a luscious, creamy red pasta sauce, but want to skip the cream? Enter this Greek yogurt pasta sauce! It’s a creamy version of my homemade marinara sauce, and uses simple pantry ingredients including canned tomatoes. You’ll be amazed at the silky texture that protein-rich Greek yogurt brings to this sauce!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 23 tbsp olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of your pan)
  • 1/2 cup white or yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, finely chopped (or 1 tsp dried oregano)
  • 2/3 cup plain full fat Greek yogurt


Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a 12 inch saute pan or shallow pot.
  2. Add the onion and garlic. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until fragrant and the onions are translucent.
  3. Add the canned tomatoes and salt, stirring to combine everything.
  4. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, stir in the basil and oregano.
  6. Taste and add more salt if desired.
  7. Temper the yogurt so it doesn’t curdle: Put the Greek yogurt in a small mixing bowl, and add 1/2 cup of the warm marinara sauce. Stir them together until cohesive.
  8. Stir the tempered yogurt right into the rest of the sauce until everything is well combined and creamy.
  9. Add cooked pasta, toss to combine, and serve!

Notes

Storage

Store Greek yogurt pasta sauce in a jar or airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.

Reheat it gently over low heat in a saucepan until warmed through.