4 Great Yogurt Parfait Recipes for Breakfast (or Anytime, Really)

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The Elvis Yogurt Parfait recipeBy Valaer Murray
There are so many good things to be said about yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, which is not only thicker and creamier tasting than regular yogurt, but higher in protein and lower in lactose. And because it’s less runny, it’s the best type of yogurt for a parfait, which is a fancy way of describing sumptuous layers of yogurt and toppings, from fruit to granola.

I’m so glad that Greek yogurt has taken off in this country. After a summer semester in Greece, I came to love a refreshingly cold bowl of thick yogurt swirled with amber honey, but coming back to the States, that style of yogurt was impossible to find. However, it’s simple to make your own Greek yogurt from standard plain yogurt, simply by layering a paper towel inside of a strainer set atop a bowl. Spoon the yogurt onto the paper towel and place in the fridge overnight. The next morning you’ll have thick yogurt—just toss the liquid whey that the bowl has captured.

As a breakfast, snack, or a deceptively guilt-free dessert, parfaits have an appeal that a bowl of yogurt with stuff on top just doesn’t. As your spoon reaches through the layers, it finds a different variation of flavors with each bite, and the best-made parfaits hold the promise of a surprise at the end, like a box of Cracker Jacks. That’s the first tip for creating a parfait: The first layer should be a scrumptious layer. Like a really good pie crust, its flavor must hold its own and its texture should form the foundation of the parfait.

Another key is creating the parfait in a glass bowl, jar, or even martini glass since the colorful layers are so visually enticing. That’s when the dish starts to seem like dessert, and if you offer me dessert for breakfast, I’m not going to say no—the best part of the deal being that it’s way better for you than layer cake.

Berry Yogurt Parfait recipe

The Berry Pie Parfait is gorgeous (and perfect for July 4th) and while The Elvis is less aesthetically pleasing, don’t judge a treat by its cover because it is delicious. The Greek Parfait plays on the flavors I loved when I lived there, and The Savory, while nontraditional, was inspired by someone I know who eats Greek yogurt with savory toppings each morning.

Berry Pie Parfait
Serves 1

1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon brown sugar
6 ounces Greek yogurt
4 large frozen strawberries
1/4 cup blueberries
Mint or cinnamon for garnish (optional)

Crumble the walnuts in a food processor with the cinnamon and sugar. Layer them in the dish, then add a third of the yogurt for your next layer. Put the strawberries in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, then give them a soft mash. Add the mashed berries as your next layer, add another layer of yogurt and top with blueberries, followed by another layer of yogurt. Garnish with julienned mint or cinnamon.

The Elvis Yogurt Parfait recipe with banana and Nutella

The Elvis Parfait
Serves 1
1/2 banana
6 ounces Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
1/2 tablespoon Nutella
Toasted flax seeds for garnish

In a cup, mash the banana with a fork and spread in dish as first layer. Layer half of the yogurt next then spread the peanut butter on top. Use the rest of the yogurt as the next layer then trickle Nutella on top and sprinkle a few flax seeds over it.

The Greek Parfait
Serves 1

1/4 cup pistachios, crushed
6 ounces Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons granola
1 fresh fig
1/2 tablespoon honey

Layer the pistachios on the bottom then a third of the yogurt and then the granola. Mince the fig, peel and all, and add as the next layer followed by another layer of yogurt. Top with honey.

Savory Parfait
Serves 1

2 tablespoons salted sunflower seeds
6 ounces Greek yogurt
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons black olive tapenade
Basil leaf and paprika for garnish

Line the bottom with the sunflower seeds followed by a third of the yogurt. Chop the sun-dried tomatoes and add as next layer, then add another layer of yogurt. Spread the tapenade on top of it, then add the final layer of yogurt. Julienne the basil leaf and sprinkle it on top with a dash of paprika.

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