Healthy Recipe: Greek Yogurt Lemon Bars


Greek Yogurt Lemon Bars

Recipe by Becky Duffett

Lemon bars are a classic sweet treat for summer picnics and barbecues. But they tend to be loaded with sugar. This version cuts back on the sweet stuff, while getting in good-for-you ingredients: creamy Greek yogurt in the filling and whole grains in the crust.

Graham flour uses the entire wheat kernel, creating exceptionally golden, crumbly treats. But it’s not the same thing as graham cracker crumbs, so don’t mix them up when you’re in the baking aisle. If you don’t spot it, whole-wheat flour works well.


For the crust:
½ cup (2½ oz/75 g) graham flour (see note, above) or whole-wheat flour
½ cup (2½ oz/75 g) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
Pinch of salt
6 tablespoons (3 oz/90 g) unsalted butter, cold, chopped

For the filling:
4 large eggs
½ cup (4 oz/125 g) granulated sugar
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
1 cup (8 oz/250 g) Greek yogurt
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
Powdered sugar for sprinkling (optional)


Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter an 8 x 8–inch (20 x 20–cm) baking dish or line it with parchment, overhanging on two sides (to make it easier to lift out the bars at the end!). In the bowl of a food processor, combine the graham flour, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, and salt. Pulse to combine. Sprinkle the cold butter pieces over. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press the crumbs evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes.

While the crust is baking, make the filling: In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar. Add the lemon zest and juice, yogurt, and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Sprinkle with the flour and salt and stir just until combined.

Pour the lemon mixture over the warm crust. Return to the oven and bake until the edges are set and just starting to brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely, cover, and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours. (It’s okay if the center of the filling is still a little loose when it comes out of the oven—it will continue to set as it cools and chills.)

Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if you like. If you used parchment, gently lift out of the pan before cutting into 16 bars. Serve the lemon bars chilled.

Makes 16 servings

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories 132
Protein 4 g
Total fat 6 g
Saturated fat 4 g
Carbs 16
Fiber 1 g
Sugar 9 g
Sodium 45 mg
*Not including the powdered sugar for sprinkling.  

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