What Is Skyr? Yogurt’s Got Nothing on This Icelandic Dish—And Hotel Rangá Has an Easy Recipe to Make It

Alexa, how do you say “delicious” in Icelandic?

what is skyr: bowl of skyr with berries
Hotel Rangá

If you buy yogurt, odds are you’ve seen brands like Siggi’s on shelves, labeled “Icelandic-style.” These are modeled after skyr, an Icelandic dish that’s been around for centuries. Before you fill up your cart though, you may be wondering: What is skyr anyway? We spoke to Eyrún Aníta Gylfadóttir, marketing manager at Iceland’s Hotel Rangá, for all the details, plus an easy recipe for newbies to tackle at home.

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What Is Skyr?

For the uninitiated, skyr is a traditional Icelandic cultured dairy product that’s similar to yogurt. It’s milder in taste but thicker and creamier in texture, thanks to the heirloom Icelandic cultures that are used to make it. “Skyr has been a part of our culture and cuisine for more than 1,000 years,” says Gylfadóttir. “It’s believed that some version of skyr predates the Viking settlement of Iceland. For centuries, Icelandic skyr [has been] a cornerstone in our diet, the recipe passed on from mother to daughter. It helped keep us strong in living conditions that were often harsh.”

Skyr is enjoyed for breakfast, lunch and dinner alike, but Iceland’s favorite way to serve it is for dessert. “Skyr is predominantly used cold, however it can be used in many ways,” explains Gylfadóttir. “Mixed in with your cereal in the morning, put in smoothies for lunch, used in salad dressing for dinner or used to create a skyr dessert; we make a cake that is similar to a cheesecake called skyr cake.”

what is skyr: skyr with oranges
Angelika Heine/Getty Images

The Health Benefits of Skyr

Skyr is higher in protein than regular yogurt and Greek yogurt alike. The two differ in that Greek yogurt gets its high protein content by straining out excess whey, while skyr is sometimes not strained at all, getting its protein from the amount of milk used to make it, says Eating Well.

“Skyr is lower in fat and calories than Greek yogurt, and it is [often] made from skimmed milk instead of full-fat milk,” notes Gylfadóttir. “It’s healthier and super high in protein, even higher than Greek yogurt. The texture of it is quite smooth.”

It’s also lower in sugar than most yogurts you’ll find on shelves and high in calcium. (One serving can contain up to 20 percent of the daily recommended amount, says Real Simple. In addition to being packed with probiotics, skyr is also purported to be good for weight loss due to its high protein content and low carbs. This makes it great for controlling blood sugar levels as well.

Hotel Rangá’s Iclandic Skyr Recipe

You can find skyr at the grocery store nowadays, but you can also easily make it yourself. Gylfadóttir’s top tip for first timers? “Make sure to whip the skyr long enough so it becomes light and fluffy.” Here’s how to make a breakfast- or dessert-worthy skyr dish that can serve three or four people:



  • 1 pound plain yogurt (Hotel Rangá recommends Siggi’s)
  • 1¾ ounces icing sugar
  • ⅔ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup oats 
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Blueberries and raspberries, for serving

Blueberry Coulis

  • 17 ounces blueberries
  • 3½ ounces sugar
  • 3½ ounces water


1. Make the skyr: Place the yogurt, icing sugar and heavy cream in a large bowl and whip them together by hand until the skyr becomes light and fluffy. Set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 200°F. Combine the oats with the honey in a small baking dish and bake until they turn brown, about 20 minutes.

3. Make the blueberry coulis: Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook until the fruit is broken down and the sugar is dissolved, 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool, then blend it in a blender for a smoother consistency if desired. 

4. Serve the whipped skyr in bowls and drizzle the blueberry coulis on top. Sprinkle it with the oats and garnish with blueberries and raspberries.

taryn pire

Food Editor

Taryn Pire is PureWow’s food editor and has been writing about all things delicious since 2016. She’s developed recipes, reviewed restaurants and investigated food trends at...