Homemade Yogurt in an Instant Pot is so delicious and is so easy to make. It is creamy, tangy, light, and velvety. This foolproof recipe will have you making perfect, inexpensive, and mouthwatering yogurt every time. 

I will admit, I have not always been the biggest fan of yogurt. I eat it from time to time, but I would much rather eat other things for breakfast. Until I made my own! It is seriously SO GOOD. I like to keep it nice and thick by straining out the way – this makes it so creamy, but not watery.

A mason jar full of homemade yogurt and a yellow flower on a gray wood background.

Why Make Yogurt from Scratch?

Homemade yogurt tastes AMAZING. The difference between store-bought and homemade is incredible. Last year, we went to Greece and tried real Greek yogurt. It blew our minds how good it was – this yogurt is just about that good!

Yogurt bought in the store just seems to be missing something. The yogurt in Greece was thick and creamy, but also soft and light. It was slightly tangy and even tasted good plain. Anyone who knows me will scoff at me, saying that I will now eat plain yogurt. (When I made my first batch, I even licked the yogurt off the cheesecloth.)

A mason jar full of homemade yogurt and a yellow flower on a gray wood background.

🍽 Equipment Needed

• An Instant Pot
• A Large Bowl
• A large piece of cheesecloth – It should be large enough to double over and cover your large bowl.
• A Food Thermometer – I have used both a meat thermometer and a candy thermometer.

🥘 Ingredient Notes

A half-gallon of milk, an instant pot, and a small container of greek yogurt.

While you can buy yourself a fancy “kit” to make yogurt, you can also make homemade yogurt using less than one small container of good quality unflavored yogurt (I like to use Greek) from the grocery store and a half-gallon of milk. You will need two tablespoons of yogurt per half-gallon of milk.

What Kind of Bacteria Needs to be in Your Starter Yogurt?

The important starter cultures found in yogurt are Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. You can find these in any quality yogurt.

How Do These Bacteria Make Yogurt?

These starter cultures play the very important role of fermenting the lactose in your milk to create lactic acid. Increasing the lactic acid in your milk decreases its pH to lower the acidity of your milk and this then causes the milk to clot. As the milk clots, it forms the gel-like substance that is yogurt. The fermentation of lactose will also create the tangy flavor of yogurt.

What Kind of Milk Do You Need?

You can use any kind of milk – skim, 1%, 2%, or Whole. The higher the fat percentage, the better the yogurt will be of course – because, yum.

🥣 How to Make It

First, you need to sanitize your Instant Pot. If you cook things in your Instant Pot that smell like Taco Seasoning or Jamaican Jerk Chicken you definitely want to sanitize your Instant Pot. You might even use a separate Instant Pot ring for your sweet and savory dishes.

How Do You Sanitize an Instant Pot?

There are two ways to sanitize your Instant Pot:

First, add two cups of white vinegar, two cups of water, and a few drops of lemon juice to your Instant Pot. Close the vent and push the steam button. Set the timer for 5 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally and then rinse out your Instant Pot and the sealing ring.

The other option is to boil water and pour it in your Instant Pot and around the inside of the ring. (This method is a little messier.)

Once that is done, you can start making your yogurt. This method is a “warm start” method – it means that you need to heat your milk before adding your yogurt starter. (This differs from a “cold start” yogurt, where you just dump everything in and let it go.)

First, add your milk to your Instant Pot and push the Yogurt button. (Picture 1) Immediately push the adjust button so that it reads “Boil” on the screen. (Picture 2) Put the lid on and wait for the milk to do its thing. This should take around an hour.

When the timer goes off and the milk is done cooking, it will beep at you and the Instant Pot will say “yogt” on the screen. (Picture 3)

Remove the lid carefully and test that the milk is at 180°F. As long as the milk has reached a high enough temperature, you are good to move on.

Let it now sit for about five (5) minutes.

When about five (5) minutes have passed, move the bowl of your Instant Pot to an ice bath – a large bowl of ice water. (Picture 5)

A collage of images showing the process of making yogurt in an Instant Pot, steps 1 - 5.

Let the yogurt sit there for about twenty minutes – you might even need thirty minutes. You are waiting for the temperature of the milk to get down to 105-115°F. The time that it takes will vary depending on the temperature of your home, the amount of ice in your ice bath, humidity, etc.

Once the temperature has dropped, skim off the layer of film on the top of the milk. This will help make your yogurt extra silky. (My dog loves to eat this so she waits around and acts ridiculous so I don’t forget her while I am making yogurt.)

A border collie playing with a black toy on a gray wood floor and a brown rug.

Next, whisk in two tablespoons of yogurt. Make sure that you don’t do this too early – you don’t want to rush this step and add the yogurt if the milk is too hot – it will kill the bacteria.

Return the bowl of your Instant Pot to the Instant Pot and put the lid back on.

Push the “Yogurt” button and bring the timer up to 8:00. If you want a zingier yogurt, bring it up to 9 or 10 hours. (Picture 7) (The time will drop to zero and count up, as opposed to how the Instant Pot usually works where time counts backward.) The vent can be open or closed for cooking yogurt, it does not matter. (Picture 8)

Again, when it is done, it will say “yogt.” (Picture 9) You can test if it is done by sticking a spoon in the yogurt and seeing if it stands straight up. (Picture 10)

A collage of images showing the process of making yogurt in an Instant Pot, steps 6 - 10..

If you like your yogurt like a more “traditional yogurt,” you can let it cool and move it to a container or jars for storage.

If you would like a “Greek” style yogurt, you should now strain your yogurt through a cheesecloth and strainer over a large bowl. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours. This will make the yogurt super thick and creamy. (Pictures 11 – 15)

There will be a liquid that drains out of the yogurt and that is the whey. This is good mixed into smoothies (or if you have a dog, they love it!) It happens to tear up my stomach so I can’t do anything with it, but my husband has been enjoying the extra nutrition! 

A collage of images showing the process of making yogurt in an Instant Pot, steps 11 - 15.

Once the yogurt seems to be fully free of most extra moisture (this is a judgment call – I like my yogurt to have a texture like sour cream, if you like yours thinner, stop straining it earlier.) Then scoop into jars or containers for storage.

Two mason jars full of homemade greek yogurt and a yellow flower on a gray wood background with a third jar of whey.

📖 Options

How Do You Flavor Homemade Yogurt?

To flavor your yogurt like vanilla, you can stir about half a teaspoon of vanilla into each cup of yogurt. (You would use one teaspoon for one pint-sized mason jar.) You can add more if you like a stronger flavor or even scrape out a vanilla bean. Feel free to also add fresh fruit, fruit syrups, preserves, or my favorite – raw honey.
One of my new favorite things to add to yogurt is homemade jam – I have mixed in Instant Pot Blueberry Jam and Instant Pot Strawberry Jam – both are so good! It is also really good just plain – served with a little bit of homemade granola.

A white bowl of yogurt with paleo strawberry jam on top and a jar of strawberry jam on the side.
Button linking to the Pinterest page for Southern Bytes.
A bowl of yogurt straining in cheesecloth.

How Much Yogurt Does this Recipe Make?

A half-gallon of milk with two tablespoons of yogurt makes 3 pints of Greek yogurt and a quart of whey. If you don’t remove the whey, you will have a little more yogurt.

Can You Save “Starter Yogurt” for Next Time?

Absolutely. I split my starter yogurt into individual two (2) tablespoon servings and pop it in the freezer into a silicon ice cube tray. Once frozen, I move the cubes to a bag. As long as you let the yogurt defrost naturally before using it, you can freeze it. (You can also keep recycling the yogurt you make into new yogurt by saving two (2) tablespoons from each batch but it will start to weaken after several cycles – it is best to save a bunch from your first batch!)

A red silicone tray with scoops of greek yogurt in it.

Share on Facebook

As always, share the leftovers with your pups!

A border collie licking the inside of a yogurt container.

Have You Tried This Recipe?
Please rate it and leave a comment below. I would love to hear what you think!

A mason jar full of homemade yogurt and a yellow flower on a gray wood background.

How to Make Homemade Yogurt in an Instant Pot

4.75 from 4 votes
Homemade Yogurt in an Instant Pot is so delicious and is so easy to make. It is creamy, tangy, light, and velvety. This foolproof recipe will have you making perfect, inexpensive, and mouthwatering yogurt every time.
Author: Kari
Servings: 8
Cook: 10 hrs
Straining Time: 6 hrs
Total: 16 hrs

Equipment

Ingredients  

  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 1/2 gallon milk

Instructions 

Sanitize your Instant Pot. If you cook things in your Instant Pot that smell like Taco Seasoning, you definitely want to do this. There are two ways to do this, or you can do both for good measure.

  • Add two cups of white vinegar, two cups of water, and a few drops of lemon juice to your Instant Pot. Close the vent and push the steam button. Set the timer for 5 minutes.
  • The other option is to boil water and pour it in your Instant Pot and around the inside of the ring. (This method is a little messier.)

Start Making Yogurt – Boil Your Milk

  • Add your milk to your Instant Pot and push the Yogurt button. Immediately push the adjust button so that it reads "Boil" on the screen.
  • Immediately push the adjust button so that it reads "Boil" on the screen.
  • Put the lid on and wait for the milk to do its thing. This should take around an hour.
  • When the timer goes off and the milk is done cooking, it will beep at you and the Instant Pot will say "yogt" on the screen.
  • Remove lid carefully and test that the milk is at 180° F. As long as the milk has reached a high enough temperature, you are good to move on.
  • Let it now sit for about five (5) minutes.

Cool Your Milk

  • When about five (5) minutes have passed, move the bowl of your Instant Pot to an ice bath – a large bowl of ice water.
  • Let it sit there for about twenty minutes, possibly thirty. You are waiting for the temperature of the milk to get down to 105-115° F. The time will vary depending on the temperature of your home, the amount of ice, etc.
  • Once the temperature has dropped, skim off the layer of film on the top of the milk. This will help make your yogurt extra silky.
  • Next, whisk in two tablespoons of yogurt. You don't want to rush this and add the yogurt if the milk is too hot – it will kill the bacteria.
  • Return the bowl of your Instant Pot to the Instant Pot and put the lid back on.

Make Your Yogurt – The Waiting Game

  • Push the "Yogurt" button and bring the timer up to 8:00. If you want a zingier yogurt, bring it up to 9 or 10 hours. (The time will drop to zero and count up, as opposed to how the Instant Pot usually works where time counts backward.) The vent can be open or closed for cooking yogurt, it does not matter.
  • Again, when it is done, it will say "yogt." You can test if it is done by sticking a spoon in the yogurt and seeing if it stands straight up.
  • If you like your yogurt like a more "traditional yogurt," you can let it cool and move it to a container or jars for storage.

Optional – Strain Your Yogurt

  • If you would like a "Greek" style yogurt, you should now strain your yogurt through a cheesecloth and strainer over a large bowl. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours. This will make the yogurt super thick and creamy.
  • There will be a liquid that drains out of the yogurt and that is the whey. This is good mixed into smoothies (or if you have a dog, they love it!) It happens to tear up my stomach so I can't eat it, but Michael has been enjoying the extra nutrition! 
  • Once the yogurt seems to be fully free of most extra moisture (this is a judgment call – I like my yogurt to have a texture like sour cream, if you like yours thinner, stop straining it earlier.) Then scoop into jars or containers for storage.

Optional – Flavor Your Yogurt

  • To flavor your yogurt like vanilla, you can stir a teaspoon of vanilla into each pint. (One mason jar.) You can add more if you like a stronger flavor. Feel free to also add fresh fruit, fruit syrups, and my favorite – raw honey.

Notes

How Much Yogurt Does this Recipe Make?
A half-gallon of milk with two tablespoons of yogurt makes 3 pints of Greek yogurt and a quart of whey. If you don’t remove the whey, you will have a little more yogurt.
Can You Save “Starter Yogurt” for Next Time?
Absolutely. I split my starter yogurt into individual two (2) tablespoon servings and pop it in the freezer into a silicon ice cube tray. Once frozen, I move the cubes to a bag. As long as you let the yogurt defrost naturally before using it, you can freeze it. (You can also keep recycling the yogurt you make into new yogurt by saving two (2) tablespoons from each batch but it will start to weaken after several cycles – it is best to save a bunch from your first batch!)
How Do You Flavor Homemade Yogurt?
To flavor your yogurt like vanilla, you can stir about half a teaspoon of vanilla into each cup of yogurt. (You would use one teaspoon for one pint-sized mason jar.) You can add more if you like a stronger flavor or even scrape out a vanilla bean. Feel free to also add fresh fruit, fruit syrups, preserves and jams, or my favorite – raw honey.

Nutrition

Calories: 147kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 8gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 104mgPotassium: 320mgSugar: 12gVitamin A: 385IUCalcium: 273mgIron: 0.1mg

Nutrition information is approximate and is automatically calculated, so should only be used as a guide.

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade yogurt, instant pot greek yogurt, instant pot yogurt
Did you make this recipe?Mention @southernbytes or tag #southernbytes!

Filed Under: , , ,

Hi, I’m Kari!

I am a newlywed, food blogger, health coach, and mama to a hot mess of a border collie. I love to put a new spin on old family recipes and I try to make as many meals as possible with an Instant Pot.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I have a question, rather than a comment. If I have an older insta-pot that does not have a yogurt setting, what should I use?