This homemade Instant Pot yogurt recipe requires less than 5 minutes of hands-on prep work and uses just 3 ingredients. Score!
Instant Pot Homemade Yogurt Recipe
As you probably know by now, I love eating yogurt for breakfast. I especially love when it’s thick and creamy Greek yogurt. Things got kind of crazy when my friend and owner of La Barba here in Utah told me that she’s started making yogurt in her Instant Pot for their shop. Um, yes. I tried it, it was amazing, and I’ll never go back to store-bought yogurt! She also blogs at Vintage Mixer and is living in Europe for a few months — so seriously, she’s kind of one cool kid, with kids. 😉
Alright, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. In college I was trying to still eat like normal, but on a ridiculously tiny budget. When yogurt would go on sale I’d buy a few and considered it my splurge on groceries. I know, it’s the little things, guys. Anyway, I couldn’t afford granola so I’d wait for granola bars to go on sale as well and break some up over my yogurt for breakfast.
It’s really hard to be in college and try to balance so many things, but I LOVED it. I loved being on my own, I felt totally capable of sticking with a budget and the feeling of accomplishment from excelling in my classes, but I hated trying to figure out how to cook for just one person. I soooo wish I would have had an Instant Pot back then.
In fact, that should totally be the new graduation and wedding gift of choice. Think about it, one little appliance that can do everything. Even the kids who go into a dorm room could make themselves a real roast with their roomies every now and again and not need a stove at all!
Instant Pot Yogurt Ingredients
To make regular Instant Pot yogurt or Greek yogurt, you only need two things: milk and a starter. We also add in a splash of vanilla extract for extra flavor and sweetness.
Your Instant Pot (or slow cooker) will take care of the heating and the fermenting, especially if you bought this Instant Pot 6 qt 9 function (our personal choice) with the yogurt button, which makes everything extra easy.
What’s the Best Milk for Homemade Yogurt?
Homemade yogurt is best when made with 2% or whole milk. We don’t buy either on a regular basis, so we go with whichever is on sale that week.
Which Yogurt Starter is Best for Homemade Yogurt?
Store-bought plain Greek yogurt is the easiest yogurt starter. The most important thing is that the yogurt must have ACTIVE cultures, so check out the ingredient list to make sure it includes Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. In fact, many yogurts now say “contains active cultures” without you even remembering those names. Once you have made homemade yogurt once, that batch of yogurt can be used as the next starter. Winning!
Tip: If you think making this homemade yogurt recipe is easy, you will love our Instant Pot Cheat Sheet that makes cooking all the basics extra easy!
Equipment Needed to Make Instant Pot Yogurt
This Instant Pot yogurt recipe can be used to make either regular yogurt or Greek yogurt. Here are the necessary pieces of equipment you’ll need to have on hand to make homemade yogurt:
- 6qt 9 function Instant pot — For obvious reasons.
- Weck 1/2 Liter Jars — For yogurt storage. They are cute, easy for the kids to open and keep a good seal in the fridge.
- Thermometer — You really do need this. It’s a great thermometer and you need to make sure your milk has come to a specific temperature, so you need it. If the Lavatools isn’t a price you’re comfortable with, we’ve used this cheaper Thermopro one, and it does ok.
- Nut Milk Bag — If you plan to make Greek yogurt, which you should as it’s our favorite, make sure you get a nut milk bag to strain out the whey and liquid. For half the price you could also use a cheesecloth, this is the one I have.
How to Make Yogurt in an Instant Pot
This Instant Pot yogurt recipe requires some advanced planning, but the actual hands-on prep work is incredibly simple. Here’s how to make yogurt in your Instant Pot:
- Pour the entire gallon of milk into the inner pot.
- Close the lid and lock it before pressing the yogurt button until it reads “Boil.”
- Let the milk heat to 180ºF.
- Remove the inner pot and place it on the counter to cool until it has reached 110ºF. Add the yogurt and mix it in.
- Place the pot back into the Instant Pot and hit the yogurt button again. Adjust the time to 7 or 8 hours.
- Once finished, stir in the vanilla extract.
- Move to the fridge to store.
How to Make Homemade Greek Yogurt
After following the steps listed above, you’ll be left with plain yogurt. To make Greek yogurt, place a large piece of cheesecloth over a strainer and pile in the yogurt. Wrap the cheesecloth over the yogurt and twist the top, squeezing out the liquid as you twist.
Set the cheesecloth in the strainer and put the whole thing in the fridge overnight to drain out the liquid. In the morning, store the yogurt in a plastic container with a lid.
How Long Does Yogurt Last?
Homemade yogurt will last for about 2 weeks in the fridge (if you can get everyone to stay out of it, that is). We recommend you eat it within a week so that you can use a little starter to begin a new batch, and to keep the one you’re eating nice and fresh.
Can Homemade Yogurt be Frozen?
You technically can freeze yogurt, but we advise against it. Frozen homemade yogurt, or even store-bought can take on a harsh, acid-like flavor. Its texture also becomes runny and grainy. It’s still healthy to eat frozen yogurt, but it won’t be very pleasant.
Why Didn’t My Homemade Yogurt Set?
Your homemade yogurt probably wasn’t kept warm enough during incubation which is why an Instant Pot really is so important as it does that hard work for you. Don’t worry though, failed yogurt can be salvaged by re-heating it carefully over low heat back to 110ºF and incubating it for the second time.
Culturing your homemade yogurt for too long, at too high a temperature, or with a starter culture lacking active cultures can also cause yogurt to separate or turn lumpy. If your yogurt turns lumpy, strain it to remove the whey, then beat the yogurt solids in a bowl until it turns smooth.
Tips for Making Instant Pot Yogurt
You don’t have to sweeten homemade Instant Pot yogurt at all. It gets tangier the longer you let it ferment, so just don’t take it past the 6-8 hours and it won’t need as much sweetening. But if you do want to sweeten it you should use a natural sweetener like honey and or vanilla, which won’t add as much sugar and fat and it will blend in easier. Sweeten homemade yogurt after you have heated it the first time and are about to let it ferment.
Please note that we’ve only made regular yogurt in our Instant Pot and have never tried making dairy-free yogurt.
We’ve also only made plain Instant Pot yogurt, so we can’t advise you on how to make flavored yogurts, such as strawberry or blueberry.
More INSTANT POT RECIPES:
- Better Than Grandma’s Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
- BBQ Instant Pot Whole Chicken
- Easy Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff
- Healthy Instant Pot Turkey Chili
- Instant Pot Taco Soup
- 2-Ingredient Instant Pot Applesauce
- Instant Pot Blueberry French Toast 3 Ways
- …All of Our Instant Pot Recipes!
Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe
Instant Pot Yogurt
- 1 Gallon Milk, (preferably whole or 2%)
- 3 Tablespoons Plain Greek Yogurt with active cultures, (we use Fage Plain)
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract , , or to taste
- Honey , , for serving
- Begin by heating the milk to 180°F - 200°F by placing the entire gallon of milk in the inner pot. Close lid (venting knob position doesn’t matter) and lock it.
- Use the "Yogurt" function button, and press it repeatedly until it says, boil. Or use the adjust button to reach "boil." Allow the milk to heat for 1 hour to get the milk to at least 180°F. The Instant Pot screen will usually change to "Yogurt" when the boiling is done, depending on your model. Giving the milk a whisk usually does the trick, but if it hasn't reached 180, press sauté and continue to heat until it reaches 180.
- Remove the inner pot and place it on the counter to cool until it has reached 110 degrees F. Remove any of the skin that forms off of the top and whisk in the 3 tablespoons of yogurt starter.
- Stir in the vanilla now OR we like to do it later so it doesn't get strained out.
- Place the pot back in the instant pot and hit "Yogurt" again. Adjust the time to 7 or 8 hours, or up to 10 hours (it just depends on how tangy you want the yogurt).
- Stir in the vanilla at this stage if you want more flavor.
- Remove the yogurt into a container to refrigerate. Or, if you want Greek yogurt, place a nut bag or cheesecloth over a strainer and allow the liquid to be strained out in the fridge over night.
- Stir in honey to taste before serving.
I have an InstaPot. Making yogurt is even BETTER with the sous vide function!
1. Pour milk (1/2 -1 gal.) into Instapot and using sous vide function set the temp anywhere between 173-180 degrees, letting it stay at that temp for about 10-15 minutes.
2. Remove the pot and put into cold water in kitchen sink to lower milk temp.
3. When milk reaches lukewarm temp. – check with finger – take about 1 cup of lukewarm milk, mix it with approx. 1/2 cup yogurt used as starter, and pour back into est of milk, and stir.
4. Put pot back into Instapot and, using sous vide feature, set temp at about 110- 113 degrees and time for between 8 and 12 hours, depending on strength of yogurt you want.
I find that this is a more exact way to make the yogurt, but is even easier than with the yogurt function, and the results are better.
I’ve also made yogurt using the yogurt function, but sometimes the results were lumpy. That never happens with sous vide function. Good luck!
Wow! Thank you so much for all the great information Barbara! I’m going to have to try this next time!
Could this recipe be cut in half. I’m the only one who eats yogurt?
Hi Ann! I’ve never tried it, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. I would keep the cooking time the same.
Would love to try! Is your nutritional info based on 2% or whole yogurt? Thank you!!
It is for whole milk. Hope you love it as much as we do!
Thank you for the reply! Can’t wait to try it in my instant pot. Sorry, one more question…did you strain out the whey for your nutrition info? I’ve made yogurt in the past in my crockpot but never could figure out the nutrition info with the whey removed. Thanks again!
That’s a great question! I’m going to say no because we just input all the ingredients into a nutritional calculator and it calculates all the nutrition info. It doesn’t take into account anything removed.
Can I suggest adding a step. Maybe having the milk cool to 110 in a ice bath in the sink. Takes about 5-10 minutes that way. Super simple.
Thanks for the tip Sherry!
I don’t mean to be stupid but since the lactose and whey are removed when you strain the yogurt. I can use regular 2% or whole milk and not have any digestive issues?
That’s a great question, I know that the thicker Greek style yogurts aren’t as hard on tummies especially without all the sugar added but I’m not an expert so I don’t know enough to truly answer.
if your ip has the yogurt button, why wouldn’t you just use the very simple cold start method?
It’s just ultra filtered (Fairlife 52 oz whole milk-red bottle) with 2 Tablespoons of active yogurt
as starter whisked in thoroughly. optional: natural bliss brand vanilla creamer (smaller bottle)
if you want vanilla flavor and little sweet. but can leave that off for unflavored yogurt.
then cover with dinner plate or glass lid from any pot, push yogurt button and it automatically
goes for 8 hours. remove cover, place cotton dish towel or paper towel over top of pot (not touching
content), replace cover and refrigerate for 6 hours. presto! best yogurt EVER
Thanks for the great tips! Sounds yummy!
When do I add pineapple to make pineapple yogurt? Is going to be ruined if I put the yogurt starter in before I boil it? OOPS!
Oh goodness! I’m not sure! We haven’t tried adding flavoring to ours yet. We’ve only added fruit after it was done. How did it turn out?
I would love to make pineapple yogurt. Paula, how did yours turnout? When did you add the pineapple? TIA.
You said that the yogurt can be cooked up to 10hrs depending on how tangy you like it. Does that mean that the longer you cook it the tangier it is? Or is it less time? Thanks!
Yes, the longer you cook, the tangier! Enjoy!
I have thoroughly enjoyed your explanation on making greek yoghurt, thank you so much. To many explanations online but not enough details when it comes to making yoghurt. Thank you, now can you make almond milk yoghurt?, as I have been having stomach issues eating certain milk foods, including greek yoghurt which happens to be my most favorite food. Again thank you God bless.
Hmmmm, I haven’t done that yet. I’ll have to experiment.
I want to try it out in a smaller batch…will the cook time of 6-7 hrs change?
I believe the cook time will still be the same, but I’m not 100% sure.
Once you make the yogurt, can you then use the yogurt you made as the starter for the next batch? Thanks.
Absolutely! We always do that.
when should I put the 3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt? it doesn’t say on the direction or maybe I miss read
Hi Shirley, it’s in step 3.:)
What if I only have a 6 qt and no yogurt button?
I’ve only made yogurt in the Instant Pot once. I need to change that.
Oh it’s a weekly occurrence for us!
I make yogurt in my IP every week and invested in two yogurt strainers – Euro Cuisine GY50 Greek Yogurt Maker – easy, less mess. I also save the whey in a quart jar adding about 1/3 cup of my unsweetened yogurt (shake well) to make buttermilk.
Ohhhh I’ll have to try that!!!
We bought an Instant Pot three weeks ago and on our 9th batch. It is sooooo yummy! Also, made homemade granola to go on it. Also, good with chocolate syrup on it.
This works great for straining as an alternative to cheesecloth or a nut milk bag!
This works great for straining as an alternative to cheesecloth or a nut milk bag!