How to Make Homemade Yogurt


Homemade yogurt is not only a healthy and delicious snack but it is also versatile. Learn how to make yogurt at home for cheap!

I love the sour taste of fermented dairy like kefir or yogurt. My favorite way to have these is in a smoothie. We generally have smoothies for breakfast and smoothies are one of the first things I gave Ila.

I used to be a CrockPot fanatic. I loved the ease. You throw something in and forget about it for several hours. When I started cooking from scratch completely, I found that a lot of the foods I was consuming could be made so easily at home with the right tools. The Instant Pot was one of these simply for the yogurt function alone. I also love that it can be used as a slow cooker or a pressure cooker. If I want to cook a chicken low and slow to keep it from drying out, I can do that with the same kitchen tool that I can cook the same chicken in about an hour. I am all for one kitchen tool that can do so many things.

My Instant Pot has replaced my CrockPot now. I literally use it the same way I did my CrockPot but it has so many more functions. Today I will share about one of my favorites- yogurt!

We love yogurt in this family. It is great for the gut and it makes a delicious popsicle, smoothie or late night granola topped treat. Ila loves yogurt too! But I did not love the limited options in the grocery store. Finding organic, plain yogurt is difficult where I live. I can only find it at Aldi and it is regularly sold out. Otherwise I am limited to sugar loaded flavored yogurt. So I set out to make my own.

Making yogurt is really simple with the Instant Pot. It is mostly a set it and forget it recipe with a large outcome. I can easily (and cheaply) make a gallon of yogurt.

What are the health benefits of yogurt?

Yogurt has many health benefits. The main benefit is for gut health. Anything that has been fermented will be rich in probiotics and great for the gut! Fermented dairy is also usually easier to digest.

Is making homemade yogurt worth it?

For so many reasons. It is cheaper and easier to keep on hand.

If not using raw milk, I buy a gallon of organic whole milk for around $4.00-$6.00 depending on the store I buy from. A quart of yogurt is around $3.00-$4.00 depending on the store.

It is also easier to keep on hand in my opinion. We keep a lot of milk in the house and I can make a large batch of yogurt or small depending on what we need at any point. I do not have to worry about it going bad as quick because I can make it whenever I need to with what I already have on hand.

How do you store homemade yogurt and how long does it last?

We store ours in mason jars. I keep 1/2 gallon and quart jars for storage in our kitchen and they work great for yogurt! You really could store this in anything but I would suggest glass.

Our homemade yogurt usually goes quick. We like to eat it for breakfast, use in dressing recipes and in smoothies. But this yogurt lasts for around two weeks in the refrigerator.

How to use yogurt

There are so many ways to eat yogurt. A simple yogurt bowl with fruit and granola is great as a late night snack. Yogurt works great in popsicles smoothies. We even use it regularly for salad dressings like ranch!

Tips for making homemade yogurt

  • Remove the silicone ring from your Instant Pot. The ring traps odors and can alter the taste of your yogurt. Since the Instant Pot does not need to come to pressure, it is not needed.
  • The yogurt will thicken once refrigerated.
  • Do not use any flavored yogurt to make homemade yogurt.
  • Once made, use your homemade yogurt to make the next batch.


  • Instant Pot– must have the yogurt setting
  • Glass storage containers such as mason jars with wide mouth lids
  • Digital thermometer


  • Whole milk
  • Your favorite plain yogurt

How to make homemade yogurt

Heating the milk

The first step to making yogurt is to heat the milk to 180 degrees. This helps the beneficial bacteria as well as the thickening process. A digital thermometer is helpful for this.

Add the milk to your Instant Pot and turn on the sauté function. Be sure to stir the milk constantly to keep the milk from burning.

Once the milk reaches 180 degrees, cancel the function and allow the milk to cool down to 115 degrees. This is to keep the milk from killing the bacteria in the yogurt.

Once cooled, add in the yogurt and whisk until smooth.

Set the Instant Pot to the yogurt function. When making yogurt to eat plain or with fruit, I like to let it go for about 8 hours. If the yogurt is for smoothies only, I do like to let it go a little longer to get the maximum benefits. This can go for up to 24 hours but it will be very sour at that amount of time.

When done, store the yogurt in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Country White French Bread

Black Pepper Sourdough Biscuits

Yield: 1/2 Gallon

Homemade Yogurt

homemade yogurt in farmhouse table setting with blueberries and honey

Homemade yogurt is not only a healthy and delicious snack but it is also versatile. Learn how to make yogurt at home for cheap!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 20 minutes


  • 1/2 gallon milk
  • 1/4 cup yogurt


  1. Set Instant Pot to sauté function and add in 1/2 gallon of milk.
  2. Heat the milk to 180 degrees, whisking constantly to avoid burning.
  3. Hit cancel on Instant Pot and let the milk cool to 115 degrees.
  4. Add 1/4 cup yogurt and whisk in.
  5. Set Instant Pot to yogurt function for at least 8 hours. You can set it for a maximum of 24 hours.
  6. Once done, stop Instant Pot and allow yogurt to cool in refrigerator in mason jars or glass container.


  • Heating the yogurt to 180 degrees is important for the bacteria and thickening process.
  • Yogurt will last for two weeks.
  • This recipe is for whole, cows milk. It has not been tested with any other milk.

Skip to Recipe