You’ll be amazed at how EASY it is to make perfect Instant Pot Yogurt, with just two ingredients, and at a fraction of the cost of store-bought. Choose non-fat, low-fat yogurt, or whole fat yogurt, and the flavor mix-ins you add at the end.

Don’t miss my other simple instant pot recipes, like Instant Pot Corn on the Cob, Instant Pot Meatloaf, and Instant Pot Ribs.

Instant pot yogurt served in a cup with berries and granola on top.

What I love about this recipe:

  • Inexpensive: For the quantity of yogurt this recipe makes you’d spend around $15 dollars at the store. The ingredients here cost closer to $5!
  • Easy, and healthier than store-bought. I love knowing exactly what is going in our food. This yogurt is creamy and delicious!

This recipe is nearly fool-proof! It requires, patience (the process takes around 10 hours), but is almost entirely hands-off!

One thing that separates an instant pot from a regular pressure cooker is its unique functions like the “yogurt” button, which allows you to make homemade yogurt in it! The instant pot provides a safe method to incubate yogurt—keep it at a constant warm temperature in the target zone of 110 and 115 degrees F– allowing the bacteria in it to multiply properly and thicken to create smooth, creamy yogurt.

What you’ll need: 

  • Milk: The higher the fat in the yogurt, the creamier and thicker the end result will be. That said, you can use skim, 1%, 2% or whole milk! If using skim milk, see my recipe notes for a necessary adaptation.
  • Yogurt with active cultures: Any store-bough plain yogurt will work as long as you check that it has Active Bacteria Cultures in it (most do!). Check the label for the ingredients Lactobacillus bulgaricus or Streptococcus thermophilus.
  • Instant-read digital thermometer.
  • Optional: cheesecloth to strain the yogurt to make Greek yogurt, or thicker yogurt, if desired. You can buy cheesecloth at most grocery stores in the baking or kitchen gadget section.

Ingredients and equipment needed for Instant pot yogurt including milk, yogurt starter and an instant pot.

How to make Instant Pot Yogurt:

Before starting clean your instant pot really well with soap and water, or steralize it by adding 2 cups of cold water, closing the lid and sealing the vent, and setting it to high pressure for 3 minutes, with a natural release.

1. Heat milk to 180-200 degrees.  Add milk to the instant pot and place the lid on it (it doesn’t matter if the vent is sealed or not). Press the “yogurt” button and then press “adjust” until the screen says “BOIL”.

When the Instant Pot beeps, the milk is hot and ready. Remove the lid and check the temperature with a thermometer to make sure it has reached 180-200 degreed F.

2. Allow milk to cool to down to 110°F -115°F degrees F. This will take 1-2 hours if left alone, or speed up the process by placing the pot into a bowl of ice water for about 10-15 minutes. Check often with a thermometer. Spoon off any milk skin that has formed on top.

Three process photos for adding milk to instant pot and heating to 180°.

3. Add Yogurt Starter. Remove a ladleful of the warm milk into a bowl and whisk the yogurt starter into it. Then pour the mixture into the pot and whisk to combine.

4. Set Yogurt Timer:  Place the inner pot back in the instant pot and secure the lid (again, it doesn’t matter if the vent is sealed or not). Press the “Yogurt” button and adjust until it reads 8:00 to 12:00 hours (less time for looser, milder yogurt and more time for thicker, tangier yogurt).

When the time is up, check the yogurt. You will know it’s  ready when it has thickened and jiggles only very slightly, like jello. (After refrigerating for a few hours it will set up even more.)

Active cultures added to warm milk, then Instant Pot timer set.

5. Refrigerate.  Remove the yogurt to a container or cover the inner instant pot bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight, before serving. This allows the yogurt to thicken and set up more. Stir well before serving.

Store in containers in the fridge and enjoy within 10 days.A spoonful of yogurt help up from an instant pot with homemade yogurt in it.

Note: Homemade yogurt will be a little thinner and sometimes slightly lumpier in texture than store bought yogurt that has added stabilizers in it. Give it a good whisk each time before serving.

To make Greek Yogurt:

After the yogurt is made place cheese cloth over a fine mesh strainer and set it on a large bowl. Pour the yogurt into the strainer and allow it to strain for at least 2 hours or up to 6. (If it strains for too long it will become closer to cream cheese, then yogurt). Scoop out the thick Greek yogurt and store in a container in the fridge for 7-10 days.

Yogurt pouring into a fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth covering.

Whey from the yogurt will drain into the bowl and it can be discarded or saved and used for protein smoothies or shakes.

Can I use skim milk?

Yes! You can make non-fat yogurt in the instant pot using skim milk, but because skim milk is missing the fat that helps thicken the yogurt, add an extra tablespoon of yogurt starter for every quart of milk. So, for 1 gallon of skim milk and 6 tablespoons of yogurt starter.

Troubleshooting: Yogurt is runny and didn’t set up.

This can happen if too much starter is added, or if the yogurt has not incubated for long enough. Leave it incubating, checking it every hour. It could also be from adding the starter when the milk was too hot, killing the active cultures.

Add flavors and mix-ins:

One your yogurt has chilled, add flavors, sweeteners or toppings, like:

Homemade yogurt in a cup with honey, berries, granola and a spoon.

Storing and Freezing Instructions:

Homemade yogurt will last stored in the fridge for 7-10 days, or can be frozen for up to one month. The frozen yogurt can act as a yogurt starter for future batches of yogurt. Thaw overnight in the fridge.

Use yogurt in these recipes:  

Recipe

Instant pot yogurt served in a cup with berries and granola on top.
Prep 5 mins
Cook 10 hrs
Total 10 hrs 5 mins
Add to Meal Plan

Video

Ingredients
  

  • 1 gallon milk*
  • 1/4 cup yogurt with active cultures (or yogurt starter)*

Instructions
 

  • Before starting, clean your 6 or 8 Quart Instant Pot really well with soap and water, or sterilize it by adding 2 cups of cold water, closing the lid and sealing the vent, and setting it to high pressure for 3 minutes, with a natural release.
  • Heat milk to 180-200 degrees.  Add milk to the instant pot and place the lid on it (it doesn’t matter if the vent is sealed or not). Press the “yogurt” button and then press “adjust” until the screen says “BOIL”.
  • When the Instant Pot beeps, the milk is hot and ready. Remove the lid and check the temperature with a thermometer to make sure it has reached 180-200 degreed F.
  • Allow milk to cool to down to 110°F -115°F degrees F. This will take 1-2 hours if left alone, or speed up the process by placing the pot into a bowl of ice water for about 10-15 minutes. Check often with a thermometer. Spoon off any milk skin that has formed on top.
  • Add Yogurt Starter. Remove a ladleful of the warm milk into a bowl and whisk the yogurt starter into it. Then pour the mixture into the pot and whisk to combine.
  • Set Yogurt Timer:  Place the inner pot back in the instant pot and secure the lid (again, it doesn’t matter if the vent is sealed or not). Press the “Yogurt” button and adjust until it reads 8:00 to 12:00 hours (less time for looser, milder yogurt and more time for thicker, tangier yogurt).
  • When the time is up, check the yogurt. You will know it’s ready when it has thickened and jiggles only slightly, like jello. (After refrigerating for a few hours it will set up even more.)
  • Refrigerate.  Remove the yogurt to a container or cover the inner instant pot bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight, before serving. This allows the yogurt to thicken and set up more. Stir well before serving.
  • Store in containers in the fridge and enjoy within 10 days.

Notes

Yogurt starter: You need to use a yogurt starter or store-bought plain yogurt that has active cultures in it (most do). Check the label for the ingredients Lactobacillus bulgaricus or Streptococcus thermophilus. Do NOT use flavored yogurt! You can add flavor after the yogurt is made. (When testing this recipe I used plain, non-fat Greek yogurt).
Milk: I use regular cows dairy milk from the grocery store (pasteurized milk). The higher the fat in the milk, the creamier and thicker the end result yogurt will be. Whole milk is preferred for the creamiest and thickest result, but I've had great success using low-fat milk.
  • Skim milk (non-fat): If using skim milk, add 6 tablespoons of yogurt starter instead of ¼ cup and incubate for 10 hours. You may notice a layer of liquid on top when it’s finished incubating--just spoon it off and discard it.
  • Raw milk: I have not tested this recipe with raw milk, but I’ve read that the results can be inconsistent based on the microbes in the raw milk competing with the yogurt starter. Let me know if you try it with raw milk! Sheep milk and Goat milk could be also used but the yogurt will take on those respective flavors.
To make Greek Yogurt:
After the yogurt is made place cheese cloth over a fine mesh strainer and set it on a large bowl. Pour the yogurt into the strainer and allow it to strain for at least 2 hours or up to 6. (If it strains for too long it will become closer to cream cheese, then yogurt). Scoop out the thick Greek yogurt and store in a container in the fridge for 7-10 days.
Whey from the yogurt will drain into the bowl and it can be discarded or saved and used for protein smoothies or shakes.
Doubling or halving the recipe:
  • Every 1 quart (4 cups) of milk need 1 Tablespoon of yogurt starter. If using more than 1 gallon of milk, you will need an 8 quart instant pot. To halve the recipe, use ½ gallon of milk and 2 tablespoons yogurt starter. 
Storing and Freezing Instructions:
Homemade yogurt will last stored in the fridge for 7-10 days, or can be frozen for up to one month. The frozen yogurt can act as a yogurt starter for future batches of yogurt. Thaw overnight in the fridge.

Nutrition

Calories: 120kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 8gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 112mgPotassium: 331mgSugar: 12gVitamin A: 241IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 286mgIron: 1mg

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @TastesBetterFromScratch on Instagram with #TastesBetterFromScratch!

Yield: Makes about 16 cups of yogurt. Nutritional information is based on 1 cup servings, using 2% milk.

*This post contains affiliate links. I love sharing my favorite products with you!

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I was so skeptical of IP yogurt until we tried this recipe. I was shocked at how well this turned out! The consistency, the flavor, and texture were all spot on. And, with how much yogurt our family goes through, this is a game changer. Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    I’m new to my instant pot but I’ve now made this twice and it is AMAZING! Thank you for the easy to follow instructions and photos. I’ll be making this often!

  3. My Fogor does not have a yogurt option. Only slow cooker high/low, pressure or rice. Could I still make the yogurt? Thank you.

  4. 5 stars
    I have made this with whole store bought milk and raw milk. Both have turned out great. Each time I have used the required amount of “leftover yogurt” for the starter and it’s turned out just fine. We like Greek yogurt so I strain. I find I need to check that periodically for desired thickness because each batch strains differently.

  5. I have been making IP yogurt now every week for a couple of months. My husband and I love it! I have been using skim milk with 2 TBS of starter with no issues. I strain it overnight and then add back about 1 cup of whey to get it to the consistency that we like. I usually add 1 tsp homemade applesauce to sweeten 5 oz of yogurt. A fabulous breakfast! I will have to try adding honey.

  6. I tried making yogurt with skim milk. I was only going to make 4 cups, or a quart. I found that it beeped within 15 min after I set it to boil. I checked the temp and it was less than 180. So I set it to saute and heated it until it got to 180. I then put 1.5 tbsp of non-fat Greek yogurt and put it in the ice bath. I found that it went below the 110F very quickly, like in 5 min so I quickly took it out. I noticed that the bottom of my inner pot had slightly scorched the milk to decided to dump out the milk and then clean the pot. To sterilize the pot again I poured boiling water into it. I was afraid it was too hot so I put the empty pot in the ice bath to cool it down. I then poured the milk mixture back into the pot and set the pot to Yogurt and 8:00. However, it reset itself to 0:00! I’m thinking that means it turned off. Does that mean my moving the milk back and forth messed something up? The instant pot would not stay on 8:00. So I called it quits and chalked it up to 4 cups of warm milk with a hint of yogurt. I’d really like to (1) not scorch my milk and (2) give it another go. Any hints on not scorching and why it wouldn’t let me set the Yogurt to 8:00 and make it? Thanks and sorry for the long reply…!

    1. My instant pot also goes to 0:00 when I set the pot to Yogurt and it counts up to whatever time I set. Wait a minute to see if it goes to 0:01 and that should tell you it started.

  7. 5 stars
    This was so simple! I used half a gallon of 2% milk (just the store brand), a few tablespoons of Fage yogurt and strained it for three hours to Greek-ify it. So good! I make my own kombucha and now will make our yogurt. I feel like I need to start braiding my hair and wearing my Birkenstocks daily. 🙂