Homemade Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe (Greek and Regular)

It’s taken me a long time to get on the instant pot yogurt making train but I’ll never look back! It’s now a solid part of my weekly routine and doesn’t feel like it takes any longer than picking some up at the grocery store.

It’s seriously SO easy and tastes amazing, plus you are getting tons of unadulterated probiotics.

This may look like a lot of steps but they are all very passive and simple, and eventually it will just be second nature. It does take a total of about 9 hours though, most of that is spent letting the bacteria do it’s thing. Let’s get started!

Do I need a starter culture?

Straus organic whole milk is my go to. It’s non homogenized so has cream on top. The less processed the better!

I used this starter the first time I made yogurt. Now, I just save a little bit from each batch and use that to make the next! It’s just like making sourdough bread, you can keep it going for years. A starter is just the bacteria needed to make the milk turn to yogurt, so that same bacteria is now all throughout your finished product! If you don’t want to get a starter, you can use your store-bought yogurt. Just make sure it’s a high quality brand with actual probiotic strains in it.

Do I need an Instant Pot?

Pouring Straus Family Creamery whole milk into instant pot to make yogurt.

The instant pot makes yogurt as easy as pressing a button.

Short answer, yes. Yes, you need an instant pot in your life because they are truly remarkable beasts. I was very skeptical about it at first. I don’t even own a garlic press because I am all about just a knife in the kitchen and no gadgets. However, this thing changed me! Perfect baked potato in 20 minutes (I don’t have a microwave so that’s a big deal to me!), beans from scratch in an hour, bone broth in 2? Sign me up!

Other short answer, no you do not. You can use your oven to keep the yogurt at the right temperature for 8 hours and be just fine. It won’t be as simple as pressing a button but it’s still possible.

How much Yogurt does it make?

Two pint-and-a-half Jars, one greek, one regular yogurt, plus 16 oz Whey

This recipe calls for 1/2 gallon of milk because I wanted about that much yogurt. The yield of this recipe was 24 oz Greek yogurt, 24 oz regular yogurt, and 18 oz of whey. But you can do all regular yogurt and end up with the same amount of yogurt as you had milk. If you use a starter instead, you can follow the instructions on the packet.

What do I do with all this whey?

Yogurt being strained in cheesecloth in a sieve
The only difference between Greek and regular yogurt is the process of straining out the whey.

First of all, you won’t have any whey unless you are opting for the Greek yogurt option. Secondly, whey is not just a wasteful byproduct, it is chock full of protein and probiotics (just like the yogurt is), and it has many uses! You can easily throw it into a smoothie instead of water or milk (or instead of whey protein powder!). You can use it in basically any baked good in place of another liquid for added protein. It’s long been used in bread baking as well. Don’t let your whey go to wheyste! (Sorry)

What you’ll need

  • 2 quarts Whole organic milk from grass fed cows (or feel free to cut this in half, we eat a lot of yogurt over here!)
  • Yogurt starter or 3 tbsp of yogurt (if it’s store bought make sure it’s the real deal)
  • Instant Pot if you want to follow this recipe. I’ll post instructions for oven yogurt soon!
  • Strainer, Cheesecloth, and bowl if you want to try the Greek option.
  • Wide mouth Mason Jars or some container to store your yogurt in. (If mason jars, I recommend these lids so you don’t get rust!)
  • A thermometer. If cost isn’t an issue, get this one and you’ll never have to buy another again! I’ve gone through about 10 cheap ones so next time I am for sure opting for the high quality one.

Instruction Slideshow

Click the arrow or swipe to the left below to go through the slides to see the step by step process of making yogurt in the instant pot!

  • You'll need an instant pot, 2 quarts of milk, and 3 tbsp of leftover yogurt or a starter.
3 mason jars of yogurt containing greek yogurt, regular, and the byproduct that is whey. These are sitting on top of a dark blue napkin with pale yellow carnations and green leaves.

Homemade Yogurt

Simple instructions on how to make homemade regular or greek yogurt in the instant pot.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 9 hrs

Equipment

  • Instant Pot (see section above)
  • Strainer and cheesecloth only if making Greek

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 gallon Whole Milk Organic and grass fed preferred
  • 3 tbsp Yogurt (or one starter packet)

Instructions
 

  • Clean instant pot and remove the silicone ring in the lid.
  • Pour milk into pot, cover with lid, and press yogurt button twice until it says “boil."
  • When it beeps, take the stainless steel pot out and let cool for about an hour until it reaches 115 degrees.
  • Scrape off any skin that has formed and mix in your starter or 3 tbsp of yogurt.
  • Place pot back in instant pot with lid on and press yogurt button until the screen reads 8 hours and leave it alone until it beeps.
  • Scrape off and discard the skin that has formed on top.
  • Chill in fridge and enjoy!

Greek Yogurt Instructions (Optional)

  • Follow steps above and then let the yogurt sit in a strainer lined with cheesecloth over a bowl for a few hours in the fridge. In the bowl you will have collected whey (which can be used in bread, smoothies, soups, anywhere you want some extra protein!) and in the strainer you will have super creamy and thick Greek yogurt!

Once you’ve finished, use your yogurt in smoothies, topped with granola, or flavor however you so desire! Make sure to always keep a little bit to get your next batch going. Happy yogurt making!

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