The Easiest Homemade Greek Yogurt in an Instant Pot

A delicious and easy-to-make homemade instant pot Greek yogurt that is healthy and delicious! This easy recipe requires simple ingredients and yields delicious results in no time. 

Virtual Book Club

Welcome to this edition of the Virtual Book Club. Three of my blogging friends and I will share our interpretation of a different book on the fourth week of each month! You will see their ideas and inspiration at the bottom of this post.

Here are some of the books we will be using as inspiration. Click the arrows to scroll through our book choices. Tap to get your own copy.

On the last Thursday of each month, we will share something home decor-related, and a culinary treat on the following Saturday inspired by our book of the month.

Maybe you would rather listen to the audio version of these books! Join Audible and you can enjoy books on the go from your phone! This is a great way to read lots of books!

Or maybe you are a movie watcher, like me! Join Amazon Prime and get access to thousands of movies!

We hope you join us in this reading adventure and grab a copy of the books so you can be inspired along with us!

The following post may contain affiliate links. That means if you click and then buy something, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you! Thank you for supporting my blog. full disclosure here.

Big Little Lies – book review

This month, the virtual book club chose a book called Big Little Lies. The book went on to become a Netflix series. I had never heard of the series and we don’t watch Netflix. We are so old school!

Anyway, I listened to the book. Well, I listened to the first third of the book. Now, don’t judge me but after the third abcde…. f-bomb, I decided not to listen to the rest of it! I told you, I am pretty old school!

I can tell you that outside of the language, the storyline seemed interesting up to that point. It’s about four women who become unlikely friends. They meet through their kid’s kindergarten class and develop friendships.

They each have their own storyline going on and the author does a great job of intertwining their lives. It eventually leads to a surprise murder. I won’t spoil it for you but I can tell you that the other ladies in the Virtual Book Club said that it was hard to put the book down!

Be sure to read their posts and get their take on the whole story!

I was inspired to share a recipe I have made many times based on the fact that the ladies in Big Little Lies often met at a coffee shop. Greek yogurt parfaits and smoothies are popular at coffee shops so my recipe seems fitting!

plain yogurt vs greek yogurt

Do you love plain yogurt or Greek yogurt? Did you know that you can make your own yogurt with a gallon of milk? I had no idea until I looked into it several years ago. Up until that point, I had been purchasing store-bought yogurt! And it can be pricey not to mention it can have ingredients I am not interested in putting into my gut!

That’s when my love for homemade yogurt began.

Hubby had already purchased an Instant Pot for the two of us a couple of years ago. We’ve enjoyed using it. I will share some other recipes I have made in the instant pot later in this post.

instant pot with homemade yogurt sitting on kitchen counter

instant pot greek yogurt

But yogurt in an instant pot? Who’da thunk it!! And it couldn’t be easier!

This recipe needs to be started early enough in the day to allow time for the yogurt to process in the instant pot. The batch I make takes nine hours so I like to get this started no later than 9 am. That allows plenty of time to do the last step in this process. We’ll get to that step soon enough!

heat the milk

The first step is to pour your gallon of milk directly into the inner pot of the instant pot. My instant pot holds a full gallon of ultra-pasteurized milk with plenty of room to spare. BTW, we don’t have access to raw milk like so many people do who make homemade yogurt. We buy the milk from the grocery store and so far it has worked well for us.

​After pouring the milk into the instant pot, click the Saute button and set the timer for 24 minutes. Yep, that’s the magic time to bring the milk up to temperature in order to kill any bad bacteria. 

Even though the milk is ultra-pasteurized, I just want to be sure. There are many people who skip this step and use the cold start method. I’m not familiar with that method and I don’t mind making the yogurt by the boil method that I have been doing since the first time I made this recipe.

milk boiling over in an instant pot

skip the lid!

Anyway, here is a little tip about whether or not to put a glass lid on the instant pot when making this yogurt: Don’t do it! Especially if you plan on walking away from the instant pot!

That’s exactly what I did this time! The timer went off while I was in the back of the house and I didn’t hear it! Agh!!

As a side note, do not use the instant pot lid that comes with this pressure cooker!!

collage of instant pot being cleaned

The whole milk boiled over and the foam went everywhere! I probably lost about 1/2 cup of milk. When I started my next batch of yogurt, I did not put a lid on the pot and it all worked out fine.

In the meantime, I learned how to take apart my Instant Pot and give it a good cleaning! I am learning that when the instant pot beeps, I should come running to the kitchen!

use a candy thermometer with clip

Use a candy thermometer with a clip to keep an eye on the temperature. I have found this is the easiest way to know what the temp is during the 24 minutes of heating time.

Once it reaches 180* then it is time to move to the next step. You will also need to skim off the milk – a thin film will develop on the surface.

skimming off film from making homemade yogurt in an instant pot

cool the milk

It is necessary to cool off the heated milk before adding the live cultures to it. We will talk more about the yogurt starter I use but first, let’s chat about cooling the milk down. This is necessary so that you do not kill the good bacteria in the yogurt starter culture.

Our kitchen sink is large and perfect for this step. You can also use a standard-size sink so long your inner pot of the Instant Pot fits in it. I fill the sink with cold water, all of the ice in our freezer and several ice packs my hubby uses for his packed lunches.

Then I place the inner pot into the sink. For best results, keep the running water away from the pot! You don’t want to add water to the regular milk!

candy thermometer used for homemade yogurt in an instant pot

Allow the milk to cool down to 115*. I keep the clip-on thermometer in the pot. This step takes about twenty minutes. Just enough time to unload and reload the dishwasher from breakfast!

Or maybe start a load of laundry!

Or make homemade butter! (Let me know in the comments is you would like me to show you how to make homemade butter in only 10 minutes!)

Can you relate to working on several household chores at once? That’s how we get things done, right??

homemade butter in a glass kitchen aid mixing bowl

add live cultures

Once the milk has cooled to 115*, it’s time to add the live active cultures. Some recipes will use a yogurt starter. I haven’t tried that yet but I have used store-bought whole milk Chobani Greek Yogurt. Before I made homemade yogurt, this was my Greek yogurt of choice. 

Chobani is packed with live cultures like lactobacillus Bulgaricus, S. Theremophilius, and L.Acidophilius. Those are a lot of big words that basically say, “Good for your gut!”

You could mix the store-bought yogurt directly into the warm milk but I like to incorporate it by first adding the 1/2 cup of yogurt to a measuring cup and then adding some of the warm milk to it. Then I use a whisk and blend the two before pouring it completely into the instant pot. Be sure to give it a good stir once it is in the pot.

mixing yogurt starter into warm milk for homemade yogurt

use the yogurt setting

Place the pot back into the base of the Instant Pot, tap the yogurt button, and let it go! Actually, we like a tangier yogurt so I set the timer for 9 hours. Eight hours is the default yogurt setting so you will have to adjust this if you want yogurt with more tang. Place a glass lid on top since there is no chance it will boil over.

The final product after the yogurt function has finished is not a thick Greek yogurt yet. In order to achieve a thicker yogurt like Greek yogurt, it will need to be strained. This is another simple step!

You could use the yogurt as is. We like thick, creamy Greek yogurt so we go the extra step!

strain the yogurt

When I first started making my own homemade yogurt, I used a flour sack towel to strain it. But then I found this container on Amazon. This yogurt strainer made clean-up so easy!

fresh yougrt being poured into a yogurt strainer

All you do is pour the regular yogurt into the strainer, put the lid on, and stick it in the fridge! The next morning you will have thick yogurt that is packed full of protein and gut-healthy probiotics! Your gut will love you for this plain Greek yogurt addition to your diet!

leftover whey

Lets’s chat about the leftover whey. See the yellowish liquid in the large container? That’s the whey. The yogurt strainer has separated the whey from the yogurt. The longer you strain the mixture, the thicker your homemade yogurt will be.

We usually leave the yogurt to strain overnight and then scoop it into a large 1/2-gallon glass jar. We like the wide-mouth Mason jars for this.

The whey can be used in any recipe that calls for water like homemade bread or smoothies. It will add fermented, nutritional value to foods. We mostly use it on our outdoor plants. It’s a great fertilizer!

the best creamy yogurt

If your homemade Greek yogurt is too thick, simply stir a little bit of the whey back into the yogurt until it reaches the creamy yogurt texture you like. I have even added the leftover buttermilk from making homemade butter to the yogurt. Or add some heavy whipping cream for the creamiest yogurt!

Buttermilk makes the most delicious creamy Greek yogurt I have ever had! I have also added half and half creamer to the yogurt. This is another great option to create a creamier yogurt. Neither is necessary, it is completely your preference!

Do you think you will try this simple method to make your own homemade yogurt? We make two batches each week. Hubby and I both have yogurt at breakfast and then again in the evenings instead of ice cream. We are of a certain age that we need to pay attention to our health. 

other recipes using the instant pot

The instant pot isn’t just for yogurt! I’ve been making all sorts of dinner goodness in it including, chili, homemade spaghetti sauce, and soups.

how to serve yogurt

This amazing yogurt is tasty with fresh berries, frozen berries, vanilla extract, or another flavored extract that you like. Add the Greek yogurt to a small bowl, plop a few berries on top, and sprinkle slivered almonds on top and you have a delicious dessert!

homemade greek yogurt in a glass jar with frozen berries in a small bowl

This delicious yogurt is also good in smoothies. I have a smoothie 2-3 times each week for breakfast. The rest of the mornings, I have homemade Greek yogurt as you see in the images.

This homemade yogurt would also be amazing in a frozen yogurt dessert! I have even used this yogurt when making homemade salad dressing for my arugula, pecan, and Pear salad recipe!

homemade yogurt recipe

Let me know what you think of the easy homemade instant pot yogurt recipe! Especially if you give it a try! Save this post on your Pinterest board so that you can find it anytime!

small bowl of instant pot greek yogurt with frozen berries

bonus tip!

One final tip when making this homemade yogurt: it’s a good idea to wash the yogurt strainer immediately after making the yogurt and add it to large jars. If the yogurt dries on the container, it is especially hard to get off!

Milk-based products contain a natural ingredient that sticks to things. It is one of the reasons it satisfies hunger in our bellies. It is also why milk paint adheres to furniture so well!! So weird but true!

yogurt strainer being washed in kitchen sink
pinterest graphic with text the easiest homemade greek yogurt recipe

I hope you enjoyed this post and the inspiration from the book Big Little Lies. Be sure to read the posts my blogging friends were inspired to write.

Join us next month when we will be reading Father of the Bride!

Lynn from Living Large in a Small House

Erin from Erin Evolving

Crystal from Sweet Valley Acres

shop for yogurt-making supplies!

Here are some of the supplies you will need to make this recipe. I couldn’t find my exact yogurt strainer (it’s no longer available!) but here are some you can check out!

homemade greek yogurt in a glass jar with frozen berries in a small bowl
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Easy Homemade Greek Yogurt in an Instant Pot

A delicious and easy-to-make homemade instant pot Greek yogurt that is healthy and delicious! This easy recipe requires simple ingredients and yields delicious results in no time. 
Prep Time1 hour
Cook Time9 hours
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: breakfast, easy breakfast, greek yogurt, instant pot
Servings: 16 1/2 cup serv. size
Cost: $5

Equipment

  • Instant Pot
  • Yogurt Strainer
  • measuring cup
  • whisk
  • large wide mouth mason jars
  • candy thermometer with clip

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon whole milk
  • 1/2 cup store-bought greek yogurt (Chobani)
  • yogurt starter of choice (optional as substitute for Chobani)

Instructions

  • Pour whole milk into inner pot of Instant Pot.
  • Heat milk to 180* using the saute function (approx 24 minutes)
  • Cool milk in a sink filled with cold water, ice, and ice packs. Cool to 115*. (approx 20 minutes)
  • Whisk 1/2 cup of store-bought greek yogurt into the milk.
  • Place the inner pot back into Instant Pot. Set yogurt function for 8-9 hours depending on desired tanginess.
  • When the Instant Pot timer beeps, pour the yogurt into the yogurt strainer and place it in the fridge overnight.
  • The next morning, lift the strained yogurt out of the yogurt strainer and set aside. Then pour the leftover whey into a separate jar.
  • Scoop the yogurt out and back into the large part of the yogurt container. Add some of the whey back into the yogurt and stir to desired consistancy.
  • OPTIONAL: Instead of adding the whey back into the yogurt, stir in some heavy cream, half and half creamer or buttermilk to create the creamiest texture to the yogurt!

Notes

Reduce this recipe by half by using a 1/2 gallon of milk and 1/4 cup of Chobani Greek yogurt.
Optional: add extracts like vanilla or almond to taste.
Serve with fresh or frozen berries, granola, honey, maple syrup, or nuts.

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Recipe Rating




9 Comments

  1. This looks delicious Cindy. I have made yogurt in the past but not in an Instantpot. I received one for Christmas years ago but honestly, I am afraid or pressure cookers so we gave it to our kids. They love it.

    Have a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend.

    1. Homemade yogurt is so easy to make in an instant pot. The yogurt setting doesn’t use the presser feature so it’s all safe. BTW, using the instant pot is the easiest pressure cooker I’ve ever used. I have an old-fashioned one that is a little scary 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    I never would have thought of trying to make my own yogurt – you are amazing!!! I bet your body is thanking you for eating so healthily! I am so sorry to hear that the book turned you off. I wish so much that TV shows, series and movies would go back to swearing free. It really adds nothing to a movie and the funny part is whenever we watch a movie or TV show that doesn’t have swearing we always remark on it afterwards as so nice. I understand how you feel.

  3. I think you’ve finally convinced me to purchase an Insta-pot! I have Greek yogurt for breakfast every morning. Love your simple, easy-to-use directions.

  4. Wendy McMonigle says:

    5 stars
    This sounds amazing Cindy, I will have try. I will be sure to not put the lid on :)))

  5. Love this idea! I heard you mention “butter” in a recent video and started to search for that. I found the Greek yogurt and another mention of the “butter”, but can’t find any instructions for the butter. Big YES on adding that for us. 😊 If it’s here, I can’t find it anywhere.

    1. Hi Kim! The butter recipe isn’t here on the blog or on my YouTube channel yet! I have it in the works so stay tuned! 🙂 Thanks for searching for it!

  6. Vickie Gomez says:

    Can I get nutrition information for this made from scratch Greek yogurt? How does straining off the whey affect the calories, protein, and carbs. She is on very stringent nutrition guidelines and I wanted her to be able to choose stevia and flavors that she wanted not only what she can find.
    Thank you,
    Vickie

    1. Hi Vicki, I don’t know the science behind how straining the whey off alters the calories and other nutritional information but I did find an article that might be helpful to you. I will email it to you directly and I hope you find it helpful!