Making Greek Yogurt in the Instant Pot is one of the easiest ways to add budget friendly probiotics into your family’s diet. Just follow these simple steps to end up with an entire gallon of thick and creamy yogurt with only 10 minutes of active prep time!
I have 6 kids who are HUGE yogurt fans. When I was buying store-bought yogurt, we were eating about $15 worth of yogurt a week. And that was with me putting limits on how much everyone could eat! (If you’re from a big family, you know what I’m talking about)
I had heard that you could make yogurt in an instant pot, and being the impulsive person that I am, I snagged one on Black Friday without even knowing how to make yogurt in it! Luckily for me, its as simple as pushing a few buttons.
Plus, making things from scratch is just fun, satisfying and fulfilling!
Does Homemade Greek Yogurt Taste Like Store-bought?
The answer is no. At least it doesn’t to me. Store-bought Greek Yogurt is more tangy, and definitely not as smooth as homemade. This recipe will give you almost ridiculously creamy yogurt that has more of the natural sweetness of milk, than the yogurt you might be used to.
How Long Does Homemade Greek Yogurt Last in the Fridge?
Homemade yogurt lasts up to 2 weeks in the fridge. At our house with 6 yogurt loving kiddos, it never lasts even a week!
What Tools Do You Need to Make Thick Greek Yogurt in the Instant Pot?
What Ingredients Do You Need to Make Thick Greek Yogurt in the Instant Pot?
- Whole Milk
- Plain Greek Yogurt with these 5 Strains of Live and Active Cultures (Very Important) L. Bulgaricus, L. Acidophilus, and Bifidus; S. Thermophilus and L. Casei
- Optional Add ins: Honey and Vanilla Extract I like to use my homemade vanilla extract in this recipe for a really strong vanilla flavor!
How Do You Make Thick Greek Yogurt in the Instant Pot?
First, you’ll need to make sure your instant pot is completely clean and free from any residual smell left from the last thing you cooked in it. I make black beans in mine and it leaves a strong onion smell. Not a good flavor for yogurt AT ALL!
The rubber seal is not required when making yogurt, and since it absorbs smells and flavors, its best to leave it off when making yogurt.
Pour in a gallon of whole milk. (You can easily half this recipe if your family isn’t quite as crazy about yogurt as mine is)
Push the sauté button on the instant pot. Stir constantly til it has reached about 180 degrees. Hang a thermometer over the side to watch the temperature. This step kills bacteria in the milk that will keep it from thickening.
Remove the inner pot from the Instant Pot and cool on the counter til lukewarm or about 110 degrees. This can take some time, possibly a few hours.
Once your milk has cooled down, put the inner pot back inside the Instant Pot. Add 1/2 cup of yogurt that contains all of the live and active cultures listed in the ingredients section. I have tried using yogurt that is missing one of these cultures and my yogurt didn’t set up all the way. We were left with a gallon of thick, sour milk!
Whisk the yogurt in and replace the lid. No need to do anything with the vent on the top of the Instant Pot.
Press the YOGURT button once and adjust the time on it to 9.5 hours. You can do this by pressing the up arrow on the front of the Instant Pot til it reads 9:30.
Walk away and go on with your day til the Instant Pot beeps!
I have timed things badly and the time ran out in the middle of the night. The nice thing is the Instant Pot display will say YOGURT indicating that it is holding the yogurt at the perfect temperature for the live and active cultures to thrive. You will just end up with a more sour yogurt the longer it goes like this.
When the Instant Pot has beeped and your 9.5 hours is up, you can either leave the yogurt as is, or strain it to make thick Greek Yogurt. My family LOVES it thick so I almost always strain ours.
To strain, get a large bowl set up with a strainer or colander inside. Drape your cheesecloth over the strainer, and carefully pour your yogurt into the cheesecloth. Tie or twist the cheesecloth to keep the yogurt from spilling over the edge of the strainer. I use a chip clip the keep it twisted up.
Set the bowl with strainer, yogurt and cheesecloth into the fridge. I start my yogurt on Friday morning, by that night its ready to go into the fridge, and I leave it to strain til Monday morning. You definitely don’t have to strain it that long, but we like it VERY thick over here!
When your yogurt has strained the desired amount of time, just open the cheesecloth and dump the thick clump of yogurt into another bowl.
I add about 1 cup of honey and 2t. of vanilla to that Greek yogurt. Its probably a bit too much honey for some people, so try less and taste to see what you like.
- To Serve – I use these little mason jars and these lids on a daily basis for my kids snacks and lunches. There is something about individually prepared snacks that kids love! Top with your favorite granola and fruit for a delicious homemade parfait.
- To Store – Homemade Greek yogurt will last in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
- Don’t Use The Rubber Seal – The rubber seal is not required when making yogurt, and since it absorbs smells and flavors, its best to leave it off when making yogurt.
- Don’t toss the whey – check out some of the many uses listed in this post.
What To Do With the Liquid Left Over After Straining Yogurt:
That liquid is called whey, and its full of protein and healthy enzymes! It has a very long shelf life, up to 6 months in the fridge. I usually keep a quart or so of whey in the fridge and freeze the rest for later.
What are Some Uses for Whey?
- Substitute for water and milk in baking. I use whey when I make sourdough bread, pancakes, baked oatmeal and muffins
- Add it to smoothies
- Dilute it and water your plants with it!
- Some animals love whey poured over their food
Even if you don’t have a plan to use it, freeze it for later and chances are you might need it in a pinch!
Recipes on the Blog That I Use Whey or Yogurt in:
More Recipes From Scratch
- Homemade Healthy Jello
- Fluffy Honey Whipped Cream
- Granola Balls
- Homemade Vanilla Extract
- Chunky Date and Pecan Granola
If you try this recipe, I would love it if you use the 5 star rating in the comments below! It helps me so much!