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Easy Instant Pot Yogurt

Learn how easy it is to make delicious Instant Pot Yogurt. Real food, no fillers or additives – just simple creamy yogurt.
Instant pot yogurt in a bowl with almonds | sustainablecooks.comWhen I polled my readers last month, one thing many of you asked for was more Instant Pot recipes. The Instant Pot has been in use weekly (almost daily) since I got one last summer. I have found so many uses for it, but until recently I was reluctant to try the yogurt function. And then I came across organic local whole milk at my grocery store that was discounted to $2 because it expired in a week. That got my butt in gear and motivated me to give this a shot.

As a prior maker of yogurt, this isn’t my first yogurt rodeo. I’ve been making yogurt in a yogurt maker for years. The instructions for yogurt in any vessel are essentially the same – you heat milk to 185-190 degrees, then cool it to 110 degrees, mix the milk with some existing yogurt, and then incubate for 8-12 hours. It isn’t rocket science, but it is delicious. People have been making yogurt for more than one thousand years and the process hasn’t changed all that much.

What has changed in my kitchen is the ability to get rid of my yogurt maker. The Instant Pot has already allowed me to donate my giant slow cooker, rice cooker, and now the yogurt maker. Decluttering is one of my favorite things, and I am excited to see what I can purge next!

Helpful Instant Pot Yogurt Supply List

The recipe below is for unsweetened and unflavored whole milk yogurt. If you want to use non-fat, 1%, or 2%, the process is the same, but your end product likely won’t be as creamy. You can absolutely add some sweetener and vanilla or almond extract in step 6 if you’d like. I’ve tried it both ways and both work great. My preference is to leave it totally plain because it opens up more options for using it in various ways. Plain yogurt can be used in dips, homemade gyros (wow that old post needs to be updated!), etc. Leaving the yogurt plain also allows you to flavor it for individual family member’s tastes and preferences. Jack likes it with Easy Strawberry Jam, and Bennett is a Blackberry Pancake Syrup kind of guy.

Instant pot yogurt with almonds a spoon and orange juice | sustainablecooks.com

When you read the instructions below, it is going to seem like a lot. Don’t freak out. It seems like tons of steps, but frankly, it is a lot of hurry up and wait. Deep breaths. You got this.

Also? Do you want a tip that doesn’t make you seem like a newb? <—-That is what my eight year old calls me after watching stupid Nerf videos on Youtube. Give yourself a 90-minute window for the heating and cooling portion steps (you can do it in less time if you force the milk to cool in a pan of water). And then add eight hours on top of that. So estimate 9.5 hours for this whole process. Think of your start and end time. Don’t do like I did the first time I made yogurt, and have the yogurt maker end at 2 am. Neeeeewb! Either start it close to bedtime so it finishes in the morning or do it in the morning (if you can) so it’s ready in the evening.

How to Make Easy  Instant pot yogurt – Step by Step

Pour milk into the Instant Pot.

milk in an instant pot for making yogurt | sustainablecooks.com

You’ve never seen milk in a pot before, right? Heeeere you go! Now you can check one more thing off of your bucket list.

Place the lid on and set the vent to sealing. Press the “yogurt” button and then “adjust” until the display reads “boil”. Walk away. Go put your feet up. Read a book. Better yet, read some more of my other blog posts.

an instant pot that says boil for making yogurt | sustainablecooks.com

Once the Instant Pot beeps, remove the lid. There will be no need to depressurize first. Stir, and then check the temperature. You want the milk to be between 185-190 degrees. If for some reason your milk isn’t 185-190 degrees, press the saute button and stir the milk until it reaches the desired temperature.

thermometer in milk in an instant pot for making yogurt | sustainablecooks.com

Boom. Nailed it.

Remove the inner pot. The milk will now need to be cooled down to 110 degrees. If you have the time, you can just place it on a heat-proof surface, stirring occasionally. If you need to speed up the process, place it in a large pan (I use a lasagna pan) or a sink along with some cold water. Be extra careful to not get any water into the inner pot.

a thermometer in milk for making Instant pot yogurt | sustainablecooks.com

I’m on a roll! And apparently, my hand is trying out to be an extra on a Twilight movie.

Once the temperature has reached 110 degrees, remove 1/2 cup of milk and place it in a small mixing bowl. Add 1/4 cup of plain yogurt (or the amount of powdered yogurt starter as recommended by the manufacturer) and stir well until smooth. I use Fage Total Plain 2%.

a whisk in a bowl of milk and yogurt | sustainablecooks.com

That whisk is not dirty! It has always been discolored for some weird reason. I think it adds to the flavor.

Place the inner pot back into the Instant Pot. Add the yogurt and milk mixture to the Instant Pot and stir well. If you want to add any sugar or vanilla, mix it in now.

a bowl pouring yogurt into an instant pot | sustainablecooks.com

Sploooosh!

Place the lid back on and press the “yogurt” button. 8 hours should appear on the display. You can increase the time for a tarter yogurt. Processing it longer will not make the yogurt anything thicker (I learned that the hard way). Check to make sure the pressure function is set to normal and not low or high. Once the machine beeps, 0:00 will show up on the machine. It’s going to start counting up (most Instant Pot recipes countdown) so don’t be nervous my little pigeons.

Instant pot with 8 on the display for making yogurt | sustainablecooks.com

Instant pot making yogurt with 0 on the display | sustainablecooks.com

When it is all done, the machine will beep and salute you in your ability to make Instant Pot yogurt!
Instant pot with yogt on the display | sustainablecooks.com

After it beeps, remove the inner pot and place it on a heat-proof surface. If your goal was to make normal yogurt, transfer the yogurt to containers (mason jars work great) and then to your fridge. Allow to cool.

finished Instant pot yogurt | sustainablecooks.com

Instant pot yogurt on a spoon | sustainablecooks.com

You’ve done it! You’re a genius.

For Greek yogurt, transfer the yogurt to a fine mesh strainer placed over a bowl, a nut milk bag (hee hee, nut sack), or a regular strainer lined with cheesecloth placed over a bowl. Strain for 4-12 hours in the fridge. Discard liquid (whey) or use in cooking such as bread baking.

Instant pot yogurt in a strainer | sustainblecooks.com

Instant Pot Yogurt is one of those things that once you learn how to do it, you’ll never unlearn it. It’s super easy, insanely delicious, and pretty makes you an Instant Pot ninja.

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Instant pot yogurt
Print
4.84 from 6 votes
Instant Pot Yogurt
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
9 hrs
Total Time
9 hrs 30 mins
 

Learn how easy it is to make delicious Instant Pot Yogurt. Real food, no fillers or additives - just simple creamy yogurt.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Instant pot yogurt
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 103 kcal
Author: Sarah
Ingredients
  • milk half-gallon or gallon
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt per half-gallon of milk
Instructions
  1. Sterilize all cooking utensils and cooking equipment prior to starting.

  2. Pour milk into the Instant Pot. Place the lid on and set the vent to sealing. Press the "yogurt" button and then "adjust" until the display reads "boil". Walk away. Go put your feet up. Read a book. Better yet, read some more of my blog posts.

  3. Once the Instant Pot beeps, remove the lid. There will be no need to depressurize first. Stir, and then check the temperature. You want the milk to be between 185-190 degrees.

  4. Remove the inner pot. The milk will now need to be cooled down to 110 degrees. If you have the time, you can just place it on a heat-proof surface, stirring occasionally. If you need to speed up the process, place it in a large pan (I use a lasagna pan) or a sink along with some cold water. Be extra careful to not get any water into the inner pot.

  5. Once the temperature has reached 110 degrees, remove 1/2 cup of milk and place it in a small mixing bowl. Add 1/4 cup of plain yogurt (or the amount of powdered yogurt starter as recommended by the manufacturer) and stir well until smooth.

  6. Place the inner pot back into the Instant Pot. Add the yogurt and milk mixture to the Instant Pot and stir well. If you want to add any sugar or vanilla, do so now.

  7. Place the lid back on and press the "yogurt" button. 8 hours should appear on the display. You can increase the time for a tarter yogurt. Processing it longer will not make the yogurt anything thicker (I learned that the hard way. Check to make sure the pressure function is set to normal and not low or high.

  8. Once the time has elapsed, remove the inner pot and place it on a heat-proof surface. If your goal is to make normal yogurt, transfer the inner pot to your fridge and allow to cool. For Greek yogurt, transfer the yogurt to a fine mesh strainer placed over a bowl, a nut milk bag, or a regular strainer lined with cheesecloth placed over a bowl. Allow to strain for 4-12 hours in the fridge. Discard liquid (whey) or use in cooking such as bread baking. 

  9. Store strained yogurt in mason jars or other food-safe containers.

Recipe Notes

I have made yogurt using one half-gallon of milk and a gallon. The instructions are the same for any amount and the results are typical. Each half-gallon makes about 2 quarts unstrained, or 1.5 quarts strained.

This recipe was made using an 8 quart Instant Pot.

For your first batch, you'll need a plain, additive-free yogurt as your starter. I use Fage Total Plain 2%.

If using powdered yogurt starter, use the amount recommended per the manufacturer.

Keep 1/4 cup of your homemade yogurt as starter for your next batch.

A previous version of this recipe showed the time in step 7 as 8 minutes. It has been corrected to reflect 8 hours.

Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Yogurt
Amount Per Serving
Calories 103
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This post contains affiliate links and we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you if you click through and make a purchase. This allows me to continue to provide free content, and I only share products that I use and love myself.

Learn how easy it is to make delicious Instant Pot Yogurt. Real food, no fillers or additives - just simple creamy yogurt.

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26 comments on “Easy Instant Pot Yogurt”

  1. How would you make this dairy free? Dairy free yogurt in the stores is crazy expensive.

  2. If you are just starting and don’t have a 1/4 cup of yogurt start, what brand is yogurt should I buy?

    • Great question! Use a plain, additive-free yogurt as your starter. I use Fage Total Plain 2%. I have updated the post/recipe to reflect this question so thanks so much for asking it.

  3. Ahh, thank you! I have been wanting to try making my yogurt in the instant pot. I do own a yogurt maker thanks to you & follow your instructions for making yogurt & have never had a problem. I use raw milk, would that make any difference in the instant pot recipe? Also, I’ve had my yogurt turn out kinda bumpy like the pic you took & always thought something went wrong….

    • So, I have had lumpy and smooth yogurt. I find when I add the starter/milk back to the pot if I blend it with my immersion blender, the yogurt will be smooth as silk. If I don’t, lumps. But the lumps taste fine to me, so I’m not always willing to do the extra work. When I strain it to make it Greek yogurt, the lumps disappear.

  4. I don’t know if my yogurt turns out like yours Sarah, but I use my IP to make it. I kind of cut out some steps though! I use UHT whole milk. I put 1/2 litre in each of 2 or 4 clean mayo jars. I heat in the microwave for 2 1/2 mins and check the temperature is right (<44C). If it's right I put the 4 jars on the trivet into the IP and then add 1/2-3/4 tsp live yogurt to each pot and then put the lids on loosely. If I've overlooked washing the IP lid, nothing skanky will condense onto it and drop into the yogurt.

    I realise if you are using raw etc milk, it needs to be scalded first. My biggest mistake in my earlier attempts at yogurt making was to add too much starter to each pot.

  5. Yes! Milk has been a steal here lately, so we are getting about 2 quarts of thick, Greek yogurt for $2!

    Also, I recently learned (and successfully tried) saving the whey to use as starter instead of saving precious yogurt. We just measure out about a cup of whey (but we’ve always used a cup starter to 1 gallon of milk–maybe too much?) and put it in the fridge until the next batch gets made. That’s not long in our house, but as long as it’s completely clear when we go to use it, we haven’t had any issues. If it gets cloudy, we pitch it, suck it up & go buy more yogurt to start if we’re out of homemade.

    • That is so clever! In all my years of yogurt making, I have never heard of that. I’ll give it a shot.

      • It must have been some Holy Spirit provocation, because one day, out of the blue, I thought, “I wonder if just the whey would work?” (Probably because I didn’t want to go to the store for one, damn thing.) The Almighty Google said it would be so, and voila. 😉

  6. What instant pot do you have? There are so many in the market.

    • They don’t make the one I have in my size anymore. A new model came out recently so my “old” model (purchased last summer) is only available used.

      But the one I linked in the post is a slightly smaller version of the one I have and would be a great size for anyone.

  7. I am so nervous about making yogurt, I don\’t know why? But this doesn\’t look that bad. I think I will try it out

  8. I am so nervous about making yogurt, I don’t know why? But this doesn’t look that bad. I think I will try it out

  9. This is now my go-to yogurt recipe. I have found that I only need a couple of tablespoons of yogurt starter for a whole gallon of milk. We both like the Greek yogurt version best with a little homemade pie filling and homemade granola on top.

  10. Our yogurt turned out great! We strained it for Greek style and it is very smooth, creamy and thick. I will say, I’m not sure I would make my own yogurt all the time….just based on the amount of time it takes, but what a great way to save money when milk is on sale!

  11. You know how you said not to get frightened by the steps? I did. But it was totally fine! I added vanilla cause I’m crazy like that. Could easily add strawberry jam for the kiddos.

  12. How did I miss this recipe!?! I’ve bought the IP to make yogurt but have been too much of a chicken to try it. I’ve tried some of your other IP recipes and have loved them. Totally going to try this recipe this weekend! Thank you!

  13. I’ve been wanting to make yogurt in the Instant Pot – I know it’s a little silly, but it’s one of the main reasons I wanted one! Thanks for the step-by-step instructions.

    PS: I love your sense of humor!