One of the most popular things I have seen in groups for Instant Pot users is the Instant Pot yogurt recipe. It is absolutely one of the easiest things you've ever made and the results are far better than any store-bought yogurt you normally grab. Depending upon what brand you normally buy, this can also be much more affordable if you eat a lot of yogurts!
Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe
You may be asking yourself why anyone would make yogurt when it's so affordable in the grocery store. The thing is, this is so much better! Homemade yogurt can save you money if you tend to be the pricier option for better quality and flavor. Mostly, though, it's a much richer and creamier option that is sure to be a hit with your family. In fact, it's a great choice for serving to those who normally don't care much for yogurt.
What is the Best Milk for Making Yogurt?
While you can use any milk, including skim milk all the way up to whole milk. However, many will tell you to reach for the Fairlife brand of milk. The reason behind using it is that it has less sugar and more protein. This results in a much thicker yogurt. While not exactly like Greek yogurt, most would say it has the same thicker texture you are used to in a Greek yogurt so it is often recommended.
What Yogurt Should I Use for My Starter?
You can use any plain Greek or regular yogurt for making your own yogurt. Just make sure it has live active cultures as that acts as the starter that produces your yogurt. Fage is a popular brand to use, but you can use any brand as long as it is the plain flavor and notes on the label that it has live active cultures.
How do I Sweeten Homemade Yogurt?
The joy of making your own yogurt is that you can add any flavor you want and that includes sweetener. While sweetening while it "cooks" is fine, I prefer to add my sweetener after the yogurt is done. This way I can customize with different flavors and use stevia in some while using regular sugar in others. Below are a few different options that work well in sweetening yogurt.
- Sweetened condensed milk (1 can per 1 gallon)
- Granulated sugar or evaporated cane sugar
- Honey, maple syrup, molasses, or agave
- Splenda, stevia, coconut sugar, or xylitol
Of course, add amounts according to your personal taste. For ½ gallon milk as this recipe lists, ½ cup sugar is a good place to begin. You can adjust for more or less if desired.
What Mixins Go In Yogurt?
Since this is plain yogurt, you can customize it to suit your taste buds. This can be done after cooking, but some also work great while cooking if you prefer. Below are a few favorite options to add in while making the yogurt or just after to taste.
- Vanilla, lemon, almond, or pineapple extract
- Jams, jellies, preserves, or fruit syrups
- Chocolate, caramel, butterscotch, or similar dessert syrups
- Granola, cookie crumbs, or candy bits
- Fresh fruit such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, mango, pineapple, peaches, or nectarines
- Fruit pie filling
- Cinnamon, nutmeg, apple pie spice, pumpkin pie spice
Why Didn't My Instant Pot Yogurt Thicken?
There are a few different factors involved, but typically it means the starter wasn't filled with live active cultures. Additionally, using fat-free milk can be harder to thicken than others. Another reason comes in the yogurt being either too hot or not hot enough in the process. That's why using the yogurt button on the Instant Pot makes it much easier to manage as it is a controlled temperature for you.
If your yogurt is not as thick as you would like but still fairly thick, you may just want to use and add fruits to the mixture to thicken it up some. For those where it doesn't thicken at all, you can start over again. Restart the process by reheating the yogurt and adding a fresh starter to it that you are sure has live cultures. Then follow the process again.
How Long is Homemade Yogurt Good?
Yogurt is good when stored in an airtight container for 7 to 14 days. The length depends entirely upon the freshness of the milk it started with, and the cultures used. It typically doesn't last past the 7-day window in our home, but if you are unsure if you will be able to eat it before it goes bad, you can start with smaller batches, or you can freeze some to eat at a later time.
How Should I Store Yogurt?
Yogurt should be refrigerated at 40°F or lower. It is best to store in an air-tight container with a sealing lid rather than covered in plastic wrap when storing long term. Yogurt can absorb odors in the refrigerator, so sealing it well is good for keeping it fresh longer. When refrigerated, it is good for 7 to 14 days depending upon the age of the milk when first created.
It can be frozen and thawed overnight in the refrigerator, but the mixture may separate and become more liquid. If this happens, you will want to stir well before serving. When frozen, it is good for up to 4 months. Just make sure the container is sealed well, labeled, and dated properly.
Note: I like these 7-ounce yogurt jars with lids. They are the same size you would normally buy in the store, and they make it super easy to portion right away and serve as needed throughout the week.
- Plain yogurt or sour cream
IMPORTANT NOTE: While the video below shows using sour cream, I prefer using plain yogurt. Sour cream can be used if you do not have yogurt on hand but is not my personal recommendation.
Handy Kitchen Tools
How to Make Instant Pot Yogurt
Pour the milk into the Instant Pot (inner liner in place), and push the yogurt button until the screen says to boil. If your model doesn't show boil on the screen, you can set the timer to 1 hour after pushing the yogurt button.
Once the Instant Pot yogurt cycle has completed, remove the lid and test the temperature to see that it is around 180°F.
Leave the inner pot in the Instant Pot for 5 minutes, then remove and set aside to cool. Cooling takes around 1 hour at room temperature or 15 minutes if you put the pot into an ice bath.
Once the milk has cooled to between 105°F to 115°F, you will skim any "skin" off the top and discard.
Whisk in the yogurt starter and place the pot back into the Instant Pot and set the lid to seal. Next, press the yogurt button again and set the timer for 8 hours at normal pressure.
Once the cycle is complete, remove the pot from the Instant Pot, and cover the top with plastic wrap. Then refrigerate it for at least 8 hours before portioning out into individual servings.
Serve as is, or add additional mix-ins and sweeteners to taste.
More Instant Pot Recipes
If you are new to using your Instant Pot, you may want to check out this easy Instant Pot pork tenderloin or Instant Pot pulled pork for sandwiches. You may also like this great list of Instant Pot comfort food meals. Tons of great choices to fill your menu!
- ½ gallon milk (1.8 L)
- 2 tablespoon plain yogurt (30ml)
- Pour the milk into the Instant Pot (inner liner in place), and push the yogurt button until the screen says boil. If your model doesn't show boil on the screen, you can set the timer to 1 hour after pushing the yogurt button.
- Once the Instant Pot yogurt cycle has completed, remove the lid and test the temperature to see that it is around 180°F.
- Leave the inner pot in the Instant Pot for 5 minutes, then remove and set aside to cool. Cooling takes around 1 hour at room temperature or 15 minutes if you put the pot into an ice bath.
- Once the milk has cooled to between 105°F to 115°F, you will skim any "skin" off the top and discard.
- Whisk in the yogurt starter and place the pot back into the Instant Pot and set the lid to seal. Next, press the yogurt button again and set the timer for 8 hours at normal pressure.
- Once the cycle is complete, remove the pot from the Instant Pot, and cover the top with plastic wrap. Then refrigerate it for at least 8 hours before portioning out into individual servings.
- Serve as is, or add additional mix-in's and sweeteners to taste.
To add sweetener while it cooks, mix in ½ can sweetened condensed milk with the ½ gallon milk.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 127Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 130mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 9g