by Olena

Instant Pot Yogurt

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Olena Osipov
5 from 43 votes

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Instant Pot Yogurt with 2 ingredients. Also how to make yogurt for healthy breakfast ideas without a yogurt button, Greek yogurt, vanilla yogurt, cream cheese and what to do with leftover whey.

Besides this Instant Pot yogurt recipe we love making Instant Pot eggs, Instant Pot oatmeal and Instant Pot egg bites in our beloved electric pressure cooker.

Instant Pot Yogurt

Homemade Instant Pot yogurt comes out just as store bought. You can strain it further into a super creamy and thick Greek yogurt and serve with fruit and berries, and healthy granola or even quinoa granola. I love a dollop served with lazy pierogi.

Then you can turn some of Greek yogurt into a cream cheese (yes!) and make Instant Pot cheesecake bites. And last step would be to make the tallest and fluffiest whole wheat buttermilk pancakes with leftover whey.

Don’t have Instant Pot yogurt setting? No worries, you can make Instant Pot yogurt recipe without a yogurt button. Also turn some into vanilla yogurt for healthy snack recipes. We’ve got it all figured out for you!

Looking for more than just making yogurt in Instant Pot? Check out my most popular collection of healthy Instant Pot recipes.

Ingredients for Instant Pot Yogurt

  • 1 gallon of milk: 1%, 2% or 3.25% dairy milk.
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt with active bacterial cultures: It can be store-bought or leftover homemade yogurt. If store-bought, make sure it has no additives like thickeners etc.
Instant Pot, a jug of milk, tub of yogurt and food thermometer on a counter

How to Make Yogurt in Instant Pot

So, here is how to make yogurt in Instant Pot:

1. Heat Milk to 180 degrees F

  • Add milk to Instant Pot: Pour milk into the inner pot of your electric pressure cooker. Close the lid and set pressure release valve to Venting. Press Yogurt button until display reads Boil.
  • Milk will take about an hour to heat up: When it’s finished, Instant Pot will beep, turn off and display will say Yogurt.
  • Make sure milk is hot: Open the lid and using a food thermometer check milk’s temperature. It should be 180 degrees F and higher.
  • If milk’s temperature is not 180 degrees F: Press Saute button and give the pressure cooker 5-10 minutes to heat the milk further. Check again.
Instant Pot and measuring milk temperature with food thermometer

2. Cool Milk to 110 degrees F

  • 2 ways to cool milk: Remove inner pot with milk and let it cool down either on a counter (3-4 hours) or in a sink filled with cold water (15 minutes) until food thermometer reads 110 degrees F and lower.
  • Remove the milk skin on top: It is like a thin film. If you leave it in, yogurt will have tiny lumps.
hand holding internal read thermometer and milk skin

3. Add 1/4 Cup Yogurt

  • Add 1/4 cup plain store bought or homemade yogurt: If you buy yogurt, make sure it is plain, active bacterial culture is on ingredients list, and yogurt has no additives like cornstarch etc. You can also use homemade yogurt from previously made Instant Pot yogurt recipe.
  • Whisk yogurt and milk: When whisking, avoid touching the bottom of the pot to disturbing some stuck on milk during boiling.
how to make yogurt in instant pot step by step

4. Let Yogurt Incubate

  • Place yogurt in Instant Pot: Place inner pot with mixture inside Instant Pot, close the lid and leave pressure release valve in either Sealing or Venting position. Doesn’t matter as Instant Pot will not come to pressure.
  • Let yogurt incubate for 10 hours: Press Yogurt button until time counter is displayed and adjust time to 10 hours with + or – buttons. After 10 hours, Instant Pot will shut off.
  • Check if yogurt is ready: Insert spoon in the yogurt and if it’s standing, your yogurt is almost ready.
instant pot and green spoon inserted in a pot with yogurt

5. Chill and Store!

  • Refrigerate for 6 hours: Remove only inner pot with a batch of yogurt. Chill in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight.
  • Store: Whisk after chilling, divide between glass jars and store for up to 10 days. Or make Greek yogurt, vanilla yogurt, cream cheese and pancakes with leftover whey (see below).

FAQs

Can I cut Instant Pot yogurt recipe in half?

Yes, you can cut milk amount in half and keep same cooking time. Use full amount of 1/4 cup yogurt as a starter though.

Can I use almond, coconut, soy etc. milk?

I have heard that it is possible to make dairy free yogurt in Instant Pot but I haven’t tried. If you do, please let me know how it went.

Can I use skim milk?

Technically, yes. I have heard you will need twice amount of yogurt starter. I personally do not enjoy taste of skim milk, so can’t vouch for skim milk yogurt taste.

I have heard about cold start method. Why you don’t do that?

OK, for cold start method you should use Fairlife ultra pasteurized milk only. After a thorough research, I came to a conclusion it is unhealthy because it contains additives with many nutrients destroyed during extremely high temperatures.

Is making homemade yogurt in pressure cooker worth it?

Yes and no. Depends how much that jug of milk and the type of yogurt you make cost in your area. For example, where I live, 1 gallon of organic milk costs $9, which yields 8 cups (64 oz) of Greek yogurt, that costs $24 to buy.

How much yogurt yields 1 gallon of milk?

8 cups or 64 oz.

My pressure cooker lid smells. Will it affect the yogurt taste?

It won’t but for a peace of mind remove the silicone ring when making yogurt. You need it only for pressure cooking and yogurt is made not using this method.

Can I make sour cream with yogurt?

No, sour cream is made with cream.

Do I have to sanitize the pot and utensils?

No, I never did just like with kombucha recipe. Never had an issue.

My yogurt didn’t set. What did I do wrong?

If you follow the recipe to a T, it shouldn’t happen. Most important points are:
-Yogurt starter with live and active cultures.
-Boil milk to 180 F and higher.
-Cool to 110 F and lower and only then add yogurt starter.

More Tips

  • Do not use any kind of flavored yogurt. Recipe will not work.
  • Freeze 1/4 cup freshly made yogurt as a starter for next time. In case you are not planning to make yogurt again soon.
  • Freeze leftovers. Readers have reported successfully freezing and thawing yogurt. It will look lumpy but once you stir it, it will become smooth.

How to Make Yogurt without Yogurt Setting

Timing is everything with this method.

  1. Heat up milk as per recipe: In an Instant Pot without yogurt setting (button), add milk, close the lid and set pressure release valve to Venting. Press Saute and heat up milk to 180 degrees F or higher. Open the lid and check with a food thermometer periodically.
  2. Cool off boiled milk in a sink – do step 3 at same time: While milk is heating up, fill up sink with cold water enough to reach almost the top of the Instant Pot insert. Remove inner pot with milk, place in a sink and let milk cool until food thermometer reads 110 F and lower. Takes about 15 minutes. Don’t walk away.
  3. Keep Instant Pot warm – do step 2 at same time: While milk is cooling off, press Cancel on Instant Pot and keep lid on to keep it warm. It will become an incubator for yogurt.
  4. Add yogurt starter: Move pot from the sink to the counter. Remove milk skin on top and add store-bought yogurt. Whisk to combine without touching the bottom (disturbing sticky milk).
  5. Let yogurt incubate for 10 hours or overnight: Place inner pot inside Instant Pot, close with the lid, wrap it in large beach towel and leave on a counter overnight or for 10 hours. Instant Pot should be off and milk still lukewarm, that will ensure proper incubation and favourable environment for live cultures to grow.
yellow towel wrapped around instant pot

How to Make Greek Yogurt and Vanilla Yogurt

Instant Pot Greek Yogurt

  • Prep: Line large mesh strainer with cheesecloth folded 4 times or single layer of coffee filters. Place on top of a bowl making sure there is enough space for draining the whey.
  • Strain for 4 hours: Add desired amount of yogurt, place in the fridge and strain for 4 hours.
  • Stir and enjoy: Greek style yogurt will be thicker along the walls. Just stir after adding to a jar. We love-love making my mom’s strawberry yogurt with Greek yogurt instead of sour cream for a healthier alternative.
mesh strainer lined with coffee filter and yogurt inside

How to Make Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is simply strained Greek yogurt for longer amount of time.

  • Strain overnight: Follow instructions for Greek yogurt above and strain desired amount overnight in the fridge.
  • Add salt: Then transfer to a glass container and mix with a pinch of salt.
  • Storing: Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
glass bowl with cream cheese, knife and strawberries on a cutting board

How to Make Vanilla Yogurt

Whisk 1 cup of finished regular or Greek yogurt with 2 tbsp maple syrup or honey and 1 tsp pure vanilla extract. Adjust to taste and store like other yogurt.

2 glass jars with white lids and vanilla yogurt inside

Use Yogurt in These Recipes

Include yogurt on your brunch charcuterie board for guests to DIY their own yogurt parfaits with healthy fruit salad and healthy granola!

More Favorite Recipes

Instant Pot Yogurt

Instant Pot Yogurt

Instant Pot Yogurt with 2 ingredients. Also how to make yogurt without a yogurt button, Greek yogurt, vanilla yogurt, cream cheese and what to do with leftover whey.
4.98 from 43 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 11 hours
Cool and Chill Time: 6 hours 15 minutes
Total Time: 17 hours 35 minutes
Servings: 16 cups
Calories: 147kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon dairy milk 1%, 2% or 3.25%
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt homemade or store-bought

Instructions

How to Make Instant Pot Yogurt

  • In Instant Pot with a yogurt function, add milk, close the lid and set pressure release valve to Venting.
  • Press Yogurt button until display reads Boil.
  • Milk will take about an hour to heat up and when it's finished, Instant Pot will beep, turn off and display will say Yogurt.
  • Open the lid and using a food thermometer check milk's temperature. It should be 180 F and higher. If it's not, press Saute button and give the pressure cooker 5-10 minutes to heat the milk further. Check again.
  • Remove inner pot with milk and let it cool down either on a counter (3-4 hours) or in a sink filled with cold water (15 minutes) until food thermometer reads 110 F and lower. Remove the milk skin on top.
  • Add yogurt and whisk to combine without touching the bottom (disturbing sticky milk).
  • Close the lid and leave pressure release valve in either position.
  • Press Yogurt button until time counter is displayed and adjust time to 10 hours with + or – buttons.
  • After 10 hours, Instant Pot will shut off.
  • Insert a spoon in the yogurt and if it’s standing, your yogurt is ready.
  • Remove the inner pot and chill in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight.
  • To make yogurt completely smooth, whisk it after chilling without touching the bottom.
  • Divide between glass jars or make Greek yogurt, vanilla yogurt, cream cheese and yogurt whey pancakes.

Store: Refrigerate for up to 10 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Don’t forget to reserve 1/4 cup yogurt starter for next batch (freeze in ice cubes).

    How to Make Instant Pot Yogurt without Yogurt Button

    • Heat up milk as per recipe: In an Instant Pot without yogurt button, add milk, close the lid and set pressure release valve to Venting. Press Saute and heat up milk to 180 degrees F or higher. Open the lid and check with a food thermometer periodically.
    • Cool off boiled milk in a sink – do step 3 at same time: While milk is heating up, fill up sink with cold water enough to reach almost the top of the Instant Pot insert. Remove inner pot with milk, place in a sink and let milk cool until food thermometer reads 110 F and lower. Takes about 15 minutes. Don't walk away.
    • Keep Instant Pot warm – do step 2 at same time: While milk is cooling off, press Cancel on Instant Pot and keep lid on to keep it warm. It will become an incubator for yogurt.
    • Add yogurt starter: Move pot from the sink to the counter. Remove milk skin on top and add store-bought yogurt. Whisk to combine without touching the bottom (disturbing sticky milk).
    • Let yogurt incubate for 10 hours or overnight: Place inner pot inside Instant Pot, close with the lid, wrap it in large beach towel and leave on a counter overnight or for 10 hours. Instant Pot should be off and milk still lukewarm, that will ensure proper incubation and favourable environment for live cultures to grow.

    How to Make Instant Pot Greek Yogurt

    • Line large mesh strainer with cheesecloth folded 4 times or single layer of coffee filters, place on top of a bowl making sure there is enough space for draining the whey and add desired amount of yogurt.
    • Strain for 4 hours or until desired consistency.

    How to Make Cream Cheese

    • Cream cheese is longer strained Greek yogurt. Follow instructions for Instant Pot Greek yogurt and strain desired amount overnight.
    • Transfer to a glass container and mix with a pinch of salt. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

    How to Make Instant Pot Vanilla Yogurt

    • Whisk 1 cup of regular or Greek yogurt with 2 tbsp maple syrup or honey and 1 tsp pure vanilla extract. Adjust to taste and store like other yogurt.

    How to Make Whey Yogurt Pancakes

    Video

    Notes

    • Can I cut recipe in half? Yes, you can cut milk amount in half and keep same cooking time. Use full amount of 1/4 cup yogurt as a starter though.
    • Can I use almond, coconut, soy etc. milk? I have heard that it is possible to
    • My yogurt didn’t set. What did I do wrong? If you follow the recipe to a T, it shouldn’t happen. Most important points are:
      • Yogurt starter with live and active cultures.
      • Boil milk to 180 F and higher.
      • Cool to 110 F and lower and only then add yogurt starter.
    • Do not use any kind of flavored yogurt. Recipe will not work.
    • Freeze 1/4 cup freshly made yogurt as a starter for next time. In case you are not planning to make yogurt again soon.
    • Freeze leftovers. Readers have reported successfully freezing and thawing yogurt. It will look lumpy but once you stir it, it will become smooth.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1cup | Calories: 147kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 103mg | Sugar: 12g

    Recipes and images are a copyright of ifoodreal.com. It is against the law to republish recipes without permission. Nutritional info is approximate.

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    162 comments on “Instant Pot Yogurt

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    1. 5 stars
      Thank you SO much for sharing this recipe! My daughters thought plain was too tangy but we added some pure maple syrup and vanilla extract and IT’S PERFECT!! I can’t wait to make cream cheese and frozen yogurt!

    2. I just bought a 8 qt. Instant Pot, it’s a 6 in 1 so it doesn’t have a yogurt function. I felt it was a good price at $69.99, but am wondering if I should upgrade to get the yogurt function and any other functions that might be worth the extra money (I haven’t even opened the box) I saw you have the recipe for one that doesn’t have a yogurt function, but am wondering what function you would put it on to bring the milk up to 180 degrees. As you can see I am really new at this and any suggestions would be helpful.
      Malina

      1. Hi Malina. To be honest, I use only one button Pressure Cook and sometime Saute. All other button are just pre-programmed with timer and cook the same way.
        As for yogurt, it’s simple. You heat the milk with Saute button. Covered or uncovered which is slower.

    3. 5 stars
      Great detailed recipe, Thank you. can I boil the milk outside and then pour it into glass container and put that container inside instant pot? Follow the procedure to incubate for 10 hours. Will that work? the reason for this is, I only want less quantity. thank you

      1. Hi Cindy. Yes, for sure. But why don’t you do the same just like I do in the pot with lesser quantity?! It’s OK to cook less in the pressure cooker – same cooking time and results.

    4. 5 stars
      I just made my second 1 gallon batch of organic whole milk Greek yogurt and it is the best yogurt I’ve ever eaten. Thank you for the detailed easy to follow instructions. I purchased a Greek yogurt strainer pouch by “Kleynhuis” on Amazon, before I made the first batch and it works very well so I wanted to pass that on.

    5. 5 stars
      Thank you for the recipe! I’ve just gotten on the instant pot yogurt bandwagon and made a batch yesterday with the ULtra filtered milk…not super crazy about it (and frankly not that much cheaper than buying the Greek yogurt!) so I’ve just started a batch with your recipe. Thanks for the detailed instructions!

    6. 5 stars
      Made this recipe twice now. The second time with the first batch of yoghurt I made and it was thicker and creamer. Absolutely delicious and so easy. Will never buy store bought again.
      Was confused about the measurements at first as there are two variations of what is a gallon and it seemed like a gallon was too much for the instant pot so I did 1/2 gallon of milk (8 cups)and two tablespoons yoghurt first time and I think about 1/4 cup yoghurt second time. Not sure if it was the increased amount of yoghurt or the fact it was from the first batch that made it more creamy and thicker.
      I also made some Greek yoghurt from first batch. Fantastic recipe..thankyou! ☺

      1. Awesome! I think more yogurt makes it more creamy. And also maybe you did different time?! Idk it’s real food so sometimes things turn out not exactly the same each time. 🙂 Enjoy!

    7. Cold Start is not just Fairlife. Fairlife is a brand of ultra filtered UHT milk, but ANY UHT milk can be used for the cold start method. It’s the UHT that makes the milk sterile and shelf stable.

      All the Organic milk at my store is UHT, which is why I don’t buy it. It affects the taste. But I may try it for cold start yogurt. Even the non-homgonized grassmilk is UHT pasteurized.

        1. I just got a recipe and you don’t have to heat it up. I used microfiltered milk – it’s by Neilson called Trutaste. I’m not sure if you have it in BC but we do on the other other side in NS. It worked out well and has less steps then this recipe. Maybe if I have more time I’ll try out yours and see what the difference is.

          Once you make a batch can you use that yogurt to make more or do you have to buy the cultured yogurt every time you make it?

          1. It is called cold start method and I won’t be drinking ultra filtered milk anytime soon. I would rather buy good organic yogurt if I don’t have time to heat up milk. And actually I do it often.
            Yes, you can save and even freeze some yogurt for next batch. No need to buy every time.

    8. Hiya,
      I tried your recipe last night, my instant pot has been acting a bit weird lately, so not sure if its the pot or me. When i go to the step where i set it for 10 hours, i have 2 options, the first one the pressure is set to less, but if you hit the yogurt button again it is set at normal. What is yours set to?
      thanks for the recipe and the help.

      1. Hi Diana. I’m sorry my reply is so late but I needed a vacation.:) For the future, my IP does the same. I use it with Less and the 1st push of the button. It doesn’t really matter because it is not going to build pressure but rather keep yogurt at a low T for 10 hours.

    9. 5 stars
      Turned out perfectly and really appreciate the FAQ section- I had been worried about the smell from sealing ring affecting flavor. I can’t wait to try the pancakes with yogurt whey!

      1. Yay! I put FAQ section together because let’s face making yogurt isn’t like cooking a pot of soup. However, after 1-2 times it’s so straightforward, you will remember the recipe. Yes, despite all the “scaries” online I haven’t found my sweeter food having savoury taste. It’s not that bad!

    10. 5 stars
      Made instant pot yogurt last night following the recipe. Then strained into a Greek yogurt. The best yogurt ever!!! Thank you!!!!

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