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
      I made this yesterday for the first time in 6qt IP without the yogurt button and it is magnificent I incubated for 6 hours and strained it through a cotton dishtowel covering the salad spinner basket I put a tipped over 2 cup plastic container in bottom of a large bowl And I placed the spinner basket on top of it to elevate the yogurt so it wouldn’t be standing in the whey I put a single layer cotton flour sack dish towel over the basket and put the entire batch of yogurt in it. I let it drain 3 hrs on the counter it’s even better today after being in refrigerator Much less sour than store bought. Although the longer you let it incubate, the more sour it gets I read. I’m trying frozen yogurt today. I took a half cup added a spoonful of stevia and 1/8th tsp of coconut extract. This is very good yogurt. I used a gallon 2%milk and got a little over 7 cups. For some reason it’s more filling than store bought. It might be my imagination. I’ll always make it now. Thanks for the recipe and the detailed instructions

    2. 5 stars
      First ever Pinterest recipe comment: I tried this yoghurt recipe using 1 gallon of organic 2% milk and it turned out amazing. I strained two of quarts through cheesecloth set into a strainer over a bowl to make a thicker, Greek style yoghurt. It’s cooling in the fridge now, but so far tastes good and nice, thick texture. Am saving a jar of strained product in the freezer as starter for my next batch. So excited!

    3. I have questions before making this:
      1 – If I want to add flavor once the main process is done, I have to do the straining process?
      2 – What happens if I flavor the yogurt without the straining process?
      3 – You say a person gets 8 cups of finished yogurt from a gallon of milk, is that after straining or just after the main process? Where did the other 8 cups of milk go? Is that how much whey you get after straining?

      1. You strain finished regular yogurt only if you want to make Greek yogurt etc. – please see step 5. You can flavor regular yogurt.

        1. Okay thanks, but a person must get more than just 8 cups of regular yogurt then, no? Otherwise it’s not much cheaper than buying it ready made from the store.

          1. Same amount of milk yields less yogurt, even cause of density of final products is different. Yes, probably same cost as buying depends where you live and whether you buy organic or not etc.

    4. 5 stars
      Made yogurt with 35% cream (keto), it’s amazing!!! Great creamy consistency. So easy with instapot.

    5. Two notes about incubation times. First, if like me you have an ongoing digestive issue (mine is Crohn’s) incubating for 24 hours gives you a much more digestible yogurt. Second, here’s a fun fact about cats. Our ten week old kittens begged and begged and …. for yogurt. Generally cows milk is not good for cats but guess what I found when I did some research. Home made, long fermented yogurt is just fine for felines. Were those little fur balls meant to be ours or what!!!

    6. 5 stars
      Hello! I am making yogurt for the first time following your recipe and just had a question… the 10 hours of incubation ended at around 6:45 pm but with putting kids to bed and cleaning up the house I completely forgot about it until around 9:15 pm when I finally transferred it to the refrigerator. Will it still be okay even though it sat in the instant pot for an extra couple of hours? Thanks for the clear recipe!

          1. Since the recipe has not been tested for 24 hours, I would only go the 10 hours to ensure results turn out.

    7. 5 stars
      This is the best yogurt I’ve ever made. I only used eight cups of 3.25% milk as it’s only my husband and I at home now. Nice and creamy with just a hint of “tang” after ten hours. Delicious! I have frozen peaches that I will thaw and add to half the batch. I’ll make Greek yogurt with the rest. I’m new to I.P. cooking and every one of your recipes have been wonderful! Thank you Olena!

    8. 5 stars
      So I made this last weekend, and it was PERFECT. We ate the whole batch in one week, lol. I made it again yesterday, and in a fantastic showing of pregnancy brain, put the yogurt in with the milk initially and stirred it all in together. I realized my mistake halfway through the boil phase but obviously couldn’t undo it. I added another 1/4 cup and continued on hoping my mistake would be fixable. It thickened just fine overnight but doesn’t taste quite right to me (it’s currently chilling in the fridge so i’m hoping perhaps that will help). My husband noted it tastes like sour cream and asked me if i’d accidentally added that instead of the yogurt second time around, but I checked and I didn’t, lol. Do you think this is still salvageable or is there some sort of health risk i should be worried about?

        1. Ok thanks. My husband tried it after it chilled and said it tasted totally normal. A bit thicker than the last batch, but we actually prefer it that way.

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