Homemade Yogurt Recipe

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I love yogurt. I usually eat a six ounce serving every day. It is a great source of protein, calcium, and contains good bacteria for my tummy issues. We used to buy store bought Greek yogurt, but it started to get expensive, so we started making our own.

I consulted my Twitter friends before getting started. Of course they were very helpful. Thanks everyone:) We decided to buy a yogurt maker from Williams Sonoma. We still have wedding gift cards so it was free for us, score! I love this maker because it makes individual servings. My yogurt is all portioned out for a week. I know you can make yogurt without the maker, but we are really happy with ours:)

I was amazed at how easy it was to make yogurt. We use skim milk and Fage as the starter. Really, all you have to do is heat up the milk, let it cool, and then stir in the yogurt. Once that is done you just let it “sleep” in the yogurt maker for 10-12 hours. How easy is that?

It is SO good too! I make plain yogurt and eat it with fresh fruit and sometimes a drizzle of agave nectar. It is also good with homemade granola. You can also use it to make smoothies, frozen yogurt, tzatziki sauce, etc.

I can’t believe we waited so long to make our own yogurt. It is so easy and much cheaper to make at home! Give it a try!

Homemade Yogurt
(Printable Recipe)

42 ounces fresh milk, we use skim
6 0z. plain yogurt, we use Fage Greek for our starter
1. Pour milk into a high-sided saucepan. Place a candy thermometer on the side of the pan. Heat the milk until it boils-180 degrees. This will take about 1-2 minutes. The milk will start to climb the side of the pan.

2. Remove pan from heat and allow the milk to cool to lukewarm-110 degrees. To speed up the process you can place the pan in cold water.

3. In a bowl, add the yogurt and stir in some of the milk. Whisk well. Make sure the yogurt is dissolved. Add the rest of the milk and whisk until smooth.

4. Pour the mixture into the jars of the yogurt maker. Follow the yogurt maker’s instructions. We usually do ours so it rests overnight. It takes 10-12 hours. We do 12 so it is thicker.

5. When the yogurt is done resting, chill it in the fridge with the lids on the jars. The yogurt will stay good for 10 days.

-You can use your homemade yogurt as the starter, but only once.
-If you want really thick yogurt you can strain it with a cheese cloth or you can use coffee filters.
-You can make flavored yogurt by adding honey, fruit, or jam, but we prefer plain. We jazz it up once it is made.

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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. OK, I know I have to get off my lazy butt and make my own yogurt. Yes, to buy Greek yogurt in the quantities I eat it would make this family broke in no time. Great post, and yes it does look simple. I don’t even need the yogurt maker??? Gotta get rolling on this one 🙂

  2. I make yogurt the same way, but without a yogurt maker. I put the warm milk mixture into glass pint jars, screw on the lids, and put them in a small cooler lined with a folded fleece blanket. Wrap the jars in the blanket, close the lid, and wait about 10-12 hours. If I want to speed up the process a bit, I heat a rice bag (you know those fabric bags stuffed with rice or wheat–used for sore muscles, etc?) until warm and place it in the cooler with the jars. I get thick, creamy yogurt every time!

  3. I want to start making my own and I’m trying to figure out what I need. So just to clarify, you don’t actually buy greek yogurt starter, you just buy a thing of greek yogurt and use that as your starter? Thanks for the help

  4. My grand-mother used to make her own yogurt and my mother is doing the same. She used an old shoebox filled with newspaper and she would let them overnight next to the central heater. Since then she purchased a yogurt maker! My sisters-in-law bought one and I have one that I use to make my own yogurts too. It’s delicious. It’s healthy and so much cheaper. Thanks for the tip about cheesecloth to get very thick yogurts. I’ll give it a try.

  5. I just made my first batch of yogurt last night. When it was done there was a layer of liquid on the top. Is that normal? Do you just pour it off?

    1. Heidi-Yes, I just pour off the liquid because I like it thicker. If you like it really thick, strain it with a cheese cloth or coffee filter. I hope you like it. Let me know if you have other questions.

  6. I bought one today and I’m really excited about making some yogart. But I have a question- how do you make smoothies with it? Or frozen yogurt? Or can I find this information somewhere?

    1. Amber-I use the yogurt as my smoothie base. I put in a serving of yogurt and blend in fresh fruit. For frozen yogurt, I just freeze the plain yogurt. It is great with fresh berries or a drizzle of caramel, honey, chocolate, whatever toppings you like. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  7. I tried to make it without the yogurt maker & it is liquid 🙁 Any ideas of what I did wrong? I cooled it in the fridge, instead of a bowl of ice. I would buy a maker, but right now it’s not in the budget & I’m afraid it will be like the milk shake blender, air popper, quesidilla maker and all the other appliance I HAVE to have & never use. Let me know if you have any pointers or ideas. Thanks 🙂

    1. Jessie-I have never made yogurt without the maker. I hear you can use a crockpot or heating pad as the incubator/maker but I have not tried that. Sorry you had struggles. Let me know if you try it again. Good luck! I know appliances are pricey, but our yogurt has paid for itself and then some. It is so much cheaper in the long run, but try another method! I hope it works!

  8. In order to get the same consistency you find when eating Fage greek yogurt you have to strain the yogurt first using a cheesecloth. It reduced the yogurt by about half but it concentrates the nutrients mentioned above. It also becomes virtually lactose free at that point. You can also start with any yogurt (even the cheap cheap non greek stuff) and still get greek yogurt.

  9. I’ve always wanted to make my own yogurt, and this entry may just be what I need 🙂 When I was a kid I ate at my mom’s Armenia friend’s house and she served homemade yogurt and stuffed grape leaves. She offered my mom some starter, but my mom wasn’t interested. I’m probably going to follow the link for the crock pot method.

    Our local grocery store has been carrying 32 oz of La Yogurt, plain and vanilla, for $1.50, about .05/oz. The ingredients look better than most, no fillers like tapioca or high fructose corn syrup. The store also carries soy yogurt, which is new to me. Is Greek yogurt really better for you? Everyone is talking about it, but it’s really expensive.

    1. Dj-Greek yogurt typically has more protein than regular yogurt. I like plain yogurt to avoid added sugars, flavorings, etc. I also like consistency. If you make a batch, let us know.

  10. You should consider using a full-fat milk (organic, grass-fed is better.) The fat helps you absorb those fat soluble vitamins A and D. And of course help your body absorb calcium, which needs fat to bind with. I know it’s a big jump from skim, but it makes sense!

  11. Homemade yogurt is the best! This looks yummy! Perfect combination and gorgeous photos! Would love to have a spoon to dip into the bowl.

  12. I never would have thought to make my own yogurt–I am so inspired! My husband and I also have leftover wedding money to Williams Sonoma, I think I know what I’ll buy with it! 🙂

  13. I did just exactly what you described (also in a single-serving yogurt maker with 7 glass jars), except the 12 hours would have been up in the middle of the night and mine does not have a shut off timer. SO it was in the yogurt maker for 18 hours. However, even after 18 hours, it was completely liquid. It looked like watered down milk with soap flakes in it. Pretty snow globe effect, but not something I want to eat.

    Is this only because I left it in too long? I thought more time in the yogurt maker would just make it thicker and more sour?

    This was my very first batch, so I was bummed that we can’t eat it.

    1. That is odd. I would think letting it sit longer would make it more creamy. Our yogurt is never thin. I am sorry you had issues.

  14. I make my yogurt in a crock pot. Only thing about that is you have to be careful to monitor the temperature carefully. I love being able to turn 1/2 cup of yogurt into 1 gallon of yogurt. I strain about half of it and make frozen yogurt out of it. My favorite recipe is for green tea frozen yo – made with powdered green tea and honey added to the strained yogurt.

  15. For people having issues with yogurt still liquid after a long time, either the starter yogurt might not have had active cultures or I had issues using full fat yogurt with skimmed milk. When I used non fat/non fat or whole/whole it has worked great