Easy Homemade Yogurt (& Greek Yogurt)

Posted In: Homemade | Recipes | Snacks

Yogurt. Who knew it was so easy to make at home? Not me. Every time I read a recipe for making yogurt it always required special equipment that I didn’t have. Until now. And you know what? It is so easy and yummy. And, so much cheaper (by at least half)! Plus you can make regular or Greek yogurt depending on what you fancy that week.

We go through a lot of yogurt. We enjoy it in fruit bottom yogurt, smoothies, muesli, cooking, baking, desserts, popsicles, and parfaits. We especially love Greek yogurt, but it’s so expensive and all they really do is drain out the whey for you. After trying this recipe, I’m converted. It’s so simple, I’m hoping you will be to.

All you do is heat up milk, let it cool a bit, stir in 2 teaspoons of prepared yogurt, tuck it into your oven for night and in the morning you wake up to homemade yogurt. See? Easy peasy. Get on this!

Easy Homemade Yogurt (& Greek Yogurt)

Makes: 7 cups Regular Yogurt | 4 cups Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is thicker and less tart then regular yogurt, and is made by simply straining out the whey. You can decide which way you like it.

  • 2 quarts milk (your desired %)
  • 2 teaspoons yogurt (with live cultures)
    1. Warm the milk in a medium-sized saucepan, stirring often, until the temperature reaches between 175-180ºF. Allow milk to cool, stirring occasionally, until the temperature reaches between 100-115ºF. Whisk in the yogurt and pour mixture into a large ceramic or glass bowl, or round casserole dish.
    2. Starting with a cold oven, turn on the heat for one minute just to take the chill off. Cover the bowl of milk/yogurt with plastic wrap or a lid; wrap with a couple kitchen towels and place in the oven, with the oven light on (to keep it warm). Let inoculate for 8-12 hours or until thickened into yogurt. Stir and store in the fridge for regular unsweetened yogurt or strain out the whey for Greek yogurt.
To make Greek yogurt
      1. Line a fine mesh sieve with cheesecloth, a clean dish cloth, or coffee filters. Set this over a large bowl. Pour yogurt into the cloth-lined sieve. Allow to strain for about an hour or until the consistency you like (that’s the best part about homemade yogurt, you can make it how you like!). If you are not straining it immediately after you make it, or you will be leaving the house, you can put it in the fridge, it will take a little longer to drain but that’s no biggy. Once drained, pour into a storage container and whisk to smooth it out. Store, covered, in the fridge.
      2. Will keep for at least one week in the fridge.
Good to Know
      1. If your homemade yogurt is fresh enough you can use it as the starter next time. To do this easily, without feeling like you constantly need to be making a fresh batch of yogurt, you can freeze a tablespoon of your fresh homemade yogurt to save as a starter so you can have it on hand to make it when it works best for you.
      2. If you make Greek yogurt you can either discard the whey or put it to use with these smart ideas.

I’m avoiding going information heavy in this post because I want you to see just how easy it is to make yogurt. But if you would like to understand more about the process and how it works visit Annie’s Eats and Salad in a Jar, my sources for this yogurt recipe.

  • Agnes
    October 16, 2013

    I am new to yogurt making and thank you very much for this recipe! Just wondering, once the yogurt is done, can I blend it with fruits and honey, then store it in the fridge to be consumed few days later? Or it's better to blend it only when you need it?
    Also, my yogurt maker is a 1 litre jar. Do I need to separate it into few smaller jars or I can scoop some from the same jar each time I need them?

  • Cheri | Kitchen Simplicity
    October 18, 2013

    Hi Agnes, sorry for the late response. You can mix it all together with whatever sweeteners and fruit you like (see my raspberry yogurt or fruit bottom yogurt) but it will need to be eaten within a week. I'm a bit confused by your second question, so please let me know if my answer is headed in the right direction. :). There is no need to store the yogurt in individual servings. I just store it in one container and scoop out as much as I need. But I do strain the full amount at once, if I want Greek yogurt because it does take a bit of time (although this can be done to only some if you don't want it all to be Greek yogurt). Hope that helps!

  • Sheila S
    November 18, 2013

    I followed your directions and made my own yogurt for the first time last night. AMAZING! Thank you very much for the simple instructions. I have always hesitated to try making my own yogurt because of special equipment I thought I needed or complicated sounding instructions. Thank you for your post.

  • Cheri | Kitchen Simplicity
    November 18, 2013

    So glad it turned out for you. Enjoy!

  • this week in my kitchen
    July 3, 2014

    […] found ourselves with an abundance of milk and decided to have a go at making yogurt. seriously easy and tasted great! we’ve changed our milk order to have an extra 2 liters […]

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