Instant Pot Yogurt

Instant Pot Yogurt in glass containers

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 8 hrs 30 mins
Cooling: 2 hrs 30 mins
Total: 11 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
63 Calories
2g Fat
6g Carbs
4g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 63
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 10mg 3%
Sodium 60mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 153mg 12%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 179mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

All you need to make this homemade Instant Pot yogurt is milk and a small amount of yogurt (or freeze-dried yogurt starter). The process takes time, but there's very little hands-on prep required.

Choosing Your "Starter"

Make sure the yogurt you choose as a starter is plain with no added sweeteners, and it must have live active cultures. Not all commercial yogurts include live active cultures, so check the label to make sure.

How to Flavor and Serve Homemade Yogurt

This homemade yogurt is delicious on its own, or you might want to add flavor when it's ready. Add some pure vanilla extract to the finished yogurt along with honey or another sweetener, or serve it with berries and crunchy bits of granola.

Using Homemade Yogurt in Cooking

Yogurt is acidic, making it an excellent savory marinade for many dishes, such as tandoori chicken, tikka masala, and Middle Eastern shawarma. In many cases, yogurt may be used in recipes as a substitute for sour cream.

The instant pot makes homemade yogurt a breeze, and it's far more economical than store-bought yogurt. I started the process just after dinner time, using plain store-bought yogurt as the starter, and let the milk ferment overnight. It has a soft, lush texture if left unstrained." —Danielle Centoni

Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 2 quarts milk, preferably whole

  • 1/4 cup yogurt with live active cultures, or yogurt starter

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Instant Pot Yogurt ingredients

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. Pour the milk into the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Lock the lid in place. There's no pressure involved, so there is no need to turn the valve—it can be in the sealing or venting position. Choose the yogurt button and press it until you see the word "boil," "high," or "pasteurize" on the display. On earlier models, choose the yogurt button and then use the adjust button to get to the "boil" setting. This will take about 30 minutes.

    Milk in an instant pot

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. When the 30 minutes is up, check the temperature with a thermometer. The temperature of the milk must be at least 180 F. If it hasn't reached that temperature, use the sauté function to keep heating it until it is at least 180 F.

    Milk in an instant pot with a thermometer

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. Remove the inner pot to a rack and let it cool to about 110 F to 115 F, about an hour. If the milk is too hot, it will kill the bacteria. For faster cooling —about 15 minutes or so—set the inner pot of milk in a large container or sink with a few inches of ice water.

    Pot with milk sitting in a baking dish with ice water

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  5. Put the 1/4 cup of yogurt in a small bowl and add about 1 cup of the warm milk. Whisk to blend and then whisk it into the rest of the warm milk. Put the inner pot back in the Instant Pot and place the lid on the pot (again, it doesn't matter if it is on seal or vent). Choose yogurt and adjust to the "normal" setting. Set the time for 8 hours or longer. Longer will produce a tangier yogurt.

    Yogurt in an instant pot

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  6. When the time is up, remove the inner pot and let cool to room temperature, then transfer to the refrigerator to cool completely. When the yogurt has cooled, spoon it into half-pint or 1-pint jars. Store the yogurt in the refrigerator for 10 to 14 days.

    Instant Pot Yogurt in glasses

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga


  • The starter yogurt must have live cultures. Check the label to make sure.
  • For subsequent batches, you can use your homemade yogurt as the starter.
  • For thick, Greek-style yogurt, strain the finished yogurt through cheesecloth.

How to Use a Freeze-Dried Yogurt Starter

You can buy freeze-dried yogurt cultures online and at some natural foods grocery stores. If you would like to use this kind of culture instead of yogurt as a starter, read the directions on the packet. You will use the entire packet of cultures instead of the 1/4 cup yogurt in Step 5.

Why is my Instant Pot yogurt so thin?

There can be a number of reasons why your yogurt did not thicken. For starters, keep in mind that homemade yogurt tends to be naturally thinner than store-bought yogurt because the latter usually contain stabilizers and thickeners to give them thick, silky textures.

However, if your homemade yogurt is very thin, consider these causes:

  • Adding the cultures when the milk is too hot can kill them, so make sure the milk is cooled to 110 to 115 F before adding the cultures.
  • Adding the cultures when the milk is too cool can also result in thin yogurt. It is very easy to over-chill the milk, so keep a close eye on it and stir it frequently, measuring the temperature after stirring.
  • Using raw milk results in a naturally thinner yogurt, which is why most yogurt recipes have you heat or pasteurize the milk before adding the cultures. This step kills any naturally occurring bacteria in the milk, so when you add the cultures you are starting with a blank slate. The added cultures will not have to compete with naturally occurring bacteria to colonize the yogurt.
  • If the yogurt is fermented for too long, this can result in a thin end product.