Yiaourti: Homemade Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt


Juhari Muhade / Getty Images 

Prep: 8 hrs
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 8 hrs
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 4 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
158 Calories
8g Fat
13g Carbs
8g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 158
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 11%
Saturated Fat 5g 24%
Cholesterol 26mg 9%
Sodium 113mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 297mg 23%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 348mg 7%
*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.)

Greek yogurt—γιαούρτι, pronounced yee-ah-OOR-tee—has a mystique all its own. There isn't just one true, bona fide Greek yogurt. As with any product, different manufacturers can put their own spins on their brands. 

This is a basic recipe for homemade Greek yogurt. It uses full-fat milk, and it's delicious as is, but it can be made into the thicker yogurt that is such a favorite in Greek cooking by straining it. Traditionally, Greek yogurt is strained at least two or three times to remove the whey—the curdled milk liquid—and the lactose. This makes it less sugary and reduces carbohydrates.

This recipe explains the steps involved in making the yogurt before straining, but you can take this extra step to achieve that final traditional touch. 


  • 1 quart (32 ounces) plus 2 tablespoons whole milk, full-fat sheep's or cow's milk, pasteurized

  • 2 tablespoons yogurt, prepared homemade yogurt, or plain unflavored with active live cultures

Steps to Make It

  1. Bring all the ingredients to room temperature. 

  2. Heat the milk just to the boiling point. Pour it into a nonmetal container.

  3. Let the milk cool to lukewarm, about 100 F to 105 F. A skin will form on top.

  4. Mix the 2 tablespoons of yogurt–homemade or commercial–with 2 tablespoons milk.

  5. Add the yogurt-milk mixture to the lukewarm milk, carefully pouring it down the side of the container so any skin that may have formed on the top is not disturbed.

  6. Cover with a clean dish towel and place the container in a warm, dry place for at least 8 hours or overnight, allowing it to thicken.

  7. Carefully drain any excess liquid.

  8. Refrigerate for 4 hours before using.


  • The yogurt can be eaten as is, along with the creamy skin on top. Serve it with honey, chopped walnuts, pomegranate seeds, or spoon sweets. 
  • You can store the finished yogurt in​ the refrigerator, but be sure to use it within four to five days. Don't forget to save a small amount to make the next batch.
  • It's best to allow the yogurt to sit for eight to 12 hours, but no more than 12 hours. If the yogurt coagulates beyond 12 hours, it will take on more of a sour taste. 
  • You can go the extra mile and strain the yogurt at the end of the process. This will produce the thick yogurt used in so many Greek recipes, and it's actually very easy to do. It's a simple matter of squeezing the yogurt through a cloth, forcing the liquid out. This should result in yogurt of a consistency and texture similar to that of sour cream.