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Instant Pot Yogurt + FAQ (2-Ingredients, Plain or Sweet!)

Instant Pot yogurt is so easy, creamy, and dreamy! This recipe requires no special tools or equipment besides an Instant Pot with yogurt function. And, it only has 2 or 3 ingredients. Try it plain, or sweetened!

*This post may contain affiliate links. This means as an Amazon Associate and affiliate for other products, I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.

Instant Pot Yogurt is simple, delicious, and EASY! Only 2 or 3 ingredients and a little waiting is all you need to make homemade yogurt in the Instant Pot. Truly you HAVE to try this #easybreakfast #yogurt #easy #simple #realfood

I have had my Instant Pots for a couple years now, but never mustered up the courage to make my own yogurt. It just seemed way too intimidating. I mean, Instant Pot Bread Pudding for breakfast is way better than healthy yogurt, amiright?

To be completely honest, I have always been pretty indifferent towards yogurt since I was a kid, so I never cared that much. But I wanted to try it out because so many of you had the same concerns that I did, and my kids like eating yogurt.

I saw the same method over and over again on the internet, which originated from Frieda Loves Bread. It couldn’t be that hard, right?

My Popular Breakfast Recipes

3 Quart Instant Pot Duo, Fairlife whole milk, chobani plain yogurt, whisk

So, I set out to conquer my fear and be the tribute for everyone wondering the same things I was: Would it set up? Would it be totally gross? Is it hard? Why would I make my own if buying it is so easy? Do I have to buy a thermometer/strainer/cheesecloth/special tool?

I’m here to literally answer all these questions and more! Spoiler: it’s the BEST yogurt I’ve ever had and I’m never going back to store bought yogurt!

What do I need to make Instant Pot cold start yogurt?

The only things you absolutely NEED for Instant Pot Yogurt are ULTRA-PASTEURIZED MILK and a “starter” that has LIVE CULTURES in it. This might sound gross, but yogurt is basically milk with bacteria in it.

I just Googled it and here’s the definition I got back: “a semisolid sourish food prepared from milk fermented by added bacteria, often sweetened and flavored.”

Instant Pot yogurt ingredients: fairlife milk and chobani yogurt

Ha! I wonder why Chobani doesn’t put THAT description on their packaging!

Fairlife milk yogurt

Since we are not boiling the milk and using a thermometer to make sure it’s good to go, we need to get ultra-filtered milk. UF Milk has already been pre-boiled (I love the Fairlife brand OR the Costco Ultra Pasteurized brand).

We also need to get a starter to introduce the bacteria into the milk (premade yogurt). Have I scared you away yet? 😉

Ok, so I lied. I guess you DO need to have an Instant Pot that has a yogurt function on it (every model besides the lux). I used my 3 quart mini which I LOVE.

Simple Instant Pot 3 ingredient yogurt with blueberries, granola, and chocolate chips

How To Make Instant Pot Yogurt

This is the simplest Instant Pot Yogurt recipe. Simply pour, whisk, press Yogurt, wait. Refrigerate, then eat! It’s so simple that I thinking, “is that it?”

Instant Pot Yogurt Setting

Sterilize Instant Pot

Ok, so I do need to clarify. First, I like to give my Instant Pot a thorough cleaning. I run a cycle using my Instant Pot Deep Clean technique (it went CRAZY on Instagram!), especially if the lid smells funky.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZgACiivovsu0026t=13s

You can get my FREE guide on How to Clean Your Instant Pot by signing up for my email list at the bottom of this post!

Starter for Instant Pot Yogurt

It’s important to ensure the starter is completely whisked into the milk, so measure exactly 2 tablespoons of the starter in a little bowl and add about a half cup of milk. Whisk it in COMPLETELY.

Then, pour the can of sweetened condensed milk into the Instant Pot with one cup of milk. Next, whisk the milk and condensed milk in completely to dissolve the sugar (SCM is like a sticky syrup consistency). Add the rest of the milk into the pot, whisk more, then add starter/milk mixture and whisk a bit more.

Lastly, press YOGURT and set it to NORMAL for 7-10 hours. I do 8-9. The longer the incubation period, the more tart it will be. I find 8 hours to still be pretty mild!

The Instant Pot will starting counting UP to the time set, NOT DOWN like when pressure cooking. After it’s done incubating, it will be nice and set. Place it in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight to get cool and set completely.

Instant Pot yogurt after incubation period with a spoon sticking in it.

Oh wait, you do have to stick a spoon in your finished product, just because it’s so satisfying! 

A spoonful of instant pot yogurt

I thought mine came out pretty thick! (picture above is the plain version) But if you’d like a more Greek yogurt texture, you’ll have to strain it using a nut milk bag or special strainer until you get the consistency you like.

Making Instant Pot Greek Yogurt like you know it from the store requires just a little extra work to make it as thick as you like. If you don’t use the Fairlife whole milk (red carton), your yogurt will be thinner than pictured above and you will need to strain it.

My favorite is vanilla yogurt with frozen blueberries, mini chocolate chips, and this pumpkin flax seed granola. It is the BEST!

What Ingredients Did you Use and What were your results?

Fairlife Milk, sweetened condensed milk and Nancy's probiotic yogurt

Here are the ingredients I used for each batch:

  • Attempt 1: Fairlife Ultra Filtered Whole Milk with Chobani Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt (8 hours).
    • Results: Tart, thick, bright, fresh-tasting yogurt. It was a tinyyyy bit gritty, because I didn’t whisk in my starter enough and I eye-balled my starter.
  • Attempt 2: Fairlife Ultra Filtered Whole Milk with DHA-Omega 3, 1 Tablespoon of Nancy’s Organic Probiotic Whole Milk Yogurt, 1 Tablespoon of Chobani Greek Yogurt (it had blueberries on the bottom but I only used the top part). We had a yogurt issue at my house, hence the mixing of the yogurt starters. Lastly, one scant can of Kroger Sweetened Condensed Milk (8 hours).
    • Results: SO GOOD. THICK! Perfectly sweet, milky flavor. Not quite Greek Yogurt consistency, but it was definitely thicker than Yoplait.
  • Attempt #3: Kirkland/Costco Organic 2% Ultra Pasteurized Lactose Free Milk, 2 tablespoons of the yogurt from Attempt #2 above, one can of sweetened condensed milk (10.5 hours)
    • Results: My favorite combination yet! The Ultra Pasteurized Milk has a little sweeter taste, but the texture is what I loved most. It was so smooth, creamy, and light. Because Fairlife has a lot more protein, I knew it was going to be thicker. But this consistency with the 2% milk was actually my favorite! I’ve noticed I need to incubate closer to 11 hours to get the thicker consistency I want with the lower fat/protein milk.
  • Attempt #4: Kirkland/Costco Organic 2% Ultra Pasteurized Lactose Free Milk, 2 tablespoons Fage 2% plain yogurt, one can sweetened condensed milk, 14 oz Ultra Pasteurized 40% Heavy Cream. (10.5 hours)
    • Results: The yogurt was fantastic, but I prefer it without the heavy cream. The cream left somewhat of an odd film/layer on top of the incubated yogurt that wasn’t fun to eat, texture-wise. It wasn’t a huge deal, but I don’t think it added any flavor and so I will keep it out next time and go with my favorite Attempt #3.

Making Yogurt on KSL’s Studio 5 with Brooke Walker

Lisa Childs of Tried, Tested, and True Instant Pot Cooking with Brooke Walker, host of KSL's Studio 5 with Brooke Walker
Lisa Childs of Tried, Tested, and True Instant Pot Cooking with Brooke Walker, host of KSL’s Studio 5 with Brooke Walker

I got to share this recipe/technique for homemade yogurt with Brooke Walker on KSL’s Studio 5 lifestyle show. I absolutely love being at Studio 5 and it’s always a joy and honor to be there! Head on over to my TV SEGMENTS page to watch this segment, and others!


Instant Pot Yogurt FAQ

Is it hard to make Instant Pot yogurt? 

NO! I actually made it and thought, “jeez this is 100x easier than I thought it would be. Can it really be this simple? Am I missing something?” NO! Instant Pot yogurt is not hard to make. It’s literally 2-3 ingredients and a little whisking. After that, it’s just refrigeration and eating!

Do I have to Use Fairlife Milk for Instant Pot Yogurt? What about Costco Milk?

Any Ultra Pasteurized and/or Ultra Filtered milk should work. I have personally had success using Fairlife Whole DHA Omega 3 (Lactose Free) and Kirkland Organic Lactose Free 2% Reduced fat Milk that is Ultra Pasteurized that came in a 1/2 gallon.

Fairlife whole milk has more protein and fat than 2% milk, so the texture will be much creamier, thicker, and smoother.

The 2% milk is a little thinner, and I incubate it longer, about 10-11 hours. Whatever it looks like after the incubation period is what it will look like after you refrigerate it (it will not really firm up a lot in the fridge), so if it looks too soft, incubate it for a couple extra hours.

Costco Organic Ultra Pasteurized Milk for Instant Pot Yogurt

Are Ultra Pasteurized and Ultra Filtered the same or different?

Ultra Pasteurized and Ultra Filtered are not the same. Ultra Filtered milk has been heated to a high temperature to kill bacteria, and then passed through filters to concentrate the protein and remove sugar. That’s why Fairlife milk has less sugar and 50% more protein that conventional milk.

The Costco brand organic, lactose free 2% milk is ultra-pasteurized, which means it was heated to a high temperature to kill the bacteria. You’ll notice on both of these options that they stay fresh much longer that regular milk.

Making yogurt the traditional way requires you to basically pasteurize the milk yourself by boiling and cooling it down to a specific temperature. Using this no-boil method, you can skip that part and the straining and get beautiful Instant Pot yogurt!

Costco Organic Ultra Pasteurized Milk (not fairlife) for Instant Pot Yogurt

How was your Costco Milk Yogurt compared to the Fairlife Milk Yogurt?

I was actually really nervous about this yogurt. When I purchased it, I wasn’t exactly positive if it would work (Ultra Filtered vs. Ultra Pasteurized Milk). But I knew that the main reason you need ultra pasteurized is because it has already been pre-boiled.

Doing so kills the bacteria so it is safe to leave for a long time. Because I knew that both milks had gone through that process, I was pretty sure it would work.

I mixed in 2 tablespoons of frozen starter from my last batch, then incubated for 10.5 hours because it looked too loose at 8. The results were beautiful! I loved the silky smooth texture that wasn’t too thick. It is my favorite of all my attempts.

Which one is better?

I’m so glad it worked, because the Costco milk is less fat, and more affordable. I like the Costco brand better because it’s a little softer, even though I loved both. It will purely come down to a texture preference. I’m not a big Greek yogurt fan, so I prefer it a tiny bit softer.

Is Homemade Yogurt Cheaper?

As far as cost, you get more yogurt (1/2 gallon/64 ounces) vs. the 52 ounces from the Fairlife container. Fairlife usually costs about $4 ish dollars each, but the half gallons of Costco milk cost $9.99 for 3 containers.

  • Fairlife Milk Yogurt Cost: $4/52oz = .077 cents an ounce
  • Costco Milk Yogurt Cost: $3.33/64 oz = .052 cents an ounce
Simple Instant Pot Yogurt with blueberries, granola, and chocolate chips

Will my homemade Instant Pot yogurt set up?

YES! As long as you know how to pour the correct milk into a pot and stir (well, and wait I GUESS!)  it will work. Please keep in mind that the texture of your homemade Instant Pot yogurt will be the same from when it is done incubating (when it is still warm) and when it is refrigerated. A lot of people have milky yogurt that didn’t set in their Instant Pot and put it in their fridge, hoping it will set and it won’t.

If you notice that your yogurt isn’t setting by about halfway through the cycle (3-5 hours), then double check that your starter is fresh and the settings on your Instant Pot are correct.

Is Instant Pot yogurt totally gross?

Actually, no! There are two recipes here: a SWEETENED one, and a PLAIN one. The recipe for plain yogurt, without a sweetener, is tart. So, you may think that’s gross. And honestly it isn’t like AMAZING plain, but I prefer my yogurt plain so I can mix in homemade jam, vanilla bean paste, honey, or fruit and control the sugar and calories going in.  

I give directions on how to make yogurt in your Instant Pot with sweetner (sugar free yogurt), with sugar (sweetened condensed milk), and Instant Pot yogurt in jars in this post.

Instant Pot yogurt vs Yoplait Yogurt

I usually buy Yoplait yogurt, but even that has modified food starch, gelatin, and other kinds of unnecessary ingredients so I don’t really feel super great about eating it. Chobani is better, but I’m not a huge fan of Greek yogurt. I like the sweetened version for sure, but I also like going the plain route and then sweetening it up to my liking.

You can add a can of sweetened condensed milk right before incubating and it’ll sweeten it up beautifully for you! It is perfectly milky, still tart, but smooth and sweet. I LOVE it like this!

Simple Instant Pot 3 ingredient yogurt with blueberries, granola, and chocolate chips

What about these other methods to make Instant Pot yogurt I keep hearing about? Boiling Yogurt?

The other method (which the Instant Pot can also do) is the boiling method, where you can use a regular gallon of milk (not ultra filtered), and then boil to a certain temperature, add in the starter, whisk, incubate, cool, etc.

This requires you to have a thermometer (the only brand of thermometers I use… and I have a lot haha) and a strainer. You can buy a euro strainer, or use cheesecloth or nut milk bag to strain the yogurt out from the whey. It takes a little longer than this method.

I don’t want to strain mine, and I don’t have any strong personal convictions about using Ultra-filtered milk or sweetened condensed milk, so I use this method. A lot easier for me!

My Yogurt is thinner than I want. How do I thicken Instant Pot Yogurt?

The Fairlife milk produces a much thicker product than the Costco milk. That’s because it is ultra filtered and has more protein, less sugar. It’s still pretty creamy, but the Costco milk yields a more conventional, Yoplait-esque texture.

If you’d like more or a Greek yogurt texture, you’ll have to strain it using a nut milk bag or special Yogurt strainer until you get the consistency you like.

I’ve also heard people using coffee filters or a very clean cloth, though it is much messier to do. You do need to get a very fine strainer designed for yogurt or nut milks. A fine mesh strainer or colander will not work to strain yogurt.

When I use 2% milk, the yogurt made in the Instant Pot is definitely thinner. I find that incubating for an additional 2-3 hours does help it set up. When I use a lower-fat and lower-protein milk (anything besides Fairlife red), I incubate for a longer period.

Instant Pot WITH fairlife milk with dha and a bowl of yogurt

My Instant Pot Yogurt is too thick!

If your Instant Pot Yogurt is too thick for your liking, here are a few ideas:

  • Use a milk that has less fat and/or protein. Fairlife milk is ultra-filtered, meaning it has more protein and less sugar than conventional milk. If you use the whole milk variety (red carton), it will be much thicker than the 2% variety. The Kirkland brand 2% milk has less protein and fat, so the texture is more like conventional yogurt.
  • Stir your yogurt or whisk it around to thin it out. If you put your Instant Pot yogurt in a blender, it will also thin it out substantially.
  • Add a little milk and mix/whisk.

Tell me more about sweetening Instant Pot yogurt. Can I use vanilla extract?

I used sweetened condensed milk, which equates to .27 ounces of the sweetener per ounce of yogurt. I think it is pretty comparable to other brands of yogurt. I’ve never tried this myself, but many people have said they’ve used:

  • Coffee creamer such as Bliss Natural coffee creamer (before incubating)
  • Coconut creamer (before incubating)
  • Coconut milk sweetened condensed milk (before incubating)
  • Powdered Jello (after incubating)
  • Cream of Coconut (before incubating; I use it in so many of my recipes)
  • Jam (after incubating)
  • Drink Syrups (like what you put in sodas) (after incubating)
  • A bottle of Premier Protein drink (before incubating)
  • I also like just eating it plain with honey or berries!

You can always use any sweetener or flavors after it has set, such as vanilla extract or cinnamon.

When I want to make low carb yogurt, I make a sugar free Instant Pot yogurt using monk fruit sweetener. I use the Lakanto brand sugar-free substitute. It tastes the most like real sugar to me, and it works in the yogurt! In order to make it low carb, you need to ensure you use a low-carb milk like Fairlife.

You can add vanilla or other extracts before or after incubating. I have not noticed a difference.

Please note that mixing up yogurt will break down the proteins, making it thinner. So if you decide to mix in some vanilla, I recommend doing it for each serving and not the entire batch unless you don’t mind it being thinner.

One of my favorite ways to sweeten yogurt it adding in some pineapple juice or chunks and Cream of Coconut for a pina colada yogurt!

I have seen people adding a bag of frozen or fresh fruit to their Instant Pot before incubating the yogurt. Yes, it works. However, the food safety bell in my head doesn’t love the idea of letting fruit cook at a low temperature for that long mixed with dairy. You can do what feels right to you, but I wouldn’t recommend this.

Pumpkin Yogurt

Make sure you check out my Noosa Copycat Instant Pot Pumpkin Yogurt Recipe– it’s MAGICAL since it will magically separate into two distinct layers during incubation. It’s seriously SO GOOD.

graphic of a spoonful of Instant Pot pumpkin yogurt on top of a jar

I also have this recipe in a single portion in my new Instant Pot Cookbook! (Cooking for one). There are two recipes in the book for Instant Pot yogurt in jars to create a single portion.

Do I need to use Sweetened Condensed milk?

NO! And you don’t have to use the whole can, either! That’s the beauty about it. You can add as much or as little as you like to control the flavor and sugar. See the flavoring ideas above!

Instant Pot oatmeal with blueberries and strawberries
If you like this recipe, check out my Instant Pot oatmeal recipe!

Why would I make my own yogurt if buying it is so easy?

Couldn’t you ask the same question for anything homemade? I like making as many things homemade as I can, because I do think it tastes better, and it’s empowering to know EXACTLY what is in your food and EXACTLY how it was handled.

Also, isn’t it just kind of cool to say you’ve made homemade yogurt? But if buying it how you want to go about it, you do you

  • It’s a little cheaper to make it on your own, especially if you eat a lot of yogurt.
  • Save the environment! It’s much less plastic waste.
  • It is the best yogurt I’ve ever had (and I realllly like Noosa pumpkin).

Do I have to buy a thermometer/strainer/cheese cloth/special tool to make Instant Pot Yogurt?

Nope! There are methods for IP yogurt where you have to sanitize/scald/boil/temper/incubate/strain and all sorts of other intimidating words, but I wanted THE simplest, easiest way to do it without having to buy all sorts of fancy stuff. So no, not with this recipe!! (If you want SUPER thick, Greek style Instant Pot yogurt, you will have to strain it though).

My Instant Pot doesn’t have a yogurt button! I have an Instant Pot Lux. Can I still make this?

Unfortunately, no. This is one of the reasons why I recommend the Instant Pot Duo over the lux versions.

Instant Pot yogurt ingredients
I typically start my yogurt around 1 or 2am, right before I go to sleep. Then, I refrigerate it when I wake up.

There are other methods on the internet that have troubleshooted how to make Instant Pot yogurt without yogurt button. Mostly these rely on other functions like the sous vide function that some of the more advanced pots have. However, I have not tested these methods and can’t speak to their safety and reliability so I can’t make any endorsements.

Can I leave my Instant Pot unattended while making yogurt? What about overnight?

Yes, you can absolutely leave your Instant Pot unattended while making homemade yogurt. The Instant Pot doesn’t ever come to pressure while on the yogurt setting. Nothing will burn because it is just warming the milk on such a low temperature.

Making your yogurt overnight is a great idea! You can start it right before bed, and then put it in the fridge when you wake up. It won’t go bad if you leave it over 8 hours. Some people incubate their yogurt for 12 hours! In fact, I do this almost every time.

Do I need to Vent or seal my sealing knob?

Such a great question! You do not need to turn your knob to sealing when making Instant Pot yogurt. You may, but you do not need to because it will not make a difference. Since the pot doesn’t come to pressure, it’s “venting” the entire time anyway.

You can also use any glass lid that fits your pot lid.

Give your lid a sniff before you use it and make sure it doesn’t smell like last night’s chili! If it does, give it a little love using my cleaning method (You can get your FREE guide on How to Clean Your Instant Pot by signing up for my email list at the bottom of this post!)

supplies to make homemade yogurt

If your lid smells like anything- the flavor and smell WILL infuse into the milk. Curry and pot roast flavored yogurt is not an uncommon occurrence in this space! If in doubt, just cover the pot with foil, plastic wrap, a dinner plate, or a pot lid. It doesn’t need to be sealing.

The same concept applies when you make Instant Pot cheesecake. If your pot and lid have a strong smell, it will definitely infuse into your cheesecake. Please get rid of the smell before cooking something delicate!

I’m in Canada and can’t get Fairlife milk! Help!?

My sources tell me that JOYYA brand milk is easily found in Canadian stores and can be successfully used for yogurt making!

Instant Pot Yogurt came out Stringy and Gloopy

I have had this happen once, and I suspect the following:

  • The pot was not clean and there was some bacteria in the Instant Pot liner that affected the incubation.
  • The quality of the sweetened condensed milk.
  • The milk had an inconsistency that did not affect the taste, but affected the incubation and final texture.

I have had this happen maybe three times in the hundred or so batches of Instant Pot yogurt I have made. The Instant Pot yogurt is slimey, stringy, gooey, and gluey. It’s honestly disgusting. I have tried to replicate the results, and cannot get it to happen so I do not know conclusively what causes the yogurt to come out this way. If it does come out this way, please ensure your next batch has fresh milk, fresh starter, and the pot is extremely sterile.

I will also add that I have never had the yogurt come out stringy when I use Fairlife milk. It is the most fail-proof milk I have used, no matter what brand of sweetener or starter I use.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to reverse this odd happening, and I usually resort to blending it with my immersion blender and using it in my smoothies for the week, or freezing it and using it in smoothies. You can use the yogurt in any recipe that calls for yogurt, but I wouldn’t recommend using it any recipe where the texture matters. I just couldn’t bring myself to eat the yogurt slime straight up!

How long does Instant Pot yogurt last in the fridge?

My last batch was in the fridge for 7-10 days. If you’re worried you’re not going to eat it all, yogurt freezes beautifully!

Why do I need YOGURT to make YOGURT?

Great question! Just like other foods that are fermented, you need to introduce the bacteria into the milk at some point. You can always buy a yogurt starter on Amazon, but it’s about $8-$20 for a starter where you couuuuuld just get the starter for $1 using premade yogurt.

Strawberries floating in vinegar water
Nothing better to top your Instant Pot yogurt than some fresh strawberries. Check out my hack on how to keep berries from molding up to 3 weeks!

Can I incubate yogurt in jars?

Yes! I love making my Add 1-2 cups of water into the Instant Pot, add the trivet or rack, and put jars on top. Just add the whisked milk mixture into individual mason jars or glass containers, and incubate for the desired time. You don’t need to cover the containers, but you may if you prefer.

A reader told me today that she added jam right into the bottom of the containers and added the milk on top and it worked! She did note that the ones with jam had a softer, runnier texture than the jars without jam.

two jars of Instant Pot pumpkin yogurt

I incubate my individual 2-layer Noosa Inspired Pumpkin Yogurt recipe directly in the jars! It typically takes less time to incubate in a smaller quantity (about 6 hours).

using a plate or glass lid for Instant Pot yogurt
I like using a glass lid or plate to cover the yogurt while incubating

How do I store Instant Pot yogurt?

You can keep it in your Instant Pot liner with a lid or covered with plastic wrap, or you can scoop it into a tupperware, individual mason jars/glass/plastic containers. These glass jars with lids are the perfect size for individual portions that you can reuse!

Can I use goat/almond/coconut milk to make yogurt?

I have heard of coconut milk yogurt being successful. But I am not a subject matter expert on non-dairy options. My friend Jennie from Jenuine Home has spent a ton of time creating a non-dairy Instant Pot yogurt recipe that she sells in her Instant Pot Creations ebook. All the recipes are gluten/soy/dairy/refined sugar free and work well for Whole30 or Paleo diets.

About Lisa

Lisa childs holding an instant pot lid with a mickey instant pot

Lisa Childs is the food blogger behind Tried, Tested, and True Instant Pot Cooking. Join the hundreds of thousands of people each month that learn from Lisa.

Subscribe to her website, follow her on Instagram at @instantpot_cooking, follow her on PinterestFacebook, and find her on Youtube along with her 120,000+ subscribers at Tried Tested and True. She is also the author of the 175 recipe cookbook “I love my Instant Pot – Cooking for One.” Check out Lisa’s favorite Amazon products in her Amazon Storefront. She is passionate about giving home cooks confidence using their Instant Pots.

Learn more about Lisa.

Do I need to use store bought yogurt each time I make yogurt in the Instant Pot?

Technically, just once! Then, you can use your current batch of yogurt you made as your starter. You can even freeze your yogurt starter to use for next time, which is what I do. However, I do recommend starting with a fresh starter every 5-8 batches just to ensure the yogurt will set. If you use a frozen starter, I recommend using one that is no more than 3 months old.

If you’ve ever made or are familiar with the process to make sourdough bread, you know you need a starter. Something that has already been fermenting to give you that distinct taste.

For yogurt, you need live, active cultures to begin that process. You’ll find it in any yogurt that is already made (your starter). It’ll say on the packaging if it has the cultures. It’s basically bacteria and probiotics that are alive and as it sits in the warm milk, they multiply and create yogurt. It’s how ALL yogurt is made, so don’t worry if it sounds… weird.

I’ve used Chobani plain and Chobani flavored with Blueberry with success (just use the top part that isn’t mixed into the fruit). I’ve also used Nancy’s Organic yogurt and Fage.

After you get it once, you don’t need to worry about buying more since you can just freeze this initial starter, or some of your last Instant Pot batch. I recommend getting a fresh starter every 5-8 batches.

How to use frozen yogurt starter

I freeze two tablespoons of my last batch of yogurt in a tiny tupperware container. When I want to use it, I pour some of my milk in the tupperware, and let it thaw for about 5-10 minutes and whisk it in completely. You can also let is thaw overnight in the fridge. Then, use as normal.

Why did my Instant Pot yogurt turn out grainy or runny?

There are two likely culprits: not whisking in the starter completely, or, adding too much starter/adding old starter. The first time I made it, it did come out a tiny bit grainy.

Not too bad, but it wasn’t as smooth as normal yogurt. I whisked a decent amount, but I also “eyeballed” my starter, so I think that may have been part of it. So, I perfected my technique for round two, below!

Instant Pot yogurt with blueberries, granola, and chocolate chips

Best Instant Pot To buy

lisa childs shows which instant pot to buy

Read my recommendation on the best Instant Pot to buy and which Instant Pot accessories to buy (and avoid!). This is the Instant Pot I have 4 of, and love! Also, don’t forget that I’m on Youtube where I teach Instant Pot Inspiration and Confidence!

Don’t Forget to Pin this Post!

Graphic of Instant Pot Yogurt with one picture of a bowl of yogurt with toppings
Simple Instant Pot Yogurt with blueberries, granola, and chocolate chips

Simple 2-ingredient Instant Pot Yogurt

Yield: 13
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Refridgerate: 4 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 2 minutes

Instant Pot yogurt is so easy, creamy, and dreamy! This recipe requires no special tools or equipment besides an Instant Pot with yogurt function. Try it plain, or sweetened!

Ingredients

  • 1 Container Ultra-filtered or Ultra Pasteurized Milk, divided (do NOT substitute- I have had success using Fairlife that comes in 52 oz containers, as well as the Costco Kirkland Organic Lactose Free 2% Reduced Fat Milk that is Ultra Pasteurized)
  • 2 Tablespoons Yogurt, with live active cultures (I used Chobani plain/Chobani Flavored/Nancy's Organic. Just look on the side of the container and look for "contains live active cultures.")
  • 1 Can sweetened condensed milk, if using (My can was 14 ounces but you can add however much you like to control the sweetness).
  • Instant Pot with Yogurt function

Instructions

  1. Combine 1/2 C. milk with the yogurt starter completely to dissolve.
  2. Add sweetened condensed milk, if using, to the Instant Pot with 1 c. milk and whisk in completely to dissolve.
  3. Add in the rest of the milk and starter/milk mixture. Whisk completely.
  4. Lock the lid on (or use a glass lid, and don't worry about it being on sealing or not. It does not matter!)
  5. Press the Yogurt button and ensure that it is on the NORMAL setting, NOT LESS or MORE. Use the plus and minus buttons to select a time. 7-10 hours is ideal. I do 8 hours for Fairlife milk and 10.5 hours for Costco 2% (it requires longer incubation or it will be watery). The longer you "incubate," or let it sit, the more tart it will be. Some people incubate up to 24 hours. The Instant Pot will start counting UP, not down like when pressure cooking.
  6. After the 8-10 hours are up, take the liner out of the Instant Pot, cover with a lid/plastic wrap/foil, and refrigerate 8 hours, or overnight. Do not stir or disturb. The consistency after incubation will be almost exactly the consistency after refrigeration, so if it is not set enough for you, continue incubation for another couple hours.
  7. If you would like a super thick consistency like greek yogurt, use a yogurt strainer and strain to your desired consistency after chilling.
  8. After refrigeration, you can mix it up and transfer to a large Tupperware container, or individual containers/mason jars.
  9. Enjoy with your choice of sweetener, fruit, granola, etc.

Notes

  • Your Instant Pot should be clean and sterile before you make your yogurt.
  • The consistency of your yogurt after incubating should be thick. It will not thicken much more in the fridge.
  • The starter needs to be whisked in completely, otherwise your yogurt may result in a grainy texture.
  • Try my Magical 2-Layer Pumpkin Yogurt Recipe if you like this!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 13 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

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possum

Sunday 19th of June 2022

i've done this twice and both times when finished incubating there is a thick film on the top which I can't remove, hence it adds gross lumps to my otherwise delicious yoghurt...I followed instructions completely, altho once I used frozen ultra filtered 2%milk that I really had to whisk to get melt the ice and this time, i could only find pastureized (not ultra pasturized) filtered milk...any ideas, it's delicious but I can't get past the lumpy bits from the film

Lisa Childs

Tuesday 28th of June 2022

Hello! The most important part of this recipe is using ultra-pasteurized milk, because the milk has already been heated to a super high temperature to allow it to incubate from its original, cold state. I hope you'll be able to try it with ultra pasteurized milk (I recommend the red, Fairlife whole milk for absolute best results.

Margie Latta

Saturday 4th of June 2022

I wish you would tell everyone that if their Instant Pot does NOT have a yogurt button they can still make yogurt. Simply use the “Sous Vide” button and set Temp. for 110*and time for 8 hours. Follow the rest of your instructions for Cold Start Yogurt. Works for me every time. Thanks. Margie Latta, Black Mountain, NC

Riley

Friday 29th of April 2022

How long will this yogurt last in the fridge?

AJ

Saturday 2nd of April 2022

Hi. Can you use can coconut milk as a sweetner or will it make the yogurt thin?

Lisa Childs

Thursday 26th of May 2022

Hello! Coconut milk is not sweetened, so it wouldn't work as a sweetener. You could add some cream of coconut after incubation.

Jim

Wednesday 2nd of March 2022

After incubation, it looked like warmed milk with the consistency to match. I thought maybe the starter wasn't that good (plain greek yogurt). I didn't get around to cleaning the instant pot until today, and found that the spoon test worked and it was tart and tasty. Lisa can teach this old dog some new tricks!

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