March 16, 2021

How to Make Homemade Yogurt

How to Make Homemade Yogurt on the stovetop with only about 10 minutes of hands-on time. Super creamy, tasty and packed with probiotics- you won't have to buy store-bought yogurt again!

Homemade yogurt

It has been a dream of mine for many years to make my own yogurt but I never got around to it until a couple of months ago. We had way too much milk one week and I texted my neighbor asking him if he could use an extra gallon of milk and he suggested to make homemade yogurt with it. Why didn't I think of that? Finally, my yogurt-making dream could come true! I have now made 5 batches of homemade yogurt and have learned a lot along the way. Today, I want to share how to make homemade yogurt with you.

Jars of homemade yogurt

My first question when making homemade yogurt was, it is hard to make? I waited for so long to try to make it because it seemed like it was going to be hard to make. It wasn't at all! It really needs only about 10 minutes of hands on time and then quite awhile of time to turn into yogurt but it doesn't need to be monitored regularly.

Heating milk to make homemade yogurt
Step 1: Heat milk to 185 degrees.

My method of making yogurt makes the yogurt right on the stove in a pot. I know a lot of people like making yogurt in an Instant Pot but I do not have one. Would you believe that making homemade yogurt only takes 5 steps? Crazy!

cooling milk to make homemade yogurt
Step 2: Cool milk to 110 degrees.

What do I need to make homemade yogurt

-Milk- I like using 2% milk best but have also used 1% milk. Whole milk would be extra creamy and delicious!

-Yogurt- Sounds crazy that you need yogurt to make yogurt but you need the yogurt to start your yogurt batch because of the probiotics in it. Only use a plain yogurt- Greek yogurt or regular yogurt will work. Make sure it has live, active cultures listed somewhere on the container. Once you make your first batch of yogurt, you can save some of the yogurt from the previous batch and use it for your next batch so you should only need to buy the yogurt one time. 

-A large pot- I borrow my mom's cast iron Dutch oven but a regular large pot will work also.

-A thermometer- I like the Taylor digital thermometers for making yogurt. Twice during the yogurt making process, you will need to check the temperature of the yogurt.

-Straining bag- Not essential but if you want to strain your yogurt for a thicker yogurt, you will want to use cheesecloth or one of these bags to strain the yogurt. It cost me less than $6 on Amazon and is really easy to clean. I'm thrilled with my purchase.

Step 3: Whisk together a cup of the milk and a cup of yogurt. Once smooth, mix into the rest of the milk.

Homemade Yogurt Nutrition

One of the reasons that I wanted to make my own yogurt was so I would be able to make a nutrient dense food for my family. We go through a lot of Greek yogurt which can be expensive so I thought that making my own would save us money and it definitely does. This homemade yogurt is loaded with probiotics for a healthy gut. It is fermented and a great source of this healthy bacteria. There is no added sugar in this yogurt so when you add your toppings, you will need to keep that in mind. 

If you decide to strain your yogurt like I do, you will increase the protein content per serving of the yogurt by draining off the whey.

Homemade unstrained yogurt with whey
This is how the yogurt will look when it is done. You can either mix together the whey (the yellow liquid) with the yogurt or drain it.

Uses for homemade yogurt:

-Yogurt bowls

-In overnight oatmeal


-Instead of sour cream


-In popsicles and healthy ice creams

-Macaroni and cheese

-Homemade bagels

Yogurt straining in bag. 

When straining the yogurt, the yellow whey will drizzle out of the bag. Strain for about an hour or until yogurt is as thick as you like.

As you can see from the photos above, when you strain the yogurt, the yellow whey will drain from the yogurt. I like to strain mine for about an hour. The amount of yogurt will shrink the longer that you let it strain because more of the whey will come out. See in the photos how the yogurt shrinks and how much whey is strained from the yogurt.

How Long Should Homemade Yogurt Be Fermented?

You will need to ferment your yogurt for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. I have done as little as 8 hours and up to about 16 hours. The longer that you ferment your yogurt, the thicker and tangier it will be. Closer to the 8 hour mark, it tastes more like regular yogurt and as you go longer, it has the tangier flavor of Greek yogurt. To keep the milk warm to turn it into yogurt, I keep it in the cast iron pot which keeps heat in for much longer and I turn on my oven light and keep it in there for a minimum of 8 hours.

Homemade Greek Yogurt

Recipes you can use Homemade Yogurt in:

Blueberry Greek Yogurt Pancakes

Strawberries and Cream Overnight Oats

Grilled Greek Yogurt Pizza

Honey Greek Yogurt Banana Bread

Greek Yogurt Carrot Cake Muffins

Stovetop Homemade Yogurt

How long does homemade yogurt last?

It lasts at least two weeks in your fridge. You can do the smell test and if it smells funky, it may be. We always use it up within those two weeks though (or way less) and haven't had a problem.

Homemade Yogurt

Homemade yogurt
Yield: makes a gallon of yogurt before straining 

Homemade Yogurt

How to Make Homemade Yogurt on the stovetop with only about 10 minutes of hands-on time. Super creamy, tasty and packed with probiotics- you won't have to buy store-bought yogurt again!
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook time: 0 minutes Total time: 8 hours


  • 1 gallon of milk (1%, 2% or whole milk works well)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (Greek yogurt or plain cow's milk yogurt works well)


  1. Pour one gallon of milk into a large pot (cast iron if possible) and heat on medium heat to 185 degrees. You can use a thermometer to take the temperature of the milk. The milk will have little bubbles but will not be boiling.
  2. Let the milk cool to about 110 degrees. You can let this occur naturally on your counter or put it into an ice bath to make it quicker. Don't let it cool much more than 110 degrees.
  3. Remove about a cup of the milk from the pot and pour into a bowl or large measuring cup. Whisk together the milk and your yogurt until it is very smooth. Pour the milk-yogurt mixture into the pot and stir.
  4. Put the lid back onto the pot and keep pot warm for at least 8 hours but up to 24 hours. You can keep the pot in the oven with the oven light turned on for warmth, make a hot water bath in a cooler and place the pot in the cooler or wrap the pot with a heating pad.
  5. After 8-24 hours (depending on preference), your yogurt is ready to enjoy if you are not straining it. You can mix the separated whey into the yogurt or spoon it out.
  6. For a thicker texture, you can strain your yogurt. Carefully dump the yogurt into a yogurt straining bag, hang the bag up and let strain for a couple of hours or up to overnight if you want a super thick yogurt. You can drain off the whey (which will be a light yellow). Store the yogurt in mason jars or glass containers.
**Yogurt should last a couple of weeks in the fridge.

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A step-by-step tutorial on how to make homemade yogurt on the stovetop.

This post is sponsored by Taylor- the brand that I have used for every single batch of yogurt that I've made!

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