glass mason jar of homemade instant pot yogurt topped with honey, granola, and blueberries

Easy Instant Pot, Gut Healthy, Yogurt

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With two ingredients, you can easily make your own thick and creamy, probiotic rich, gut healthy yogurt in your Instant Pot.

Glass jar of homemade instant pot yogurt topped with honey, granola, and blueberries

Yogurt is a staple in our home. My daughter loves it and my husband packs it in his lunch box everyday for work. I used to buy the individual packs from the store because I didn’t know there was another option. When Shelby came along, I wanted to feed her an organic yogurt, but the cost had me cringing every time I picked some up at the store. That’s when I discovered I could make a half gallon of organic, probiotic rich, gut healthy yogurt for a fraction of the price in my Instant Pot!

My first few attempts didn’t turn out great, but I have learned some essential tips along the way to create a thick, creamy yogurt that rivals what you can purchase at the store. Don’t miss the notes at the bottom of the free printable recipe card to avoid the mistakes that I made in the beginning.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are the live cultures that turn the milk into yogurt. The probiotics found in yogurt are Lactobacillus bulgaricus and streptococcus thermophilus, often referred to as starter cultures. These two specific cultures primarily improve lactose digestion. They ferment the lactose, the sugar, into lactic acid which makes it easier to digest and gives yogurt its sour taste. The longer you ferment your yogurt, the more sour it will taste and the easier it will be for your body to digest.

How Long Can You Ferment Homemade Yogurt?

They general rule is that you can ferment yogurt between 8 to 24 hours. Since my family typically eats bowls of yogurt, I ferment mine between 8 to 9 hours. If I ferment it longer, it gets a little too sour for our palette. However, if I plan to make a bunch of smoothies, I will make a batch fermented closer to 24 hours to optimize the benefits of the probiotics since the fruit in the smoothie will even our the sour taste of the yogurt.

Thick and creamy homemade yogurt in stainless still bowl with a spoon

Tips for Making Yogurt in the Instant Pot:

  • Use a 1/4 cup of yogurt from plain organic yogurt or buy a starter culture online.
  • For bowls of yogurt, ferment it for 8 hours to keep it from tasting sour.
  • If you have difficulty digesting dairy, try fermenting the yogurt for 24 hours.
  • Remove the silicon ring in the Instant Pot lid prior to fermenting. The ring holds onto smells and no one likes yogurt with a hint of last week’s chicken.
  • Serve it with some homemade granola and fruit.
  • Do not stir yogurt prior to cooling it in the fridge.

My Yogurt Fails:

As I mentioned above, I had a few fails along the way as I attempted to make yogurt for my family that they actually enjoyed.

My first few batches consistently turned out runny and I could not figure out what I was doing wrong. I was heating and cooling it to the right temperatures and I was baffled. My mistake was taking the freshly fermented yogurt straight from the Instant Pot and putting it into mason jars for my husband to take for lunch. I needed to let it cool in the fridge overnight before I portioned it out into the jars!

Even after I started letting it cool in the fridge before putting it into jars, I would have a runny batch here and there. That’s when I learned to make sure all the condensation that had collected on my plastic wrap didn’t fall into the yogurt when I took it off. Now I put a folded paper towel over the pot and cover it with plastic wrap for the fridge. The paper towel collects all of that condensation and prevents it from falling into and watering down my creamy yogurt.

Mason jar filled with homemade yogurt topped with honey, granola, and blueberries

Ingredients & Supplies

1/2 gallon of whole milk

1/4 cup of plain yogurt or a yogurt starter culture

Instant Pot

Pocket thermometer

Whisk

How to Make Yogurt in the Instant Pot

  1. Pour a half gallon of whole milk into the Instant Pot.
  2. Press the sauté button and heat the milk till it reaches 180 degrees. Whisk often.
    • With milk from the fridge, it generally takes 20 minutes.
  3. Press cancel and allow the milk to cool down to 115 degrees.
    • This will take an hour or two. I place the pot on the counter to help speed up the cooling process.
  4. Once cooled, whisk in 1/4 cup of plain yogurt or a starter culture.
  5. Remove the silicon ring from the Instant Pot lid to prevent any smells from previous meals from contaminating your yogurt.
  6. Place the lid on and select the yogurt feature. Adjust the time, 8-24 hours, based on your taste preference.
  7. Once fermentation is complete, cover the pot with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.
    • I like to place a paper towel over the pot and then cover with plastic wrap to absorb some of the condensation that collects as the yogurt cools and sets.
  8. Let the yogurt set in the fridge for 10 to 12 hours prior to transferring it into a different container. This is the secret to a thick and creamy yogurt!
Jars of homemade instant pot yogurt topped with fruit sitting on a cutting board with blueberries and granola

Our Favorite Yogurt Toppings

  • Homemade granola
  • Fresh fruit
  • Honey
  • Jam
Yield: Half Gallon

Easy Instant Pot, Gut Healthy, Yogurt

Jar of instant pot yogurt with honey, granola, and blueberries

With two ingredients, you can easily make your own thick and creamy, probiotic rich, gut healthy yogurt in your Instant Pot.

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 9 hours

Ingredients

  • 1/2 gallon of whole milk
  • 1/4 cup of plain yogurt or starter culture

Instructions

  1. Pour a half gallon of whole milk into the Instant Pot
  2. Press the sauté button and heat the milk till it reaches 180 degrees while whisking often. It generally takes 20 minutes to heat.
  3. Press cancel and allow milk to cool down to 115 degrees. This can take up to an hour or two. I place the pot on the counter to speed up the cooling process.
  4. Once cooled, whisk in 1/4 cup of plain yogurt or a starter culture.
  5. Remove the silicon ring from the Instant Pot lid to prevent any smells from previous meals from contaminating your yogurt.
  6. Place the lid on and select the yogurt feature. Adjust the time, 8-24 hours, based on your taste preference.
  7. Once fermentation is complete, cover the pot with a clean paper towel and plastic wrap and then place in the fridge.
  8. Refrigerate the yogurt for 10-12 hours prior to transferring it into a different container. This is the secret to a thick and creamy yogurt!

Notes

Remove the silicon ring to prevent smells from previous meals transferring to your yogurt.

Do not stir the fermented yogurt prior to refrigerating it overnight; otherwise, it will become runny.

Use a paper towel over the top of the instant pot secured by plastic wrap to absorb any condensation that occurs while the yogurt sets in the fridge.

You can save a 1/4 cup of your freshly fermented yogurt to create your next batch. Only do this 3 or 4 times before starting over with a fresh culture.

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