Easy Homemade Yogurt

Yogurt topped with strawberries and granola
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4 cups
Special Considerations
Preparation Method
The Old Farmer's Almanac for Kids
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Yes, it’s worthwhile to make your own yogurt—and ridiculously easy! Homemade yogurt tastes better and is healthier and more cost-effective, too. Here is a simple recipe for DIY yogurt that requires only two ingredients.

To make yogurt, you need milk and a few tablespoons of plain cultured yogurt. 

  • For milk, you may use whole milk or 2% milk (we prefer 2%; whole makes a thicker yogurt). You can also use non-fat dairy, soy, or whatever kind of milk you like. Just avoid “ultra-pasteurized” milk.
  • For the yogurt, you need 1/4 cup of plain organic yogurt with live active cultures to start out; you’ll see the list of cultures in the ingredients. 

Why buy yogurt to make more yogurt? We are basically making a “starter” which ferments overnight to magically turns into much more yogurt! The taste is tangy, rich, and more natural without extra sugars or preservatives; it’s fermented and healthy for your gut; you can customize it to your type of milk and control the ingredients. It’s a fraction of the cost of store-bought. Plus, it’s satisfying! Show kids how a small amount of yogurt can transform into more yogurt.

Then, top your homemade yogurt with natural fruit or granola. If you want to sweeten it, stir a little bit of honey or maple syrup into individual servings. Another option is to strain your yogurt for a thicker, creamier Greek-style yogurt. 

You can also use this yogurt as an ingredient in other dishes, from a Tzatziki dip to a Yogurt-Blueberry Parfait dessert. See more recipes using yogurt

Once you have made your first batch, you only need a few spoonfuls of yogurt from this batch to start new batches. When you see the yogurt get too runny, it’s time to start again with a new yogurt starter. If you get really into making your own yogurt, you can also buy live yogurt cultures online.

1⁄4 cup plain yogurt containing active cultures
1 quart whole milk (or any milk you'd like)

Kitchen Tools Needed

Before you get started, have your kitchen pots and equipment gathered.

  • large pot with a lid 
  • wooden spoon 
  • ladle 
  • bowl 
  • whisk 
  • kitchen towels 
  • sterilized jar/container with lid 
  • optional: food-grade thermometer 


  1. Pour the milk into the large pot (with a heavy bottom) and put on the stove over medium heat. Hold the thermometer in the milk and heat to 180 to 200°F, stirring gently with a wooden spoon to keep the milk from burning or boiling. (This is when it helps to have a food thermometer.)
  2. Remove the pot from the heat and let the milk cool to 115°F. Stir occasionally to prevent skin from forming on top.  
  3. Ladle in the yogurt with live cultures and mix well.
  4. Cover the pot with its lid, wrap it in a couple of towels, and place it in the oven, but do not turn the oven on. Close the oven door. 
  5. Leave for 4 hours to overnight so that the curd can form.
  6. After 4 hours (or overnight), taste-test the yogurt. Do this tasting every 15 minutes until it has a flavor and consistency you like. (For thicker yogurt, pour through a wire-mesh colander over a bowl until the yogurt stops dripping through.)
  7. Remove the pot from the oven and whisk the yogurt once more. 
  8. Transfer the yogurt to a clean jar or container with a lid and refrigerate. It will stay fresh for about 2 weeks. 
About The Author

Catherine Boeckmann

Catherine Boeckmann loves nature, stargazing, and gardening so it’s not surprising that she and The Old Farmer’s Almanac found each other. She leads digital content for the Almanac website, and is also a certified master gardener in the state of Indiana. Read More from Catherine Boeckmann