Recipe for Easy Homemade Yogurt | Almanac.com

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 is better-tasting, healthier, and more cost-effective, too. Here is a simple recipe which only requires 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, then you only need a few spoonfuls of yogurt from this match 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 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 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 a 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 that you like. (For a 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.