Instant Pot Greek Yogurt (Thick and Creamy)

Instant Pot Yogurt – Thick and Creamy Yogurt is so simple to make in 8 easy steps. Add one more step to make it Instant Pot Greek Yogurt. Keto and Low Carb yogurt instructions too!

For the very best and most popular Instant Pot Yogurt recipe, look no more.

After reading about yogurt failures, I did extensive experimentation to recreate and figure out all the issues, so that you will will make the best yogurt in your Instant Pot or GoWISE USA on the very first try. This method and all these tips and findings are my unprecedented and original work from February 2016.

Can Lactose Free Milk be Used for Instant Pot Yogurt?

  • Yes. Yogurt bacteria converts lactose into lactic acid, which makes yogurt tangy.
  • Use regular milk and incubate 19-24 hours… voila, lactose free! And tangy !!

Ingredients for Instant Pot Yogurt

  • Milk – Whole Milk yields the thickest yogurt.
  • Yogurt Starter – any brand of yogurt with just milk and live cultures. I prefer to use Fage.
  • Instant Pot DUO Plus  – all models, but the LUX, have the Yogurt Feature. Ninja Foodi works in exactly the same way at the Instant Pot DUO Plus.

Only a few steps and some patience and knowledge, will get you there fast.

Ultra Pasteurized Milk for Instant Pot Yogurt

  • Type of Milk and or Starter (culture) plays a role. Ultra Pasteurized Milk is heated to 280 degrees, which kills about 99.9 percent of the bacteria needed to properly culture yogurt, so therefore, it doesn’t generally set up well. Milk labeled “Organic” is most likely Ultra Pasteurized.
  • The “Starter” you use for the yogurt is very important too. The first time making yogurt, purchase a high quality container of yogurt containing milk and live active cultures; nothing more, nothing less.

Pro Tip: For a quick “Cold Start” or “No Boil” method, use my Instant Pot Cold Start Yogurt [No Boiling] where you WILL use the ultra pasteurized milk.

Do I have to make a Whole Gallon of Milk for Instant Pot Yogurt?

  • No. If you want to make Half a Gallon of Milk for your homemade yogurt, just cut the entire recipe in half.
  • The Milk will heat through quicker too!

Is Instant Pot Yogurt made under Pressure?

  • No, the Yogurt Function is not under pressure.
  • The lid can be removed at any time.
  • Whisking the milk every 10 minutes during the boil cycle will help the milk come up to temperature quicker.
  • Getting milk to 183-185 degrees and holding there for a few minutes, will yield a thicker yogurt.
  • Boil Cycle will take about 45 minutes.
  • Cool Down will take about 10 minutes.
  • Incubation Time for Instant Pot Yogurt – From 5 hours to 10 hours.
  • Most people incubate for 9 hours.

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How to Freeze Yogurt for Starter

  • After the first time making homemade yogurt, you will have your own “Starter,” so make sure you save a little bit from each batch.
  • These King Size Ice Cube Trays (for starter) are the perfect size to hold 2 Tablespoons of starter yogurt. They are perfect for Scotch on the Rocks! 😉

Can Whey Be Used for Starter?

  • Yes, you can use whey for the starter yogurt.
  • You can even freeze the whey to use as your starter for homemade yogurt.

Do I Need a Thermometer for Instant Pot Yogurt?

  • Yes. If you just rely on the functions of the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, you won’t know if the temperature of the milk reached the optimal number. Therefore, using a thermometer, will let you know and if you want to continue to heat the milk more, you have the knowledge.
  • There will be hot spots, so stir the milk first and then use your Digital Thermometer to check the temperature of the milk.

The Sauté function can be used if needed to get the milk up to temp. Just make sure to use a whisk continuously, until the Digital Thermometer reads at least 180 degrees; it’s important. (I like to get to 182-185 degrees.)

Pro Tip: Make sure to have a good working digital thermometer.

The best way to cool down the milk for yogurt is to place the cooking pot into the kitchen sink full of cold water.

Why Cool Down Milk in Sink?

  • While an ice bath will cool the milk quicker, you will have a better overall yogurt result using cold water and not shocking the milk. Using a whisk will aerate the milk and help it to cook down quicker.

If you sense a metallic taste try using this silicone whisk instead. Another way to cool down the milk is to let the cooking pot sit on a cooling rack, but that will take about 30 minutes.

When the temperature reaches 95-110 degrees, you are ready to add your yogurt starter.

To purchase this cheap digital thermometer, please click here.

The yogurt that you use as the “Starter,” needs to contain live cultures and milk; nothing more.

Flavoring Instant Pot Yogurt

  • If you want to flavor your homemade yogurt with Vanilla Extract or Vanilla Beans, it can be added when the yogurt starter is added.
  • Sugar and sweeteners are best added after the yogurt has chilled.

Pro Tip: The bacteria in the yogurt needs to work without fighting with any sugar.

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The milk will look bubbly, which is fine. The milk is ready to incubate to become yogurt in the Instant Pot.

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This glass lid is nice to use since the yogurt is not under pressure. The regular lid works well too!

Incubating Instant Pot Yogurt

  • Incubating the yogurt for 8-10 hours will give you a tart, but not overly sour yogurt.
  • For a milder tasting yogurt, try incubating for 6-8 hours. For a more tart yogurt, incubate longer.
  • The longer incubation time, the more beneficial bacteria in the yogurt is produced.

It is a good idea to start the yogurt process in the evening. While you are sleeping, the yogurt can incubate.

Pro Tip: For yogurt that is lower in carbohydrates, incubate for 12-14 hours and then strain the yogurt for 4-12 hours. This will greatly reduce the sugar from the milk.

Normal and Less Settings on the Instant Pot?

  • The “Normal” function is for incubating yogurt. The timer will start at 8:00 and can be adjusted up or down.
  • After adjusting, the time will count up. Make sure the Instant Pot says “Normal.”
  • The “Less” function on the Instant Pot is used by many people to retard their bread quicker, as it provides a warm environment. When the adjust button is pressed the Instant Pot will display 24:00.
  • Don’t just use the “-” to get it back down to 8:00 or 10:00 hours. The Display Screen must say “Normal.”

My Instant Pot Yogurt Whey Dutch Oven Crusty Bread recipe uses the “Less” function and is a great way to use your whey, after straining the yogurt.

After incubation, the yogurt should be covered with saran wrap or a glass lid and place it in the refrigerator for at least 6-8 hours to chill and firm up.


Tips and Tricks for Instant Pot Yogurt.

  1. Sterilize the Instant Pot. This helps to remove any odors from prior Instant Pot meals. You don’t want your yogurt tasting like my Competition Chili con Carne recipe, would you?
  2. Placing the cooking pot in fridge after sterilizing will help to prevent the milk from scorching during the boil cycle.
  3. During the boil cycle, stir the milk before taking the temperature, to avoid hot spots and insure an inaccurate reading.
  4. You will get thicker yogurt when the milk reaches 182-185 degrees.
  5. Cooling down the milk in a sink full of cool water is preferred over an ice bath.
  6. Check that your Instant Pot is on the Normal “setting” during incubation not “Less.”
  7. Yogurt needs several hours in the fridge to set up, so don’t be tempted to stir.

The starter can be frozen. Only freeze enough for a couple of weeks. You should never need to purchase “Starter” again so long as the frozen starter is used within a few weeks.

Yogurt is great in place of sour cream. Greek yogurt is higher in protein and lower in sugar because of the straining.

The Instant Pot Yogurt will be thick at this point and ready to eat.

Yogurt that has not been strained is just regular yogurt. Strained yogurt is called “Greek Yogurt.”

Make Greek Yogurt

The Euro Cuisine Greek Yogurt Maker makes Yogurt Straining so much easier and is my first choice for straining and making Greek style yogurt.

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What constitutes Greek Yogurt is just using Milk and the Starter (no powdered milk is used) and then STRAINING the Yogurt to remove whey. That’s all it is…..strained Regular Yogurt = Greek Yogurt!!

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If you use a Strainer instead, you may need several layers of cheesecloth, butter muslin or coffee filters in order to achieve translucent/clear whey. If your whey is coming out cloudy, add another layer of cheesecloth, butter muslin or coffee filters to your straining device.

When to Strain Yogurt for Greek Yogurt

  • It is best to first chill the Instant Pot Greek Yogurt, so that it sets up, undisturbed.
  • However, you can strain the Yogurt and chill it at the same time right after incubation, but, you will end up with more Whey.

If you first chill the Yogurt, your yield will be much greater.

The above photo shows Yogurt that was strained overnight. All you need is two to three hours is fine to achieve a nice, thick Greek Yogurt.

Ideas for Leftover Whey

  • Instant Pot Yogurt Whey Dutch Oven Crusty Bread in less than 5 hours!
  • Yogurt Whey Indian Chapati a/k/a Roti (Flatbread)
  • Pressure Cooker Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding
  • Instant Pot Mexican Hot Chocolate Frozen Yogurt Bars – Delicious summer treat

For a delicious Noosa like recipe, try my Instant Pot Homemade Noosa Honey Yoghurt Copycat recipe.

How to Store Instant Pot Yogurt

  • For individual servings, add a couple of Tablespoons of Fresh Berry Compote and/or Lemon Curd to the bottom of 15-16 Kerr Half Pint (8 oz) Mason Jars and then fill up the jars with yogurt.
  • Use larger Reditainers Extreme Freezer Containers to store yogurt in bulk.

More Uses for Instant Pot Yogurt.

  • Add dollop on top of my Pressure Cooker Competition Chili Con Carne
  • Use on Instant Pot Drive Thru Tacos in place of sour cream.
  • Top Pressure Cooker Chicken Enchiladas with yogurt.
  • Make Homemade Naan!
  • Make Homemade Greek Tzatziki

Now that you are a pro at yogurt making, make sure to check out the most delicious Instant Pot New York Cheesecake recipe ever!

Kitchen Equipment and Essentials

  • Instant Pot
  • Amco Advanced Performance 18/10 Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons
  • Salbree Steamer Basket
  • Anchor Hocking Glass (Liquid) Measuring Cups
  • Rösle Stainless Steel Flat Whisk– a MUST have, probably my most used utensil
  • Kerr Half Pint (8 oz) Mason Jars
  • Euro Cuisine Greek Yogurt Maker
  • Digital Thermometer
  • King Size Ice Cube Trays (for starter)

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Here is the handy printable recipe:

PIN this Instant Pot Greek Yogurt Recipe {Pressure Cooker Yogurt}!


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About the Author: Thien Bao

Hello, my name is ThienBao. I am a freelance developer specializing in various types of code.