How to Make Yogurt from Fresh Milk: 5 Easy Steps to Make Greek Yogurt at Home

How to Make Yogurt from Fresh Milk

If you’re looking to turn your fresh milk into yogurt, it’s SO EASY with your Instant Pot. If you’re looking for tips on how to make yogurt from pasteurized milk or how to make greek yogurt from raw milk, I’m here to help!
In this blog post, you’ll get the answers to these questions: how do you make yogurt without a starter? How is yogurt made with milk? What is the yogurt ingredients list? And you’ll have all the good details about how to make thick yogurt from raw or pasteurized milk!
How to Make Yogurt From Fresh Milk

How to Make Yogurt from Fresh Milk: 5 Easy Steps

These steps will give you a thick raw milk yogurt recipe, but you can leave it unstrained and have just a regular raw goat milk yogurt recipe. We use goat milk primarily, but you can use any milk you enjoy or have access to! There really is no “best milk for making yogurt,” in my opinion. You should use what you are comfortable with and can easily obtain. Of course, local is always best! 
1. Heat a 1/2 gallon of milk to 180 degrees. This step should be done slowly. Don’t scold the milk or bring it up to temp too quickly. This can be pasteurized milk or raw milk. I personally use goat milk, but you can use cow’s milk (or sheep!) You can also use the saute button on the Instant Pot to heat up the milk instead of a separate pot. 
2. Let the milk come down to 110 degrees. I usually just sit the pot on a cool burner and let it come down naturally. You can sit the pot in a bowl with ice and cold water, if you need to move the process along more quickly. 
3. Stir in 1/2 cup yogurt. You can use yogurt starter, but literally a 1/2 cup of storebought yogurt or yogurt from a previous batch is perfect. 
4. Dump the now mixed in yogurt and milk mixture into your Instant Pot. Hit the Yogurt button. This will run usually for 8-10 hours. You can adjust it. I usually run mine for 10 hours.   
5. Strain yogurt until it’s the consistency you want. For thick Greek style yogurt, sit a stranger in a pot. Put a flour sack towel over the strainer. Put yogurt onto flour sack towel/strainer. Sit in the fridge for a few hours to overnight. You will get at least a quart or more whey from this process, and the yogurt that’s left will be super thick. Again, you can adjust this time depending on how thick or runny you want your yogurt. 
How to Make Yogurt from Fresh Milk

How to Make Yogurt from Fresh Milk: It is REALLY that simple!

Let’s tackle some common questions when it comes to making yogurt from fresh milk in the Instant Pot, now that you know how to do it. 
Can you turn milk into yogurt? Well, of course! That’s where yogurt comes from! And you literally only need milk and some storebought yogurt to get started. 
How do you make yogurt without a starter? You can buy expensive little packets of yogurt starter, but it is really not necessary. You can buy any brand of yogurt at the store (even the cheapest brand!), and it will work perfectly. Save 1/2 cup of your homemade yogurt every time you make a batch, and you’ll be ready to go!
How is yogurt made with milk? You can do this process on the stove and with a crockpot, but we love the Instant Pot method because it almost makes itself! 
How do you make yogurt thick, like Greek style yogurt? Greek style yogurt usually sticks to the spoon, and it’s amazing with fruit, granola, or to use on tacos and fajitas! Just strain your yogurt through the strainer and flour sack towel, and I promise, you’ll have the consistency you want every time. 
How to Make Yogurt from Fresh Milk

How to Make Yogurt from Fresh Milk: How We Use Homemade Yogurt

When my yogurt is made, I usually store it in a mason jar in the fridge. You can use this yogurt in many ways. Greek yogurt is great as a sour cream substitute, with fruit and nuts or granola, on chili, tacos, fajitas – and so much more. 

The runnier version you can use as pasta sauce, like Alfredo sauce. we add spinach powder, kale powder, beet powder, etc to the runnier yogurt, and this is an awesome addition to pasta, pizza, and more! 

You can also freeze dry the yogurt (thin or Greek) and have shelf stable yogurt powder. This can be reconstituted into yogurt, or you can use it thicken sauces. We often stir in our homemade powders that we’ve freeze dried, too. You can learn more about making your own fruit powders on our YouTube channel. To learn more about freeze drying, check out the blog post on our website – and the podcast with Homesteading Roots

How to Make Yogurt from Fresh Milk: Why bother?

We have been making our own food for years. We’ve canned for many years, and we’ve been making yogurt, too, for quite a while. Making your own yogurt just makes sense for many reasons. 


First, it’s so cost effective. Once you have your yogurt starter, you can literally make a gallon of yogurt for the cost of a gallon of milk. If you’re milking your own cow, goat, or sheep, then you probably have a ton of milk you need to use on a daily basis. If you’re buying milk from a local farmer or at the store, you are likely paying $4-5 gallon or more, BUT that’s still way cheaper than if you bought a gallon’s worth of yogurt. It’s probably half the cost or more depending on the brand. 

For more ways to save money, check out this post on How to Save Money on Food and our YouTube video on Best Places to Shop for Food


I am always a fan of learning more skills. Who doesn’t want to learn more skills? Knowing how to turn milk into yogurt is just another skill you can add to your arsenal of assets. Dairy is a part of many people’s lives and knowing skills to take it to the next level can help diversify your diet. 

Speaking of skill, goats are great animals to keep on small homesteads, so if you want to have your very own dairy source, check out how we raise goats in the woods on our 3 acre homestead


Zad had a heart attack in December 2021, and it changed our lives, as you can imagine. His heart attack was caused by plaque build up from chemo, and Covid caused a blood clot. The blood clot clogged his right artery, and it was a day that I’ll never forget – every single moment. 

So we have over 200 pounds as a family, we’ve overhauled our pantries, and we just make better choices about what we are putting into our bodies. Each day is a conscience decision to make good choices and to feed our bodies with nourishing food. 

Making your own yogurt can be a great start to that. You know exactly what is in it, and it’s a great base for so many different food preps and meals. 

You can also ferment your yogurt, and make it even healthier! 


More Homesteading Resources

If you loved this blog and video, don’t forget to subscribe to us on YouTube, and you can follow along with all our blog posts here
How to Make Yogurt from Fresh Milk

Share this post