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Instant Pot Vanilla Yogurt: Easy & Healthy

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This Instant Pot vanilla yogurt is extra creamy when made with the right starter culture, delicious, healthy, easy, naturally sweetened, can be made with either raw or pasteurized milk… I could go on.

homemade vanilla yogurt made in instant pot

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I adapted this recipe from a video I watched by Kate from Venison For Dinner. She was making honey vanilla yogurt using raw milk from her own family cow and I was inspired! Before this recipe, I had never tried making anything other than unsweetened yogurt. I was always worried about how added ingredients might affect the process. Not any more!

Our mini jersey cow freshened in December, and since then, I’ve been all about the homemade dairy recipes. And for good reason–we get at least 1.5 gallons of milk per day. That is less than what would come from a standard jersey, but 10-12 gallons per week is still a lot of milk to find things to do with!

I make this yogurt once a week or so. Our four boys enjoy a bowl for either breakfast or snack nearly every day. I absolutely love it plain or topped with granola. And I love knowing that it’s made with dairy from our own homestead!

Why make homemade yogurt?

Even if we didn’t have our own dairy cow, I would still a proponent of making homemade yogurt. It gives me control over knowing exactly what is in it and what process the milk has been through. It allows me to customize the fermentation time to fit our needs. I have heard that large scale manufacturers often only ferment yogurt for an hour or less, which is not enough time to get the full gut health benefits.

Another thing to consider is the cost factor. Although I personally am not currently buying milk from the grocery store right now, the fact of the matter is that a gallon of milk costs less than a gallon of yogurt. Making it at home allows you to swallow up those extra costs associated with buying already-made yogurt.

Can I make Instant Pot vanilla yogurt with raw milk?

There really is no difference in the process of making yogurt when using either raw or pasteurized milk. Many say that raw milk yogurt turns out thinner than pasteurized, but I have personally not found this to be the case. Our yogurt turns out thick and creamy every time, and I think the reason is because I use this high-quality freeze dried culture called ABY-2C. You certainly don’t have to use this culture; you can make yogurt using any high quality store-bought yogurt as starter. I just wouldn’t use a cheap brand like Dannon or Yoplait.

But, yes. You can make yogurt with raw milk just as well as you can with pasteurized!

raw milk in mason jar with flowers and farm fresh eggs in background

Can I use sweetened yogurt as a starter?

You can, as long as the yogurt has live and active cultures. I would advise against using anything that has artificial sweeteners or ingredients listed, though. The more pure, the better! But if all you have is a sweetened variety, it should work just fine!

What do I need to make yogurt in the Instant Pot?

That is literally it! It’s so simple and doesn’t require a lot of fancy equipment.

raw milk for making yogurt in instant pot insert

Steps To Make Instant Pot Vanilla Yogurt

  • Pour 6 quarts of milk into the Instant Pot insert. Since we use raw milk from our cow, I skim most of the cream off because I actually prefer the texture of the yogurt partially skimmed (plus I can use the cream for butter!). 
  • Put the lid on and press the yogurt button. Then hit adjust until you get to the “boil” setting.
  • Once the boil cycle is over (your pot should beep and blink at you), remove the lid and let the milk cool to 105-110 degrees F. Placing the pot in a sink of ice water speeds this process, if you’re in a bit of rush.
  • Skim the “skin” that forms on top of the milk and whisk in 3/4 cup honey or maple syrup, 2 tablespoons of vanilla, and whatever yogurt culture you choose to use. This could be freeze dried culture (I use 1/8-1/16 tsp of the ABY-2C) or 2 tablespoons of any yogurt. Like I said above, just be mindful of the flavoring.
  • Place insert back in the holder, put the lid on, and press the “Yogurt” button again. Then hit “Adjust” until time reads 8:00 (8 hours).
  • Once the eight hours are up, strain the yogurt for anywhere between 20 minutes and 8 hours depending on how thick you want it (8 hours usually results in a cream cheese like texture for me, but this will also depend on your culture). I personally use nut milk bags (they come in handy for SO many things when you have a dairy cow!) but you can also use regular cheesecloth or a similar fabric.
spoon dipped in homemade yogurt

Finishing and Storing Instant Pot Vanilla Yogurt

After the yogurt is strained, I like to dump it into a large bowl and whisk well to remove any clumps. This isn’t a requirement for making yogurt, but it produces a much smoother final product. Adding this extra step is well worth it, in my opinion!

When you’re done, pour the yogurt into wide mouth quart mason jars and store in the fridge. I like to label the tops of my jars with wet erase markers because it washes off easily. Your yogurt should stay good in the fridge for at least 2-3 weeks.

Tiffany is a mama to four boys, second generation homeschooler, and college graduate with degrees in both music and business. Now, she is a natural living and homestead enthusiast who loves gardening and raising chickens, pigs, and cows. A lifelong believer in Jesus, she has a burning desire to bring Him glory in everything she does. A worship leader and musician, she also loves to write songs and play the piano in what spare time she finds.

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5 from 1 vote

Instant Pot Vanilla Yogurt

Creamy, easy, healthy vanilla yogurt made easily right in your Instant Pot with either raw or pasteurized milk.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time8 hours 30 minutes
Total Time8 hours 40 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy breakfast, instant pot, raw milk
Servings: 4 quarts
Calories: 1090kcal


  • 6 quarts milk
  • 3/4 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp yogurt starter (any yogurt) see notes


  • Pour milk into the Instant Pot insert and put the lid on. Press "Yogurt" and hit "Adjust" until the indicator says "boil"
  • Let the boil cycle run. Once it's over, the pot will beep and blink. Remove the lid and let the milk cool to 105-110 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Skim the “skin” that forms on top of the milk and whisk in honey and vanilla.
  • Add yogurt starter and stir in both circles and up and down to thoroughly distribute.
  • Place insert back in the holder, put the lid on, and press the “Yogurt” button again. Then hit “Adjust” until time reads 8:00 (8 hours).
  • Once the eight hours are up, strain the yogurt for anywhere between 20 minutes and 8 hours depending on how thick you want it.
  • Dump the strained yogurt into a large bowl and whisk very well to remove any clumps.
  • Pour the finished yogurt into wide mouth jars and store in the fridge up to 2-3 weeks.


You can substitute fresh yogurt culture for 1/16-1/8 tsp freeze dried starter culture such as ABY2C.
Calorie count is per quart.

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  1. I was gifted with gallons (like 6 and i froze 2 of them) of pasteurized whole milk and i needed to find ways to use it. I don’t tolerate drinking plain milk (my stomach is not happy with me if i do) but love all things cheese and yogurt. i am making this right now and hopefully can update the yogurts success, by following your recipe. Thank you for sharing this. I had to scour the internet to find a recipe that didn’t “DEMAND” ultra pasteurized milk.

      1. hi ! I m halfing the recipe because 6 quarts is almost 2 gallons of milk and thats too much yogurt for our 2 person household. i hope that the cooking instructions don’t change. im cooking it right now as we spent all night last night, prepping other veggies and meal making and i didnt have the energy to make anything else.

  2. Just made this and I followed the recipe exactly other than I used about 4 quarts instead of 6. After I hours it is still really liquidy like it was to start with. I’m going to try it for another 8 hours, maybe put 2 tbsp of a different yogurt I have if it would even make a difference.

    1. Hi there! I’m not sure how many hours you’ve had it incubating. What type of starter culture did you use? A different yogurt as a starter may help–make sure it has as few added ingredients as possible and is labeled as having live and active cultures.

  3. When straining the yogurt after it’s finished, do you do that at room temp if you want to do it closer to 8 hours? Or would it be best if done in the fridge?

  4. I don’t want to heat milk up to a boiling point because I want the enzymes to stay in the milk otherwise I get sick… can I do this without boiling the milk?