Learn how to make homemade yogurt the easy way- in your oven! No special equipment needed. Not only is homemade yogurt delicious, it will help you save money too!
You all, I’m so excited to finally get my easy homemade yogurt recipe posted here! So many of you have emailed me or messaged me asking for it after seeing how often we enjoy it on my menu plans. And if you are one of the people waiting for me to post it…thanks for your patience!
I’ve been making homemade yogurt for at least 8 years now and we eat so much yogurt that I cringe to think how much it would cost us if we started buying store bought instead of using homemade! The thing I love about this recipe- besides that fact that it’s super cheap and saves us money- is that the method used to make the yogurt is very simple and basic. You don’t need any fancy equipment and there’s a good chance that you already own all the things that you need to get started making your first batch of homemade yogurt!
Making homemade yogurt isn’t hard, but there are a few things that are helpful to know before you get started.
You can use any type of dairy milk to make homemade yogurt, although whole milk will make the thickest, creamiest yogurt.
Yogurt for Starter
To get your milk to culture and become homemade yogurt, you will actually need to add a bit of yogurt to it. You can use regular or Greek yogurt as long as it lists “Live Active Cultures” in the ingredients. That culture is what will make the milk turn into yogurt. It’s best to use unflavored yogurt for this, although I have occasionally used vanilla flavored yogurt and it’s worked okay too.
You can actually make homemade yogurt without adding the gelatin if you want. Adding it just thickens the yogurt a bit and makes it less runny and we prefer the consistency of the yogurt with it in.
My recipe says to culture the yogurt for 8 hours. You can actually adjust that time if you prefer. Basically, you need to let it culture for at least 4 hours for it to become yogurt. The longer yogurt sits and cultures, the thicker and more tart it becomes. We love the taste and tartness of 8 hours, but feel free to play around with it. And if you are like me and put the yogurt in the oven to culture overnight while you are sleeping and you happen to sleep longer than 8 hours, stay calm- it will still be good! It just might be a bit more tart than usual!
If you are a fan of Greek yogurt, you can make yogurt using this recipe and then just strain it. Straining it will drain off the whey, leaving you with a thicker, denser Greek style yogurt. (Most people like to use cheesecloth to do the straining.) If you strain it, you’ll obviously end up with less yogurt as well as whey. If you aren’t sure what to do with the whey, Google it! There are lots of great uses for it!
Alright, are you ready to get started? Here you go!
How to Make Homemade Yogurt the Easy Way
- 2 qt. milk
- ½ c. sugar (I often use raw sugar)*
- 1 Tbsp. unflavored gelatin
- 2 heaping Tbsp. unflavored yogurt (should contain Live Active Cultures)**
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla
- Mix gelatin into ⅓ c. cold water. Let set.
- Using medium heat, heat milk to 190 degrees, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add gelatin, sugar and vanilla. Whisk well.
- Cool to 130 degrees.
- Add commercial yogurt and stir well with a wire whisk.
- Pour into 2 quart jars (or whatever containers you want to use); screw on lid.
- Set in oven close to your oven light. Turn oven light on and close the oven door. Let set for 8 to 10 hours.
- Remove from oven and refrigerate.
** Once you have some of your own homemade yogurt, you can just use that for your starter yogurt instead of the bought yogurt. I usually buy yogurt approximately every 12 times to use as starter, since it does seem that after a while the yogurt just doesn’t get quite as good.
To add flavor, stir in fruit (whole or blended), jelly, pie filling or dry flavored jello.
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