Homemade Yogurt In the Instant Pot (cold start method)

April 02, 2019

I love a good yogurt and when I found out that I could make it in my Instant Pot I was so excited! There are a few different methods for making this yogurt but I opted for this option because it is so easy and the consistency and texture of the yogurt is so creamy and light. My kids love to eat it for dessert or an afternoon snack. We add lots of healthy toppings like almond butter, chia seeds, and my homemade granola recipe. It is so good, I can't wait for you to try this!

The cold start method is so easy, and only takes a few ingredients to get going. I always choose the organic brands of milk to ensure that their aren't any added hormones or fillers in the yogurt. Let me share a few tips that I learned along the way.

1. Use an organic milk with more fat in it. I used a grass-fed, organic whole milk. It's also suggested that the milk be ultra-pasteurized. Just a reminder to always just check the ingredients and make sure the only ingredient is organic milk.

I did try this recipe with raw milk and it didn't set up right, for milks that are raw or for 1% or 2% milks you will want to use the method where you heat the milk up to 180 degrees and then add your cultures. Heating the milk ensures that no bacteria gets into the yogurt but if you get the ultra-pasteurized organic milk then that process has already been done for you. Here is a picture of the ingredients I used.

2. You'll want to use something that has live active cultures in it. This is what makes it yogurt, those live active cultures are really good for your gut and can keep your immune system in check. The best tip I have is to buy a small organic yogurt that you like from the store. Check the labels on these to make sure that it only has organic milk and live active cultures. Some brands of yogurt have lots of fillers and loads of sugar in them. So keep it basic and check labels always!

I liked the taste of this Simple Truth organic greek yogurt so I just added the whole thing to my instant pot with the milk.

I also experimented with just the cultures from Cultures For Health and the yogurt just did not set up right. It was very runny and never set right in the fridge so again I recommend you use the live cultures from the small yogurt at the store.

3. For extra creaminess in your yogurt add the heavy cream. This ingredient isn't necessary for the yogurt but it sure does make it extra creamy. Make sure the heavy cream is ultra-pasteurized as well.

4. The maple syrup and vanilla yogurt give it a little sweetness and flavor. These ingredients are optional as well but make a big difference. You can also wait until after your yogurt has incubated to add a sweetener to it like raw honey or monk-fruit sweetener.

5. The incubation time in your Instant Pot is really important. This allows the yogurt to actually become yogurt, keeping it at the perfect temperature. If you like your yogurt to be more tart then let it incubate in the Instant Pot for longer then 10 hours. If you don't want it to be that tart then incubate it for at least 8-9 hours. I incubated mine for 10 hours and it was just right for me.

6. You can use a cheesecloth to strain the yogurt after it has been refrigerated but that is optional as well. If you like a more "Greek like" yogurt then I would recommend straining it with a cheesecloth for about an hour. I prefer it a little more runny so I skipped this step.

These are the tips that helped me to make the best yogurt, if you're looking for a dairy-version you are in luck! Keep scrolling down to check out the recipe for a coconut milk, dairy free version in the instant pot as well.

RECIPE Homemade Yogurt In the Instant Pot

(cold start method)


4 cups organic whole milk (ultra-pasteurized)

1 cup organic heavy cream (optional-makes it extra creamy)

1 small packaged organic yogurt with live active cultures (see picture below)

2 TBSP organic maple syrup

½ TBSP vanilla extract


  1. Start by pouring your organic whole milk inside of your instant pot. Now add your heavy cream. The heavy cream is optional but it makes it so creamy I like to add it if I have it on hand.

  2. Now add your mini cup of yogurt. This is basically any brand of yogurt that has live active cultures in it. You’ll want to always check the back of the labels to make sure it doesn’t have any fillers and to make sure it says that it has "live active cultures." Add to your milk mixture and whisk until incorporated.

  3. Close the lid on your IP and push the “yogurt” function again until it’s set to “normal” push the + sign until it says 10 hours. It counts up and will beep when it’s all done and say "YOGT"

  4. When it’s all done in the IP, remove and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Stick in the refrigerator to set for about 8-10 hours. Enjoy with some fresh fruit or granola, chia seeds or even some fresh jam!

*Use organic ingredients when feasible


* I like to use the heavy cream in this recipe because it helps give the yogurt a more creamy texture.

If you need a dairy-free version then keep scrolling, the recipe is below.


Coconut Milk Yogurt In the Instant Pot



2 cans full fat coconut milk

2 1/2 tsp unflavored grass-fed gelatin

1 ½ TBSP maple syrup

1 packet live active cultures-I used these

or you 1 small packaged organic yogurt with live active cultures in it from the grocery store


  1. Start by pouring your canned coconut milk into a saucepan with your unflavored gelatin, whisk the gelatin into the milk and turn on to medium heat so the gelatin can dissolve into the coconut milk. It’s important to just leave it on medium heat so it doesn’t boil over the pan and make a mess.

  2. Heat the mixture (stir occasionally, but don’t walk away) until it reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit-use a thermometer to help you with this step.

  3. Remove from the heat and add your maple syrup, stir until incorporated.

  4. Wait until the thermometer reaches 110 degrees or less and then add your live-active cultures. Wisk together in the mixture vigorously.

  5. Pour mixture into glass mason jars and put them into your Instant Pot. Or you can just leave in your instant pot if you want. I just used mason jars so it would be convenient to put them in the fridge afterwards. Close the lid and push the “yogurt” function on your IP, push the + sign until it says 10 hours. It counts up and will beep when it’s all done.

  6. When it’s all done in the IP, remove and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Stick in the refrigerator to set for about 8-10 hours. Enjoy with some fresh fruit or granola, chia seeds or even some fresh jam.

*Use organic ingredients when feasible


*Always use full-fat coconut milk for this recipe. The fat will help the mixture to set better.

*If you don’t have a yogurt starter or live active cultures you can always just buy a small yogurt packet-just make sure it contains live-active cultures.

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