Learn how to make homemade yogurt in your oven, no special equipment needed. It’s super easy and delicious and will save you money too!
There are affiliate links in this post. If you use these links, I may earn a commission- please read my full disclosure policy.
You all, I’m so excited to finally show you all how to make homemade yogurt from scratch! So many of you have emailed me or messaged me asking for my easy homemade yogurt recipe after seeing 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 of it 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 for the yogurt making process 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!
Yogurt Making Tips
Making homemade yogurt isn’t difficult, 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 (including raw milk!), although whole milk will produce the thickest, creamiest yogurt.
YOGURT FOR THE 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 or on the container. 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 tarter 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’s my easy step-by-step process to make yogurt!
Super Easy Homemade Yogurt (made in the oven)
Super Easy Homemade Yogurt (made in the oven!)
- 2 qt. milk
- 1/2 c. sugar*
- 1 Tbsp. unflavored gelatin
- 2 Tbsp. (heaping) unflavored yogurt** (must contain Live Active Cultures)
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla
- Mix gelatin into 1/3 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.
- Place in oven close to the oven light. Turn oven light on and close the oven door. Let set for 8 to 10 hours.
- Remove from oven and refrigerate.
To add flavor, stir in fruit (whole or blended), jelly, pie filling or dry flavored jello.
PIN IT FOR LATER:
I haven’t made yet because I have a question. I use lactose free milk as it seems to digest better. Can I use lactose-free 2% milk for this recipe?
Cindy, I don’t have any experience using lactose-free milk. So I did a bit of Googling and got conflicting information. Some places said that it works fine to use lactose-free milk to make yogurt and others said it won’t work well. So I’m not sure what to tell you! Perhaps you could try making just a half recipe to see what you think? I did see somewhere that it seemed like letting the yogurt sit for at least 10-12 hours (step 7) does help make it turn out better.
I’m making this for the second time now. The first time turned out great! The best part is being able to start off with the specific brand of yogurt we like best. The result tasted exactly the same. Saves us a ton of plastic waste and money. They only other yogurt I could get in glass jars cost $6 / quart! Even though I’m buying expensive milk in glass jars at $5 for a half gallon, it still cuts my cost to $2.50 per quart. Less than half the cost. We’re saving over $30 a month on yogurt, not to mention all the extra waste avoided.
Our oven light is in the side corner. Since I want the yogurt in several small jars, it meant that some jars were closer to the right and got more “done” than others. Later I found the “bread proofing” trick online. The bread proof setting keeps the oven right at 100 degrees F. I’m trying that this time. Wanted to share in case anyone else has a funky oven light.
As a note, I made it completely plain with no additives since that’s what we usually buy from the store.
Thank you for the great recipe!
Mia, thanks so much for taking the time to comment and rate this recipe! I’m so happy to hear that it’s helping you save money and reduce waste! And I never knew there was a bread proofing setting on ovens. Good to know! Hopefully, that will help out other readers too!
We usually eat fat free yoghurt and need to avoid the processed sugar. Have you tried making fat free yoghurt without sugar using this method?
It definitely wouldn’t be fat free, but you can easily make this recipe without the sugar if you prefer that.
This is such a great recipe! It is easy, simple and delicious. I love that the yogurt has the same consistency as store bought yogurt. Thanks for sharing!!!!
Thanks for the feedback, Katie! So happy to hear that you love it. And yes, the consistency of this yogurt is one of the big things that sold me on it too!
I love your yogurt! There’s always some in my fridge. 🙂
So glad you like it, Laura! A permanent place in your fridge is high flattery. 🙂
We’ve been making this for about 4 months. Saved at least $50 a month in greek yogurt expenses. We accidentally changed the recipe and it has worked consistently. We add the sugar and gelatin with no water at the beginning. Then when it cools, we add the starter yogurt and the vanilla. So far, it turns out great and is just a little thicker. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/666462444835257013/
So glad to hear that you all have been enjoying this Kim! And that’s some impressive yogurt savings too. Don’t you love when you find an easy way to make your own favorites for so much less? Thanks too for the tip about sugar and gelatin. I always assumed that it would stick the bottom of the pot and cause it to burn. Interesting that you haven’t had that happen!