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Bowl of homemade yogurt with a spoon and dates and walnuts

Homemade Yogurt without Fancy Equipment!

Summer Yule
Did you know that you can make homemade yogurt without purchasing a special yogurt maker and without powder yogurt starter? Get DIY instructions here!

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 9 hrs
Total Time 10 hrs
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 150 kcal


  • 4 cups lactose-free whole milk (or unsweetened milk of choice)
  • 2 tablespoons plain, unsweetened yogurt with live, active cultures (regular or Greek yogurt is fine)


  • Important! Please read the post accompanying this recipe before you begin. It contains essential equipment and food safety information that you do not want to miss.
  • Set a 4-cup wide-mouth canning jar (plus jar lid and rim) upright on a rack in a tall pot. Add other equipment that will touch the food (metal whisk, tablespoon, etc.).
  • Fill the pot with water so that all of the equipment is completely submerged. The jar should be filled with water, with no air bubbles. The water level should be at least one inch above the top of the jar.
  • Heat the filled pot. Boil the equipment for 10 minutes at lower altitudes. At higher elevations,
    boil one additional minute for each additional 1,000 feet.
  • Remove all equipment from the pot using tongs and let cool to room temperature. Warning: failure to let the equipment cool sufficiently will result in a failed batch of yogurt! Sterilization information from https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_01/sterile_jars.html
  • Heat the milk in a small pot to 180°F (82°C), whisking frequently. Use a candy thermometer to keep a careful eye on the temperature. Take the milk off of the heat when it reaches 180°F (82°C).
  • Let the milk cool to the 100-110°F (37.8-43.3°C) range. Keep an eye on your candy thermometer to ensure the milk does not get too cool. You can speed this process along by submerging the base of the pot in a shallow bowl of ice water.
  • Remove 1 cup of warm milk from the pot and whisk the 2 tablespoons of yogurt in. When the milk returns to a smooth consistency, whisk the 1 cup back into the pot.
  • Pour your milk/yogurt mixture into the 4-cup wide-mouth canning jar. (The milk should still be in the 100-110°F/37.8-43.3°C range.) Put the lid and rim on the jar.
  • Wrap the jar in a heating pad set to 110°F (43.3°C). (You may be able to find out which setting this is for your heating pad online.) Make sure that any auto-off settings on the pad are disabled.
  • Place the heating pad-wrapped jar in a cooler. This will help to maintain the consistent temperature needed to make yogurt.
  • Leave this set up alone for 8-12 hours. A longer incubation period will result in tangier yogurt. (I let mine incubate for 9 hours.) It should still be in the 100°-110°F (37.8-43.3°C) range at the end of the incubation period.
  • After 8-12 hours, make sure that the milk has thickened into yogurt. If it still looks like milk, you should throw the batch out and start again. Remember the food safety adage, "when in doubt, throw it out."
  • If everything looks good, pop the jar in the fridge to let it cool and thicken overnight (8-12 hours).
  • Makes four 1-cup servings of delicious yogurt. Enjoy!


This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). Plain yogurt is perfect as a snack or incorporated into a meal. If you want to keep your snack under 100 calories, stick to ½ cup portion. You could also lighten things up by using low-fat or skim milk, though that will change the consistency of the finished product.
I used lactose-free milk, but you can make yogurt with lactose-containing milk if preferred. Other dairy milk and soy milk will work as well. Making your own yogurt is a great way to obtain products not available in stores that fit your dietary needs.


Calories: 150kcal
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