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Learning how to make yogurt at home is simple with this easy homemade yogurt recipe. To make homemade yogurt, heat milk, combine with a little bit of already-cultured yogurt and let it sit in a warm spot until the milk turns into yogurt. If you want to keep making your own homemade yogurt, save some of the last batch to help start the next batch of yogurt.

EatingWell Magazine, March/April 2014; updated November 2022

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What You'll Need To Make Plain Yogurt

Making your own yogurt is easier than you might expect. For this recipe, you'll need: 4 cups of low-fat or nonfat milk and 1/4 cup low-fat or nonfat yogurt. Your homemade yogurt will take on the flavor of the plain yogurt you use in the recipe, so make sure it's one you like! You will also need a 5- to 8-cup container with lid and a thermometer.

How To Keep Your Yogurt Warm For Fermenting

In order for the live active cultures (bacteria) to multiply and transform the milk to yogurt, you will need to keep the mixture in a warm environment (about 110°F) for 8-12 hours before it hits the fridge. There are a few ways to do this:

Oven Method

Turn your oven on to 200° for about 5 minutes, then turn it off. Add the towel-wrapped container of yogurt and if you have an oven light, turn it on for added warmth.

Cooler Method

Place a hot water bottle (or other small container) filled with very hot water alongside the towel-wrapped container in a small cooler.

Heating Pad Method

Wrap a heating pad set to High around the towel-wrapped container.

How Long Does Homemade Plain Yogurt Last?

Refrigerate yogurt in a covered container for up to 1 week.

Additional reporting by Hilary Meyer 

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Heat milk in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until it is steaming, barely bubbling and registers 180 degrees F on an instant-read or candy thermometer. (Do not leave unattended--it can boil over very quickly.)

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  • Carefully pour the milk into a clean, heat-safe 5- to 8-cup container. Let stand, stirring frequently, until cooled to 110 degrees F. Combine yogurt with 1/2 cup of the 110 degrees milk in a small bowl, then stir the mixture back into the warm milk.

  • Cover the container and wrap in a clean kitchen towel to help keep it warm. Place in a very warm place (see Tip) and let stand, undisturbed, until thickened and tangy, at least 8 hours and up to 12 hours. Refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours. The yogurt will thicken a bit more in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup
137 calories; protein 14g; carbohydrates 19g; sugars 19g; potassium 625mg; sodium 189mg.
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