Homemade Plain Greek Yogurt

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Learning how to make Greek yogurt at home is simple with this easy homemade Greek yogurt recipe. Start by making homemade yogurt by heating milk, combining with a little bit of already-cultured yogurt and letting it sit in a warm spot until the milk turns into yogurt. Making protein-rich Greek yogurt takes one more step than making regular yogurt: straining the yogurt to thicken it. You can add the leftover liquid—also known as whey—to smoothies, or you can use it in place of buttermilk in baking.

Homemade Plain Greek Yogurt
photographer: Helen Norman
Nutritionist Tested & Approved

Time: 1080 minutes (40 minutes prep)

  • 4 cups nonfat or low-fat milk

  • 1/4 cup nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt

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

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

  3. 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.

  4. Line a large fine-mesh sieve with 2 layers of cheesecloth and place over a large bowl. Spoon the cooled yogurt into the cheesecloth, cover and refrigerate for 8 to 24 hours, depending on how thick you want it.

There are a few ways to create a very warm (about 110°F) environment for making yogurt. 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.

Nutritional Facts

Serving Size
1 cup
8 g
1 g
Saturated Fat
0 g
23 g
11 mg
Dietary Fiber
0 g
317 mg
81 mg
2 servings
Vitamin B12
28% daily value
25% dv

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1 reply

Chuck Fisher
Chuck Fisher 2015-04-23 23:30:49 -0500 Report

You can purchase greek yogurt culture, which will make this authentic greek style yogurt. I buy fat-free Greek yogurt in the supermarket. Notice that I did not say "Greek style". The brand I use has no added sugar and is higher in protein than "regular" yogurt.