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I’ve been making homemade yogurt in my Instant Pot weekly for a few years now – ever since I first got my Instant Pot and saw it had a yogurt feature. My mom used to make yogurt when I was a kid, but she had to make it in the oven. It is so much easier in the Instant Pot! I have spent the last few years tweaking and perfecting my method to get the most flavorsome, thick, and creamy vanilla bean yogurt.

Cooking healthy, flavorsome food is something I’ve always been passionate about. And although this blog has been focused mostly on STEAM for Kids lately, I wanted to share a few of my healthy recipes here too. This came about by popular request on my Instagram page after I shared some of the food I was making in my Stories.

I don’t think sharing healthy family-friendly recipes is too off-topic because there is lots of STEAM involved in cooking: following directions, measuring and counting ingredients, temperature readings, and problem solving when things go wrong. These are recipes your kids can help you make. When my kids help me cook they enjoy eating the food more. Its always a win for me when I can get my kids to eat healthy food without complaining. 🙂

Kitchen Tools Needed:


  • 1/2 gallon whole milk (I use organic)
  • 1 vanilla bean (I’ve purchased the vanilla beans linked here on Amazon, and I also have bought great quality organic vanilla beans at Costco)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon yogurt (I use plain organic Greek yogurt for my starter – or my last batch of homemade yogurt when I’m making it weekly)


  1. Pour the milk into the Instant Pot bowl and secure the lid.
  1. Press the Yogurt button until it says “boil”.
  1. When the Instant Pot beeps that the boil cycle is complete, remove the lid and stir the milk with a whisk.
  1. Use a kitchen thermometer to check the temperature of the milk. It should be at least 180 deg F.
  1. Press the Yogurt button to start a second boil cycle, this time leaving off the lid. This step is optional if your milk is already greater than 180 deg F, but I like to do the second cycle without the lid to evaporate some extra water, which I think helps thicken the yogurt.
  1. When the second cycle is complete, remove the Instant Pot inner bowl from the Instant Pot, and put on a coaster or stove grates to cool to 110 deg F.
  1. While the milk is cooling, use the paring knife to slice open the vanilla bean pod and scrape out the seeds.
  1. Whisk the vanilla bean seeds and the pod into the pot of hot milk.
  1. It will take up to an hour to cool the milk from 180 to 110 deg F when sitting at room temperature. If you want to cool it quicker, place the bowl in a sink filled with cold water. Be sure to dry the outside of the bowl completely when you remove it from the water.
Filling my sink to make a cold water bath.
The temp drops quickly in the cold water bath, so keep an eye on it so it doesn’t go too far below 110 deg F.
Dry the outside of the pot with a towel.
  1. When the milk is down to 110 deg F, remove the vanilla bean pods, then pour 1 cup of the milk into the measuring cup.
  1. Add 1 heaping tablespoon yogurt to the 1 cup of milk, and whisk until well combined.
  1. Whisk the milk/yogurt mixture back into the large pot of milk.
  1. Place the inner pot back in the Instant Pot and cover with the lid.
  1. Press the Yogurt button until it shows a time (not the boil setting) and normal pressure. Adjust the time to 11 hours. You can set the yogurt for anywhere from 8 to 12+ hours. I’ve experimented with pretty much every hour interval from 8 to 12 hours, and I’ve found I like my yogurt best at 11 hours, but feel free to experiment and see what time you prefer. The longer the yogurt sets, the easier it is on your tummy – for those sensitive to dairy.
Initial settings
Once it starts the timer goes to zero
The time counts up from 0 to 11 hours
  1. When the Instant Pot beeps that the cycle is complete, remove the inner pot from the Instant Pot.
The screen says “yogt” when the time is complete
The finished yogurt in the Instant Pot
  1. Pour the yogurt into the nut bag, using a spatula to scrape all the vanilla beans off the bottom and into the bag (you don’t want to loose any of that goodness!).
This is the same nut bag I’ve used since I started making yogurt.
You need two hands to do this, so I couldn’t photograph this well. 😉
Don’t forget to scrape the good stuff off the bottom of the pot with a spatula.
  1. Tie the bag on an upper cabinet with a bowl below and let the extra liquid drain for 30 minutes to 3 hours. I usually leave it for at least 2 hours.
Photo taken immediately after hanging the bag.
Photo taken after hanging for 2 hours.
This is all the extra liquid that drained out.
  1. With clean hands, squeeze the yogurt from the nut bag into a storage container. Stir the yogurt well to evenly distribute the vanilla beans and store in the refrigerator.
My storage container is filled to the brim with yummy yogurt!
Make sure to stir the yogurt to evenly distribute all the vanilla bean seeds.

This yogurt isn’t sweet – mine typically is slightly tart with a rich vanilla flavor. If you like sweet yogurt you’ll have to add some pure maple syrup or honey to sweeten it before eating. My kids love eating it with maple syrup poured on top. I love the rich vanilla flavor the vanilla beans provide and I don’t miss the sweetness because I usually eat it with my morning bowl of maple muesli (recipe coming soon), or in a smoothie.

My daily breakfast! Lots of fresh seasonal fruit, homemade maple muesli, and homemade vanilla bean yogurt – Yum!

I love this thick, creamy yogurt with a rich vanilla flavor so much that I make it weekly! I hope you give it a try and enjoy it just as much as my family does!

What did you think of this recipe? Would you like to see more healthy family-friendly recipes like this on my blog?


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