Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe – Cold Start Method

Today I’m sharing an Instant Pot yogurt recipe that’s incredibly simple. This is a fail-proof recipe with just three ingredients; milk, Greek yogurt as your starter, and a vanilla bean.

You can put this cold start yogurt to use in so many ways- from your breakfast bowls and smoothies to your curries and even dessert!

Whether you love making homemade foods from scratch or just want to play with your Instant Pot, here’s a quick and easy recipe you just can’t go wrong with!

And how do you get started? Keep reading to find out!

Small mason jars of homemade yogurt made in an Instant Pot

Ingredients Needed for the Instant Pot Cold Start Yogurt

Making Instant Pot yogurt is actually pretty easy!

You’ll need-

  • 1.5 liters of ultra pasteurized or ultra filtered milk. (I prefer using ultra-filtered milk from Fairlife milk brand which is a processed in a way that removes most of the sugars. How great is that!
  • Plain Greek yogurt. Pick your favorite brand that you like to eat. You will need to look at the ingredients list and make sure it has live cultures. Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus are most common cultures. I like Fage since it isn’t packed with sugar.
  • 1 sliced vanilla bean or 3 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
Homemade yogurt in small Mason jars.

The Easiest Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe

When it comes to making yogurt from scratch, you’ll usually find two methods – the boil method and the cold start method.

Here, I’m focusing on the cold start method which makes use of ultra filtered milk.

  • Start by taking 2 tablespoons of your plain yogurt, and mix it with the milk in an Instant Pot.
  • Whisk it for a couple of minutes until the yogurt is fully incorporated.
  • Add the sliced vanilla bean or vanilla extract and give it a good mix.
  • Place the lid on the Instant Pot. Place the valve in the seal mode and turn it on on the yogurt setting. The Instant Pot automatically will set at the right temperature. We need a warm environment This setting will incubate between 108°F – 112°F, which is the setting yogurt bacteria needs to grow properly.
  • Leave it undisturbed for 8 hours. That’s it!
Yogurt parfait in a clear glass with homemade vanilla yogurt.

What’s the Difference Between Pasteurized and Ultra-Pasteurized Milk?

The simplest difference between pasteurized and ultra pasteurized milk is the temperature that they’re heated up to.

The normal process of pasteurization might miss out on killing some bacteria, but ultra pasteurization makes sure that it doesn’t happen. Think of it as being almost sterile.

In general, ultra pasteurized milk lasts up to 3 times longer than regular pasteurized milk does. On the downside, this milk doesn’t retain that fresh, farm-like flavor, and lacks those good bacteria as well.

Parfait made with homemade yogurt in an Instant Pot.

What is Ultra-Filtered Milk?

Ultra filtered milk is basically a fancy name for milk that has been filtered in pretty much the same way water is filtered.

The milk is passed through a thin, porous membrane under pressure, which helps remove the natural water and sugars, leaving behind the other components of the milk.

You’ll most certainly find this milk to have a more creamy and rich texture and flavor, and it packs in more protein and calcium too!

Can I use low fat milk to make yogurt?

Yes! You can use low fat milk and any other fat content in milk that suits your preference in an Instant Pot. Note that full fat milk will give you a thicker yogurt.

How Do I Store Instant Pot Yogurt?

Storing Instant Pot yogurt isn’t rocket science. Do it pretty much the same way you’d store your regular yogurt.

Place it in a clean bowl or container (preferably an airtight one) in the back of your fridge, where it can consistently stay cool and maintain its shelf life for a longer duration.

Yogurt parfait layered with granola with eggs and sweet potato mash.

Serving Ideas & Suggestions

Consider using that fresh homemade yogurt to add to your brunch menu, and take it up a notch with some fresh toppings.

You can top that bowl of homemade yogurt with a nice topping like Sugar Free Strawberry Topping or Blueberry Sauce.

And if you’re in the mood for a hit of citrusy flavors, try this Sugar Free Lemon Curd topped with fresh whipped cream!

Looking for a complete menu? Add these foods (pictured above):

  • Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl – chicken sausage with apple and onion. A little bit naturally sweet. Packed with fiber for a filling meal.
  • Sour Cream & Chives Egg Cups – so creamy and flavorful. Make these in advance and warm up for your brunch just before serving.
  • Homemade Granola Recipe – This is another great topping to add to homemade yogurt – crunch texture is a nice contrast to creamy yogurt. This is made with gluten free oats, nuts, and coconut.
A spoonful of homemade yogurt topped with granola.
Small mason jars of homemade yogurt made in an Instant Pot

Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe – Cold Start Method

Creamy homemade vanilla yogurt made in an Instant Pot using a cold stat method. Delicious on its own, but can also be used in recipes including desserts!
4.72 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade Yogurt, Instant Pot Yogurt, Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Additional Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 8 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 10 Servings
Calories: 24kcal
Author: Sandra Shaffer


  • 1.5 litre 52 ounces ultra-filtered milk
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt plain
  • 1 vanilla bean or 3 teaspoons vanilla extract optional


  • Pour milk into the stainless steel inner pot.
  • Add Greek yogurt and whisk until well incorporated.
  • Spit vanilla bean with a sharp knife and scrape bean paste into the milk. Stir. Add vanilla bean or vanilla extract.
  • Place lid on the Instant Pot and close valve.
  • Push yogurt mode.
  • Once complete (after 8 hours), open lid and remove vanilla bean. Cover and refrigerate.


Use full fat milk for the thickest consistency.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 24kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 20mg


Please note that the nutritional information provided are guidelines and may vary based on the brand of products used. For your specific nutritional goals use My Fitness Pal or Verywell Fit recipe calculators. All content within this site is not intended as medical diagnosis or treatment and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical expertise.


Homemade yogurt made in an Instant Pot. Easy three ingredient recipe. #InstantPot #yogurt #HomemadeYogurt
Hugs Sandra Signature

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One Comment

  1. My kids loved your instant pot yogurt. I have been mixing some fruits and chocolate chips as my kids want.