Homemade Greek Yogurt

Written by Cooking Naturally Editors on June 12th, 2011

Healthy Living, Recipes

At our home, we choose to limit our dairy intake.  We don’t drink milk, but we do eat cheese and yogurt on occasion.  We’ve found that when eaten sparingly, our tummies are spared painful side effects, we have fewer issues with congestion, etc.  However, when we do consume dairy, I make sure it’s as nutrient dense as possible.  I choose to make homemade Greek yogurt out of organic whole milk.  It’s full of fat and protein, and we only need a little to feel satisfied…  This thick and creamy yogurt can also be used as a replacement for sour cream or cream cheese, or try flavoring it with honey, fruit and vanilla for a sweet treat!  And make sure to save the whey for an extra nutrient boost in smoothies and baked goods.


  • 1/2 gallon organic whole milk
  • 1 c. organic plain Greek/Skyr yogurt
  • digital thermometer


  1. In a large pot, heat milk over medium-low heat until it reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit.  Do not bring milk to a boil!  Each stove will be different, but it takes me about 35-40 minutes with the dial turned to 2 or 3.
  2. When milk reaches 180 degrees, remove from heat and allow milk to cool between 110-120 degrees Fahrenheit.  Each house will vary in temperature, but it takes me about 1 hour and 15 minutes to cool on my counter-top.
  3. While milk is cooling, fill an empty crock pot with hot water from the tap.  Line the heating element with a dish towel and place the crock pot (filled with hot water) inside.  Place lid on top.  Do not turn on heating element!
  4. Once milk has sufficiently cooled, remove any skin that has formed on the top.  Then temper 1 c. Greek/Skyr yogurt with 1 c. of warmed milk.  Mix well, then add back in to the remaining milk and stir.
  5. Empty crock pot of warm water.  Carefully pour the mixed milk into now warm crock pot.  Replace the lid, and wrap entire heating element in a large towel to keep warm.  Do not turn on heating element (it stays unplugged the entire time)!
  6. Allow to sit for 6-8 hours in covered crock pot.
  7. After allotted time has passed, remove crock pot from heating element.  Congratulations, you now have yogurt!  Continue to the next step for Greek Yogurt.
  8. Line a large colander/strainer with a linen dish towel (not terry cloth).  Muslin works great, too.  Place colander inside a larger bowl, with sufficient room to drain whey.  You want to strain the yogurt from the whey, but you don’t want your yogurt sitting in it.  Allow to strain for 6-8 hours, or until desired consistency.
  9. Reserve 1 c. of yogurt for your next batch to save as your starter.

Note: It sounds like a long process, but it’s actually only a few minutes of actual hands-on work.  It’s mostly baby-sitting for those first couple of hours.  I make sure to start first thing in the morning.  By bedtime, my yogurt is ready for the fridge.  Make sure to take notes the first few times you make yogurt, for future reference.

Photo Credit: Author


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