Thick, Creamy Homemade Yogurt

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Thick and creamy homemade yogurt requires just two ingredients and a bit of patience. If I’d understood how simple it really is to make your own yogurt, I would have tried this years ago.

Thick, Creamy Homemade Yogurt recipe

My kids are in heaven with the abundance of yogurt in our refrigerator lately and they’ve been eating it almost every day. Layered into a bowl with chunks of fruit and a sprinkling of fresh granola, this has become one of our favorite breakfasts.

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Over the past few years, I’ve made a lot of things from scratch that I used to buy from the store. From salad dressings to spice mixes, ketchup, mayonnaise, salsas, syrups, peanut butter and jams.

There is an entire shelf in our refrigerator filled from jars of sauces, spreads, and dips that I used to buy from the store and I now make at home.

Thick, Creamy Homemade Yogurt recipe

Once you’ve shaken together a jar of your own salad dressing, it’s a slippery delicious slope towards making your own barbecue sauces and marinades.

Next thing you know you’ll be trying your hand at yogurt! (This yogurt is so thick and scoop-able, I can turn the jars over without spilling a drop of yogurt.)

My sister started making yogurt for her family a few months ago and she told me countless times that yogurt was one of the easiest things ever to make. Then, a couple months ago, I was chatting with my friend Rebecca and I told her I was thinking about buying a yogurt maker.

Thick, Creamy Homemade Yogurt recipe

She told me to try making the yogurt in my dehydrator first. (I had completely forgotten that was an option with the dehydrator I already had.) Thanks to them both for the encouragement, I’ve been making yogurt every week for a while now.

If you do not have a dehydrator or a yogurt maker, there are a number of alternative methods. You can use your ovena crock-pot, a heating pad or plate, a warm spot in the house, even an electric blanket!

I usually double or quadruple this recipe and make ½ a gallon to a full gallon of yogurt at a time.

Thick, Creamy Homemade Yogurt recipe

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Thick, Creamy Homemade Yogurt

5 from 3 votes


  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon yogurt *
  • Optional stir-ins: maple syrup honey, jams, jellies, vanilla extract


  • Bring the milk to 190 degrees over medium heat, remove from the heat and allow the milk to cool to 110 degrees, this takes from 30-45 minutes in my kitchen most of the time. Stir in the yogurt. Pour through a strainer into a pitcher and pour into jars.
  • Place in the dehydrator for 10 hours at 105 degrees. Alternatively, the yogurt can be finished in a yogurt maker for 8 hours. (Process according to the manufacturer's directions.) At the end of the warming time, chill in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
  • If your jars have a little bit of whey (or watery liquid) in the top, just stir it into the finished yogurt right before eating. Sweeten to taste with honey, maple syrup, fruit jams or jellies. I like to add a tiny splash of vanilla extract as well. Enjoy!
  • * You really do not need more yogurt than a tablespoon per quart of milk. The more yogurt you add, the more tangy the resulting yogurt will be. Additional yogurt won't thicken the yogurt more, it will simply affect the flavor.
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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Nancy A says

    I would love to try this in my dehydrator! What kind of yogurt do you use? I wondered if there is a difference in the kind you add.

    • Mary says

      I've used all different kinds of plain unsweetened yogurt, Nancy. Greek, European, plain generic yogurts, as long as it has live cultures listed in the ingredients and not a whole bunch of other things, it will work!

    • Shannon Mathew says

      Yes, that's right, you can use any plain yogurt that has live cultures. Whole milk yogurt does better.and has no additives. I make my yogurt in my pure clay pot. Turns out thick naturally because the breathable pot lets just the water evaporate. I got mine from Miriams earthen cookware (online).

  2. Velva says

    Holy cow! I did not realize it was so easy. You may have just inspired me.

    You are absolutely right about making homemade products especially salad dressings. It would never occur to me at this point to purchase bottled dressing.

    Great post. Thanks for sharing.


    • Mary says

      It should be fine for several days, Debra. We go through it fast though, so I don't think we've ever tested it past that. Enjoy!

  3. Yasaman N Lee says

    How can the yogurt be made thicker? Shall I remove the water that forms on the top once it’s all done?5 stars

  4. Polly Richards says

    Thanks for this recipe, I have been so frustrated in the past trying to make homeade yoghurt and when I found yours, I am so glad I did, it’s really good!!5 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      Hi Linda, without being in your kitchen with you, I can’t really guess what went wrong. Are you using a dehydrator? or a yogurt maker? You’re using whole milk and a tablespoon of regular yogurt, right? Are you trying with just those things? or adding in additional ingredients for different flavors?