Instead of store-bought yogurt, try making your own. This yogurt is creamy, smooth, delicious, and straightforward to make. This recipe does not require a yogurt maker to create and is a traditional family recipe shared with me by a special friend.

Servings: Makes approximately 4 cups of yogurt


  • 1 quart of whole or skim pasteurized milk (not ultra-pasteurized)
  • 1/2 cup of half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup of starter (the starter is old lebbing that you saved from making it the time before or can be plain Greek yogurt from the store) 
Ingredients for Homemade Yogurt
  1. Combine milk and half-and-half in a 2-quart saucepot. Boil on medium-high heat until the temperature reaches 185 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Place the pan in a sink filled with cold water. The cold water should reach at least halfway up the 2-quart saucepan to cool the milk mixture. 
  3. Stir until the temperature of the yogurt liquid is 115 degrees Fahrenheit or a little less. The temperature is critical to creating the necessary bacteria to thicken the yogurt.
  4. Put the starter in a small bowl and add three tablespoons of the warm mixture.  
  5. Add the starter mixture to the warm mixture in the saucepot and stir.
  6. Cover the saucepot with a lid. Take a large bath towel folded in half and place a pot holder in the center of the towel. Place the covered saucepan on the pot holder and wrap the saucepan tightly.
  7. Let sit wrapped up for 12-15 hours at room temperature. Your home’s temperature will determine the time for the mixture to gel. After eight hours, I occasionally check to see if the yogurt mixture is ready. Once it has thickened, move it to the refrigerator.
  8. If you plan to add flavoring:  Before adding flavoring, remove a 1/2 cup of unflavored yogurt to use as a starter for your next batch of yogurt.  Then flavor the remaining yogurt as desired.
  9. Enjoy the remaining yogurt with vanilla extract (1/2 teaspoon to one cup), fresh or dried fruit, nut butter, walnuts, pistachios, almonds, etc.
Combining Ingredients for Homemade Yogurt
Heating Ingredients for Homemade Lebbing
Checking the temperature of Homemade Yogurt
Wrapped Homemade Yogurt

This creamy yogurt pairs well with our Easy Honey Oat Bread.

Chef Yvonne Dwyer

Recipe compliments of OPL Master Naturalist and Home Chef Yvonne Dwyer

OPL Plant-rich Recipes

Eating more fruits and vegetables is good for you and the planet.  Find more delicious OPL-recommended plant-rich recipes here.