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DIY Greek Yogurt


DIY Greek Yogurt - The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

How to Make Greek Yogurt

Ok, I’m seriously behind trends. Everyone has been blogging about Greek yogurt, except me. The biggest reason I’m behind on this trend is the price of Greek-style yogurt at the store. That, and the fact that I’m making my own yogurt. But I was curious why everyone seems to like this stuff well enough that our local Woodman’s added an entire display case, just for Greek yogurt.

So I picked up the smallest container of plain Greek yogurt I could find at the store last week and used it to make my own batch. When I opened it, I was surprised to see whey had separated from the yogurt…then I noticed I had non-fat. Never checked that. I tasted the yogurt so I could compare it to mine. It had a rather ‘sour creamy’ texture and flavor.

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DIY Greek Yogurt

I got busy and made two batches with two different recipes. Here’s what I did…

DIY Greek Yogurt #1

  • 1-quart whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt as a starter

Heat milk to 180 F and hold the temperature for 10 to 20 minutes. Cool milk down to 110 F and slowly mix a little milk with the yogurt in a bowl, gradually adding all the milk. Put in a yogurt maker or use your favorite method of incubating the milk.

This came out pretty thick, but there was some whey that settled to the bottom and rose to the top. The flavor was milder and the texture was thicker than the yogurt starter. I liked it, but I poured off 2 or 3 tablespoons of whey.

DIY Greek Yogurt #2

  • 1-quart whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt as a starter
  • 5 tablespoons non-instant, non-fat, powdered, organic milk

Heat milk to 180 F and hold the temperature for 10 to 20 minutes. Cool milk down to 110 and slowly mix a little milk with the yogurt and powdered milk to prevent lumps of dry milk. Gradually add all of the milk. Put in a yogurt maker or use your favorite method of incubating the milk

This came out much thicker and there was just a small amount of whey on the top, maybe a teaspoon. I just mixed it back in…no draining in a cheesecloth required. The flavor was even milder than the first batch and it was very thick. This was my favorite batch.

Update: I use 2 tablespoons of instant powdered milk from the grocery store for my yogurt now and it works well.

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For the creamiest homemade Greek yogurt (or any yogurt for that matter), use whole milk. I usually use organic 2% and I add 5 or 6 tablespoons of powdered milk. The kind of powdered milk you use also has an effect on the final product.

I originally used a good-sized plop (maybe 1/4 cup) of yogurt starter and thought I was doing a good thing by using more than the recipe calls for. Then I read that using too much plain yogurt as a starter can crowd the bacteria and cause a more sour flavor.

You can also use powdered Greek yogurt culture in place of plain yogurt. I have used the powdered starter with good success too.

Do you make Greek-style yogurt? Do you like it better than regular?


16 Comments on “DIY Greek Yogurt

  1. I like Greek yogurt, but mainly due to the fact it has less sugars, because the whey is taken out. I have tried making homemade but with not so good results. I have taken regular yogurt and strained the whey out. Ended up with about half the original amount, but it is still cheaper. We will be milking goats again soon, and I may try Greek yogurt again.

  2. I like any yogurt myself but I thought I would just throw out there that the Greek yogurt is helpful for folks who have to be careful of sugars like my DH. To really be called Greek yogurt it is more than a particular culture. After culturing some of the whey must be drained off usually in the same way that you make yogurt cheese… Just not draining off as much whey as that. Since a lot of the dairy sugar is in the whey the resulting Greek yogurt is higher in protein and lower in sugar. That makes it better for people who have to watch those things. Now of course all those store display yogurts have defeated that purpose by adding all manner of sugars to please the sweet tooth of the consumer. But plain Greek yogurt or homemade Makes a great protein snack

    1. Good to know! Thanks so much for sharing the info about the sugar in the whey. So I guess I kinda defeated the less sugar purpose by making mine too thick to drain off the whey! Oops! Sorry about that.

  3. I love making my own yogurt. I mix in the whey or put it in a separate container to add to smoothies, but I have never gone to the trouble of straining it out. If there’s too much hassle, I won’t make it. I have also added honey and vanilla when I add in the yogurt starter and its very yummy.

    1. Hi Emily,
      Thanks for sharing 🙂 I haven’t tried adding honey and vanilla with the starter…might have to give it a try! I’m with you…don’t want any hassle 😉

  4. Hi Eva,
    I do have ducks 🙂 None of my poultry have ever laid more than one egg a day. 3 eggs in one day is crazy busy for a duck! I’ve never heard of a duck (or any other bird) laying that many eggs in one day. Hope she has lots of eggs from that little duckie 🙂 Let me know if she continues to lay like that…she should enter it in a contest or sell the offspring. 😉

  5. Hi Lisa, I know or at least don’t think you have ducks, but you may have come across this with your chickens or turkeys. I have a friend with young ducks ,who have just started to lay eggs some weeks ago. The day before yesterday one duck laid 3 eggs throughout the day. My friend couldn’t find any information out about this. Have you ever encountered that with any of your fowl? Thank you!

  6. Lisa Lynn,
    I started buying the non-instant, non-fat, powdered organic milk available from Azure Standard buying club and I like it. I don’t taste it and I like knowing that I’m using organic milk. Azure Standard: Is this a brand you use or the name of the buying club where you purchased the non instant organic powdered milk. Dan

  7. I know what you mean about being behind the times. I have been eating yogurt for more decades than I care to count and I’d never heard of Greek yogurt (or a few other names I found recently) until about two years ago. Thanks for the post!

  8. I make it like your first recipe but I use a gallon of milk. I strain it the muslin over a sieve because I like it thicker. I end up with a little over 1/2 gallon of yogurt and then I keep a quart of whey for cooking. If you leave it straining for to long you end up with a cream cheese consistently but it still tastes good. I use an organic brand of yogurt for a starter. But the next time I just use some of the yogurt I made. I keep it in wide mouth quart jars in the fridge.

    1. Hi Lisa Lee,
      I used to make the yogurt cheese way back when I was a kid and I liked it. I haven’t done that in ages 🙂 But I remember that it was good.

      Thanks for sharing!

  9. I love Greek yogurt. However, I’m very picky about the brand as I find such variance between brands. Hands down I prefer Fage! Very creamy, thick, with just the right balance of flavor. BTW, normally I am NOT a brand snob! ; >

    1. Hi Tyna,
      Maybe I’ll try that brand next time I need a starter. Thanks for the idea 🙂 I’m not a brand snob either, but I normally buy organic yogurt. Thanks for stopping by!

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