Delicious and Creamy: A Simple Recipe for Homemade Plain Yogurt

September 26, 2023

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I’m the girlfriend you text when you’re scratching your head reading labels in the grocery store, the confidante you blurt your “I can’t tell anyone else!” bathroom shenanigans to and the handy science nerd who comes through with the best cost-cutting, time-saving health tips you don’t know how you ever lived without.

plain yogurt recipe

One of my favorite ways to add probiotics to my diet? Making creamy, delicious homemade yogurt. I get it; making yogurt might seem a bit intimidating at first—but trust me, it’s totally doable. This super easy recipe for plain yogurt will completely transform how you view this delicious and probiotic-rich dairy treat. Ready? C’est parti! (let’s get started).

Here’s what you’ll need

  • Whole or 2% milk
  • A small amount of plain yogurt with live active cultures or a yogurt starter
  • An automatic yogurt maker
  • A thermometer

Do you need to use a yogurt maker?

While using a yogurt maker is not mandatory, I wholeheartedly recommend it for its convenience and consistent results. Personally, I’ve been using the Euro Cuisine YMX650 model for a few months, and it’s been an absolute game-changer. It’s incredibly reliable and user-friendly, and it consistently delivers delicious yogurt.

If you prefer a more hands-on approach, you can incubate your yogurt in the oven at a very low temperature or wrap it in a towel and store it in a warm, stable-temperature location. But honestly, the convenience of a good yogurt maker is hard to beat.

Is using a yogurt starter better? 

I’ve experimented with both a yogurt starter and a few tablespoons of plain yogurt with live cultures, and I’ve achieved delicious results with both methods by following the instructions below.

One yogurt starter that I particularly love is the Bulgarian Yogurt Starter from Bacillus Bulgarius. It yields deliciously creamy, thick yogurt and perfectly balances mild and tart flavors.

How to Make Yogurt

Here’s the lowdown: you’ll gently warm your milk on the stove, then allow it to cool until it reaches around 110°F (just warm enough to dip your pinky finger in without scalding it!). Once cooled, you’ll introduce your live cultures from the plain yogurt or yogurt starter, gently stirring it all together until it’s silky smooth. If you’re using a yogurt maker, pour this mixture into your glass jars, pop them into the yogurt maker, and set the timer for 8-9 hours. The machine will take it from there, maintaining the perfect temperature for fermentation. When the timer chimes, you’ll unveil a tasty batch of probiotic-rich homemade yogurt.

It’s as simple as that!

Health Benefits of Yogurt

Oh, and let’s not forget about the incredible health benefits packed into every spoonful of yogurt.

Whole milk yogurt is a good source of essential nutrients, including calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, riboflavin (vitamin B2), and phosphorus. These nutrients are essential for bone health, immune function, and overall well-being.

But here’s the kicker—yogurt is a bona fide protein powerhouse! A single cup of plain whole milk yogurt packs a hefty 8.5 grams of protein.

But that’s not all – yogurt boasts a significant probiotic punch thanks to its live cultures. Probiotics, i.e., friendly bacteria, are renowned for their digestive health benefits. They work diligently to maintain a harmonious balance of gut bacteria, facilitating smoother digestion and fortifying the immune system. A well-balanced gut microbiome is closely linked to improved digestion, immune function, and even mental well-being.

Are you ready to make this recipe for plain yogurt?


Delicious and Creamy: A Simple Recipe for Homemade Plain Yogurt

If you love yogurt, you’re going to love this delicious creamy and easy-to-follow homemade yogurt recipe.

  • Author: The Wise Consumer


  • 1 liter (approximately 4 cups) of whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons of plain whole milk yogurt with live active cultures (store-bought or from a previous batch) or 1/4 tsp of Bulgarian Yogurt Starter from Bacillus Bulgarius


Prepare Your Equipment:

  • Make sure your automatic yogurt maker is clean and ready to use.
  • Sterilize your yogurt pots by bringing water to a boil in a large pot. Once boiling, gently simmer your glass jars for 3-4 minutes. Using tongs, carefully remove the jars from the water and set them aside to dry. While not strictly necessary, this step ensures no unwanted bacteria interfere with your yogurt culture.

Heat the Milk:

  • Pour milk into a heavy-bottomed pot.
  • Heat the milk over medium-low heat, stirring constantly to prevent scorching, until it reaches a temperature of about 200°F (93°C). This helps to denature the milk proteins and kill any unwanted bacteria.

Cool the Milk:

  • Once the milk reaches 200°F, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool down to about 110°F (43°C).

Inoculate with Yogurt Starter:

  • Combine 3 tablespoons of plain whole-milk yogurt with a small amount of cooled milk in one of the yogurt jars. Mix until smooth. 
  • Add this yogurt-milk mixture back into the rest of the cooled milk and mix well to ensure even distribution of the starter.
  • Note: If using starter from a pack, add starter to cooled milk and gently stir until it dissolves.

Prepare the Automatic Yogurt Maker:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your automatic yogurt maker to set it up. I use the Euro Cuisine yogurt maker. It’s super simple to use and makes delicious yogurt every time.

Incubate the Yogurt:

  • Pour the milk mixture into the containers provided by your yogurt maker. If your yogurt maker has one large container, pour it into that.
  • Place the containers with the milk mixture into the yogurt maker.
  • Set the yogurt maker to the desired incubation time, about 7-9 hours. The longer you let your yogurt incubate the firmer it will be. If using whole milk, I typically set my timer for 8 hours or 9 hours if using 2% milk. 


  • After the incubation period, remove your jars from the yogurt maker, cover them with lids, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until thoroughly chilled. I typically let it set overnight.

And there you have it! Your creamy homemade yogurt is now ready to enjoy!


Yogurt can be stored in the fridge for about 1-2 weeks.

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag me — can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

Other recipes you might enjoy:

The Wise Consumer

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