Learn how to make homemade Greek yogurt from regular yogurt with this simple tutorial! You can use homemade greek yogurt for dessert & breakfast recipes, like sourdough pancakes, or dressing recipes, like homemade ranch.
When Greek yogurt first hit American grocery store shelves back in 1998, it flew under the radar of most consumers for seven years. When Chobani hit the market, it took the market by storm! And ever since, yogurt making companies have been striving to keep up, or at a minimum, stake their claim in the Greek yogurt fad.
Except that it’s not a fad. Greek yogurt is here to stay! It’s thick, creamy, smooth and has up to three times as much protein than regular yogurt.
The only downside? It can be expensive.
The good news? You can make it at home!
Why Make Homemade Greek Yogurt
The main reasons I like to make greek yogurt at home are:
- It’s easy and simple.
- Making it at home can be healthier than store-bought yogurt!
- It saves money.
100% authentic Greek yogurt – not “Greek-style” yogurt – takes more time and resources than regular yogurt, that is, if it’s going to be made properly.
The high amount of protein comes from triple the amount of milk used to make the same quantity of yogurt. Real Greek yogurt doesn’t use any fillers or thickeners – most labels include just milk and cultures. Whey is a natural by-product of the yogurt making process, and the only natural way to strain out the excess liquid (in order to have a thicker yogurt) is time.
Greek-style (or Greek-strained) yogurt is made with milk, cultures, and “other stuff” to make it thicker.
As a general rule of thumb, “other stuff” is bad. Avoid stuff. Keep it real.
And keep it frugal by making Greek yogurt yourself!
Homemade Greek Yogurt
To make Greek yogurt at home, you need one ingredient:
- Yogurt. It can be plain yogurt, store-bought, conventional, organic, homemade – it doesn’t matter.
Starting with one cup of yogurt will yield approximately 1/4 cup of whey. This means that when you’re making 2 quarts of regular yogurt, you’ll end up with 6 cups of Greek yogurt and 2 cups of whey. Take this into consideration for recipes and your grocery budget!
Homemade Greek Yogurt Equipment
To make homemade greek yogurt, you’ll need a few simple supplies:
- Fine Mesh Strainer
- Medium Bowl
How to Make Plain Greek Yogurt from Yogurt at Home
- Hang your strainer over a bowl and line the strainer with the cheesecloth (if using). Scoop as much yogurt into the strainer as the strainer will hold. Unless your strainer is miniature-sized, you’ll end up scooping 1-2 cups.
- Allow the whey to strain – undisturbed – for at least two hours. This can be done at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
- For extremely thick yogurt, allow straining in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours. (You may want to cover the yogurt with a small cloth napkin or towel if you’re going for longer than a few hours.)
The resulting yogurt will be thick like Greek yogurt.
Common Questions when Making Greek Yogurt
- What’s that liquid stuff?
That clear-yellowish liquid is called whey and it’s packed with minerals and is high in protein. Just one cup contains nearly 2g! This may not sound like much, but it’s more than most non-dairy milk. Use whey to boost the protein in smoothies and in recipes calling for water (rice, soups, beans, etc.).
What can I make with greek yogurt?
Yogurt can be used in place of an acid medium when soaking grains, like in sourdough pancakes or soaked tortillas. You can also use it in ranch dressing or in place of buttermilk for potato buttermilk bread.
If you’re wanting to give homemade yogurt a try, use this super easy tutorial that calls for a heating pad. It’s my preferred method and hasn’t failed me yet! If you’re not quite that ready for homemade, try a yogurt starter kit from Cultures from Health instead.