foolproof instant pot greek yogurt skim milk lactose free recipe

Easy Instant Pot Greek Yogurt Recipe Cold Method Lactose-Free 0% 2% 3.5%

This homemade Instant Pot greek yogurt recipe is so good and so easy, you’ll never want store-bought again.

Not only is this recipe for my Instant Pot Greek Yogurt is super easy and practically hands-off, it’s basically everything you never knew you needed! I originally posted this in 2019, and it’s still something I make at least once a month and one of my most read posts in the 10 years of this blog!

foolproof instant pot greek yogurt skim milk lactose free recipe

I use greek yogurt in loads of different recipes including overnight oats, naan bread and smoothies.

My daughter Everly loves it.

So I was thrilled when I realized that not only does my Instant Pot have a yogurt setting, but that its a super simple process that can be customized to your own tastes.

I’m going to use the cold method here (more on that shortly) and you’ll be shocked at how easy Instant Pot Greek yogurt is. It can even be made lactose-free!

foolproof instant pot greek yogurt skim milk lactose free recipe


There are two different ways to make yogurt with your Instant Pot.

One involves boiling the milk and then regulating the temperature. The other is kind of a ‘set it and forget it’ kinda recipe and you know that’s what I’m all about!

This is commonly referred to as the cold method or no boil method, and there are some very important factors involved in order to have your yogurt turn out.

Firstly, you need to choose a lactose-free, ultrafiltered or ultra-pasteurized milk.

This is the most important step in the whole recipe, and a make or break situation.

In Canada, we can get Fairlife and Natrel, which are both lactose-free, ultrafiltered milk that comes in a variety of percentages. I’ve used both, and found no difference between them, other than the Fairlife bottle measures to exactly the amount needed for the recipe which is handy dandy!

*FUN FACT* Because the filtration process, this type of milk is higher calcium and protein and lower in sugar! 
foolproof instant pot greek yogurt skim milk lactose free recipe


  • An Instant Pot that has the Yogurt Setting like this 6Qrt or 8 Qrt
  • YOGURT STARTER*: This is just a 2 tbsp of your favourite greek yogurt. It’s extremely important to choose one that states it has active bacterial cultures in the ingredients. I’ve used Oikos, Olympic, Liberte and they’ve all worked fantastic. Choose a yogurt you already like the taste of. Once you make your own, you can use it as your starter!
  • Ultra-Filtered/Pasteurized lactose-free Milk of choice – I chose Fairlife Skim for this recipe but have used 2% and 3% previously.
  • A method to strain the yogurt in order to make it a rich, thick greek yogurt texture. You can use a strainer like this, I have the Euro Cuisine Yogurt Strainer one, or even a nut milking bag but choose something that can hold a decent capacity and can fit over a bowl to catch the excess whey!
  • OPTIONAL: sweetener such as sweetened condensed milk (this can be skipped if you prefer your yogurt with no sweetness or like to sweeten per tastes).
  • NOTE: using sweetened condensed milk does have lactose in it.

*For all future yogurt making you can freeze the yogurt you used in ice cube trays to use as future starters, or you can freeze some of the yogurt you make to use as the starter. Two ice cubes worth of frozen yogurt starter is perfect for the next pot (bring to room temp first)


The basics of Instant Pot Yogurt are so simple: Milk, starter and set it.

I prefer mine to go for 8 hours and 30 minutes for the perfect tangy treat, but you can generally set it for a minimum of 8 hours and a max of 10 should you like. I find the 8 hours and 30 minutes has a good tang (and I do like sour things!) so feel free to experiment!

Simply mix your starter, the milk and the sweetener if using and give it a good wisk to make sure it’s all completely incorporated.

Making a Half Recipe of Instant Pot Greek Yogurt

Halving this recipe is no problem, I’ve done it loads of times! I simply use the same amount of starter, but half the milk/sweetener. Easy!

Instant Pot greek yogurt recipe lactose free no boil cold method
Sweetened Instant Pot Yogurt

If you likeyour Greek yogurt sweetened like me, then this is where the sweetened condensed milk comes in. I prefer half a tin for a full batch of yogurt as I like mine just lightly sweetened. Again, more experimenting for your own tastes, but you can always sweeten afterwards with honey or maple syrup, fruit jams etc.

*If lactose is a concern for you, then you will want to skip the sweetened condensed milk. Some people have luck with Natural Bliss Coffee Creamer to sweeten their yogurt, but it isn’t something I’ve tried. I would simply leave the sweetener out and sweeten to taste after the yogurt has set.

Instant Pot greek yogurt recipe lactose free no boil cold method
Set it and forget it

Using the Yogurt setting on your Instant Pot, set the timer for how long you want to let your yogurt “brew”; I prefer 8 hours and 30 minutes.

You will also need to make sure your Yogurt setting is set to “Normal” for this method.

Chill and Strain

After your time is up, your yogurt will be warm and need overnight to chill and finish setting. I strain at the same time using my Euro Cuisine Yogurt Strainer which is 100% worth it in my option, but you could also use a nut milking bag or many layers of cheesecloth.

When your Instant Pot timer first goes off, your yogurt should be set up enough that you can still a spoon in it and it will hold straight up and down.


I love this easy greek yogurt on its own, in homemade tzatziki (unsweetened of course) and with my Quinoa Granola Recipe on top with some dried fruit.

It’s also amazing in smoothies, yogurt popsicles, in baking and don’t forget to freeze in ice cubes to carry forward some of your yogurt to be used as a starter!

foolproof instant pot greek yogurt skim milk lactose free recipe
Yield: 8

Foolproof Instant Pot Greek Yogurt | Lactose Free 0%

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours 30 minutes
Additional Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 16 hours 35 minutes

Super rich, tangy, lactose free and low fat Gree Yogurt you can make in your Instant Pot.


  • 2 tbsp Greek Yogurt
  • 52oz of Ultrafiltered Milk
  • 1/2 can Sweetened Condensed Milk (optional)


  1. Wisk yogurt and milk together in the Instant Pot liner.
  2. Add sweetened condensed milk if choosing to sweeten. 1/2 can will just barely sweetened while still being plenty tangy. Choose as much or as little as you like.
  3. Close Instant Pot lid (no need to seal because it will not be coming to pressure. Choose YOGURT setting and make sure it is on NORMAL.
  4. Set time between 8-9 hours. 8 for less tangy, 9 for lots of tang. I choose 8.5 for balance.
  5. Go to bed, and wake up with yogurt ready to chill!
  6. When the timer goes off, you can either transfer the Instant Pot liner directly to the fridge for regular creamy yogurt and let chill for 8 hours OR
  7. Transfer the yogurt into your straining device of choice and chill in the fridge while straining.


I like to set my Instant Pot before bed, and then put in the strainer in the morning and have it chill through the day. The strainer only needs about 4-5 hours to strain enough whey out to be greek style yogurt, and then you can transfer into the storage of your choice ( I use mason jars) and store up to 10 days (trust me, it won't last that long!)

I promise once you make your own Instant Pot Greek Yogurt, you’ll never want to go back! It’s rich, creamy and thick and sure to be a family favourite.

foolproof instant pot greek yogurt skim milk lactose free recipe

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  1. I was so excited to try this recipe!!! I found my local target had the Fairlife milk (I bought the fat free one) & I used one packet of the Cultures for Health Greek Starter. Just poured it out of my instant pot into the strainer and it went STRAIGHT through as if it were still just milk, didn’t thicken at all. I’ll have to try the 2% fat version next weekend, have you ever tried the powder starter culture from Cultures for Health? Hoping it firms a little in the fridge otherwise I’ll have to throw out this batch :/ maybe the starter culture I used was also my problem. Thanks!

    1. The powdered cultures likely need to be used in a traditional hot method yogurt recipe. The key to this recipe is using live active culture of fresh yogurt as a starter.

      1. Aha that was my problem! I live in the US and decided to use “Thor’s Skyr” as my starter culture AND IT WORKED PERFECTLY!! Thank you for this recipe, this is life changing!!

  2. I eat Cabot Greek vanilla yogurt, it’s the only yogurt I like, so I would like to duplicate the taste. You mentioned that the taste would be carried over to the new yogurt if I used it as my starter. Has anyone tried using this brand and vanilla flavor with success. thank you

    1. You have to use plain yogurt as the starter and only add flavour AFTER the process is complete. So it would be vital to choose a vanilla that you feel tastes a similar to the yogurt you are referring too. It might take some experimentation.

  3. Hi, and thanks for sharing this method! I have made a few batches and absolutely love the results. You mention that you can halve the recipe, but I wondered if you could also double the recipe. I have an 8 quart instant pot so there’s definitely room to double it. Have you ever tried it and if so, how much yogurt starter is needed?

  4. After straining, you can use a hand mixer with a wire whisk attachment to beat out any lumps and create a super smooth and creamy yoghurt.

  5. I noticed that Sweetend condensed Milk has a lot of Lactose (Sweetened condensed milk 31 to 50 per gram). If this is correct then you might need to adjust your comment to include this as it is no longer Lactose free. There is one brand that is Lactose free, but it is not very good.

    1. Does the lactose in the starter scoops of yogurt affect the lactose in the final product? Or is it so minimal that it’s consumed during the process?

  6. Hi! Love this recipe and I make yogurt every month now! Thank you. My friend raises goats and wanted to try this with goat milk. Any recommendations?

  7. I love this recipe! I kept some yogurt for my next batch and froze it, however after it defrosted it was runny, can I still use it as the starter for the next batch?

  8. Thanks for this easy to follow recipe! I’m making this tonight! Have you used it to make frozen yogurt? My husband is lactose intolerant and my toddler has a peanut allergy, so frozen treats are hard for us to find!

  9. I’m making mine now and looking forward trying it! More cost effective as well. Thanks so much for the suggestions and answering comments bc it helped me as well. Have a wonderful day!

  10. Hi, I was curious about a few things. If you strain the whey out of the yogurt (when making it greek style) does that eliminate the protein from the yogurt? And I was also curious if you happen to know the approximate nutritional info for this? Just curious. Thanks and excited to try it… its brewing as we speak.

    1. Hi – no in fact greek yogurt has much more protein in it! As for nutritional content, that would depend on if/how much you sweeten it. I would suggest putting in your ingredients and ratios into an online calculator 🙂

    1. Yes I have many times, as long as its the Fairlife ultra pastuerized. I find skim milk yields less overall given that the water content is much higher and therefor strains out in the end.

  11. I can’t wait to try this. I’ve been using Fairlife 2% or skim for years, and also have a can of lactose free sweetened condensed milk. Ate yogurt all the time with no problems until 4 years ago, when I started having severe problems. Thank you!

  12. This is amazing! Thank you so much. Had some questions though: Will adding vanilla extract harm the bacteria in the yogurt? Will honey?

  13. I made your recipe, but something happened! When I put it in the strainer, I immediately lost half of it to the bottom. I used Neilson lactose free 2% milk. Was it the milk I used?

    Thank you!

        1. If you use a yogurt with lactose, then yes it would add a very minuscule amount. You only need to have a starter that has live cultures, it doesn’t need to be Greek yogurt specifically.

  14. I made half the recipe but it didn’t thicken enough for a spoon to stand up. Is this still good? Is there something else I should do?

    1. I find that can be dependant on a few things: The brand and percentage of milk (I always get the best results with 2 or 3.25%), how fresh the starter is (ie you get better results with starter yogurt that was just opened, or frozen right after opening vs one that has beenopen in your fridge for 2 wees) and how much yogurt starter (I use the same amount regardless if I half the recipe of not). Either way, if you strain your yogurt, should should get the same rich creamy greek yogurt style even if a spoon doesn’t stand up!

      1. I ended up adding another TB of starter & brewed it another 30 mins. (Total of 9 hrs) then put it in a strainer in the fridge, turned out great!! Now I know to use 2TB starter.

        1. Thx. for your comments. I’ve made yogurt 3x and it’s always way too runny and stringy for my taste. I’m using fat free, sounds like that mite be an issue as recommended by another blogger. I’m switching to Fairlane brand. Again, thank you for bringing up this issue. There’s always someone who benefits from your experience. 😄

          1. Fat free will definitely produce a much thinner consistency due to the water content. I’ve used the fairlife fat free and it works it just doesn’t have the richness in texture I prefer.

  15. This was easy to make. I froze some in 8 oz jars but it turned out runny & lumpy. I used 2% Fairlife. Is it possible to make 1/2 a recipe since it’s just me who is eating it.

  16. This yogurt was so excellent and easy to make. I make it at least once a week. Thanks for such a perfect technique.

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