How to make Greek Yogurt in the Crockpot

When I posted on Facebook last week that I made greek yogurt in the crockpot, I was flooded with requests to share the recipe! I’ve wanted to make yogurt for a long time but I was nervous at the thought of it. It was so incredibly easy to make, I wish I would have started doing this a long time ago! The yogurt turned out incredibly creamy and yummy.

I’m going to give instructions based on using a whole gallon of milk. If you want to make half this recipe, just use half the milk and yogurt, the rest of the instructions are the same.

To start you need 1 gallon of milk and a large size crockpot. Pour the milk into your crockpot, turn it on low and set your timer for 2 hours and 45 minutes. Walk away and stay busy while it warms up. 🙂

When the timer goes off, turn off the crockpot and set the timer for three hours. Your milk needs to cool down to the right temperature in order to add the yogurt starter.

After three hours, test the temperature of your yogurt with a candy thermometer. It needs to be around 110-115 degrees in order to add your starter. Once you have it at that temperature take out 1/2 cup of warm milk and put into a small bowl.  Add 1 cup of plain yogurt to the warm milk and gently stir together. It needs to be yogurt that has a lot of live active cultures in it.

Put the yogurt mixture back into the crockpot and gently stir.

At this point you need to let the yogurt sit for 8-12 hours in a warm place to thicken. The best place to do this is in your oven. Cover the crockpot with a big towel (I used a small fleece blanket).

After 8-12 hours (it’s great to leave it overnight), pull it out and get all excited that you have yogurt!

But you are not done yet! The yogurt will be very runny still. In order to make Greek yogurt, you want to strain it for several hours.

Pull out a colander and a large bowl. Line the colander with paper towels or cheesecloth (I’ve used both and either work) and  put your yogurt in. I have to use two colanders when I use a gallon of milk.

Let it sit in the fridge for 2-3 hours. When you pull it out there will be a lot of whey in the bowl, and thick creamy greek yogurt in the colander! Don’t get rid of your whey! Use it in place of buttermilk in pancakes, biscuits, etc. We made buttermilk pancakes with the whey and they were so yummy!

I ended up getting 2 quarts and 1 pint of yogurt, plus almost 1 quart of whey to use. Considering the fact that I pay $4.99 at Costco for a 32 ounce container of greek yogurt this is saving me a lot of money!


  1. Thank you so much for sharing this!! 🙂

    With love,
    From My Mountain View [dot] com

  2. Neat to know!!!
    Thx for sharing and glad i came across this post!

    God bless,
    d on the prairie

  3. **Thank you so much for this** I am vegetarian and the only thing keeping me from going full vegan is my penchant for Greek yogurt…(and feta and bleu cheese…I avoid all other dairy). I’ve made yogurt before but now I can try the Greek version…we love using the “cream line” milk from our local creamery that is non-homonginized…extra thick and creamy!

  4. Woohoo thank you! We love yogurt but its so expensive! We’ll definitely be making this! Would you suggest using whole milk or will any milk work?

    • Caroline says:

      I think any milk will work, it just will not be as rich and creamy. We always drink whole milk. 🙂

  5. I’m curious as to what the calorie and fat content is in this recipe. Sounds great though!

  6. Sounds really easy. I had a question…..I’ve heard of Greek yogurt, but what is the difference between Greek yogurt and regular yogurt? Also, can you flavor this? Thanks!! 🙂

    • Greek yogurt has a lot more protein to it, because of the whey being taken out. I have added fresh fruit and a little sugar in it, but I haven’t done anything beyond that. I don’t know why you couldn’t flavor it with vanilla….or blend up strawberries and add to it.

    • You can also make tzatziki with it. Shred one cucumber add a pinch of salt, and put in colander to drain for an hour. Meanwhile mince garlic about 1-2 cloves per cup of yogurt. Add black pepper and salt to taste. Chop about 2 tbsp of fresh mint or 1tbsp of dry dill depending on your preference. Mix together well. Pat dry cucumbers and add. Mix well and then let it sit for 12 hours in the fridg. We use this with spanikopita (spinach pie) or with tortilla chips. The longer it sits the stronger the garlic taste.

  7. Does this recipe have the same amount of protein as regular Greek yogurt? Thank you!

  8. What do you use as starter? (P.S. I love your blog- it has helped me a lot <3 )

  9. Thanks for sharing! Can’t wait to try this!

    Sticker shock at the milk!! $1.99? we pay $5.04 for a gallon of whole milk here!

    Looking forward to trying this!

    • I was also shocked with that sticker! Here the regular price for 4L of milk is over $8! There is one store that sells for $6 which is where we buy it! It is so crazy here!

      • Caroline says:

        Our store marks down milk when it is close to expiring. Normally milk is around $4.00 a gallon here.

  10. Rebekah says:

    I’d love a link to the recipes you have found that use whey. We’ve been making yogurt in a similar way (, but would love to expand our uses for the whey!

    We like to stir in raw honey after straining and then add either fruit or homemade granola as a garnish right before eating. We make it almost everyday. The kids love it that much! 🙂

    • mlaiuppa says:

      If you make your own mayo, you can add a tsp or two of whey and then let it “cook” on the counter for 7 hours before refrigerating. This will extend the life of your home made mayo.

  11. Love making yogurt in the crockpot. We live in what at this time of year feels like Hades. It’s well over 100 during the day and it “cools off” to 80 at night. I just wrap the pot up and set it OUTSIDE.

  12. I just made my first crock pot batch using Trader Joe’s FF as a starter. I can truly say it is as good as what I had in Santorini (where I was first introduced to Greek yogurt). In Greece they mostly serve FAGE. Your recipe was so easy. Thanks for posting it.

  13. Hi! Thank you for these instructions. I have a question. I tried it using 2% milk. It seems like it was extremely runny. I even left it longer to grow more….I wound up with two 32oz. containers of the whey and about 1 1/2 -32 oz container of the yogurt. Do you think it is because of the 2% instead of the whole milk? I would like to make fat free like the Oikos doesnt save me if its all whey. Any idea?

  14. Given the price of milk, do you REALLY think you’re saving a lot of money?

    I’m all for homemade products, be it yogurt or some other fermented dairy product, or whatever else, but it’s been my experience that the purpose is NOT to save money but to control the ingredients of the finished product. Milk is around five dollars a gallon these days, two dollars or more if you buy local organic stuff like I do, you lose a fair portion of the liquid in the draining process. It may be a lot of things, but it AIN’T cheaper.

  15. For the amount of greek yogurt I got after I strained it, not to mention the whey we got a lot more for the price of the gallon of milk than we would have just buying the yogurt. Plus we know what was in it. Thanks!!

  16. This can be done in a sooo much easier way and yogurt is done in 3 hours tops!! This takes wayy to much time.

  17. mlaiuppa says:

    If you make your own mayonnaise you can add a teaspoon or two of whey to your mayo and it will keep much longer. Be sure you add the whey at the end and let your mayo sit on the counter for 6-7 hours to “cook” before putting it in the fridge.

  18. Ornela,

    What’s the easier way you know?

    If I use dry milk powder, how much should I use?

  19. Hi! Thanks for posting this! The person that shared this link with me said that the next batch you make only takes 1 gallon of milk… I’m so confused about that! Do you just need to keep back a cup of the new yogurt to make a new batch every time?

  20. Kathryn Genn-Winkler says:

    You can make this with any non dairy milk except coconut. You can make it with homemade bean milk. You can even evaporate the homemade bean milk first to enrich it. Pennies on the dollar. Delish. Very nutritious. Easy.


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