Homemade Greek Yogurt


11898898_10155954629050553_7076890113768556834_nToday is your lucky day. I’m sharing my mom’s recipe for making homemade Greek-style yogurt. I’ve seen people lament that they cannot find good Greek yogurt or some have even invested in a yogurt maker.

Forget about it! All you need is some homogenized milk, some plain yogurt and containers for your finished product.

Giaourti (yogurt) is an integral part of Greek cuisine. It’s part of a Greek breakfast, eaten as a snack or dessert and it’s used to make the famous Greek Tzatziki dip.

I longed for homemade yogurt and summoned the mom to impart her recipe. A funny side note on this recipe is that after the milk came to a boil, she lowered the heat to a simmer and she dropped a ramekin into the milk. I asked her why she did this and she said, “that’s the “pethera” or mother-in-law watching that the milk doesn’t overboil”.

“Huh” I asked? You see the mother-in-law never does any work and the bride (nifi) had the burden of all the house chores. The mother-in-law would do nothing other than menial tasks so, you get her to watch over the milk so that it doesn’t overboil.

Bingo! I just learned that an earthenware utensil (ramekin) will prevent overboiling and another mother-in-law slur!


Homemade Greek Yogurt

4 litres of homogenized (whole)  milk
1/2 cup of plain yogurt (containing active live cultures)

  1. In a large pot, bring your milk to a boil. Reduce the milk to a simmer and place a ramekin into the pot to prevent overboiling. Simmer for 15 minutes and take off the heat (do not cover with a lid).
  2. Allow the milk to cool until you’ve reached a temperature between 110 – 115F (you may use a candy thermometer for this. Your milk should be warm enough to hold your finger in it for 12 seconds.
  3. Take some warm milk and mix it with your starter yogurt. Now add it to the rest of your milk and mix well.
  4. Set your oven to “warm” or about 200F. Your ideal “incubation” temperature is 110F. Start ladling your milk into plastic containers with lids. You may place the containers of yogurt in the oven (oven turned off) OR place a blanket on the counter and lay your closed tubs of yogurt on it and cover with another good blanket. Your yogurt should set in 8-12 hours.
  5. Refrigerate your yogurt for at least 4 hours. Your yogurt will be good for up to 2 weeks. Enjoy!


© 2016,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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24 Comments for “Homemade Greek Yogurt”

Costas the Greek


This is brilliant. Thanks, Peter. Had no idea you could do this so easily. Now, what if you tried making it with goat’s milk? – Costas



I had yogurt, honey and walnuts with breakfast almost every morning I was there. I will definitely give this a try!!! It is the first I have heard of this method!



What can I add to the above comments! Bravo, Bravo, na se heretai i mama sou. Your mum must be really proud of you Peter. I surely would if you were my son.

The Cooking Ninja


Great post. :) I wanted to do one on yogurt but my oven has a self cool system after baking so it doesn’t keep warm. :(

Blue Cat


I’m fascinated! I have 2 questions… if I leave my milk to cool for a few hours, it’s going to be less than warm and do you put those plastic containers in the oven? (oo)? I do want to try this because I have a milk producer nearby who only feeds soy to his herd and the milk has the same properties as soy products but not the taste. Can I use 2% milk or does it have to be whole milk? (okay, that’s 3 questions)…

Peter M


Amended yogurt recipe for Gato:

I’ve expanded on the yogurt recipe and hopefully I’m much clearer to all.

Secondly, as for using 2% milk, the authority (my mom) says then it won’t turn out well or you have to play with combinations of 2% with cream.

Keep it simple, use homo milk.

blue cat


Thanks to both you and your Mom… next milk purchase, 3,25% and I’m going to try a small quantity before I start the business ;-D Our celebrity chef in Quebec, Pinard, featured avgolemo soup this evening… another must!



peter, i am here for the first time.I t was interesting to read the write up and just enjoyed the mIL and Dil theory.
Loved the yogurt too



Your are the BOMB! Great recipe. I luv it, thanks so much for sharing. This is a staple in my home now.

Peter M


Michl, thanks for writing and letting me know that the yogurt’s being enjoyed. Come back again and feel free to comment more!



I made this recipe a while back…..absolutely delicious and it turned out perfectly! Thanks for all your recipes (I’ve tried a few others, and will definitely try more)!

joy sakellaris


Peter, I always use glass or clay ramekins. Just wondering why do you suggest plastic containers? I have another tip for making strained yogurt. After the yogurt has been set, I then refrigerate the yogurt that I’ve covered with paper towel. The paper towel asbords the liquid. I change the paper towel(up to 10 times) until there is no more liquid to be absorded. The paper towel will remain dry. This creates a thick and smooth tasting yogurt. Try it! Kali Epitihia


Hi Peter, I will definitely try your yoghurt recipe, I made your Vasilopitta recipe for new year and it was delicious.
Keep those recipes coming..there are some that my mother used to make and it’s great to remember them and make them myself.. with great memories!



I think you are referring to whole milk. Did I miss the part about straining it? That has always been a hassle, but I didn’t use whole milk, just skimmed. I’ll be happy to skip the straining step.

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