Easy Make Your Own Homemade Yogurt Recipe


Yogurt is a must-have in our house, for me and for my family.

I try to make healthy decisions in my kitchen without stressing myself out. My main goal as a mom and as an educator is to try to teach my son and my students how to make healthy decisions for themselves. I often share my easy recipes with my friends. As they say, ‘’the shoemaker’s son always goes barefoot.’’ It’s true for us in that my husband still struggles with and refuses to eat yogurt!

When I say yogurt, I mean a good, plain, un-sweetened, which has lots of uses in your kitchen.

We all know the many benefits of yogurt. It can help certain conditions, such as lactose intolerance and diarrhea and also boost the immune system. I am not a professional in the field of nutrition, but I grew up eating it and any stomach issue I had was addressed by a simple diet of plain yogurt accompanied with pasta or rice. My nomadic ancestors did this long ago in Central Asia. I have always applied the same home remedy to my son.

What is the best yogurt?

I’ve tried delicious, dense sheep yogurt, and also buffalo yogurt, which has a higher butterfat. There is  tart goat yogurt, and, of course, the most common made from cow’s milk. I like them all, depending how I eat them or where I use them. My son loves an unsweetened yogurt drink called ayran, so I always prepare it with regular plain cow or goat yogurt. If I am making an appetizer with garlic and dill, or a healthy snack with shredded cucumber and mint, I use the denser sheep or buffalo yogurt.

As much as I like to consume ready-made yogurt, I also like to make my own using my choice of milk and my favorite yogurt as a starter culture. I also save money while I am at it!

This easy recipe will allow you to make yummy yogurt for everyone at home!


Half a gallon or 8 cups of organic milk

Half a teaspoon of salt

Half a teaspoon of sugar

Your favorite brand of plain yogurt, preferably organic, as a starter


  • Heat the milk and let the water evaporate as much as you can. Do not use high heat, because it will cause the milk to boil off and eventually burn on the bottom of your pan. You may use a thermometer to reach 180 F.
  • Once the water evaporates, the milk will become denser in the pan.
  • Let the milk sit to cool off a little bit, and if you use a thermometer, check if it is at around 115 F.
  • When the milk is warm enough, transfer it to a glass or terra-cotta container, and separate one cup on the side to mix with one spoonful of yogurt and salt and sugar.
  • Add this mixture to the milk and stir gently with a wooden spoon.
  • Put a paper towel on it and then place a lid loosely on top.
  • From this point on, you cannot move the container from its spot. You must wait 8 hours until yogurt forms, and then remove the paper towel and put the container in the refrigerator.

Remember to separate a little bit from your own homemade yogurt, to use as a starter for the next time.


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Defne was born in Istanbul, Turkey. She finished Italian Middle and High School in Istanbul and received her BA in Archeology and Art History in that same city. Thereafter, she worked in different positions but mainly as a writer and photographer for Marie Claire Maison, for almost a decade. Defne met her husband while she was working in Portugal and moved to the United States in 1999 after she married. Soon she had a baby boy, Tan, who is 17 today. While her son was growing up, she had a passion to teach, and in fact the visual aspect of her job, as well as her Italian schooling and her college years, shaped her philosophy of teaching and finally took her on an exciting journey which allowed her to apply her creative skills in the field of education. Defne is currently teaching Kindergarten along with photography at KBPS. She is fluent in English, Spanish, Italian and Turkish.