Yogurt Recipe

By | January 13, 2016


Whoah, my apologies for the excessive exclamation points, but I really really really love yogurt. When 17 year-old Thriftygal turned vegan, she reduced her dairy and/or egg consumption by one product every week. The very last non-vegan item she gave up was yogurt. It was also the very first food I ate coming back to vegetarianism a decade later.

So, please excuse my enthusiasm for today’s recipe that you can eat with all the dishes I listed on my “Learn to Cook Like Ma” bucket list. Yogurt. I love it. My sister loves it. My mom uses a lot of it, so of course she makes her own. I find the process a bit magical and very cheap!

And, naturally, I like my mom’s yogurt better than the store kind.



3 cups of 2% milk

2 tbsp of yogurt

Food Thermometer


  1. Heat up the milk on the stove or in the microwave.
  2. Stop heating the milk when it boils.
  3. Let the milk cool.
  4. Mom touches the outside of the container to see if the milk has cooled enough.
  5. Add in the yogurt when the food thermometer reads 130 F or 54 C (depending on the button you push).


    This bowl is the same one on the left in the top picture.

  6. Mix well and cover.
  7. Heat your oven to 100 F (38 C).
  8. Turn off the oven.
  9. Put the covered yogurt in the oven.
  10. Close the oven door, but keep the oven light on.
  11. Live your life for the next 8 hours.
  12. Refrigerate your magical creation.
  13. Make sure to save a couple of tablespoons so you can make some more yogurt in a couple of weeks.

Acceptable Deviations

  1. If you prefer your yogurt less sour, refrigerate your magical creation after 6 hours instead of 8.
  2. If you forget about the milk while it’s cooling after step 3 and it’s cooler than the temperature you needed, you can heat it up again.
  3. A film will form on the yogurt after you boil it, you can take it out.
  4. Or you can leave it in and mix it in. It doesn’t matter.
  5. You can use whole milk.

Tip: If you’re boiling it on the stove and using a stainless steel pan, wash the pot in cold water before you put the milk in and put the heat on low. This stops it from scorching the bottom of the pot.


Okay, so the first time you make this, you’ll have to buy yogurt, milk and a food thermometer. That ran me roughly $15. After that, you only need to buy the milk. My mom gets 3 cups of milk for about $0.50.

18 thoughts on “Yogurt Recipe

  1. Ken L

    Hey Thrifty Girl,
    I found you from Mr. Money Mustache. I love your story. I’m a 42 year old young professional and I had about 3X the amount of post graduate debt you had. I’ll be debt free this summer, it’s taken me 6 years. I love that you were vegan and now swung back vegetarian. I’m the same too!.
    Ok take care,

  2. neel

    Make a Koshimbir with that yogurt.. yum:

    cut pieces of tomato and cucumber
    add cut pieces of onion (but some people don’t like to eat raw onions so it’s up to you)
    get chillies – more the better (for me)
    cut them vertically and then in horizontal pieces
    mix tomatoes and cucumber cut pieces
    give tadka with those cut chillies
    add yogurt and mix

    I do it by guesswork but you might be able to put better measurements…

  3. Marko Koskenoja

    I have started making Kefir but I am going to try your yogurt recipe now as well – thanks.

    I would also look forward to your posting of your Mom’s Paneer dish recipes!

  4. Gene

    I think that I will add this recipe into my gotta try food items. I’ve added this type of thing to my New Year goals this year (make something I haven’t made from scratch). Thanks for the idea. Love the blog. MMM post sent me your way.

  5. Kapil

    If you are really thrifty, just add back step 4 and delete step 5. Guess I’m old fashioned.

  6. Tommytebco

    I make my yogurt with milk powder. 3 cups Hot tap water (mine measures 125Deg F., 2 cups skim mik powder and a generous tablespoon of Yogurt. I mix the milk and that mixture is about 100+ degrees. then add the yogurt. I insulate the container and leave it on the stove top during the summer here in Florida. It’s complete that afternoon. I’ve never pasturized my yogurt and continue to get my seed yogurt from the most recent batch. There is no mutation that I can see I’m a hundred batches or so into it.

  7. banyanbat

    After a couple of unsuccessful attempts, finally we made yogurt yesterday. We followed the exact same steps as mentioned in this post, except for one change. 🙂 we went further frugal and checked the temperature by hand :).

    One more thing that seems to have helped is: We spread the sample yogurt well at the bottom of the bowl and then added milk to it.

    Nice enumeration of steps.

    Thanks Thriftygal,

    1. Thriftygal Post author

      @banyanbat – I’m genuinely curious. How can you guess the temperature with your hand if you’re not a yogurt-making regular like my mom? Do you have to guess the temperatures of other things regularly and are just good at it?

  8. banyanbat

    Hey Thriftygal,

    Sorry for the late reply. I saw your comment just today. Its the talent my wife has and I would guess that she inherited it from her mom who is a great cook.
    But I guess she checks that the milk is lukewarm just as we check the temperature of water before bath. As I said, there were a couple of failures 😛 so that might have to do with the temperature as well. But now she is just fine and makes absolutely perfect curd.

    By the way, is there a way I can get notified when you reply?

  9. banyanbat

    One more thing. Next time you make yogurt, check the temperature with thermometer as well as with your hands, eventually your hands will learn to gauge the temperature correctly. Then you wont need the thermometer.

    Let me know if that helps 🙂

    1. Thriftygal Post author

      That’s an excellent answer, sir. I’ll do that! I have no idea about the comments, but I’ll look into figuring it out.

  10. banyanbat

    I guess wordpress offers some plugin that will allow you to put a checkbox that reads something like this: Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Of-course only if you wish to do so. 🙂 . I use blogger so could not be 100% sure.

    1. Thriftygal Post author

      Woot! I just figured out how to do this. AND nest comments. Yay! Woot! Yippee!

      If you can’t tell, I’m proud of myself. 🙂


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