DIY Dairy-Free Yogurt

Going dairy free has become easier with increasing options for commercially prepared “dairy” products, but sometimes cost and availability can be prohibitive, and other times texture can be an issue. Making your own yogurt saves money, gives you control over ingredients, and yields incredible tart flavor and thick texture. While you can make yogurt in an oven or even a dehydrator, using an Instant Pot couldn’t be easier. The recipe here for dairy-free yogurt uses the Instant Pot and fills a large canning jar that our family eats from throughout the week.


  • 2 cans full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon grass-fed gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder*
  • 2-3 capsules probiotic powder (the refrigerated kind)
  • *If preferred, use 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or omit altogether for plain yogurt.


Be sure to sterilize Instant Pot, all utensils and storage containers in the dishwasher. Use non-reactive utensils such as wood, stainless steel or nylon.

Place coconut milk in container of Instant Pot and bring to a boil using the “sauté” setting.

Once milk comes to a rolling boil, turn off pot and remove liner to cool on heat-proof surface.

After 3 to 5 minutes, whisk in gelatin, maple syrup and vanilla bean, if using (I use a handheld stick blender to avoid clumps).

Allow mixture to cool for about 20 minutes, or until temperature is about 100° F. This prevents heat from killing the cultures.

Once milk is cooled to 100° F (you should be able to touch it comfortably with the tip of your finger), empty probiotic capsules into mixture and thoroughly whisk to combine.

Return container to Instant Pot and choose “Yogurt” setting. Set time to between 12 and 14 hours (the longer the time, the more tangy the yogurt).

When finished, the yogurt should taste tangy and have a pleasantly sour scent. If it smells bad or looks gray, it is bad.

Immediately remove, pour into sealed glass containers and chill to thicken in refrigerator, 2 to 8 hours.


  • Do not omit maple syrup—it helps to culture the yogurt.
  • This recipe will produce a very tangy and thick yogurt that can still be used for savory recipes or even as a replacement for crème fraiche or sour cream. May be stored in sealed glass containers for up to 1 week in refrigerator.

Recipe and photo by Angela Sackett