Before I get into the post about this amazing yogurt, I wanted to announce that I recently started a small business with a friend where we are selling modern and trendy baby bibs. Here’s our first set for sale on Amazon!Button Copper Pearl

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Easy Homemade Vegan Yogurt in a Crock Pot

 

About a month ago I had decided that I really wanted to buy a yogurt maker. I contacted someone about buying theirs off of Craigslist for only $15. That day I happened to discover this awesome recipe from vegcharlottenc.com for making homemade yogurt with something that I already had, a crock pot. I have seen multiple recipes for making yogurt in the crock pot, but they always had lots of steps and most involved a candy thermometer (another thing I didn’t have). The nice thing about this recipe was that although it requires a fair amount of time, it doesn’t have hardly any hands-on steps. We received a 2 quart crock pot for our wedding and I haven’t used it, not even once. I almost threw it away multiple times, but now I’m super happy I didn’t.

Below is a picture of the 2 quart crock pot that I use. I did a little research and found that they are the cheapest at Target and Walmart. Amazon.com has them for about $5 more than both Target and Walmart.

Easy Homemade Vegan Yogurt in a Crock Pot

I made all 3 different types of yogurt with Kirkland Signature organic, plain,  soy milk as pictured below. This works out great for me because the milk is supposed to be at room temperature when you start making the yogurt, and since this is usually stored on our pantry shelf until I need a new container, it’s all ready for me every time I want to make it.

49100b

I have now tested this recipe out a few times with different yogurt “starters”. I say “starters” because you only need a small single serving size container of yogurt that you can buy from the store. I first tried out a low-fat dairy based yogurt  with soy milk because I knew that I wanted to test the recipe before I had to go buy that yogurt maker and I knew that my neighbor would have some dairy yogurt on hand. Here are the results:

Easy Homemade Vegan Yogurt in a Crock Pot

P.s. it is normal to have some separation of the yogurt when you are done(Just a little though, if it’s half yogurt, half liquid..something went wrong so you’ll need to start over). This is a picture of the yogurt AFTER I poured out the separated, tinted liquid that had gathered on top.

It turned out so great! It was creamy and slightly sour just like normal plain yogurt!  Now that I knew the recipe worked, I knew I wanted to make a non-dairy version. I tried out 2 different types of yogurt. I tried the recipe with coconut yogurt and with soy yogurt. Soy yogurt was the clear winner for me. I felt that the coconut yogurt had a funky taste for yogurt. It also didn’t firm up hardly at all. It was pretty soupy. We still used it in our smoothies and such, but it was much to liquidy, I felt, for recipes or to eat plain. Here is the picture I took of the Coconut based yogurt as well as a picture of the exact yogurt that I used to start it:

IMG_7626 IMG_7683

Like I mentioned above, the clear winner for me was the soy-based yogurt. It has turned out great the last 2 times that I have made it. Here are the pictures of the finished yogurt and the yogurt “starter” that I used:

Easy Homemade Vegan Yogurt in a Crock Pot

It was almost jello-like when I shook it a little to see if it had worked.:)

Easy Homemade Vegan Yogurt in a Crock Pot

This is definitely something I plan to continue to make for a long time. I love using it in our smoothies in the morning, in recipes, substituting it for sour cream, and oils.

Easy Homemade Vegan Yogurt in a Crock Pot

This is also the Soy “starter” and soy milk yogurt.

 

Side Note about the thickness: When I was researching yogurt I read somewhere that homemade yogurt will be thinner than store-bought yogurt because companies usually add in extra things to thicken it up because us Americans are used to having a thicker yogurt. Here are some options that I saw for making it thicker if you’d like to. I saw that some people liked to add in some dry milk to thicken it up. Some said they used cornstarch before cooking it, some said they just strained out some of the liquid by straining the yogurt into a cheese cloth. A lot of people said that the cheese-cloth method resulted in more of a Greek yogurt kind of consistency. So it’s up to you. I don’t mind mine at the thinner consistency.

When buying your yogurt “starter” make sure to look at the label. The label needs to say somewhere on it that it has live and active cultures in it. Sometimes it will say it in the ingredients section, and sometimes they will say right on the front of the container.

My favorite time to make this is usually in the evening. I start it around dinner time and go through the heating steps and then just let it sit in the oven for 9ish hours while I sleep.

Easy Homemade Vegan Yogurt in a Crock Pot Easy Homemade Vegan Yogurt in a Crock Pot

And finally, the actual instructions for how I made my yogurt:

4.8 from 9 reviews
The Easiest Crock Pot Homade Yogurt (Vegan / Plant-Based)
 
This recipe is originally from vegcharlottenc.com
Author:
Ingredients
  • 4 cups plain, unsweetened non-dairy milk. (I use soy milk, people have said coconut milk does NOT work though)
  • 1 single-serving size container of non-dairy yogurt (I use soy-based yogurt) OR ½ cup of yogurt from your last batch
Directions
  1. Place the 4 cups of non-dairy milk in your crock pot (the milk should be at room temperature before starting this). Turn the crock pot on to low and let it cook in there for 2½ hours.
  2. After the 2½ hours are up, turn off your crock pot and let the milk sit again for 2 more hours.
  3. When the 2 hours are up, remove about 1 cup of warmed milk from the crock pot and mix the yogurt "starter" with that 1 cup of milk. Once it is well mixed, add it all back into the crock pot and stir it well with a whisk.
  4. Remove the glass container from the crock pot base and wrap it well in a towel. Place the wrapped crock pot in your oven (which should be OFF!!!) for 8-10 hours. I have also placed my wrapped crock pot inside my larger crock pot container and placed it in a cupboard on days when I know I will need to use my oven and this works great for me as well.*
  5. Remove from the oven and place into your fridge until cool.
  6. If the yogurt separated some, remove the separated liquid and then store the yogurt in your fridge. Don't forget to save ½ cup of yogurt for your next batch.
  7. *The longer you let the yogurt sit in the dark oven the more sour it will become, but the thicker it becomes as well. I have found 10 hours to be the optimal time for our yogurt.

Good luck creating your own homemade yogurt! Let me know if you have any questions.

Kristin

 

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  1. Andi McCarter says:

    I’ve trying your recipe with goat milk, goat yogurt as starter and today I added 1/2 cup powdered goat yogurt to try and get it thicker without having to strain it. My question to you is have you tested the temperature? One YouTube said take it up to 110 degrees and another said 190 degrees F. My first batch was a little to thin so I’m trying to get it thicker.

    • kristin reichert says:

      I don’t have a temperature, sorry about that! My experience has been that the first time isn’t super thick, but the more times you make it with your original starter, the thicker it will get over time.

  2. Rachel says:

    So I just attempted this recipe today and got zero positive results. I used vanilla soy milk and also a (from the fridge, cold) flavored soy yogurt starter (that had been in my fridge for a week before), idk if maybe there were too many additives that mixed together. I heated my milk in the crock pot for only 2 hrs (misread) but let it sit for the full two before mixing in the starter and then wrapping it in two hand towels and putting it in my cold oven. Is there something in here that messed it up significantly. Id like to try it again but don’t know what to do to keep the crock pot at a warm temperature bc my oven was very cold when I opened it after 8 hrs and the milk room temp. It also had no yogurt flavor so I’m assuming it was just regular milk still and not just thin.

    Thanks for your help

    • Kendra says:

      I think you are supposed to use unsweetened only, I think using vanilla soy was the issue.
      You also want the milk to be room temperature first as well as your starter. Another alternative to letting the yogurt incubate is in a styrofoam or regular cooler. While it’s all wrapped up in a few layers of towels.

      Hope this helps!

    • Jenni says:

      Not sure if you ever got any resolution on your question but from all the stuff I’ve read, I think you might have had a better outcome if you had like the ingredients come to room temp. I think both the milk and the starter need to get to room temp before using.

      Just my two cents!
      Jenni

  3. Chelle Wardle says:

    This recipe was fab! have made loadsa batches of soy yoghurt to date, I’m just trying to master adding some flavours to it as my kid’s aren’t keen on eating it plain. I have used coconut powder which turned out well but I am curious as to whether you can add any other flavours I would like to try lemon but am concerned that this will alter the consistency too much and cause it not to set. I have been adding flavour at the cooling down stage before the starter is added.

  4. Jenny says:

    hello! I followed your recipe and believe it came out correct. I ate some and my stomach was not happy. I’m not sure if it was the yogurt or not but I’m scared to eat it again. Is there anyway to know if the yogurt is bad? Thank you!

    • kristin reichert says:

      I haven’t tried those. I have tried almond milk for other things that I needed a chemical reaction for it to work like cow’s milk, but nothing has worked as well as soy milk. I made a “buttermilk” with almond milk and it didn’t really react or thicken. I think soy milk must just have the right chemical components to have the right reaction.. but if you end up giving it a try, please let me know how it goes for you!

  5. Cameron Rosa says:

    I’m so excited to try this. I have my soy milk in the crockpot now. The only non dairy yogurt I found is about a 30 min drive from me and it’s coconut milk based. Hopefully it will work with the soy milk and coconut milk yogurt. I was wondering if anybody has tried it yet with the new cashew milk since it is supposed to be thicker and more dairy milk like. Also, did you ever try it with flavorings? I’m going to use the strawberry banana So Delicious coconut milk based yogurt for the starter (they also don’t have plain dairy free yogurt) and maybe purée some strawberries to make it more flavorful. It will be a better taste for my 13 mo old who is dairy free. Thanks so much for the recipe!

    • kristin reichert says:

      It will probably be pretty thin like mine was when I did the coconut yogurt and soy milk version. One thing I have found is that the more you make it, the thicker it becomes with each batch. I haven’t tried it with the cashew milk, although I have found that in general soy milk seems to be the best for when you are looking for milk substitutions and chemical reactions (like making buttermilk with soy milk and vinegar for instance). I also have never found unflavored dairy-free yogurt. I just start with a strawberry yogurt and with each batch it tastes less and less like strawberry. By about the 3rd batch you can’t taste it at all anymore. My family and I usually eat the yogurt plain, but occasionally I will put a tsp or two of our favorite jam into it to flavor it. Good luck! Let me know how it goes for you!

  6. Brooks says:

    Hi, I actually have a yogurt maker & was wondering how to use your recipe & making the yogurt. Do you just mix the yogurt with the milk at room temperature & place in the containers & use the machine to maintain a certain temperature? Dont have a crockpot.

    • kristin reichert says:

      I have never used a yogurt maker before so I don’t know the exact process, but I’m guessing that if you add the already-made yogurt to your milk when the yogurt maker instructions say to add the yogurt starter that it should work. That’s my best guess since I’ve never tried it myself. If you do try it let me know how it goes for you!

  7. linda harris says:

    I tried your recipe and it is great.I used soy milk and Silk soy yogurt. It is thin but taste fine. I saw on Dr. Oz that you can use chia seed to thicken foods. They turn into a gel. I a think I will try this as I am allergic to the gum thickeners. Thanks,Linda.

    • kristin reichert says:

      Ok, so I have recently been leaving my yogurt in for 11 hours and it seems to be a bit thicker and just a tiny bit of a stronger flavor, you could try that and see if it’s thick enough for you? You could also try straining it in a cheesecloth if that still wasn’t thick enough.

  8. Jenna says:

    Hi! I’m wondering if instead of using 1/2 cup of yogurt soy yogurt as a starter if I’m able to use a vegan yogurt starter powder? I’ve resulted in trying to make my own yogurt because all of the brands are high in sugar and I’m trying to find something that’s low in sugar and tastes good. I unfortunately am allergic to all nuts so I can’t try any of the almond/coconut milk options.

    Thanks!

  9. Anu says:

    I used soy yogurt and this recipe worked perfectly! I tried this recipe on previous occasions with coconut milk and also with coconut and oat milk mixed together and it didn’t work as well.

  10. Audrey says:

    Eeeek, I am so excited to try this. I was just searching on where to get yogurt shipped from (Our health stores, Whole foods etc don’t carry the large containers of non-dairy yogurt.) And I figured I’d try making it ourselves. Can’t wait to see how this turns out!

  11. Sylvia says:

    When you wrap the towel around the crock pot, I assume that you leave the lid on. My spouse tried to make yogurt once and it turned pink. We threw it out!
    Thanks for the recipe. I look forward to trying it.

    • kristin reichert says:

      Correct. You leave the lid on, and I wrap the entire crockpot in one big towel making sure the whole thing is fully covered (including the top that has the lid on it). You want to keep in as much heat as you can. Good luck! Let me know how it goes and if you have any more questions

  12. Rachel says:

    Do you think you can make this in a cast iron dutch oven? My crock pot is old and the ceramic part doesn’t remove from the actual machine, so it would be hard to put into my oven.

  13. Alana, Author Domestically Challenged says:

    GREAT recipe! Quick question – if it comes out less tart than expected, how would I remedy it the next time? The consistency is great – I let it rest in the oven for almost 10 hours. The flavor is pretty sweet, but I used vanilla soy milk and the mango yogurt starter, so I expected that, but it isn’t very tangy. I assume it is still ok to eat?

    Thanks in advance! This was by FAR the easiest recipe to follow. Simple and easy is my motto! 🙂

    • kristin reichert says:

      Thanks for the post!! I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe. It takes a few times before the taste becomes more yogurt like. The first few batches will taste a lot more like the starter you used and not as tangy. I used a strawberry yogurt starter and mine tasted like strawberry for the first few times, but now it tastes like a good tangy yogurt. Let me know if you have any other questions as you make your next few batches!!

      • kristin reichert says:

        I have recently been leaving my yogurt in the “incubation” period for 11 hours and that has made the flavor stronger and the yogurt just a little bit thicker and that has worked out really well. I actually did this by accident once and loved how it turned out so I have been doing it ever since.lol Give that a try and see how you like it

  14. Shaye says:

    The yogurt is good for two weeks, correct?
    But that 1/2 cup saved, does that stay good when you add it to your new batch?

    • kristin reichert says:

      Yes, it is your starter. Just like when you buy your first starter yogurt from the store. That one works for your new batch in adding in the probiotics. I’m not sure why it’s ok, but I can just tell you it works..lol sorry I couldn’t be more helpful with that question.

  15. Nicole says:

    How long does it last in the refrigerator after making it? Does it freeze ok for using it for spreads or things like that? I was hoping to use it to make tizziki sauce with my home grown cucumbers. Thanks!

    • kristin reichert says:

      It’s good in the fridge for about 2 weeks. And yes. I actually just made a peanut butter pie(which I plan to post sometime soon) that I froze with the yogurt in it and it was great. I have also made ice cream with it, and although it is icy, it freezes/thaws well. I haven’t heard of tizziki sauce. I’ll have to try that out sometime soon!

      • Ali says:

        I really enjoyed this recipe! if I freeze 1/2 cup yogurt can I use it as a starter? Or does freezing kill the live cultures and make the yogurt no longer a good starter?

        • kristin reichert says:

          I honestly have no clue.. I’ve never frozen it before. Good question though. I would think it would probably work, but I’m not sure. If you test it out, let me know how it goes for you! And if I do, I’ll let you know!:)

  16. Monica says:

    I just tried coconut I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong I bought coconut milk from the store and the starter and I have a watery consultancy but I’ll try putting it in the fridge

    • kristin reichert says:

      When I made the yogurt with the coconut based yogurt I mixed that with soy milk. It is possible that it doesn’t work well with coconut milk as the base milk. I haven’t tried it with coconut milk, so I can’t vouch for that. I know for a fact that the soy milk will work though because I have tried that each and every time and only had 1 kinda flop, and it still turned out alright overall. You could give soy milk a try maybe? I’m sorry it hasn’t worked out for you yet. I hope this helps some.

      • Monica says:

        I will try with soy milk as well. So just use unsweetened plain soy and or coconut and it could be so delicous or silk? I probably didn’t wrap it up enough with towels I had one super large one. Thank you for the tip. I’ll keep trying

        • kristin reichert says:

          Yes, I would use soy milk. I have used silk soy milk as well as the great value brand soy milk with luck. For the yogurt you could use coconut yogurt, but mine didn’t turn out quite as good as the soy yogurt/soy milk combo did. Let me know if you have any other questions. Also if it would be easier, send me your e-mail address and I can give you my phone number if you still have questions you need answered.

          • kristin reichert says:

            I haven’t made it with 8 cups before so I’m not sure, but I would cook it longer. I would probably start with 15 minutes more and just keep a good eye on it. You want it to get the hottest it can without boiling, so watch it and make sure it doesn’t start to boil. Let me know how it turns out for you!

  17. Natalia says:

    It worked! I used soy milk and soy yogurt and let it sit for about 10hrs. It’s not very “thick” though. Any suggestions to make it thicker? Is there a specific type of milk you’ve tried that gives you better results? Thanks for the post really enjoyed making it.

    • kristin reichert says:

      The more I make it the thicker it becomes. I had to start over with a store-bought yogurt since we just recently moved(I had no good way of transporting my 1/2 cup starter across the country..bummer!) and I was able to see the difference between a brand new batch and what I had been making that was from my original batch(I probably started it 5 months ago. It definitely thickens with time/the more you make it, but if you still wanted to thicken it, check out the little section above titled “Side Note about the thickness.” I haven’t tried any of these myself because I don’t mind the consistency and it works for my family’s needs, but if you give any of those ideas a try I would love to know how they work out for you!

  18. Kimberly says:

    This was my first time trying to make yogurt, and it was a colossal fail. I used coconut milk which turned into a runny mess with little yogurt clumps floating in it. If I catch all the clumps, I might be able to pull together 1/2 a cup of yogurt. 🙂 I’m not sure what I did wrong, but I plan to try again.

    • kristin reichert says:

      Oh yuck! Bummer! I use soy milk when I make it, and I always use soy yogurt now too because I found that I get the best results with that combo. You could give those a try, let me know if you get it to work for you!

  19. Natalia says:

    I’m trying this recipe now! Yogurt is in the oven 🙂 I hope it still works since I kind of improvised and used a can of light coconut milk (yields about 2 cups) and 2 cups added water to make the “milk.” Also, I might have let it sit too long after the initial 2.5hr “heating” period – I had to put my baby to sleep and she took longer than expected so it sat for 3 hours :/ It still felt warm to me so hopefully it’ll work! Wish me luck. Have you had experience salvaging a batch that didn’t turn into yogurt? Cross fingers!

    • kristin reichert says:

      How did it turn out for you? I have also left mine in the heating period longer than the 2.5 hours before and it turned out alright for me. I don’t remember how much longer it was though.. I hope it worked for you!

      • Natalia says:

        It didn’t work with the first batch I made a few weeks ago using coconut milk and coconut yogurt. I just posted though that I made it with soy milk and soy yogurt and it worked! 😀

  20. Wendy Smith says:

    When you place this in the oven to rest – does the oven have a pilot light warming it, or no? I have made yogurt in an oven with a pilot light, with much success, but have never tried it in an oven without.

    • kristin reichert says:

      My oven does have a pilot light as well, however I believe it would work without it. I have recently been wrapping my smaller crockpot “jar” in towels and placing it inside my larger crockpot(which unplugged and not heated, but just an extra layer to keep in the warmth) and then putting both of those inside a dark cupboard and that has been working really well. I like doing it that way because then my oven is always free and I don’t have to plan my dinner preparations around my yogurt.

  21. Di Barlow says:

    I came across a typo in the actual recipe for “The Easiest Crock Pot Homade Yogurt (Vegan / Plant-Based)”. I think it could be confusing for people first trying to make yogurt and trying to understand everything.

    It says: “1 single-serving size container of non-dairy MILK(I use soy-based yogurt) OR ½ cup of yogurt from your last batch” I think you meant “YOGURT” instead of “MILK”. (Confusion might set in and the next part not get read thru clearly.)

    Thought you’d like to know. And Thank You! I love the way you explained everything so well! I used to make dairy yogurt. But now I have the Alpha Gal Allergy from a tick bite and cannot eat mammal products. I’m lucky that some stores carry some non-dairy versions, but don’t have many choices. I will try using the crock pot!

    • kristin reichert says:

      Thank you so much for catching that for me! I always try to read back over my posts to catch any errors before posting them, but sometimes I just can’t catch them all. That’s crazy that you got that allergy from a tick bite. I had no idea that was even possible! Glad I could help you out.

    • mabel says:

      Hey that is such a blessing to be off mamal products. Plant based food products are delicious and healthy. Hey count your blessings All i can say for now is “Fear God and give glory to Him for the hour of His judgment has come” Revelation 14:6-12 3 angels messages-last warnig for this perishing world.

  22. Angel says:

    I am very interested in trying out this recipe as our youngest can eat 2-3 yogurts a day. Sometimes it’s all she eats. And at nearly $2 a container…well, let’s just say i need to find a more economical way to meet her needs. 🙂 the stores here in our town do not stock plain soy/coconut yogurt. Do you have any idea how this would turn out if I used a flavored starter? Then my next question is, how would i flavor this recipe for her? Thank you.

    • kristin reichert says:

      I actually started my yogurt with a strawberry flavored yogurt. My first couple of batches had a slight sweetness to them, but after 2 or 3 times of making them they lost that flavor and it’s now just a plain yogurt flavor. As for flavoring the yogurt, I am planning to experiment with some flavorings soon. I’ll probably try out just plain fruit and see how that tastes at first. As soon as I have found a good recipe for flavoring it, I’ll post it. We’re in the middle of a move right now, but as soon as we get settled, I’ll get right to that!

  23. Karen says:

    I really want to make my own soy yogurt. I can’t buy plain soy yogurt in Ontario, in fact they looked at me as if I had crawled from under a stone when I asked for it in a health food store. Do you think this will work if I used a couple of acidophilus capsules in a quart of organic soy milk?

    • kristin reichert says:

      Oh no! I’m sorry you had a rough time at the store! I’ve had lots of odd looks as well when asking for random things like nutritional yeast, xanthan gum..etc, I know the feeling! I haven’t personally tried that method for getting the yogurt started, but I would imagine that as long as the original batch of yogurt turns out, the batches after that from the crockpot should work as well. If you end up trying it out, let me know how it goes!

    • mabel says:

      Hey Karen i have to options for you, #1 google a Whole Foods store near Ontario, and find vegan yogurt there, then use it fo a starter, then save like 6 oz of you after made yogurt and use it again. # 2 I make vegan organic soy yogurt with Mega Flora Probiotics, i use 2-3 pills to make yogurt. You can buy them at amazon.com Yeah i hope you can achive your goal. All i can say for now is “Fear God and give glory to Him for the hour of His judgment has come” Revelation 14:6-12 3 angels messages-last warnig for this perishing world.

    • Mechef145 says:

      Hi Kristin, have you tried making yogurt in pure clay pot? I regularly make it in my MEC pure clay pot and get a silky thick, delicious yogurt every time without having to add any thickeners or having to strain. The micro pores in the pot let only the water to slowly evaporate giving you a delicious thick yogurt naturally. I got my all-natural clay pot from mecware.US (online)

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