Homemade Lactose-Free Yogurt – Instant Pot Method

Scoops of creamy, unsweetened yogurt with a hefty drizzle of honey

We love yogurt.  Sadly, both of us have some stomach issues when we eat regular yogurt from the store.  Apparently that is true of a lot of people.  If you are interested, here is some general information from romper.com about what happens to the body when eating lactose: https://www.romper.com/p/6-things-that-happen-to-your-body-when-you-eat-dairy-lactose-intolerant-not-13021983

And if you’re even more interested than that, here is some pretty science-based information from the Denver Naturopathic Clinic about lactose free yogurt, and lactose in general.  http://www.denvernaturopathic.com/lactosefreeyogurt.html

We have tried some yummy yogurt made out of milk that didn’t come from cows. We’ve tried cashew milk yogurt, almond milk yogurt, coconut milk yogurt, goats milk yogurt, soy milk yogurt, and anything else we have discovered. These were fine. they tasted okay, the texture was okay and our stomachs did not get upset.  Yesss!  But there were two issues with virtually all of these. First,  the texture just wasn’t that great.  While it might have appeared thick and creamy, it tasted just creamy. Not thick and creamy. And yogurt that is thick and creamy is just better. Second, all of these yogurts we tried were expensive. 


Cost Per Ounce of Dairy Free Yogurt at 3 Supermarkets

So dairy free yogurt that tasted good but not great and isn’t creamy ranges from 25 cents per ounce (with a brand we were not fans of) to 38 cents per ounce for the brand we liked best.  When we made the yogurt ourselves it was thick, creamy, tasty, lactose free AND cheaper.

To make it, we used Fairlife Ultra-Filtered whole milk, which is lactose free.  It was $4.29 for 52 ounces, or 8.2 cents per ounce.  We also used Horizon Organic  Half and Half, which cost $2.29 for 16 ounces, or 14 cents per ounce, and Lifeway Plain Unsweetened Organic Kefir , which cost $4.29 for 32 ounces, or  13.4 cents per ounce.  Using the recipe below, the whole batch of yogurt cost $5.96, for 64 ounces  ($4.29 milk, $1.40 half and half, $0.27 kefir)…that’s 9.3 cents per ounce! And a bonus that is not to be ignored, it tastes FANTASTIC.

So to make this yogurt lactose free, we started with a lactose free milk.  The Fairlife yogurt is lactose free to start with, and has some other fine qualities too. It comes in fat free and 2% but whole milk is what makes this incredibly yummy, creamy yogurt.  It is 160 calories for a cup (20 calories per ounce) and well worth it. Cut back somewhere else.

Details of Fairlife Yogurt
FairlifeĀ® Ultra-Filtered Milk Whole.
50% Less sugar than regular milk.
High quality 13g protein per serving.
9 Essential nutrients.
From cows not treated with rBSTā€ .
Lactose free.
Ultra-Filtered Milk, Lactase Enzyme, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D3.


If you’re interested in total calories, the half and half is 40 calories per ounce and the kefir is 20 calories per ounce.  So 64 ounces is 1,480 calories total or 23.13 calories per ounce.   A 6 ounce serving (the largest a single serve cup in the supermarket would be) would be less than 140 calories. Yup.  

A view into the instant pot full of yogurt

 Yogurt after it’s come out of the refrigerator and been stirred up. Ready to eat!

 We topped it off with fresh raspberries and diced green apples, along with a healthy drizzle of raw honey and some homemade granola. 

You can also use this plain, unsweetened yogurt as a savory base for recipes. Any place you would use sour cream, in fact, like in dips or cheesecake!

Homemade Lactose Free Yogurt

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

52 ounces of Fairlife Organic Whole Milk Yogurt

1 1/4 cups Organic Half and Half

2 Tablespoons Organic, unsweetened Kefir with life cultures (remember to shake it before pouring)

  1. Ensure your Instant Pot is clean. If you are not sure it is 100% clear and free of soap or food residue, clean it again.
  2. Pour the milk into the Instant Pot.
  3. Add the half and half.
  4. Add the kefir.
  5. Whisk well.
  6. Put the top on the Instant Pot and seal.
  7. Select the “yogurt” setting and set the timer to 12 hours.  You could probably do less time but if you want it creamy and tangy, try 12 hours the first time.
  8. After 12 hours, open the top and remove the pot. WITHOUT DISTURBING the yogurt (meaning do not store, shake etc.) put a cover on it. We use plastic wrap to seal it. Move the covered pot to the refrigerator for four hours.  You can leave it longer than that if you want to but leave it at least that long.
  9. After at least four hours, stir the yogurt and you’re ready to go!  We store it in a covered glass or plastic container and it will keep for 10 days or so, though it doesn’t usually last that long in our house.  As the days pass some of the liquid may begin to separate, which is perfectly normal and happens with store-bought yogurt too.  You can either strain it when that happens or just serve it with a slotted spoon.