Making vegan yogurt in an Instant Pot takes the guesswork out of a process that tends to depend on things beyond your control, like the weather. And it couldn't be easier. Here's my foolproof, two-ingredient recipe for a cultured vegan Instant Pot yogurt that's creamy, thick like Greek yogurt, tangy, probiotic and delicious.
I know so many of you, like me, love making your own vegan yogurt at home. A few years back I posted a probiotic cashew yogurt recipe that's easy, delicious, and beats the heck out of paying a small fortune to buy a tub of vegan yogurt at the supermarket. So many of you have made it since, loved it, and continue to make it.
But one thing that often emerges in comments is concerns about the varying times it takes for the yogurt to set. Even in the cozy atmosphere of an oven with the light turned on, it is not easy to predict when the yogurt will be ready. Because that time really depends to a great degree on factors outside your control: how cold or warm it is outside, which affects how cold or warm it is even inside your temperature-controlled home.
That's why, today, I want to share with you a recipe that takes all of that guesswork out of making vegan yogurt: my Instant Pot Vegan Yogurt.
This is such an easy recipe that you'll probably never go back to making yogurt the old-fashioned way again. All you need to do is blitz up the cashews with water, warm the cashew cream for a minute in the microwave until it's lukewarm, and then put it in the Instant Pot and forget about it.
I love this Instant Pot vegan yogurt and I've pretty much switched to making my yogurt this way now. It turns out thicker, for one, and it is perfectly tangy and creamy. If you try it, I wanna know, so be sure to leave a comment below.
Table of Contents
Why you'll love this Vegan Instant Pot Yogurt
- It's creamy. It's smooth and delicious with a fluffy, delightful texture.
- It's tangy, and you can control how tangy you make it.
- It's thick, with the consistency of Greek yogurt. Perfect for snacking or for adding to recipes.
- It's delicious. It tastes exactly as yogurt should, even better!
- It's probiotic. This yogurt has live probiotic cultures so a serving of it each day will keep your tummy happy.
- It's foolproof. There's no guesswork based on the weather and the temperature. The IP does all that for you.
- It needs just two ingredients. In addition to the cashews you will just need probiotic capsules or a couple of tablespoons of any other yogurt with live, active bacterial cultures.
- Raw cashews. Always make yogurt with raw, not roasted, cashews for good results. You can use cashew pieces, which are more economical than whole cashews, it makes no difference in this recipe as they are blended into a cream.
- Filtered water. You don't need to buy bottled water, although that is fine too, but water put through whatever filter you have at home would work. The purer the water is, and freer of chemicals, the easier it is for the microorganisms in the yogurt to flourish.
- Probiotic capsules: I use PB8 vegetarian capsules, which you can easily buy online. Make sure you open the capsule and stir in only the powder. Alternatively, you can use an existing yogurt with live bacterial cultures, if you have one at hand. You just need two tablespoons.
How to make vegan yogurt in the Instant Pot
There's barely a recipe here, but the instructions are important to follow along carefully, so please do so for the best results.
You will begin the process by soaking 2 cups of raw cashews or cashew pieces with 2 cups of filtered water for at least 30 minutes. I don't care how high-powered your blender is, soaking the cashews makes a really smooth yogurt, so do it. Do not drain the water.
Next put all of it in the blender and blitz into a really smooth, silky cream. Remove the cream to an oven-safe bowl that will fit inside the Instant Pot liner. I use a glass Pyrex bowl.
Warm the yogurt in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir, then warm for 30 more seconds. The yogurt will be slightly lukewarm, which will create a nice, cozy atmosphere for the bacteria to start growing.
Stir in the powder from two probiotic capsules (open each capsule and use the powder inside only). I always use the PB8 vegetarian brand, which I buy online. It works great.
You can also use a yogurt as your starter. Any vegan or non-vegan yogurt will do, but it has to have active live cultures so make sure you read the info on the container. A homemade probiotic yogurt is great too. Stir in the yogurt starter into the cashew cream instead of the probiotic capsule powder.
Once the powder or starter has been stirred into the yogurt, place it inside the steel liner of the Instant Pot. Click the lid on, and press the "yogurt" function. Set the time to 12 hours for a tangier yogurt, or 10 hours for a less tangy version. I usually do 12 hours.
The IP will begin to count up rather than count down, the way it usually does: in other words, it will begin counting the time from 0 seconds on and work its way up to 12 hours (or 10 hours if that's what you set it for).
When the IP indicates the yogurt is ready, open the lid and voila, amazing vegan yogurt. If you don't want the yogurt to get more tangy, refrigerate immediately.
Yes, absolutely. Just use two tablespoons of the yogurt as a starter to begin your next batch. No need to use probiotic capsules each time.
Yes, you can use full-fat coconut milk to make this yogurt. You can also use soy milk but the yogurt will need a thickener in that case. You can stir a teaspoon of thickener like agar agar into the milk before you heat it.
That said, I much prefer the cashew yogurt, which tastes closest to the real thing and has the perfect for baking cakes and other desserts.
The yogurt should be refrigerated immediately after you remove it from the IP, especially if it's as tangy as you want it. If you leave it out at room temperature the yogurt will continue to ferment and get tangier.
On the flip side, if your yogurt isn't still as tangy as you want it to be (although it should be quite tangy after 12 hours in the IP), leave it on the counter for a couple more hours and taste to make sure it tastes as you want it to before you refrigerate.
You can freeze the yogurt or a small batch of the yogurt to use as your next starter.
Recipes with vegan yogurt
This yogurt, with fresh berries or other fruit and a drizzle of maple syrup, is divine as a snack or dessert. Here are some more ideas for how you can use it.
- Vegan Mango Lassi
- Vegan Lemon Yogurt Bundt Cake
- Vegan Harissa Meatballs with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce
- Vegan Cucumber Yogurt Rice
Vegan Instant Pot Yogurt
- Oven-safe bowl that will fit inside IP liner
- 2 cups raw cashews
- 2 cups filtered water
- 2 probiotic capsules or 2 tablespoon yogurt with live, active cultures (I used PB8 vegetarian capsules)
- Soak the cashews with the water for at least 30 minutes.
- Blend into a very smooth paste. Remove to an oven-safe bowl.
- Place the bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir, then return and heat for 30 seconds more.
- Open the probiotic capsules and stir the powder into the cashew cream. If using yogurt starter instead, stir that in.
- Place the bowl inside the liner or inner pot of the Instant Pot.
- Put the Instant Pot lid on and press the "yogurt" button. Set the timer to 12 hours for a tangy yogurt, or 10 hours for a less tangy one.
- Once the IP beeps and the indicator shows that the yogurt is ready, remove the yogurt from the liner. Refrigerate immediately to stop the yogurt from fermenting further.
I did everything by the recipe, and my yogurt is more lije a liquid than thick ad creamy 🙁
Hi, Check your probiotics. Sounds like they are ineffective and that is most likely the problem. Make sure the probiotic capsule you are using is active.
Hi I dont have a microwave. How can i heat it up without it?
Just use warm water while blending the cashews!
I love this recipe!! Thank you for creating this! Its my go to yogurt recipe now. I pour the yogurt into 1/2 cup glass storage containers and freeze all but the one I'm using.
Hi! How long is this good for in the fridge?
It should be fine for a week.
Oh my gosh, this was delicious. I was shocked that such a simple recipe could be so good. I used 2 tablespoons greek yogurt as the starter. Thank you for sharing this recipe!
Thank you for this very easy IP yogurt recipe!! I have made dairy yogurt for many years in my IP and now that I am vegan really wanted to give this a go again. I used Silk Almond/Cashew milk 10g protein and 2 TBS of Forager vanilla yogurt, Microwaved the Silk until it reached 103 degrees, added the Forager, whisked gently and put in IP for 11 hours. It had fermented, just a bit runny and it thickened as it cooled in the frig. Should I try to add some xytham gum next time before heating in the microwave? I ate it this morning and it was wonderful, thank you!!
I used to buy a pint of this type of yogurt for something like $15. The small business folded and I’ve been looking for a substitute ever since. This recipe is pretty darn close, and so easy to make! They didn’t have PB8 at my local store, but I found a generic “8 strain” probiotic capsule and it worked great. Thanks for a great recipe!
Hi, this looks like a great recipe, but I'm just wondering if I can use the instant pot's bowl without any issues?
Hi Martha! I've never made it directly in the IP liner, but assume it should be fine.
My IP does not have a yogurt setting. It’s a smaller pot. Would the keep warm setting do the same job?
Hi Debbie, here's what you can do. Place the cashew cream in the Instant Pot, put the lid on and place it on the "warm" setting for 45 minutes. Release the lid and remove the cashew cream. Check temperature and let it cool to 110 degrees or until it's lukewarm to the touch. Add the probiotic, put it back in the warm Instant Pot. Put the lid on but don't turn the IP on! Wrap the IP in a beach towel and let the yogurt stand 10-12 hours to set.
You can also just skip the IP altogether and place the yogurt in the oven with just the oven light on. See more details on how to make yogurt without an IP in my cultured yogurt post: https://holycowvegan.net/homemade-cultured-cashew-yogurt/
I did this method bc my IP doesn’t have a yogurt setting. It did get much thicker. Is that ok?
Hi Robin, If it's thicker I am assuming it set. Does it have a tang, even a slight one? So long as it was kept warm and the cultures you used were active it should have turned into yogurt.
I LOVE this yogurt!!! I've made it three times now and it just keeps getting better. I'm a tangy girl, so I let it go 12 hours and still give it a little time on the counter before I refrigerate. This weekend, I made it in wide-mouth pint sized mason jars so I don't have to portion it out each morning. Four jars fit nicely inside the liner of my 6-qt IP, so it was perfect. I want to try coconut milk next just to have some variety. Thanks for all the tips and the savings to my grocery bill. 😁
Thoughts on how long this keeps in the refrigerator after it's made?
it over the stove top and then transfer it into a bowl that can fit in the Instant Pot?
I do not have a microwave. Should I heat it over the stove top and then transfer it into a bowl that can fit in the Instant Pot?
Hi Bianca, just use warm water to blend the cashews. Stovetop could make it too hot.
I’ve made at least a dozen batches of this yogurt so far and I love it. I have another batch going right now. I start it around 6pm and it’s ready the next morning. It’s easy and delicious!
So happy you made it, Jessica!
Which IP is best for making yogurt?
I have a six quart duo but any model would be fine for this, I think.
I can't wait to try thiws yogurt recipe. I love dairy free yogurt made with coconut milk. Do you have a recipe for that?
You can make this yogurt with coconut milk.
To make it with coconut milk it’s just substituted for cashew? You keep the water content?
I love your recipes.
They’ve worked great for me, always.
Hi, if using coconut milk don't add any additional water!
what is the strength of the probiotics?
Two capsules have 14 billion cultures.
Tried it but the finished product tastes exactly like the original - not like yogurt at all
Any tips ?
Sounds like your probiotics were ineffective. Which brand did you use? If they've been sitting around for a while they'd have lost their potency.
Is there an alternative for microwave?
I did mine for a little over 10 hrs as I enjoy more mild yogurt. Your picture looks very thick, mine just seems a little thicker than it did last night. It's hard to tell if it worked. I halved the recipe. I wonder if I should I have microwaved for less time? It was steaming a bit out of the microwave but not super hot (I don't have a thermometer), I was able to put a drop on my hand and didnt feel too hot before I stirred in probiotic capsule.
It doesnt taste bad, I'm thinking I can eat it anyway? I'm thinking it's safe? I don't know if it really fermented. I'd love your thoughts and thanks for this recipe!
I ate it and I'm alive so I think it was ok 😉
Hi Gerry, glad that worked. 🙂 The only reason I can think of -- apart from temperature-- is that the probiotic you used may may not have been very active. After 12 hours the yogurt should be tangy and thick--it will thicken up further in the fridge. When it's fermented it should taste just like yogurt.
What else can I do in pls e of heated my in the microwave? We do not use the microwave .. can we heat it in the oven or on the stove ? And for how long or yo what temperature do you suppose ?
Hi, you can warm it up directly in the liner of the IP up to 110 degrees F, or on the stovetop. You will need to wash out the IP liner though as the yogurt itself has to be made in a container placed inside the liner.
I don't have a microwave either, I just used warm water to start with.
Great tip. Thanks for sharing!
First, I subscribed to your blog over 18 months ago and have made several of the recipes you've posted. With regards to this recipe, I was wondering if I could make a nut-free version from coconut milk. I would use a pure, canned version with no additives. Any thoughts on this? Would I need to add a thickener like konjac powder to achieve Greek yogurt consistency?
Hi, yes, you can definitely make the yogurt with coconut milk. And also yes, you might need a thickener. Cashew itself acts as a thickener in the cashew yogurt, but coconut wouldn't do that.
My Lux Mini doesn't have a yogurt setting! I've prepared the cashews and probiotics... but now what to do?
I haven’t tried this before but here’s a suggestion that should work: instead of preheating the cashew cream in the microwave, place it in a glass bowl and then in the IP set to the sauté function. Let it heat until the cashew cream is lukewarm, around 110 degrees. Then turn off the IP, place the lid on with vent in closed position and let the yogurt stand 12 hours (IP should remain off all this time).
I'm so excited to see a cashew milk recipe without any thickener. When you say let stand for 12 hours, do you mean with the the yogurt setting after heating up the mixture? Also can I place my container direcly (without the trivet) if heating using the sautee function instead of the microwave?
Thank you again!
Hi Gerry, yes for 12 hours on the yogurt setting in the Instant Pot! You can place the container directly in the IP liner without a trivet. And yes, you can use the saute function in the IP to heat the cashew milk.
I like that it's made with cashews and want to try this, but don't have a microwave. I would need to use the stove to heat it up. Wondering how hot does it need to get? thanks!
Hi Carmen, just very mildly lukewarm.
I am wanting to purchase an IP which I want to make vegan yogurt in so I happy to see your recipe. I just don't know which size I want. I'd prefer the smaller size (3qt) IP for my pressure cooking and rice making, but will it work for making yogurt if I need to find a bowl to fit inside the container? Can you help me out?
Hi Marge I have a 6 qt Instant Pot which works well for this. If you get the 3 qt you could use a smaller bowl and, if necessary, halve the yogurt recipe. Instructions would remain the same.
Hi..can I substitute oats for cashews?
I’ve never tried it but I think it could work.
Can you use flavoured yoghurt as the starter or should it always be plain Greek yoghurt if using that instead of probiotic capsules? Thank you.
Hi Narelle, don't use dairy yogurt or flavored yogurt--use cashew or other probiotic nondairy yogurt that is not flavored.
I would like to try mixing the cashews with the soy milk 1:2 cups to get a naturally thicker soy yogurt. Have you ever tried this?
Hi Alexis, I haven't but I think it's a great idea.
Vaishali, this turned out perfectly creamy and tasty! Thank you very much!
So happy you made it, Julia!
Is there no need to put water into the instant pot bottom?
Hi, no need for water in the IP liner.
I will definitely give this cashew version a try. I have been making soy yoghurt for well over a year now - no thickeners needed provided one uses a soy milk made from beans and not isolate and with a high enough % of beans to water. I use a brand called Vitasoy Protein Plus Soy milk (19% beans). I use a regular yoghurt maker and leave for 24 hours, changing the water once to keep it warm. I only needed to use the probiotic capsules once! The bottle stays unused in my fridge. Two to three tablespoons of yoghurt is sufficient starter to fill the jar to one litre. It just got better and better and now is beautifully tangy.
Thanks, Rodnie, those are awesome tips!
What is the approximate serving size?
I prefer to make yogurt in Mason jars. Have done this many times in the Instant Pot. Do you see any problems with that approach here?
About a third of a cup. And I think making this in mason jars is a great idea.
Hello: This looks like a useful recipe. We do not have an instant pot; however we do have a yogurt maker. Could this yogurt be made by pouring the mixture into the cups in the yogurt maker. If so, could you give me a hint on the volume of the mixture is so we know whether to make a whole recipe or just a half or ???
Hi Ruchama, this makes about four cups in volume before it is placed in the IP. It thickens and loses some of that moisture during the fermentation process. I think it would definitely work in a yogurt maker, the ingredients are very similar to my non-IP vegan yogurt recipe and some readers have tried that in a yogurt maker and succeeded.
hello, would love to try this but i have a sensitivity to cashews and almonds. Can i use Macadamia nuts instead?
Hi Jamila, I think macadamia nuts should work just fine here.
I've been making this using flax milk, which has 8 grams protein/serving vs. soy milk's 9 grams. It works well most of the time, but oddly not always, even with the exact same starting ingredients. I'll give it a try with cashews instead.
Awesome, let me know if you try! That's interesting that it doesn't always work out the same. This recipe has been working for me the handful of times I've tried it now. Do you use probiotic pills or a starter yogurt? I'm wondering if the starter yogurt, which might have different concentrations of the cultures at different times, could be making the difference, if that's what you're using.
Do you set vent for seal, or leave it open?
It doesn't matter either way. I have left the vent on whenever I've made this, but leaving it open won't make a difference.