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.
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
- Instant Pot
- Oven-safe bowl that will fit inside IP liner
- 2 cups raw cashews
- 2 cups filtered water
- 2 probiotic capsules or 2 tbsp 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.