BreakfastOctober/November 2009

Dairy-Free Yogurt Recipe

Make your own dairy-free yogurt!

Homemade yogurt will be thinner than commercial brands due to absence of gums, thickeners and stabilizers. The longer it ferments at room temperature (up to 12 hours), the thicker it gets. To thicken even more, add gelatin, pectin or agar, as instructed. You will need a yogurt maker for this recipe.



4 cups unsweetened coconut milk or lactose-free milk
1 tablespoon sugar or honey, more to taste
1/8 teaspoon yogurt culture starter or 1 packet yogurt culture mix
2 teaspoons gelatin, pectin or agar powder combined with 4 teaspoons water, optional for thickening


1. Heat milk in a saucepan (or microwave up to 1 minute) until temperature is at least 180 degrees. Do not boil.

2. Cool milk to between 105 and 115 degrees. (To save time, place milk in the refrigerator for an hour.) Cooling is important as high temperatures kill yogurt culture. If milk forms a skin on top, remove it.

3. Stir in sweetener until dissolved. Add culture and stir well.

4. Pour yogurt into yogurt maker container. Cover, turn on machine, and let sit at least 8 or up to 12 hours, or leave it overnight. You can tell yogurt is ready when a thin layer of “water” about inch, appears on the top. Yogurt will continue to thicken as it cools.

5. For thicker yogurt, soften gelatin, pectin or agar powder in water. (This step is recommended if using coconut milk.) When it thickens (about 30 seconds), microwave gelatin mixture for 10 seconds or until it becomes liquid. Stir into yogurt and refrigerate until chilled. If even thicker yogurt is desired, add more gelatin.

6. Transfer yogurt to a container, cover tightly and refrigerate.

Each cup contains 146 calories, 5g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 20mg cholesterol, 126mg sodium, 16g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 9g protein.

TIP For lactose-free milk, try Lactaid ( or Organic Valley (

TIP No starter? Use 2 to 3 tablespoons from your last yogurt batch or from a store-bought brand that contains active yogurt cultures.

Comments (5)

Can you use homemade rice milk in this recipe? I'm allergic to nuts, coconut, dairy, and soy...

Posted by: Bethie Lou | May 21, 2014 10:58 PM    Report this comment

I've had the same problems as others. Store bought nut milk does NOT seem to work. My homemade cashew milk worked (I added grassed gelatin) but quite a bit if extra work. Why does store bought not work????? It's just extra watery sour-ish milk.

Posted by: Unknown | October 17, 2013 8:02 AM    Report this comment

i have tried this recipe 2x now and all i end up with is yogurt smelling milk - not yogurt at all! still the consistency of milk - and if i add gelatin to thicken it turns into a lumpy blob on top with all the water on the bottom! please someone help me!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: jul9561 | July 23, 2011 6:50 PM    Report this comment

you can buy non dairy yogurt starter from GI Prohealth!

Posted by: jul9561 | July 23, 2011 6:49 PM    Report this comment

This looks great and not too complicated, but are there any options for those of us that are sensitive to the yogurt starter culture? It is typically started or grown on dairy (somehow I'm not exactly sure), but I know it's not completely dairy free. Is there a way to make your own starter culture from probiotics that are not grown in a dairy environment?

Posted by: Phoebe A | July 6, 2011 12:50 AM    Report this comment

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