How to Make Creamy Plant-Based Coconut Yogurt From Scratch With Just 4 Ingredients


This rich recipe is about to save you big bucks on breakfast.

Photo: Getty Images
Prep Time:
15 mins
Rest Time:
1 day
Total Time:
1 day 15 mins

When it comes to eating in a way that benefits the planet, decreasing the amount of beef you consume is the most effective change you can make. That being said, the production of dairy products—like cheese, milk, and yogurt—also contributes a significant amount of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

According to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), "It's important to note that producing Greek-style and other strained yogurts, which now dominate dairy cases, takes four times more milk than regular yogurt." Additionally, they call attention to the fact that yogurt's resource intensity is not its only environmental drawback: "The yogurt industry has also had to contend with an increasing output of whey pollution. The acidic whey strained out of Greek-style yogurts is treated as a waste product, and its decomposition can be toxic to the environment."

My point? Whether you're vegan, dairy-free, or none of the above, consuming less cow milk-based yogurt can help combat climate change. Plant-based yogurts can be costly, however, which is why we tapped Olivia Roszkowski, professional chef and chef instructor at the Institute for Culinary Education's Health-Supportive Culinary Arts Program, for an easy recipe for vegan yogurt. She uses coconut and nut milk as a base, which make for a deliciously thick and creamy plant-based breakfast you can feel great about eating every day. "Using coconut milk along with the nut milk adds fat content, making the resulting yogurt more realistic in mouthfeel and texture," says Roszkowski. Also, if you prefer a thicker Greek-style yogurt, you can add a pinch of extra cornstarch to create a richer consistency.


  • 1 13.5-ounce can of coconut milk

  • 2 cups unflavored nut milk, such as almond or cashew

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 1 teaspoon cane sugar


  1. Add all ingredients to a pan, stirring to combine before turning on a medium flame. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes or until thickened.

  2. Transfer mixture to a bowl and place in refrigerator or freezer for 10 to 15 minutes to cool. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, ensuring that the plastic wrap has direct contact with the top of the yogurt to avoid a skin from forming.

  3. Place bowl in a warm and dark location (such as the top of a refrigerator) to ferment for 24 to 48 hours. As the mixture rests, it will continue to ferment and develop more complex notes. You can also place in a dehydrator to ferment at 85-95° F for 12 hours.

  4. Store mixture in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Once chilled, serve with fresh fruit, granola, coconut flakes, or enjoy as-is. You can also use this yogurt to make smoothies, dips, curries, spreads, and creamy homemade popsicles.

No time to ferment? No sweat. Simply season the cooled yogurt mixture with a splash of lemon juice or a sprinkle of citric acid and enjoy the same day.

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