Looking for a sweet treat that is a bit better for you? Our Test Kitchen shows you how to make frozen yogurt with an ice cream maker right at home.
Frozen Greek Vanilla Yogurt Recipe photo by Taste of Home

A dish of ice cream topped with chocolate or fruit is pure dessert heaven. Sometimes though, ice cream is a little too rich and heavy. To lighten things up, switch to frozen yogurt. It still provides that creaminess but with fewer calories and less fat.

Even more tempting is scratch-made frozen yogurt. With only a few simple ingredients, you can make a delicious treat that you can feel good about eating. Our Test Kitchen shows you how to make this easy dessert with only five simple ingredients. Let’s get churning!

Frozen Yogurt Ingredients

  • Reduced fat plain Greek yogurt (full-fat works, too!)
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cold water
  • Lemon juice
  • Unflavored gelatin


Step 1: Strain and stir

Lined strainer filled with Greek yogurtTaste of Home

Begin by lining a strainer with four layers of cheesecloth and placing it over a bowl. Fill the lined strainer with the Greek yogurt, covering the yogurt with extra cheesecloth. Refrigerate for two to four hours. This step will help remove any extra liquid from the yogurt, which creates a creamier, richer final product. If you don’t have cheesecloth on hand, use a single coffee filter. Just be sure to cover the yogurt with a bit of plastic wrap, waxed paper or a reusable wrap.

Once thoroughly drained, discard the extra liquid. Then stir in the sugar and vanilla extract until the sugar is dissolved.

As tempting as it is, don’t skimp on the sugar! You may want to remove some of those less healthy ingredients when making better-for-you alternatives, but the sugar in this recipe serves an important purpose besides adding sweetness. Sugar helps give frozen yogurt its soft, creamy texture. Too little sugar and you’ll end up with rock-hard fro-yo—yikes!

Step 2: Let it gel

Gelatin mixture in a small glass bowl beside an empty measuring cup, squeezed lemon and empty gelatin packetTaste of Home

In a small, microwave-safe bowl, combine cold water and lemon juice; sprinkle with gelatin and let stand for a minute. Once the gelatin has absorbed a bit, pop into the microwave for 30 seconds on high. After heating, give the mix a stir and let it cool slightly. Along with sugar, gelatin helps keep your frozen yogurt soft and scoopable.

Step 3: Cool off

The gelatin mixture, now combined with the yogurt, being covered in plastic wrapTaste of Home

Stir the gelatin mixture in with the yogurt and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until completely chilled—at least 40 minutes. The colder your frozen yogurt base, the silkier the texture will be.

Step 4: Churn, churn, churn

Person scooping their yogurt mix into an ice cream makerTaste of Home

Before starting, make sure the cylinder of your ice cream machine is completely frozen. With your canister ready, add the yogurt mix to your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. You’ll want to keep the yogurt mixing until it becomes thick and the temperature drops to 22ºF.

Step 5: Ice it down

Now finished, the frozen yogurt is being removed from the ice maker and put into tuberwareTaste of Home

When the yogurt is done churning in the machine, transfer your frozen yogurt into a freezer container. Freeze for two to four hours, until it’s firm enough to scoop. If you’re antsy, you can definitely give your fro-yo a test right away, though it will have a texture more like soft serve. But having patience pays off. Once frozen, this dessert is craveably creamy.

Frozen Yogurt Tips

Frozen vanilla yogurt in a dish and topped with colorful sprinklesTaste of Home

How do you serve frozen yogurt?

This frozen yogurt tastes delicious served on its own, but top it with fruit, nuts and even a few sprinkles for that fro-yo shop at home feeling.

Can you use regular yogurt, instead of Greek, in this recipe?

Traditional yogurt also works in this recipe, but it does have a higher water content, so you’ll have to wait a little longer for it to drain. Also, avoid using flavored yogurts as a base. Due to the extra ingredients (namely stabilizers), these options won’t drain fully and you’ll end up with an overly icy end product.

Frozen Yogurt

It's so simple and easy to make your own frozen Greek yogurt, you might even want to get the kids in on the fun. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
Frozen Greek Vanilla Yogurt Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time

Prep: 15 min.+ chilling Process: 15 min.+ freezing


2-1/2 cups


  • 3 cups reduced-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin


  1. Line a strainer or colander with 4 layers of cheesecloth or 1 coffee filter; place over a bowl. Place yogurt in prepared strainer; cover yogurt with sides of cheesecloth. Refrigerate 2-4 hours.
  2. Remove yogurt from cheesecloth to a bowl; discard strained liquid. Add sugar and vanilla to yogurt, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
  3. In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine cold water and lemon juice; sprinkle with gelatin and let stand 1 minute. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir and let mixture stand 1 minute or until gelatin is completely dissolved; cool slightly. Stir gelatin mixture into yogurt. Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 40 minutes.
  4. Pour yogurt mixture into cylinder of ice cream maker; freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions.
  5. Transfer frozen yogurt to a freezer container. Freeze 2-4 hours or until firm enough to scoop.

Nutrition Facts

1/2 cup: 225 calories, 3g fat (2g saturated fat), 8mg cholesterol, 57mg sodium, 36g carbohydrate (36g sugars, 0 fiber), 14g protein.