This homemade frozen yogurt recipe requires no ice cream maker. It's truly easy to make, and it's creamy and delicious.
In summer, there's nothing quite like a sweet frozen treat. I used to own an ice cream maker, but it took up too much space. So I gave it away, and now I make frozen treats without an ice cream maker.
This homemade frozen yogurt recipe is truly easy to make and it's so delicious. It's a better choice than store-bought varieties, and it tastes wonderfully fresh.
The ingredients you'll need
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this homemade dessert. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Greek yogurt: I use plain whole-milk yogurt in this recipe. And while regular yogurt is excellent, in this particular recipe you should definitely go with Greek yogurt.
Sweetener: I like to use honey because it's so delicious. You can use a granulated sweetener if you prefer.
Vanilla extract: Use high-quality pure vanilla for the best results.
How to make frozen yogurt without an ice cream maker
It's very easy, actually, although it's a bit time-consuming. The detailed instructions are included in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps:
Mix. You start by mixing the ingredients together. You can use the food processor, or simply do as I do in the video below and use a hand whisk. Keep in mind that you'll need to whisk for about five minutes to get the mixture to be fluffy. Consider it as your workout for the day. 😆
Freeze. Now transfer the mixture to a 9-inch square glass baking dish, spreading it out evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 45 minutes.
Stir. Remove the pan from the freezer. Use a rubber spatula to give the mixture a good stir. You especially want to stir the already-frozen edges into the still-soft center. Flatten back, cover, and continue freezing for 2 more hours, stirring every 30 minutes.
Freeze some more. The yogurt should now have a soft-serve consistency. You can go ahead and enjoy it. I usually transfer it at this point to a smaller container (makes scooping easier), cover, and freeze for one more hour to achieve a scoopable consistency.
Why all the stirring?
To achieve a good consistency, you either need an ice cream maker, or you should stir the yogurt often during the freezing process. This helps prevent large ice crystals from forming.
While the frequent stirring may seem like a drag, it's not difficult to do on a day when you're home anyway. And to me, it's worth the space I get to save in my kitchen!
Why bother with homemade? Why not just buy it?
Because I don't like the ingredients in commercial yogurts. The list of ingredients for a popular brand contains nonfat milk, sugar, nonfat yogurt, nonfat yogurt powder, fructose, dextrose, natural flavors, citric acid, guar gum, maltodextrin, mono- and diglycerides, and rice starch. 😳
But is it as good as commercial yogurt?
No. Unlike commercial brands, this recipe contains no additives and thickeners and it's also lower in sugar than many brands. So don't expect the "perfect" texture and the intense sweetness you get when you add thickeners, stabilizers, emulsifiers, and lots of sugar.
But this homemade frozen yogurt is wonderful! You can taste the tang of the yogurt and the sweetness of the honey. It's simple, delicious, and fresh.
Ideas for flavor variations
The basic recipe is simple: yogurt, honey, and vanilla extract. To that, you can add fruit - fresh or frozen, pureed or chunky.
I like to completely puree the fruit in the food processor, then add the yogurt, honey, and vanilla. But you can blend the yogurt and honey first, then add the fruit and process briefly, leaving fruit chunks in your yogurt.
How to serve it?
It's excellent all on its own. It also goes really well with grilled peaches, with apple crisp, or with baked apple slices. Sometimes I serve it topped with blueberry compote or strawberry compote. That's a real treat!
How long can I keep it in the freezer?
You can keep it a sealed container for up to a month. But the longer it stays in the freezer, the less creamy and more icy it will become. If it's spent longer than a day in your freezer, make sure to remove it from the freezer about 30 minutes before you plan on enjoying it.
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Homemade Frozen Yogurt Recipe
- 2 cups Greek yogurt, plain, full fat
- ¼ cup honey*
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- Place the yogurt, honey and vanilla in your food processor’s bowl.
- Process to incorporate, stopping once to scrape the sides of the bowl, then process 1 more minute, until light and fluffy. You can also whisk by hand, but do so for several minutes until smooth and fluffy.
- Using a spatula, transfer the mixture to a square 9-inch glass baking dish. Cover with cling wrap, and freeze for 45 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the freezer. Use a rubber spatula to stir the already-frozen edges into the still-soft center, then spread evenly again.
- Cover again, and place in the freezer for 2 more hours, repeating the process of stirring the yogurt every 30 minutes.
- When the entire mixture is frozen, serve immediately as a soft-serve yogurt (use chilled bowls), or freeze 1-2 more hours for a firmer consistency that you can scoop out with an ice cream scoop.
- If you end up storing the frozen yogurt for longer than that (say, overnight or a couple of days - I doubt it will last longer), remove it from the freezer 30 minutes before serving, to allow it to soften.