Real Frozen Yogurt

frozen yogurt

I’ve been eating frozen yogurt for 15 years. My sister, who used to run to TCBY during high school cross country “practice,” introduced me to it; roommates in college fueled the addiction; California taught me to consider it a major food group.

Over these past 15 years, I’ve genuinely loved each and every bowl of frozen yogurt I’ve eaten, despite how sugary and artificial tasting and generally crappy most of them have been. There’s just something about the ritual of getting a fro-yo with friends that makes whatever’s squirted into the bowl inconsequential, for me at least.

But when I took one bite of this homemade frozen yogurt, a David Lebovitz recipe made with full-fat Greek yogurt, I thought, “Ohhh. This is what frozen yogurt should taste like.” I couldn’t believe it. It actually tasted like, wait for it, frozen yogurt. Yes, like yogurt frozen. I know, I know, mind blowing.

Made with only three ingredients, Greek yogurt, sugar and vanilla, the base for this frozen yogurt comes together in about one minute, and after an hour of chilling, it’s ready to be churned — so simple, so delicious.

And that’s the only trouble with it. It’s so easy to make and so damn good. It’s impossible to walk by the freezer without giving a spoon a little dip-a-roo into its storage container. If you struggle with self-restraint, this is the sort of thing that should only be made while you have a houseful of guests prepared to tuck in immediately after it’s finished churning. Not a squirt will remain. I promise you.

frozen yogurt

yogurt, sugar, vanilla

yogurt, sugar, vanilla

frozen yogurt, churning

frozen yogurt

I thought some sort of granola “bowl” would make a nice vessel for serving this vanilla frozen yogurt. Using another Lebovitz recipe as a guide, I substituted in 1 cup of my granola bar mix for the sliced almonds. The result? Good, not great. Unfortunately, they were too sweet, and the sweetness masked the granola flavor. I’ll report back if I give them another go.

granola cup cookie batter

granola cups, unbaked and baked

granola cups

Frozen Yogurt
Source: The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
Yield = 1 quart

3 cups plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
2/3 to 3/4 cup sugar*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

* Update 8/28: I think I prefer the 2/3 cup sugar quantity. I made about 5 batches without altering the sugar, but just made a batch tonight with 2/3 cup sugar — it’s just a touch less sweet but no less flavorful.

1. Mix together the yogurt, sugar and vanilla. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Freeze in your ice cream machine according to the manufacture’s instructions.

frozen yogurt in granola bowls


  1. jeri says

    I recently made some frozen yogurt from the most amazing over ripe strawberries. The flavor was perfect, but the texture was dreadful. All those little seeds just did not get pulverized. If you have any tips, I would be graateful.

    • says

      Jeri — I think Hannah has it right. Do you cook the strawberries at all? Either way, after you purée them, push them through a fine-mesh sieve. That should help the texture issues.

  2. says

    there is no frozen yogurt in Zürich, like none, can you believe it? I grew up at TCBY and ate my weight in Durfees/dinning hall froyo and then transitioned to FroYo world when I was living in New Haven (their yogurt is tart like pinkberry). I’d go ahead and say that Froyo is my guilty pleasure. I adore it. I’ve been contemplating an ice cream maker for a while now, and this post/recipe has finally sent me over the edge. I’m going to get one this afternoon. Cannot wait to try this! I’m already imagining endless possibilities – banana, strawberry chocolate! yum!

    • says

      Talley, you must get an ice cream maker. I have a feeling you will have a ball with it. Do you have a stand mixer? I use the kitchen aid ice cream maker attachment — works beautifully.

  3. says

    I have “The Perfect Scoop” but have just flown past the frozen yogurt recipe! I will need to remedy my oversight, as you certainly have shared a scrumptious frozen treat!

  4. says

    Great minds! I actually mixed up a batch homemade yogurt this morning so I could make some frozen yogurt! It’s in the dehydrator culturing at this very moment. It won’t be ready until tomorrow because once the yogurt is done I will need to strain the whey to make it “Greek”. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

    • says

      Susan — fun! I have always wanted to make yogurt. My mother went on a kick a little while ago and was obsessed. I need to try. I can’t imagine how delicious this froyo will be when homemade yogurt is added to the equation. Yum!

  5. Lollie ~ The Fortuitous Housewife says

    I busted out my old Cuisinart ice cram maker earlier this summer and have been on an ice cream making binge ever since – coconut, peach, strawberry. I grew up in CA & also considered frozen yogurt a part of my personal food pyramid. Loved TCBY and Humphrey Yogurt, but, until recently, my local fro-yo options have been limited or non-exsistent.

    So excited to try this frozen Greek yogurt option! Gonna run out now & get the yogurt so I can surprise my boys tonight with fro-yo topped with a dollop of my freshly-made quad-berry jam.

  6. Katykat says

    How can I make some TART froyo like my favorite Cali froyo?? I will have to start researching this… but this looks amazing, I will make ASAPPPPP, once again you have inspired my until-i-met-you-nonexistent inner chef, love you!

  7. says

    Ali, yum! Froyo… not sure I would have survived college without it (although I might have weighed less at the end). I remember trying to explain to my parents what “Durfee’s Late Night Charge” was on my bursar bill. Ha.

    Love the idea of using Greek yogurt and being able to make it as sweet as you’d like. Thanks!

  8. Hannah says

    jeri, to address the unwanted strawberry seeds, just puree them in a blender and then push them through a fine strainer. I’m not sure how this juice will affect the consistency of the yogurt, but it will at least eliminate seeds.

    I can’t wait to try this frozen yogurt. :)

  9. Nadine says

    I made this today with nonfat Greek yogurt (since I bought the wrong kind!) It turned out good, but a little too sweet. I will put less sugar in next time. Thank you, Ali! We need to plan a no kids fun cooking day sometime soon!

    • says

      Nadine! I didn’t get you in time — I’ve been making it with 2/3 cup sugar. I updated the recipe. I like it both ways, but I think 2/3 cup sugar is plenty sweet. I think if you are using nonfat yogurt especially, less sugar is better.

  10. says

    oh I want to make this so badly but I don’t have an ice cream machine, my friend is buying one, I will have to make her make some, only problem is she lives on the other side of the world from me!

  11. LindaG says

    For those of us without an ice cream maker, pour the mixture in a shallow container like a casserole dish, cover and put it in the freezer. Every hour or so, pop it open and give it a good stir. Keep doing this until the FroYo is where you want it consistancy wise. I made something similar earlier this summer…had cream cheese in it too…tasted like cheese cake!

  12. KellyDC says

    I tried this last night using Fage 2% and my ice cream maker (a KitchenAid) locked up. The yogurt began to freeze almost immediately and within minutes the paddle was stuck. Is there something about the fat content that acts as an antifreeze?

    • says

      Kelly, this is so bizarre. I’m so sorry to hear this. I have never had an issue, so I’m not really sure how to advise, but you might be onto something in regard to fat content. Do you use the kitchenaid attachment? Or is it a free-standing ice cream mixer?

      • KellyDC says

        I used the KitchenAid bowl and dasher. I transferred it to a container and put it in the freezer, fully intending to devour it; however, a day later it was hard as a rock. I’ve had to let it sit out and soften a bit before I can even get a spoon in it. (And I am determined to get a spoon in it! Clearly, I’m unfazed by the consistency…)

        • says

          Oh no! I have to admit, I haven’t made this in ages, and when I did, I probably ate most of it in one sitting. I find I often have to let homemade ice creams/yogurts sit out at room temperature to get them to the right consistency, and I’m glad to hear you are unfazed by your frozen yogurt rock. I have been meaning to revisit this recipe ever since discovering Jeni’s splendid recipe — I made rhubarb ice cream with it — which made the best consistency of a homemade ice cream/yogurt I have ever made. I feel like it might be able to be adapted to a yogurt, though nothing beats the simplicity of this recipe. I will report back if I make any discoveries…as soon as it warms up around here. Sorry for the trouble :(

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