Can You Microwave Yogurt To Reheat It? (Solved)

Categorized as Microwave Cooking
microwaved yogurt for cooking

Yogurt is a nutritious and popular food that many individuals enjoy eating as a snack or part of their meals. However, there are times when reheating it becomes necessary, whether for easier digestion or to include it in a recipe. One common query that arises in such circumstances is whether it is safe to use the microwave to reheat yogurt. 

This article delves into the nuances of microwaving yogurt, including the possible benefits and risks, and provides some useful tips to ensure that your yogurt is warm and delectable without any compromise on safety.

Can You Microwave Yogurt To Reheat It?

Microwaving yogurt is not recommended due to the potential consequences of killing beneficial bacteria and curdling the milk, which can result in a poorer taste and appearance. Additionally, the whey may also separate during the process.

If you’re considering microwaving yogurt, it may be worth simply consuming it cold to maintain the probiotic benefits. However, if your recipe requires heated yogurt, it can be microwaved for a brief period. 

To ensure safe heating, use a microwave-safe container and heat on low power for about 20 seconds. If further heating is needed, additional 10-second increments may be used. Generally, 30 seconds is sufficient time to warm yogurt.

What Happens if You Heat Yogurt?

The traditional process of making yogurt involves the slow culturing of milk with live bacteria to form a thick, creamy product rich in probiotics. In contrast, the modern method pasteurizes milk before adding bacteria. Pasteurization involves heating milk to a high temperature and rapidly cooling it.

 Although this method takes less time, there is a risk of killing probiotic bacteria, particularly if added while the milk is still hot. To preserve probiotics, they should be added after the milk has cooled and fermentation begins. Heating yogurt can destroy beneficial bacteria, eliminating any probiotic benefits.

 Recipes that require heated yogurt are typically for taste rather than probiotic benefits, as is the case with many shelf-stable products such as salad dressings and yogurt bars. 

Next, we will discuss two popular yogurt types: Greek yogurt and frozen yogurt..

Can You Microwave Greek Yogurt?

Greek yogurt and regular yogurt are both made from the same ingredients, but they have some key differences in terms of their nutrients, notably in the number of calories, calcium, and sugar they contain.

Regular yogurt is made by culturing milk with live bacteria. The bacteria feed on the lactose in the milk, and this process produces lactic acid. This lactic acid thickens the yogurt and gives it its sour taste.

Greek yogurt is made in a similar way, but the milk is strained to remove the whey, lactose, and some of the water. This leaves behind a thicker yogurt that is higher in protein and has less sugar.

In terms of consistency, Greek yogurt is much thicker than regular yogurt. It also has a tangier taste because of the higher concentration of lactic acid.

Despite their differences, Greek yogurt and regular yogurt are both temperamental in the presence of heat.

Heating either type of yogurt can kill the beneficial bacteria and cause the yogurt to curdle. Therefore, just as you should not heat regular yogurt, you should also not heat Greek yogurt.

Can You Microwave Frozen Yogurt?

You might be tempted to microwave frozen yogurt because it would save you a lot of time.

But if you do, at best, microwaving frozen yogurt will give you warm yogurt. At worst, you’ll end up with curdled yogurt that’s lumpy and terrible.

The best way to defrost frozen yogurt is to place it in the refrigerator overnight. This will allow the yogurt to thaw slowly and maintain its texture and flavor.

You can also opt to leave the yogurt out at room temperature for 20 minutes. This should be enough time to soften the yogurt without ruining its texture.

Some people also suggest using a sealed container to heat up yogurt in the hot water bath.

By placing the yogurt in a container and then submerging it in hot water, the yogurt will be heated evenly at a low temperature and minimize the risk of ruining the texture or taste.

How to Heat Up Yogurt in the Microwave?

In some recipes, you might need to heat up yogurt for baking or cooking purposes. Microwave provides a quick and easy way to do this.

Here’s the safest way to heat up yogurt in the microwave:

  1. Remove the yogurt from its packaging
  2. Place the yogurt in a microwave-safe bowl or container
  3. Use a low setting on the microwave and heat the yogurt for no more than 20 seconds
  4. Stir the yogurt after heating it and then check if the temperature has reached the desired level
  5. If it’s not hot enough, you can heat it for 10 more seconds

Most yogurt containers are made from PP, which is a type of plastic that is generally considered microwave safe. However, it’s always a good idea to transfer the yogurt to a microwave-safe container just in case.

Heating yogurt no matter how slowly and where you do it will definitely kill the bacteria and so the reason why you want to microwave it on low heat and short increments is to prevent it from becoming curdled, not to prevent the bacteria from dying.


In conclusion, microwaving yogurt is not recommended as it can kill the beneficial bacteria and cause the yogurt to curdle, resulting in poor taste and texture. Greek yogurt and frozen yogurt are also not suitable for microwaving. 

However, if your recipe calls for warmed-up yogurt, it can be safely microwaved for a short amount of time on low power. It’s important to keep in mind that heating yogurt will kill the beneficial bacteria, so it’s best to consume it cold to receive the full probiotic benefits. 

Overall, if you need to heat up yogurt, do so in small increments and at low power to prevent it from curdling while maintaining its taste and texture.


1. Can You Microwave Oatmeal With Yogurt?

Microwaving oatmeal with yogurt is a viable option as there are various recipes that incorporate both ingredients and can be microwaved. Popular recipes include Creamiest Instant Oatmeal with Yogurt from Food52, Greek Yogurt Oatmeal Bowl from Quaker Oats, and Quick Greek Yogurt Oatmeal in a Mug from These recipes utilize either plain or Greek yogurt and can be heated in the microwave for a short period of time.

2. Can You Reheat Food With Yogurt in It?

It is possible to reheat food that contains yogurt, but low heat should be used to prevent curdling. Microwaving yogurt is not recommended as it can kill the bacteria and curdle the milk. For cooking purposes, yogurt can be added to a dish that is already heated or cooked on a stove using low heat. Greek yogurt can also be microwaved for certain sauces, but stirring frequently and keeping the heat low is essential to prevent curdling.


Does Heating Yogurt Kill Good Bacteria?

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By Rosie Elliott

I’m Rosie. I’m a professional chef with experience in Western, Mediterranean, and Italian cuisine. I’ve been cooking for over 15 years, and I have two daughters that keep me busy!