Instant Pot Yakult Probiotic Drink Recipe

May 30, 2020Van
Blog post

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 24 hours

Serves: 12.5 Cups or 37 - 80ml Servings

This is a copycat recipe for the popular probiotic drink Yakult – it’s a delicious drink that has a refreshing citrus flavor and contains the exclusive strain Lactobacillus casei Shirota which is beneficial for your digestive system (learn more about the company here). Yakult was first released in the city of Fukuoka, Japan in 1935 an expanded to worldwide distribution in 90’s.  Their U.S. factory is actually located in my hometown, you can book a free tour if you’re in Orange County, CA.

Make your own for a few dollars using the Instant Pot with a Yogurt button (keeps it at a steady temp of ≈ 110°F) – I did the math and it comes out to be about $4.50 for the equivalent of 37 bottles 80ml servings. If you’re familiar with yogurt making, then you know that you need a starter culture to make more yogurt, that’s why Yakult is an ingredient in the recipe, it’s the only way to get their exclusive culture strain Lactobacillus casei Shirota. Yakult uses their own proprietary flavoring of citrus and vanillin to get that unique taste, I’ve replaced it with orange juice, lemon juice and vanilla extract to get the flavor similar to the original.

This is the only recipe for Yakult out there, if you’re a blogger using my recipe, please credit me and link back to this original recipe.

Instant Pot Yakult Probiotic Drink Recipe (Yogurt Drink)

Instant Pot Yakult Probiotic Drink Recipe (Yogurt Drink)

These mini jars can be purchased hereYakult Recipe

Another fun option that my kids are crazy over, Yakult Frozen Bears made with these silicone moldsYakult Recipe

Popsicle bags are a convinient and portable option for frozen pops made with YakultYakult Recipe

Yakult Recipe

Be sure to click on the accessories list below to get the most out of your Instant Pot.
Best Instant Pot Accessories List

Print Recipe

Instant Pot Yakult Probiotic Drink Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 24 hours
  • Serves: 12.5 Cups or 37 - 80ml Servings


  • ½ Gallon Fat Free Milk
  • 2 80ml Bottles of Yakult
  • 3 Cups Filtered or Distilled Water
  • 1½ Cups Granulated Sugar
  • ½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • ½ Cup Orange Juice, with no pulp
  • 4 Teaspoons Lemon Juice, strained so there’s no pulp
  • ½ Teaspoon Citric Acid, (optional, but it helps with the flavor)


  • 1)

    Pour 1 Cup of Water and 1½ Cups Granulated Sugar into the Instant Pot. Choose Saute, and stir until the sugar is dissolved (don’t let the water boil). Press Cancel to turn off Sauté mode and add 2 Cups of Water and wait until the water has cooled to luke warm – if the water is too hot, this can cause the milk to curdle. Add ½ Gallon Fat Free Milk and lastly add 2 80ml Bottles of Yakult and stir well. Seal the Instant Pot lid.

  • 2)

    Choose the Yogurt setting and make sure it’s on Medium / Normal and set for 24 Hours.  After about 12 hours, open the lid & whisk the mixture, then close the lid again. Around the 19-24 hour mark, the mixture may look curdled, this is normal, use an immersion blender to get it smooth.

  • 3)

    When it’s done, add ½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract, ½ Cup Orange Juice, 4 Teaspoons Lemon Juice, ½ Teaspoon Citric Acid and stir very well with a whisk or blend until it looks smooth and homogenous. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. It’s normal for the drink to separate in the fridge since we can’t homogenize the mixture like they do at the factory, so shake well before drinking and enjoy within 10-14 days.

↓ Supplies to make this recipe ↓



  • Betty

    February 15, 2021 at 1:02 pm

    I followed the recipe to a tee but it is still not as creamy/thick as the original. Is there any way to make it thicker?

    1. Van

      February 15, 2021 at 1:29 pm

      Hi Betty, you can try adding a thickener like xanthan gum – but it’s pretty much impossible to get it identical to theirs, this is a copycat that will get you close to the flavor and have a drink with their special strain of Lactobacillus casei Shirota – not an identical copy to it

  • Betty

    February 16, 2021 at 10:31 am

    Actually, it thickened some more in the fridge and it tastes delicious! Thanks for the great recipe! 🙂

  • Jill Subirats

    March 4, 2021 at 8:25 am

    I would love to try this recipe but was recently diagnose with diabetes and have to be very careful with sugar. Is it possible to use something else in place of sugar or just omit it altogether? Also the orange juice. Can I use fresh squeezed and remove the pulp?

    1. Van

      March 4, 2021 at 9:35 pm

      Hello, you can omit or substitute with something like monkfruit sugar. It will be quite tangy without a sweetener. Carton orange juice is pasteurized so it will last longer, I think it might affect how long the Yakult is good for if you use fresh orange juice.

    2. Bren

      May 8, 2021 at 5:49 am

      Hello I have just placed all the ingredients in to my instant pot duo evo which has a ferment yogurt setting. Only thing is it says options High or Low. I have selected low but not sure if that would be good enough?

      1. Van

        May 8, 2021 at 5:53 am

        Hi, switch it to the Normal / Med Yogurt setting. High kills the culture & Low isn’t warm enough.

  • Lynn Hazlett

    March 5, 2021 at 8:00 am

    What size instant pot did you use? I only have a mini 3Qt, but really want to try it.

    1. Van

      March 5, 2021 at 8:31 am

      I have an 8qt, you can make half the recipe so it fit into your 3Qt.

  • v

    March 10, 2021 at 11:07 pm

    Is there a way to make this without an instant pot?

    1. Van

      March 10, 2021 at 11:35 pm

      Hi, you can also use a yogurt maker. It has to be held at a steady temp of 115F for 24 hours.

  • Jessie

    March 16, 2021 at 3:33 pm

    I’m going to give this recipe a try! Just have a question about the fermentation temperature and time. On Yakult’s Wikipedia page (, it says “After letting it cool down to 45 °C, the mixture is inoculated with the lactobacillus and incubated for 6 to 7 days at 37 to 38 °C. After fermentation, water, sugar, gums and lactic acid are added.”

    Do you know what would happen if we follow Yakult’s fermentation settings and do it at 37 to 38 °C (which would probably be the IP yogurt setting “low“ instead of “medium”) for 6 to 7 days? Thank you!

    1. Van

      March 16, 2021 at 3:44 pm

      Hi Jessie, I knew of Yakult’s temp and long incubation times, but it didn’t seem practical for me to try it at home or create a recipe using those times. It would be cool if you experimented, I think it would work fine on the low yogurt setting since it should be around 98°F – let me know how it turns out.

      1. Jessie

        March 18, 2021 at 11:03 pm

        I see. Thanks for the confirmation. Yeah 6-7 days is indeed a long time. I’ll give it a try!

  • Jeannie Chen

    April 16, 2021 at 6:33 pm

    Should I save 160ml of the finished product to start the next batch?

    1. Van

      April 17, 2021 at 7:40 am

      It should be ok to do this once, I’d start with a new starter after that.

  • Alison Jackson

    April 17, 2021 at 9:16 pm

    I am so excited to try this! I grew up with it and still indulge every once in a while. And I love trying things in my instant pot!

  • Alison

    April 17, 2021 at 9:36 pm

    When you open the too at the twelve hour mark, do you depressurize first?

    1. Van

      April 20, 2021 at 3:02 pm

      Hi Alison, it doesn’t get hot enough to pressurize, so you don’t need to do that.

  • Tyler

    April 18, 2021 at 12:04 pm

    We just tried this and it came out smelling distinctly cheesy with a firm layer on top. After blending it incorporated well, but the smell still lingered and it tasted really watery and like cheese curds.

    We’d love to make this recipe work and need guidance. I feel like we did something wrong here, any suggestions?

    1. Van

      April 20, 2021 at 3:03 pm

      Hi Tyler, did you make any adjustments to the recipe? Was it fat-free milk?

  • Patricia

    May 29, 2021 at 4:22 pm

    I tried this recipe and I am hooked. It turn out absolutely perfect and lovely. It is now on repeat at my home. The last time I made it I didn’t have oranges but it still tasted amazing.
    I do have a question, the portion (2/3 cup) we can set aside for the next batch. Can I freeze that to use later if I will not be making it within 7days?

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