Does Greek yogurt go bad?

In this article, we will answer the question “Does greek yogurt go bad?”, how to store greek yogurt, how long can greek yogurt sit out, can you freeze greek yogurt, how long does yogurt last, and how to make greek yogurt at home.

Does Greek yogurt go bad?

Yes, Greek yogurt goes bad. Refrigerated greek yogurt stays good for 1-2 weeks past the printed date. On the other hand, frozen greek yogurt lasts 1-2 months past the printed date. If you notice the sour smell, discoloration or mold growth, and lumpy texture in your greek yogurt, it is bad. More on this in the article below. 

How to store Greek yogurt? 

Whether your yogurt is Greek, plain, flavored, or Icelandic, it goes in the fridge no matter if it is opened or not. This holds for dairy-free yogurts as well. Make sure to keep the yogurt package sealed tightly in between uses. 

This will prevent the yogurt from absorbing undesirable odors, and drying out. A god seal also keeps the mold at bay. 

Leftover yogurt will do fine in the fridge for 1-2 days after opening. However, for longer storage, the torn down aluminum cap won’t be enough. Transfer the yogurt to an air-tight container for prolonged storage.

How long can greek yogurt sit out? 

Never let your yogurt sit out for more than 2 hours. The sitting-out window will be much more flexible if the outside temperature is cold. If the temperature is warmer than 90F, the yogurt may go bad even before 2 hours.

Can you freeze Greek yogurt? 

Yes, you can freeze yogurt. But it is not recommended. Frozen dairy products behave similarly once thawed. The phase separation after thawing imparts irreversible damage to the smooth and homogeneous texture of the yogurt. 

You can stir the yogurt to reverse some of the damage but the yogurt just won’t be the same. Such yogurt is best used in cooking and baking. The quality changes for greek yogurt are minimum as compared to plain yogurt. This is because of the thick texture of the former. 

How long does yogurt last? 

The shelf-life of greek yogurt or any type of yogurt for that matter depends on a couple of factors, such as;

1- What type of yogurt are we talking about? For example, flavored yogurt lasts longer than other types of yogurt due to the presence of additives or preservatives. 

2- How the yogurt was treated in terms of storage and handling before arriving at the store. 

In an extension to the second factor, it is important to look for a sell-by date on the yogurt package. No store owner is allowed to keep the product on the store shelves past this date. Note that the sell-by date is an indicator of quality and not safety.

Irrespective of the kind, yogurt stays good for about a week past the printed date. Once opened, yogurt should not be kept for more than 5-7 days.

Yogurt (unopened)Sell-by + 1-week
Yogurt (opened) 5-7 days 

How to tell if the yogurt is bad? 

Mold: Mold on the yogurt surface looks like a colored and fuzzy growth. If you observe any mold growth or discoloration in your yogurt, the yogurt is done for. 

Texture change: The accumulation of water on top and the rest of the yogurt mass becoming chunky is a sign that the yogurt is bad.

Sour smell: The yogurt should not give a funny or sour smell. If it does, it’s time to discard it.

Off taste: If your yogurt passes all other sensory tests but tastes bad in the mouth, get rid of it.

Sometimes, when the yogurt sits out at room temperature for several hours, it undergoes whey separation. As a result of which, whey liquid collects at the top of the yogurt. This is a natural process and not a spoilage sign. It can also be observed in preservative-free almost expired yogurt.

How to make Greek yogurt at home? 


  • 4 cups nonfat or low-fat milk
  • ¼ cup nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt


  1. Heat milk in a saucepan on medium flame until an instant-read or candy thermometer reads the temperature as180F.
  1. Divide the milk equally between 5- to 8 clean, heat-safe cup containers. Let the yogurt cool to 110F. In a small bowl, mix yogurt and 1/2 cup of the 110F milk. Pour the mixture back into the cup containers. 
  1. Cover the cups and keep them in a warm place for 12-18 hours. Refrigerate for about 2 hours before using.
  1. Place the cooled yogurt into a bowling double lined with cheesecloth and refrigerate for 8-24 hours to thicken the yogurt. The longer the yogurt is allowed to sit like this, the thicker it becomes.

Other FAQs about Yogurt that you may be interested in.

Can dogs eat plain yogurt?

Can you cook greek yogurt

How to tell when yogurt is bad?

Can you eat yogurt with keto?


In this article, we answered the question “Does greek yogurt go bad?”, how to store greek yogurt, how long can greek yogurt sit out, can you freeze greek yogurt, how long does yogurt last, and how to make greek yogurt at home.