How to Make Labneh

Labneh is Middle Eastern strained yogurt cheese. You can make it by simply straining yogurt overnight to rid it of whey and turn it into a thick, creamy spread or dip. You can strain it longer to make thicker fresh cheese that’s firm enough to shape into balls, patties or logs and dredge in herbs, nuts and spices of all kinds.


Line a sieve or colander with a few layers of cheesecloth and place it over a bowl.

Stir some sea salt into Greek-style yogurt (1/4 teaspoon per cup, or to taste). Pour the yogurt into the cheesecloth-lined sieve or colander. Gather up the sides of the cheesecloth, twist tightly and tie with string.

Place in the refrigerator 12 to 24 hours. The longer it strains the firmer it will get.

The cheese in the picture was strained for 12 hours.

Drizzle it with olive oil and sumac, sprinkle it with zaatar or top it with fresh fruit and honey. Delicious any way you serve it.

Similar Recipes:
Gorgonzola and Pecan Stuffed Dates
Spiced and Herbed Goat Cheese
Making Fresh Mozarella (from The Pioneer Woman)


5 Responses to “How to Make Labneh”

  1. 1

    Christine — 08/16/2012 @ 12:05 am

    I had no idea I was making labneh when I was draining yogurt. I just called it yogurt cheese. I love the idea of sprinkling it with sumac and will do that next time. Thank you for another beautiful post.

  2. 2

    Eha — 08/16/2012 @ 9:13 pm

    This is one of my weekend projects, as I love it and do make plenty of my own yogurt. Sometimes tiny things make a difference: most recipes advise to hang the cheesecloth over a dish in the fridge: have had some ‘messy’ results that way and too much fridge space has been taken up. With a small sieve or colander, a much more stable result :) ! Do give a small pat and rub you know where . . . !

  3. 3

    Dana — 08/17/2012 @ 10:53 am

    Labneh is a favorite ingredient of mine. It can do magical things to a dish. To be honest though, I generally don’t have the foresight to plan ahead far enough to make it myself. Luckily, the Lebanese Pita Bakery down the street does. I’m going to have to try to get organised and make some!

  4. 4

    dottieb — 08/18/2012 @ 8:04 am

    I too have been making cheese with my greek yogurt for years, but I also only have known it as “yogurt cheese”. I like your name much better. Also love the idea of the olive oil and sumac, and now my mind is thinking of all the other oils and spices I can try!

  5. 5

    MyKitchenInHalfCups — 08/20/2012 @ 6:11 pm

    Oh yes thank you. Just the thing for some fresh baked flat bread crackers!
    I even have the yogurt and need to use it!!

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