12 In Appetizers

Labneh (Yogurt Cheese)

Labneh (Yogurt Cheese)

Labneh is yet another Mediterranean food inspiration that we found in Mexico (incidentally enough!). We ordered it with a trio of dips including hummus and baba ganoush. It seemed that the creamy, slightly sour cheese must be some sort of fancy middle eastern concoction. Upon further research, however, we learned that labneh was no more than strained yogurt. The first recipe I found made it look so easy that I insisted on checking it three or four more places just to make sure.

This extra thick yogurt cheese is a suitable dip for pita or veggies. The consistency and taste is somewhere between sour cream, yogurt, and cream cheese. It’s generally served with olive oil and some spices or herbs (paprika, garlic, thyme, etc). We found that it was also pretty tasty as a sandwich spread, or for anything else that needs a bit of zest!

Labneh (Yogurt Cheese)
What You Need
  • 32 ounces plain whole milk yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Cheesecloth or handkerchief
What To Do
  1. In a bowl, mix the plain whole milk yogurt and 1 teaspoon kosher salt.
  2. Pour the yogurt into a cheesecloth or handkerchief and tie it over a wooden spoon. Hang the cheese cloth over a pitcher and allow to strain in a refrigerator for 24 hours.
  3. After 24 hours, several cups of whey should strain from the yogurt. That’s it! Transfer the labneh to a container or use immediately. Keeps in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


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  • Reply
    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum
    March 25, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Wow – talk about something fancy turning out to be pretty easy! Now to find a cheesecloth…

    • Reply
      March 26, 2011 at 7:19 pm

      I don’t bother with a cheesecloth but use a “flour-sack” kitchen towel instead.

    • Reply
      March 26, 2011 at 8:42 pm

      We bought a pack of cotton handkerchiefs instead of cheesecloth (per the link above) – they work great!

  • Reply
    Viv @ The Eclectic Life
    March 25, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Yummmmm. I always eat pita bread and hummus so I think making this would be a nice change of pace.

  • Reply
    March 25, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    I love Mediterrenean dips – a favorite meal of mine is dipping pita in all kinds of different things– hummus, tabbouleh, tzatziki, labneh, etc. I can make all the others but I just assumed labneh was too inaccessible. I had no idea that was so easy…thank you for bringing labneh into my life once again!

  • Reply
    Cooking Rookie
    March 27, 2011 at 8:01 am

    Yep, great recipe. And you can even strain the yogurt using a thick paper towel :-).
    Love your photos!

  • Reply
    March 27, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    How easy! I’m always on the hunt for mediterranean food. This looks great.

  • Reply
    Donna from Yumma Yumma
    March 29, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    This looks really yummy! And the picture is pretty too!

  • Reply
    Nicole Franzen
    April 7, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    That looks divine. Its one of my favorite things to eat at this Mediterranean resto I go to. Tangy and creamy with warm pita, yum

  • Reply
    April 12, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Cute post, blog, great recipe and beautiful photos. Love the way you plate the dishes:)

  • Reply
    June 17, 2011 at 5:47 pm


    Ps. An addd idea: using the whey when you bake, instead of water and such, makes the bread very juicy and ricker in protein. Just thought I’d toss it out there. :D

    • Reply
      June 19, 2011 at 3:02 pm

      Cool! I didn’t know this, thanks for the tip!

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