Make all your Mezze dreams come true with this easy Labneh Recipe!  Homemade Labneh can be made very simply, with very little fuss. A creamy Middle Eastern Yogurt Dip or cheese-  it is the perfect canvas for all your creative toppings, with ALL the health benefits of cultured yogurt! Easy, simple and Delicious! 

How to make Labneh- an easy labneh recipe you can make at home.

I’ve been obsessing over homemade pita bread lately, using different flours and blends with dough on hand in the fridge ready to bake. Warm and toasty, right out of the oven, the pita bread is heavenly dipped into this homemade Labneh.

When I was a kid, there was always yogurt straining on the counter. My mom would make yogurt from scratch, then season and strain it into the thickest creamiest yogurt cheese. It was our version of cream cheese. Tangy,  thick and flavorful, it was a staple and used in many applications.

What is Labneh? 

Labneh is basically: a very thick, creamy, Middle Eastern style yogurt cheese. It has the consistency of American cream cheese, but with a little more flavor, complexity and tang. And of the best part? It has all the healthy probiotics of cultured yogurt. In a nutshell, labneh is creamy dreamy heavenly goodness!  The perfect canvas for all your creative toppings. And I can’t wait to see what you do with this!

how to make labneh

Labneh Ingredients: 

  • Full fat whole milk yogurt
  • Salt

Other optional additions: lemon zest, finely minced garlic, pepper, herbs

How to Make Labneh- a creamy Middle Eastern Yogurt Dip ( or cheese) - perfect for your Mezze platters. #labneh #labnehrecipe #labnehdip. #yogurtcheese #yogurtcheese

How to make labneh ( in a nutshell): 

  • In a nutshell, season full-fat yogurt with salt, then strain for 24-48 hours. That’s it! Simple, easy and delicious!
  • 4 cups yogurt will yeild 2 cups labneh
  • add 1/4 teaspoon salt per cup of yogurt
  • Labneh will last 3-4 weeks in the fridge.

 

straining yogurt for Labneh

Place a kitchen towel or cheesecloth ( double layer) over a strainer, over a bowl.

Salt the yogurt (full fat, plain) and pour it in the towel set over the strainer.

homemade labneh

I like to place a can on top of this, for weight, and stick this in the fridge for 24 hours.

How to make Labneh- an easy labneh recipe you can make at home.

You can also strain the yogurt over the sink, the way my mom sometimes did. This works great if you don’t have a strainer.

homemade labneh

After 24 hours, remove the whey – and then decide if your labneh is thick enough for your liking. Usually, 24 hours is perfect for a “dip”, but sometimes for a thicker, cheese-like version, I’ll let it strain for an additional 24 hours. Up to you.

With 4 cups of yogurt to begin, you’ll end up with roughly  2 cups of Labneh.

how to make labneh -easy labneh recipe

See how thick and creamy this is?

How to make Labneh- an easy labneh recipe you can make at home.

To make a pretty dip, Spread it out in a shallow bowl, or even on a plate.

How to Make Labneh- a creamy Middle Eastern Yogurt Dip ( or cheese) - perfect for your Mezze platters. #labneh #labnehrecipe #labnehdip. #yogurtcheese #yogurtcheese

Using a spoon, make a well for the olive oil. Then have fun with it, topping it with anything!

How to Make Labneh- a creamy Middle Eastern Yogurt Dip ( or cheese) - perfect for your Mezze platters. #labneh #labnehrecipe #labnehdip. #yogurtcheese #yogurtcheese

How to garnish Labneh? 

I like to think of labneh like hummus or baba ganoush, topping it with fresh herbs, a drizzle of good quality olive oil, spices and any fresh seasonal ingredients I have on hand. Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

  • olive oil
  • zaatar spice
  • sumac
  • aleppo Chili
  • everything bagel seasoning
  • warm roasted garlic, or melted leeks
  • fresh herbs- dill, cilantro, Italian parsley
  • olives
  • veggies- cucumber, tomatoes, radishes,
  • nuts and/or seeds
  • smoked salmon
  • honey and figs, or warm roasted fruit.

How to make Labneh- an easy labneh recipe you can make at home.

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How to make Labneh- an easy labneh recipe you can make at home.

How to Make Labneh!

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x
  • Category: appetizer, condiment
  • Method: strained
  • Cuisine: Middle eastern
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

How to Make Labneh- a creamy Middle Eastern Yogurt Dip (or cheese) – perfect for your Mezze platters.


Ingredients

Scale

You’ll need a cheesecloth ( or kitchen towel) and a strainer placed over a bowl.

  • 32 ounces plain, full-fat yogurt (4 cups yogurt makes 2 cups labneh)
  • scant, 1 teaspoon salt

Optional additions:

  • splash lemon juice (for extra tang)
  • lemon zest
  • fresh or dried herbs
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced

Optional Labneh Dip Toppings:

  • olive oil
  • zaatar spice
  • sumac
  • aleppo Chili
  • everything bagel seasoning
  • warm roasted garlic, or melted leeks
  • fresh herbs- dill, cilantro, Italian parsley
  • olives
  • veggies- cucumber, tomatoes, radishes, sprouts, microgreens
  • nuts and/or seeds
  • smoked salmon
  • honey and figs,
  • warm roasted fruit

Instructions

  1. Stir salt into the yogurt, right in the container, mixing well.
  2. Pour into a kitchen towel (or cheesecloth 2-3 layers thick) set over a strainer, set over a bowl, with ample room to collect 2 cups of liquid underneath. Gather the towel corners together, twist to close and set a canned good, overtop for weight.  Set this in the fridge or cool place in your kitchen for 24 hours. Pour out the whey ( or save for another use) Check consistency.
  3. If using as a dip, I find 24 hours is enough time. If wanting a thicker cheese-like consistency, feel free to strain another 24 hours.
  4. To make the dip, spread out the labneh into a shallow bowl or plate ( you should have about 2 cups). Make a well in the center with the back of a spoon for the olive oil. Drizzle with olive oil and add fresh herbs and sprinkle with spices. Add any additional toppings you like olives, pinenuts, tomatoes… have fun with it!
  5. Serve with bread, pita, crackers
  6. If going the sweet route, skip the oil, add a drizzle of warm honey and add fresh roasted fruit (figs, grapes, plums, etc) sprinkle with chia seeds – really nice for a brunch affair! Served with muffins, scones or morning breads.

Notes

Allow 24 hours “straining” time.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: ¼ cup
  • Calories: 110
  • Sugar: 4.5 g
  • Sodium: 330.4 mg
  • Fat: 5.7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 4.5 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 10.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 14.7 mg

Keywords: how to make labneh, labneh recipe, what is labneh

 

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Comments

  1. In the past i have made labneh and I loved it with pickled red cabbage or smoked salmon with capers and red onion slices. I liked with jam as well. I really miss having the labneh in the fridge for an easy lunch or dinner. I live in long-term care so it’s not readily available.

  2. I ordered vanilla yogurt and the store gave me plain low-fat Greek yogurt so I decided to turn it into labneh. Excellent. Very tangy but very thick after 24 hours and nothing like the consistency of store bought labneh that I’ve had but still great.

  3. Make it with my homemade yogurt…. Greek isn’t as tart and way to pasty for my Lebanese taste. I don’t know why so many of these recipes use the Greek stuff?

  4. I can’t wait to make my own labneh. If I wanted to add garlic should I do it before I strain it or after?

    1. I’m not exactly sure. I’d check consistancy 8-10 hours after straining for Greek yogurt.

  5. I had been buying premade labneh, but heard homemade was better. Found this recipe and decided to give it a try. I bought a 32 oz. organic, whole milk, probiotic Greek yogurt to make it. I began by using cheesecloth, but I must have needed more layers, as the yogurt didn’t really stay “in” the cheesecloth, so I added a cotton towel over the cheesecloth, and that worked like a charm. (I’ll eliminate the cheesecloth next time I make it!) I twisted the towel to make a ball, used a rubber band to secure it, and rested it in a bowl-type mesh strainer over a mixing bowl, and placed it in the refrigerator for 24+ hours. The next morning, I removed the labneh (sooo creamy and thick!), and put it into the yogurt container (washed and dried) for storage. Had it on toast for breakfast with some zataar spice with a smidge of olive oil – absolutely delicious!

  6. Love it ! It is so amaizing delicious I felt I’m Middle easterner ! A friend from Iran told me “beside my aunt this is the best “ I’m from Venezuela!

  7. Love it ! It is so amaizing delicious I felt I’m Middle easterner ! A friend from Iran told me “beside my aunt lamb this is the best “ I’m from Venezuela!

  8. Hello Sylvia! Thank you for this recipe. I love labneh, especially served with a warm manouche. It’s the first time I’m going to try making it at home. I have only one question, do I keep my strainer with yoghurt in the fridge or on the countertop? Thanks!

  9. This came out absolutely delicious! I used an already made thick Greek yogurt and seasoned it with lemon, garlic, zaatar, sumac and Aleppo chili. Thank you!

  10. Made this for Sunday brunch and served with air-fried pita bread sprayed with olive oil. It was a big hit. My daughter said “Wow, so fancy”!

    1. Hi Stephanie, I haven’t tried it with non-fat…. a great question though. Will you let me know if you try it?

      1. It turned out quite nice with the non fat Greek yogurt. I served it with olive oil and dukkah.

        1. Thanks for letting us know….. I make my own yogurt from 2% milk and was wondering the same thing!

  11. very easy to make u don;t have too make the curd its just hung curd i love this we also do the same with this i makes cakes with it very tasty but i have not tried the salty vision of it all i made was the on the sweet side

  12. So simple! The add-ins of garlic, zataar and aleppo made the most amazing dip. Thank you for this little gem!

  13. I just moved- have been to three markets just today and could not find labnah. This recipe came in my feed just in time!! Thanks! Live Labnah

    1. Perfect! I love the timing of things. 🙂 Good to hear from you and hope you are doing well Merle! xo

  14. Made this yesterday for a party tonight and it was a big hit. Used Zaatar, olives, mint and olive oil. Served with warm pita.

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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