How to make Labneh – a tangy, creamy Middle Eastern cheese made from strained Greek yogurt. Serve it as a savory dip, or sweeten it for a dessert. A simple easy recipe!

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

I’ve been obsessing over our homemade labneh and pita bread lately. Warm and toasty pita bread is downright heavenly scooped into this creamy homemade Labneh! Oohs and aahs all around!

When I was a kid, there was always yogurt straining in our kitchen. My mom would make homemade yogurt from scratch, then season it and strain it again in layers of cheesecloth over a bowl, until all the liquid (called whey) drained out and it was ultra thick and creamy. We called it yogurt cheese, or labneh cheese.  It was her version of cream cheese. Tangy,  thick and flavorful, it was a staple in our home and used in many ways!

What is Labneh?

Labneh is essentially, a soft and creamy Middle Eastern cheese made from strained yogurt with consistency of cream cheese, but with a little more flavor, complexity and tang. And the best part? It has all the healthy probiotics of cultured yogurt.

how to make labneh

Labneh Ingredients

  • Full-fat whole-milk yogurt, Greek yogurt, thick plain yogurt, or make our homemade yogurt! 
  • Salt
  • Cheesecloth
  • Other optional additions: lemon zest, garlic, pepper, fresh 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 Cheese

Step 1: Place a thin kitchen towel or several layers of cheesecloth (triple layer) over a strainer, and set this over a medium bowl.

straining yogurt for Labneh

Step 2: Season the yogurt with salt and pour it in the towel set over the strainer.

homemade labneh

Step 3: Place this in the fridge for 24 hours.

homemade labneh

Step 4: After 24 hours, check the consistency of the yogurt and decide if your labneh is thick enough for your liking. Usually, 24 hours is perfect for a “dip”, but for a thicker, cheese-like version, let it strain for an additional 24 hours. The whey will have collected in the bowl you can save this to make Beet Kvass!

how to make labneh -easy labneh recipe

See how thick and creamy this is? Isn’t it incredible?

Chef’s TipS

  • No strainer? If you don’t have a strainer, here is a quicker, easier way to strain yogurt right over your sink. My parents would do it this way: leaving it to strain overnight. You can squeeze out any excess whey, to further thicken and get the texture you want.
  • Vegan? Yes, you can strain vegan yogurt and make a plant-based version of labneh! Thicker, fattier brands work best!
  • Think Dessert: Labneh can also be treated like dessert- drizzle with honey and serve with fresh strawberries or figs- delicious!
straining yogurt for labneh


Store the labneh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.

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

How to serve Labneh

To make a labneh appetizer dip, spread the labneh in a shallow bowl, dish or plate. Using the back of a spoon, make a “well”  for the extra virgin olive oil. Then add some toppings!

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

LAbneh Toppings

  • Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling,
  • Zaatar Spice for sprinkling- or use dukkah, sumac, Aleppo chili flakes, or Urfa Fiber
  • Fresh herbs: dill, parsley, basil, or cilantro… or a combo!
  • Warm roasted garlic, or melted leeks, or sautéed mushrooms
  • Olives– kalamata, nicioise, Castelvetrano, etc.
  • Veggies- cucumber, tomatoes, radishes,
  • Smoked salmon and Everything Bagel Spice
  • Honey and fresh figs, or warm roasted fruit.
How to make Labneh- an easy labneh recipe you can make at home.

Serving Suggestions

More recipes you'll love!

I can’t wait for you to try Labneh. Thicker, creamier, and more luscious than Greek yogurt- it is like the consistency of cream cheese, with the tangy flavor of yogurt and all the beneficial and healthy probiotics of yogurt! It’s hard not to love!

Let us know what you think in the comments below.


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How to Make Labneh.

Homemade Labneh Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 14 reviews
  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x
  • Category: appetizer, condiment, dip, spread
  • Method: strained
  • Cuisine: Middle eastern
  • Diet: Vegetarian


How to make homemade Labneh from scratch– a creamy Middle Eastern yogurt cheese ( or dip). A tasty appetizer, dip, or spread.


Units Scale

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

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

Optional additions: splash lemon juice (for extra tang), lemon zest, fresh or dried herbs, garlic, finely minced


  1. Stir salt into the yogurt, right in the container, mixing well.
  2. Place 3 layers of cheesecloth or a thin kitchen towel inside a large fine-mesh strainer over a medium bowl.
  3. Pour the salted yogurt into the cheesecloth or towel. Gather the towel corners together, twist to close and set a canned good, overtop, for weight.  Set the bowl and strainer in the fridge or cool place in your kitchen for 24 hours. Save the whey (setting it aside) and check the consistency.
  4. If using as a dip, I find 24 hours is enough time. If you want a thicker cheese-like consistency (like cream cheese) feel free to strain for another 24 hours.
  5. 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!
  6. Serve with bread, pita bread, crackers
  7. 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 dessert, or for a brunch affair ( with muffins, scones or morning breads.)


Allow 24-48  hours “straining” time.

Labneh will keep up to 3 weeks in the fridge.

The strained liquid, called whey can be used to make our Beet Kvass! I always make this at the same time!

Optional Labneh Dip Toppings:

  • olive oil
  • zaatar spice or Dukkah
  • sumac
  • aleppo Chili flakes or
  • fresh herbs- dill, cilantro, Italian parsley
  • olives
  • veggies- cucumber, tomatoes, radishes, sprouts, microgreens
  • Smoked salmon with everything bagel spice and fresh dill.
  • honey and fresh figs (or roasted fruit)


  • 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

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    1. Add it to any of your ferments, add to smoothies ( high in protein!), soups, soaking grains or beans. Animals love it, water your plants with it!

  1. Can I use Greek yogurt for this? my husband has fewer gastro issues with Greek but not sure if will strain the same. thanks!

  2. Hi Sylvia, I want to make a healthy appetizer for people who don’t eat healthy. If I make labneh with honey drizzled on it & maybe some pistachios what finger fruits or veggies would you suggest I serve with it. I’m also thinking of some sort of savory pita chip. I think the sweetness and the creamy labneh might surprise them. Thank you for your thoughts, I love your recipes. They form the core of our weekly menu.

    1. I love that idea and I think pita chips would be tasty! Pomegranate seeds might be pretty too- on the Labneh. 🙂

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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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