Homemade labneh Recipe--AKA tangy, thick, creamy yogurt cheese. Serve it Middle Eastern-style as a dip with lots of olive oil and a sprinkle of good Za'atar. Or simply use it in place of cream cheese.

Homemade Labneh Recipe | The Mediterranean Dish. Homemade labneh, Middle Eastern yogurt cheese that is tangy, creamy and lighter than your average cream cheese. Use it as mezze or to spread on your favorite bread. Versatile and super easy to make! A two-step recipe from TheMediterraneanDish.com

If Greek Yiayias (grandmothers) perfected the making of yogurt, Middle Eastern Tatas can absolutely claim labneh expertise.

In Middle Eastern homes, and particularly those in the Levant, good labneh is as non-negotiable as good hummus.

What exactly is Labneh?

Tangy, thick, and creamy, labneh (also known as labnah or labne) is basically yogurt cheese. Just like Greek yogurt, it is made by straining yogurt until it loses most of its liquid. If you think of Greek yogurt as strained yogurt, labneh is extra strained  yogurt.

Homemade Labneh Recipe | The Mediterranean Dish. Homemade labneh, Middle Eastern yogurt cheese that is tangy, creamy and lighter than your average cream cheese. Use it as mezze or to spread on your favorite bread. Versatile and super easy to make! A two-step recipe from TheMediterraneanDish.com

Labneh making is simple. You need natural goat’s milk yogurt, or quality full-fat cow’s milk yogurt, and a little salt. Stir the salt into the yogurt, place it into a muslin or linen cloth and hang from the kitchen faucet. Let time do the hard work.

After several hours, the whey strains out, leaving you with a delightfully thick spreadable cheese.

Homemade Labneh Recipe | The Mediterranean Dish. Homemade labneh, Middle Eastern yogurt cheese that is tangy, creamy and lighter than your average cream cheese. Use it as mezze or to spread on your favorite bread. Versatile and super easy to make! A two-step recipe from TheMediterraneanDish.com

How to serve homemade labneh?

This homemade labneh recipe is an alternative to cream cheese (a little lighter, perhaps). You can certainly spread it on sandwiches or use it as you would cream cheese. Do it the Middle Eastern way—spread in a bowl with a pool of excellent olive oil and topped with a generous sprinkle of Za'atar spice. I highly recommend this Early Harvest EVOO here.

Homemade Labneh Recipe | The Mediterranean Dish. Homemade labneh, Middle Eastern yogurt cheese that is tangy, creamy and lighter than your average cream cheese. Use it as mezze or to spread on your favorite bread. Versatile and super easy to make! A two-step recipe from TheMediterraneanDish.com

If you feel like jazzing things up more, use labneh as the centerpiece to a pretty veggie board like we have today. Or turn it into a luscious dip with cranberries and herbs like this recipe. Or serve it as part of a mezze platter.

Once you make labneh at home, I'm confident you'll find many ways to enjoy it!

Storage

Store homemade labneh in the fridge in a tightly-closed container for up to 2 weeks. To better preserve your labneh, you can form it into balls that are about 1 tablespoon each in size. Place the balls in a large sterilized, airtight jar and pour extra virgin olive oil to cover. Cover the jar tightly and leave at room temperature or in the fridge, if you live in a warm area.

Watch How to Make this Homemade Labneh Recipe

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Homemade Labneh Recipe | The Mediterranean Dish. Homemade labneh, Middle Eastern yogurt cheese that is tangy, creamy and lighter than your average cream cheese. Use it as mezze or to spread on your favorite bread. Versatile and super easy to make! A two-step recipe from TheMediterraneanDish.com

Homemade Labneh Recipe (How to Make Labneh)


Description

Easy Homemade Labneh Recipe. Labneh is Middle Eastern yogurt cheese. A little tangy and super creamy. Takes only a couple steps to make with this easy recipe.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 32 oz whole milk yogurt
  • ¾ tsp salt

To Serve


Instructions

  1. Pour the yogurt into a large bowl. Stir in salt.
  2. Line another large bowl with a linen or muslin towel (or several layers of cheesecloth.) Pour the yogurt mixture into the towel. Pick up the edges of the towel and tie at the top. Hang from a kitchen sink faucet to drain for 24 to 48 hours. (Alternatively, set a large sieve, lined with linen towel over a deep bowl. Add the yogurt mixture. Cover gently with the overhang of the linen towel, or another linen towel. Set aside on the counter, or in the fridge, to drain for 24-48 hours)
  3. To serve, spread labneh in a bowl and top with extra virgin olive oil, za'atar spice (or chopped fresh herbs like mint or parsley). Add warm pita and fresh veggies for dipping. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Store labneh in a tight-lid container in the fridge and use as a spread, like any cream cheese. Labneh will keep this way up to 2 weeks. Or, preserve in olive oil for longer. This more labor intensive option works only if the yogurt has been strained for 48 hours forming thicker labneh. At this point, roll the labneh into small ¾-inch balls. Place on a large tray lined with paper towel, cover with another paper towel and refrigerate overnight. When ready, place the labneh balls in a clean jar and pour excellent quality olive oil, making sure the labneh balls are completely submerged. Cover and refrigerate until needed; it'll be good for months this way. Or leave the jar at room temperature for some weeks (2-4 weeks is safe).
  • Recommended for this Recipe: Early Harvest Extra Virgin Olive Oil; All-Natural Za'atar Spice.
  • SAVE! Try our Ultimate Mediterranean Spice Bundle! Or create your own 3-pack or 6-pack of premium all-natural and organic spices!
  • Prep Time: 24 hours
  • Method: Straining
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern

Keywords: Labneh, homemade labneh, homemade labneh recipe, labneh recipe, how to make labneh, Middle Eastern yogurt cheese

Homemade Labneh Recipe | The Mediterranean Dish. Homemade labneh, Middle Eastern yogurt cheese that is tangy, creamy and lighter than your average cream cheese. Use it as mezze or to spread on your favorite bread. Versatile and super easy to make! A two-step recipe from TheMediterraneanDish.com

More Recipes to Try

Cranberry and Herb Labneh with Homemade Pita Chips

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Baba Ganoush (Roasted Eggplant Dip)

Mediterranean Feta Cheese Dip

Israeli Couscous Salad 

Homemade Labneh Recipe | The Mediterranean Dish. Homemade labneh, Middle Eastern yogurt cheese that is tangy, creamy and lighter than your average cream cheese. Use it as mezze or to spread on your favorite bread. Versatile and super easy to make! A two-step recipe from TheMediterraneanDish.com

Homemade Labneh Recipe and Veggie Board | The Mediterranean Dish. Easy Middle Eastern labneh, creamy yogurt cheese! Serve it as a dip with lots of olive oil, veggies, olives and warm pita. See the labneh recipe and how to make this board on TheMediterraneanDish.com

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. I've been making my own labneh for over a year now. I make it from my own homemade goat yogurt. Goat yogurt tends to be less firm than cow yogurt and there is a lot of whey to drain out, so I drain mine for a good 3 to 4 days.

    I sometimes add spices to the yogurt when I add the salt. This allows the enzymes in the yogurt to release the flavor of the spices as it drains. I particularly like doing this with cumin or a bit of my own shawarma spice blend.

    Since olive oil can act as a preservative, once my labneh is done draining, I mix in a nice drizzle of olive oil, a couple of medium cloves of micro-planed fresh garlic, and sprinkle in some za'atar. The addition of garlic and olive oil makes it possible for the labneh to last at least a week (or more* in the fridge. Also, since labneh has become an everyday staple in our home, it's ready to go for anyone who just wants a quick blast of labneh with bread, a veggie snack, or a grab-and-go lunch.

  2. Do you let the yogurt strain for 24-48 hours outside the fridge?? I"m confused. Wouldn't the dairy go bad?

    1. Hi, Sarah. That hasn't been my experience as long as it's straining in a cooler spot in the kitchen. You can certainly go ahead and strain the labneh if the refrigerator, though, if you prefer.

    2. I've found it depends on the ambient temperature of the room. Since I drain mine for longer I put mine in the fridge. I have a special straining set-up for doing so.

  3. Hi Suzy, I love lebnah. You mention it can be used in place of cream cheese. Would this work in a sweet cream cheese recipe, like frosting for instance?

  4. Okay... I've become a bit obsessed with Labneh :). I first tried it will non fat plain Greek yogurt because that is all I had on hand when I found this recipe and have also made it with the full fat regular yogurt called for here. Both tasted good, but the full fat version was thicker. Either way, I've enjoyed this with veggies and crackers, and have topped with all sorts of seasonings. A real treat is everything bagel seasoning + labneh :). You can really have fun with this recipe! Thanks, Suzy!