Introduction: How to Make Labneh (Yogurt Cheese)
Labneh is where yogurt meets cheese. It’s a Middle Eastern style treat that is creamy, tangy, and all sorts of deliciousness. Make it by straining yogurt a lot and results in a firm and spreadable texture, akin to cream cheese in texture and sour cream in taste. As this is made from yogurt, it also has the probiotic benefits from that.
Overall, it’s both healthy, delicious, and easy to make as well, so give it a try!
- Strainer (that fits your bowl)
- Coffee filters (good for smaller strainers) or Cheesecloth
- Two containers (only one is necessary)
- Plain or Vanilla Yogurt (vanilla yogurt will give it a nice flavor. For best results, use full fat milk yogurt)
* You can use as much or little yogurt as you want without changing the taste, before mix ins. Bigger quantities just may take longer to strain. As long as the consistency is the same, the taste should be as well. A 5oz. container of greek yogurt made 3-4 tbsp of Labneh for me.
- Olive oil
- herbs (I like to use thyme and rosemary)
Step 1: Gather the Supplies
Make sure you have your bowl, strainer, coffee filter or cheesecloth, yogurt, and salt ready so you can begin making some labneh.
Step 2: Set Up Your Strainer
Grab your bowl, place a strainer over your bowl, and then add a coffee filter or cheesecloth over the strainer. The additional filter over your strainer will ensure you get clear whey and you lose any yogurt.
Step 3: Mix Yogurt and Salt (optional)
Add a sprinkle of salt into your yogurt container or add your yogurt and salt to a separate bowl and mix. This just helps the taste and you can always add more at the end.
Step 4: Strain the Yogurt
* note: there are multiple ways to strain yogurt and this is just the way I do it. I find it easy and cheap to use these coffee filters.
Now it’s time to place your yogurt over the strainer on top of the filter or cheesecloth, then place another filter or cheesecloth on top of your yogurt. Then place your bowl in the fridge and let it sit. The straining time will take anywhere from 1-3 days depending on the type of yogurt used and your preferred consistency. You can quicken the process by placing a heavy object over the yogurt. In the picture provided, I put a small bowl followed by two containers of yogurt over mine. You can occasionally stir the yogurt to check the consistency.
Step 5: Take It Out
After a day or two, or when it either feels or looks ready, take it out the fridge and place it on a counter.
Step 6: Remove the Whey
If you lift up your strainer you’ll see a light yellow liquid at the bottom of your bowl. This is whey, specifically sweet whey. It is full of probiotics and has a lot of good uses so I would recommend saving it in a container. It can last for over a month in the fridge or longer frozen. However, if you don’t want to keep it you can just throw it out.
Step 7: Move the Labneh
Now it’s time to get your Labneh out of the strainer. Scoop the bulk of it out and peel/scrap the rest into your container. With a coffee filter most of it should easily peel off.
Step 8: Add Mix Ins (optional)
Add a dash more salt, a glug of olive oil, and/or some thyme and rosemary to taste. For something on the sweeter side, if your yogurt isn’t already sweetened, a bit of sweetener and a dash of vanilla should do the trick. Go wild and add whatever you want, or keep it plain. Either way is delicious!
Step 9: Store or Eat
And you’re done! Put it in the fridge where it’ll last up to two weeks or you eat it fresh and slather it on some pita. The saltiness of cracker really pairs well with this too.
Second Prize in the
Cheese Speed Challenge