How to Make Labneh (Yogurt Cheese)

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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!

Supplies

Materials

  • Bowl
  • Strainer (that fits your bowl)
  • Coffee filters (good for smaller strainers) or Cheesecloth
  • Two containers (only one is necessary)

Ingredients

  • 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.

Optional Ingredients

  • Salt
  • 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.

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    15 Comments

    0
    gralan
    gralan

    4 weeks ago

    Great instructable. I've used yogurt cheese to even make cheesecake dessert. I use the whey in soups and gravies.

    1
    LeslieGeee
    LeslieGeee

    7 weeks ago

    Hi Exzerin, My Grandmother, Mother and Aunt used to make their Labneh from home made yogurt. How they strained the water out was to put it all into a home made muslin drawstring bag and hang it overnight from the kitchen sink faucet. They all had a specific pyrex glass container with a glass lid that they would store the Labneh in. The last step they would do was to smooth out the top of the cheese and pour olive oil to cover and preserve. This helped in storage. You can take from your container the amount you want to use and then add your add ins. But that is at your and others discretion. BTW I still have and use my Grandmothers Labneh muslin bag :)

    0
    Exzerin
    Exzerin

    Reply 7 weeks ago

    Yes that is another way to strain yogurt! And the olive oil does help preserve it. Thank you for sharing these tips :)

    1
    vidhiii
    vidhiii

    7 weeks ago

    WOOOOOOOOOOOO GO EXZERIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1
    Exzerin
    Exzerin

    Reply 7 weeks ago

    Thank you for your support Vidhi!

    2
    XYZ Create
    XYZ Create

    7 weeks ago

    So many cheese making tutorials are so intimidating, but this one looks so easy and fun!

    1
    Exzerin
    Exzerin

    Reply 7 weeks ago

    Thank you! This is my first tutorial so I was afraid I might’ve added too many steps or overcomplicated it. Glad to hear I was worrying over nothing 😅

    2
    cirena
    cirena

    7 weeks ago

    So simle to make?! Thank you.

    0
    Exzerin
    Exzerin

    Reply 7 weeks ago

    Your welcome! Thank you for checking out my post!

    2
    estergb
    estergb

    7 weeks ago

    Qué magnífica idea!! Y muy bien explicado. Gracias!!

    0
    Exzerin
    Exzerin

    Reply 7 weeks ago

    Gracias! De nada!

    2
    rozzieozzie
    rozzieozzie

    7 weeks ago

    Thank you for the great instructions! I used to strain yogurt to make a “cream cheese” for cheesecake. But it was good enough to eat. I’ll have to start making this again. Thanks!

    0
    Exzerin
    Exzerin

    Reply 7 weeks ago

    Thank you for the kind words! A little tip: A little bit of sweetener and vanilla extract will make your Labneh extra tasty if you like things on the sweeter side. On the other hand, olive oil, herbs, and salt will lend to a more savory flavor. Either way, you can get something delicious that suits your tastes 😊

    3
    seamster
    seamster

    8 weeks ago

    This looks delicious!

    0
    Exzerin
    Exzerin

    Reply 8 weeks ago

    Thank you! It is indeed delicious. Goes great on crackers.