Recipe: How To Make Labneh (Yogurt Cheese)

Yogurt has been an essential ingredient in Middle Eastern diets for centuries. It is often strained for use in cooking or to make this spreadable cheese. Labneh is similar to cream cheese and can be flavored and spread on crackers or used as a vegetable dip.




  1. Pour yogurt into the strainer. Hang above a bowl or jar and drain whey for 2-12 hours, until desired thickness is reached.
  2. Once the draining process is complete, add herbs and seasoning to taste.
  3. Refrigerate for 2 or more hours prior to eating to allow the flavor of the herbs and seasoning to fully develop.

Flavoring Ideas

  1. Walnuts and Raisins: For every 1/4 cup of labneh, add 1-2 Tbsp. walnuts, 1-2 Tbsp. dried fruit such as cranberries or raisins, and 1/2-1 tsp. honey, maple syrup, or fruit jelly.
  2. Basil, Hazelnut, and Sun-dried Tomatoes: Add a small handful each of toasted finely chopped hazelnuts, finely chopped basil, and finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes.
  3. Spicy Chili and Olives: For every 1/4 cup of labneh, add 3-4 chopped fresh green chilies and 3-4 chopped green olives. Add a bit of lemon juice if desired, for a thinner consistency.
  4. Fruit: Add canned fruit, jam, jellies, or preserves.  Add a bit of honey, if desired, for added sweetness.
  5. Vegetable: For every 2 cups of labneh add 2 Tbsp. each minced scallions, minced carrot, and minced celery, and 2 minced radishes. Mix in 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper.

At A Glance