Homemade labneh is probably one of the easiest thing you’ll ever make! It only uses two ingredients, both of which are staples in the kitchen. It’s creamy, fresh, and can be dressed any way you like.
What is Labneh?
If you’ve never had labneh before, it’s similar to spreadable cheeses like ricotta or goat cheese. Except it’s made from strained yogurt and a little salt. Only two ingredients are required to make labneh, making it one of the easiest homemade recipes out there. The only “hard part” is the wait, but it’s well worth it. You can’t rush the straining process! And once you’re done straining, you’ll be left with a thick liquid known as whey which is a protein that can be used for lots of other recipes.
Once you’ve made this delicious yogurt “cheese”, you can add your favorite toppings and enjoy it with a warm slice of bread. It’s great as an appetizer or as a side to your main meal.
- Greek Yogurt: Be sure to get whole milk Greek yogurt. It will give you a creamier and thicker texture compared to fat free or skim milk yogurt.
- Salt: This is what makes the labneh perfect for eating with savory foods. We use fine sea salt in all our recipes.
Yep, that’s it! All it takes it a little yogurt and salt to make one of the best spreads you’ll ever have.
How to Make Homemade Labneh
As we’ve mentioned before, making labneh is super easy. The only work you really need to do is prep the yogurt by placing it into a cheesecloth over a bowl. Below are photos showing you a step-by-step guide on how to prep everything.
- First, fold your cheesecloth in half then place it over a large bowl. Add the yogurt in the center, making sure all the edges of your cloth are still spread out.
- Next, pull up the two shorter sides of the cheesecloth, placing them together.
3-4. Then twist it in the middle and pull up the other edges. That way everything will be tightly secured.
5-7. Once you’ve closed the cheesecloth, take a large wooden spoon and place the top side face down, making sure it’s parallel to the bowl (if you place it at an angle or upside down, the bag won’t hang right). Then wrap the excess cloth tightly around the spoon and secure it with a sturdy clip. Be sure the cloth is a few inches above the bottom of the bowl. Now you’re ready to let it strain and turn it into a thick, creamy spread!
Once it’s done, you’ll be left with a thick spread similar to chèvre or ricotta cheese. The longer the yogurt strains, the thicker and more luscious your labneh will be.
Whatever the expiration date on your yogurt says is generally how long it will last. Yogurt can last a long time, so depending on how long ago you bought yours, the labneh can be good for a few weeks in the fridge.
Place it in an airtight container in the fridge. We recommend putting toppings on it once you’re ready to use it. That way it’ll last longer.
How to Make Homemade Labneh Without a Cheesecloth
If you don’t have a cheesecloth on hand, you can use a:
- Nut Milk Bag
- Wine Straining Bag
- Small Cotton Laundry Bag
Keep in mind that the holes in the bag need to be very small, so if you have a bag with noticeable holes in it, your yogurt will seep out with the liquid (eeks!).
More Healthy Recipes You’ll Love
If you like Greek yogurt, try out our creamy cucumber salad!
What to Serve with Homemade Labneh
- For a snack or a side, it’s great on a slice of sourdough toast.
- For breakfast, we like to eat a plate of labneh with herbs, chili oil, cooked spinach, and a poached egg (pictured below). Oh, and you can’t forget about the bread!
- Drizzle on a little olive oil then top it with fresh herbs and cracked black pepper. And of course, use some pita bread for dipping. Yum!
- Or you can drizzle on some chili oil and these pizza herbs like the photos you see on this page. Pizza herbs with labneh sounds like a weird combination, but it’s actually really really good. Give it a try!
- And lastly, you can add olive oil with a generous sprinkle of za’atar and serve it with warm pita bread.
A Few Tips
- For flavor infused labneh, you can add things like pressed garlic, fresh herbs, and citrus after you’ve strained your yogurt.
- Use gloves when taking the labneh out of the cheesecloth to prevent messy hands.
- Not sure what to do with the leftover liquid? Well, since it’s whey, you can use it for all kinds of bread doughs. Replacing the water or milk in a bread recipe with whey is a good way (ha!) to use up all your “waste”. It should stay good for up to a week in the fridge.
Homemade labneh is probably one of the easiest things you’ll ever make! It only uses two ingredients, both of which are staples in the kitchen. It’s creamy, tangy, and ultra luscious. Add your favorite toppings and enjoy with a warm piece of pita or sourdough bread.
- 32 oz (907 g) plain full-fat Greek yogurt
- 1 ½ tsp fine sea salt
To serve: olive oil, chili oil, herbs, sourdough bread, pita bread, etc.
- Fold a large cheesecloth in half then place it over a large bowl.
- Place the yogurt in the center, making sure the edges of the cloth don’t fold over.
- Bring up the two shorter sides of the cloth, folding them together. Then twist the center and pull up the other sides of the cloth. Keep your hand just above the yogurt (see pictures above).
- Place a large wooden spoon face down on the top of the bowl.
- Wrap the excess cloth tightly around the spoon and secure it with a sturdy clip. Make sure the bottom of the cheesecloth is not touching the bottom of the bowl.
- Let it sit at room temperature for at least 3 hours. For a thicker labneh like ours, let it sit for several hours before placing it in the fridge overnight.*
- Once it’s done straining, squeeze out any excess liquid with your hands. Wearing disposable food gloves comes in handy if you don’t want to make a big mess. Set aside on a clean surface.
- Remove the whey (excess liquid) from the bowl and store in a jar for another use. It makes an excellent liquid replacement for pizza dough.
- Put the labneh in a clean medium sized bowl then add the salt and mix well.
- Add your favorite toppings and enjoy!
Straining Overnight: If you put your yogurt in the fridge overnight, let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before continuing to step 7.
Nutrition information is only an estimate.