Labneh: Strained yogurt that’s thick and creamy, often served with olive oil and herbs or as a spread.

Labneh is a creamy Middle Eastern strained yogurt that can be made from home. It’s often served as a dip or spread that is often eaten by itself or with bread. Here’s a simple way to make it:


  • 4 cups of full-fat Greek yogurt (or regular plain yogurt, though it may take longer to strain)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)


  • A large bowl
  • A fine-mesh sieve or colander
  • Cheesecloth or a clean, thin kitchen towel


  1. Mix Yogurt and Salt:
    • In a bowl, combine the yogurt with the salt, stirring until the salt is fully incorporated.
  2. Prepare to Strain:
    • Line a fine-mesh sieve or colander with several layers of cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel. Place the sieve over a bowl large enough to catch the drips without touching the bottom of the sieve.
  3. Strain the Yogurt:
    • Pour the salted yogurt into the cheesecloth-lined sieve.
    • If the weather is cool, you can cover it with a plate or plastic wrap and let it strain in the kitchen. If it’s warm, or for the best results, place it in the refrigerator.
  4. Wait:
    • Allow the yogurt to strain for 12-48 hours. The longer it strains, the thicker the labneh will be.
    • Check it periodically, and if there’s a lot of liquid (whey) in the bowl, you can pour it off.
  5. Check Consistency:
    • After 12 hours, it will be soft and spreadable. After 24 hours, it will be thicker, more like cream cheese.
  6. Store or Serve:
    • Once it’s reached your desired consistency, transfer the labneh to a container. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.
    • Serve it as a dip with olive oil, herbs, and spices, or use it as a spread.

Variations and Tips:

  • For Flavor: You can add herbs, spices, or olive oil to the labneh after it’s strained.
  • For Greek Yogurt: If you’re using Greek yogurt, the straining time will be shorter as it’s already quite thick.
  • For Regular Yogurt: If you start with regular yogurt, the straining time may be longer, and the yield will be less as there is more whey to drain off.

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