Labneh Wa Za'atar (Spiced Yogurt Cheese)

"A tasty spiced cheese similar to cream cheese that can be used as a spread over pita, or with cucumber slices, crackers, chips or whatever you like. This is my own za'atar recipe but if you have your own you can use that instead if you like, since mine isn't all that authentic. ;) (The preparation time includes letting the yogurt drain.)"
Labneh Wa Za'atar (Spiced Yogurt Cheese) created by Leahs Kitchen
Ready In:
3 Cheese balls




  • Pour 2 cups of yogurt into a white flour sack towel or a few layers of cheese cloth, and squeeze out the whey until you cannot squeeze out any more.
  • Place in a strainer over a bowl and refrigerate for about 24 hours squeezing out the whey every six hours or so until it forms a ball and is the consistency of cream cheese.
  • Toast the sesame seeds in a small frying pan just until they turn golden; remove from heat.
  • Mix together the za'atar spices and toasted sesame seeds in a shallow bowl.
  • Divide the cheese into 3 sections and roll each into a ball.
  • Roll cheese balls one by one in the spices.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with fresh mint. Enjoy!

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  1. Sweet Tortellini
    Leah, this was super yummy. <br/><br/>The easiest way to drain the yogurt is double up some cheesecloth and hang it up over a large bowl for 24 hours! No need to squeeze away and babysit the yogurt, it does not need to be refrigerated during the drain either - in fact, it would take longer if it was.<br/><br/>If you don't like the consistency after 24hrs, form the balls and place on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet and place in the fridge for a few more hours until the balls are firmer to your liking, then cover with the za'atar spice mix.
  2. Mayas Mama
    This was pretty good. You can't really go wrong with such a classic combination, labneh and za'atar. I used store bought pre mixed za'atar. and added salt, a dash of paprika and marjoram. and it was very very good.
  3. UmmBinat
    This is no less than 5 stars in taste but maybe some would knock off a whole star for the tediousness of squeezing it out in a cheese cloth which I used. The bag would be easier. I had a bit of trouble with that part but this is the first time I have ever made cheese and the end product was very good masha Allah. I love the za'atar on it's own as well which I made without thyme per preference and a bit more marjoram and used sea salt. I used Balkan style yogurt and it was almost ready at 12 hours. I would use the same or another good quality yogurt again. Made for Ramadan Tag 2010.
  4. Julie3551
    Leah, your Za'atar recipe was great! I love labneh and enjoyed this version. I did find it necessary to drain the cheese a bit longer to get the texture I prefer. Thanks for posting this tasty recipe. Made for ZWT6.
  5. Leahs Kitchen
    Labneh Wa Za'atar (Spiced Yogurt Cheese) Created by Leahs Kitchen


<style>body { background: url(; background-repeat: repeat; }</style> I'm out of high school and living at home so I do a lot of cooking for my family. I love to cook, for me it is both relaxing and fun, especially when there are no time limits! I started baking when I was around 9. I began with making bread then I gradually went on to making meals. Besides cooking and baking I love to knit, paint, sew, and study languages my favorite being Arabic which maybe someday I will actually be able to speak. Most of the recipes I post are family favorites or at least my favorites. My ratings go something like this: 5 stars: Very good, I will definitely make this again. 4 stars: Liked it quite a bit and will make it again but there was either something I had to change or I will only make now and then in the future. If it is lower than these two there is something wrong with the recipe (b/c I'm not picky at all!) and I'll just leave you a comment.:) I hope you enjoy the recipes I post and thank you for your reviews! God bless, ~Leah <embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" src="" height="360" width="480"><a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" style="float:left;border-width: 0;" ></a><a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" style="float:left;border-width: 0;" ></a> <a href=""><img src="" alt="Like Merchants Ships" title="Like Merchants Ships" /></a> <a href=""><img src="" alt="Shall Stand Forever" title="Shall Stand Forever" /></a> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 'Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life." '(John 8:12) "For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us into the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." (Colossians 1:13-14) "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23) "To forsake Christ for the world, is to leave a treasure for a trifle..eternity for a moment, reality for a shadow.."-William Jenkyn - 1613-1685 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ <table style="text-align: center;"><tr><td></td></tr><tr><td><a style="color:#D35701; font-size: 14px; text-decoration: none; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-weight:bold" href="">Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade</a><a style="font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:12px; color:#0192B5; text-decoration: none;" href=""></a></td></tr></table> <img src=""> <img src=""> <img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"> <img src=""> <img src="">
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