Yogurt Cheese (Labneh)

"This is an old-world recipe. It is really just drained, salted yoghurt, very easy to make and very easy to preserve. I guarantee that once you have made these and tasted how delicious they are, they will become a staple in your home."
photo by MsPia photo by MsPia
photo by MsPia
photo by southern chef in lo photo by southern chef in lo
Ready In:
2 cups


  • 6 cups Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons salt


  • In a large bowl stir the salt into the yoghurt.
  • Spoon the yoghurt in the center of a piece of doubled cheesecloth or soft cotton fabric (preferably undyed and immaculately clean).
  • Pull corners up and tie tightly.
  • Suspend from a stationary object over a bowl (to catch liquid).
  • Let this hang overnight or about 12 hours.
  • When well drained it will be the consistency of cottage cheese.
  • Remove from the cloth.
  • Store covered in the refrigerator until needed.
  • You can mix in fresh or dried herbs, minced garlic, pepper flakes, anything you would use to make an herbed cheese.
  • Or you could drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with fresh lemon juice and some cumin and dip pita crisps into it-- The sky's the limit really- so many uses!
  • To make Yoghurt Cheese Balls (Labneh Makbus) (a great little appetizer!), drain the yoghurt for 10-12 hours longer.
  • Take about one tablespoon at a time and roll it into smooth, round balls and place on a tray.
  • Chill until firm.
  • This will take several hours.
  • After they are firm and slightly dried out, place in a sterile, air tight jar, cover with olive oil.
  • Seal the jar and store at room temperature.
  • The labneh will keep this way for several months but you will have eaten them all up long before that!
  • Enjoy Labneh Makbus cut into halves, drizzled with olive oil and eaten with olives and fresh pita bread.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Meredith C-ville
    I did this with fat-free American yogurt. I had not heard of adding the salt either, but I agree that it is a great addition. I let mine drain for about 24 hours and from 3 cups of yogurt I got about 1 cup of yogurt cheese and about 1.75 cups of whey. I used most of the 'cheese' in stuffed mushrooms. I looked around for ways to use the whey and I'll definitely do some more experimenting, but this time I used it to make grits (with some added water, salt, and pepper; plus a tiny bit of parmesan at the end). They were amazing grits...they were soft and creamy and tasted cheesy and rich, when really they were quite light and healthy. I'll definitely be doing this frequently and trying out new uses and other types of yogurt. The labneh and whey are so much more interesting separate than they are together as yogurt!
  2. Sweet Tortellini
    Oh. Mah. Gawd. AMAZING. I made the cheese balls and ate a bunch with olives and sourdough and it ROCKED. So easy, so cheap and above all nutritious AND delicious!!
  3. southern chef in lo
    i really loved this i made the cheese ball's and covered it with extra virgin olive oil, the was yummy spread over pumpernickle baguetts,with olives and garlic
  4. zelizabeth
    I've made this yogurt cheese and it's really good, although I had to use just plain (not Greek) yogurt. I use it on crackers, instead of cream cheese. Very creamy.
  5. Lynda C.
    I have made this for years. But I would mix cream cheese and yogurt cheese, know one knew


  1. Lynda C.
    Did it with low-fat Greek yogurt, the more you are squeezing the whey out, the faster it takes



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