We had labneh, also spelled labne, for the first time at a Lebanese restaurant in London. It was creamy, tangy and honestly so irresistible that we had to request a second order because we ate the first one so fast!
Dragging pieces of soft, fresh pita bread through that dreamy cheese was so comforting after a long day of travel.
Thankfully, making labneh at home couldn’t be easier. Fair warning, making this easy homemade labneh could trigger obsessive snacking.
What is Labneh?
Quite simply, labneh is yogurt that has been strained of most of its whey content. This results in a thick, rich consistency similar to that of cream cheese. It has an awesome tanginess similar to whipped feta cheese, but more mellow.
Because the whey has been removed, labneh is lactose free. It’s also high in protein and calcium and loaded with healthy probiotics.
Labneh traces back to the Levant region of the Middle East and is a staple of the cuisine to this day. Use it in sweet and savory preparations as a dip, spread or accompaniment for grilled meats, fruits and vegetables.
What is labneh made of
It’s tough to even call this a recipe, considering it has only two simple ingredients:
- Quality Greek yogurt – don’t skimp on this one. Regular yogurt won’t cut it, and neither will low fat Greek yogurt. Go for at least 5% milkfat when you choose a yogurt.
- Salt – flaky sea salt is best, but regular salt will also work. My favorite salt to use when making labneh is Maldon sea salt.
- Cheesecloth – I’m including this as an “ingredient” because it’s an integral part of the process. Don’t be intimidated! You can find cheesecloth in most supermarkets.
How to make Labneh
You won’t believe how easy it is to make your very own labneh at home. Here are the steps:
- Mix the yogurt and salt together in a bowl.
- Line a mesh strainer with cheesecloth. Set the strainer over a bowl.
- Place the yogurt onto the cheesecloth and tie it tightly.
- Place the bowl into the refrigerator and wait 24 hours.
And that’s all! After 24 hours, you will see all of the whey at the bottom of the bowl. Just unwrap the cheesecloth and enjoy your delicious, creamy labneh. Store it in the fridge in an airtight container.
How to eat homemade labneh
There are so many tasty ways to enjoy homemade labneh. Spread it onto toast or bagels like you would cream cheese. Drizzle it with honey and top it with fresh berries. Serve it on a mezze platter with olives, roasted peppers and pita bread.
You can also use it as a creamy, low carb base for grilled meats, fish and vegetables. In fact, one of my favorite ways to eat labneh is underneath grilled chicken shawarma. It’s a must try!
Rest assured, you’ll find lots of delicious ways to enjoy your homemade labneh. And when you make it, I’d love to hear about it! Drop a rating or leave a comment below. Enjoy!
For more easy dips and spreads, try these:
For more Middle Eastern-inspired recipes, try these:
- Tabouli Salad with Quinoa
- Easy Homemade Lemon Hummus with Tahini
- Grilled Feta with Tomatoes & Peppers
How to Make Labneh (Easy Homemade Recipe)
- 32 oz. full fat Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp. flaky sea salt
- Line a mesh strainer with 2 layers of cheesecloth. Set the strainer over a deep bowl.
- In a separate bowl, combine the yogurt and salt and mix well.
- Place the yogurt into the cheesecloth. Gather two corners of the cheesecloth together and tie a tight knot. Repeat with the other two corners, until the yogurt is wrapped tightly in the cheesecloth.
- Place the bowl of strained yogurt in the refrigerator. Allow to rest, undisturbed for 24 hours.
- Unwrap the cheesecloth spoon the labneh onto a separate plate. Serve and enjoy.