Labneh is a Middle Eastern and Mediterranean yogurt-based cheese known for its thick and creamy texture. It is made by straining yogurt to remove the whey, resulting in a product that is thicker and richer than regular yogurt. Labneh can be enjoyed as a dip, spread, or even used as a base for various dishes. Here’s how to make basic labneh at home:


  • 2 cups plain yogurt (full-fat or low-fat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • Olive oil (for drizzling, optional)
  • Fresh herbs, spices, or seasonings for flavor (optional)


  1. Prepare the Yogurt:
  • Start with plain yogurt. You can use either full-fat or low-fat yogurt, depending on your preference. Greek yogurt works well for making labneh due to its thickness.
  1. Add Salt (Optional):
  • If desired, add a pinch of salt to the yogurt for flavor. This step is optional and can be adjusted to taste.
  1. Mix and Transfer:
  • In a mixing bowl, stir the salt (if using) into the yogurt until well combined.
  1. Strain the Yogurt:
  • Line a fine-mesh sieve or a colander with a clean cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel. Place the sieve or colander over a deep bowl to catch the whey.
  1. Pour the Yogurt:
  • Pour the yogurt mixture into the lined sieve or colander.
  1. Cover and Refrigerate:
  • Gather the edges of the cheesecloth or towel and cover the yogurt. Place the entire setup in the refrigerator to allow the whey to drain from the yogurt.
  1. Drain and Wait:
  • Let the yogurt strain in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours, or overnight, for a thicker consistency. The longer you strain it, the thicker the labneh will become.
  1. Transfer and Season (Optional):
  • Once the labneh has reached your desired thickness, transfer it to a serving dish. You can season it with fresh herbs, spices, or seasonings of your choice, such as olive oil, chopped fresh mint, black pepper, or even crushed garlic.
  1. Serve:
  • Labneh can be served as a dip with pita bread, vegetables, or chips. It’s also delicious as a spread on toast or as a base for wraps and sandwiches. Drizzling a bit of olive oil on top adds richness and flavor.
  1. Store:
    • Any leftover labneh can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Labneh is a versatile and creamy dairy product that can be adapted to suit various tastes. You can enjoy it in both savory and sweet applications, making it a versatile addition to your culinary repertoire.