A simple and easy recipe to make your own creamy, delicious homemade labneh at home. Complete with step by step photos and serving suggestions.
Homemade labneh (also known as yogurt cream cheese), is pretty popular int he Middle Eastern cuisine. You can drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle your choice of herbs or use in place of cream cheese. You can also top it with fresh fruit and serve on crackers or with warm pita bread.
In the traditional Middle Eastern home, a good labneh is equally as popular as a good hummus.
What is Labneh?
Labneh is thick, creamy and unbelievably tangy. It’s also known as yogurt cheese, and it is maade by straining homemade yogurt until it loses most of its liquid.
In other words, labneh is “extra” strained.
Think of making yogurt, and straining it once you are done. Then, take it up a notch, and tie it up tight in cheesecloth for 24 hours (or even longer). That finished product is labneh.
How to Make Homemade Labneh
Making labneh is incredibly simple. You’ll need to have a high quality, raw cow’s milk yogurt or, natural goat milk yogurt), and salt.
Simply stir that salt into the yogurt, and then place the yogurt into a muslin cloth and hang it from the kitchen cabinet knob.
Allow that to hang for up to 24 hours, and you’ll have a thick cheese that you can spread. If you are using store-purchased Greek yogurt, you will want to allow that yogurt to drain the excess whey in the fridge.
I have always drained my homemade yogurt (made in our Instant Pot) on the kitchen knobs for 3-4 hours before transferring to the fridge.
This picture, above, is homemade labneh after being tied up in cheesecloth for an entire afternoon. I’ll gently remove from the cheesecloth and spread it on a platter with some olive oil and spices.
How do you Serve Labneh?
Homemade labneh is very similar to cream cheese – with that in mind, you can use it much similar. Spread it on sandwiches, or use in place of cream cheese.
I like to spread mine in a bowl and top with a generous amount of olive oil.
You can also top with a generous amount of spice. It’s delicious.
If you want to get even more creative, serve your labneh on a platter and surround it with beautiful veggies and fruit. You can aim for fresh sliced radishes, pomegranate, tomatoes, peaches, or fresh mint and olives.
I love mine plain (with just olive oil) but my older kids enjoy theirs with sliced up cheese, tomatoes, apples, and seasonings.
Don’t forget your pita bread – it’s easy to make at home as well.