Baltic Maid

Labneh – Middle Eastern Yogurt Cheese

Posted on | October 12, 2011 | 8 Comments

Labneh is a type of soft cheese made from plain yogurt.  It is a popular mezze dish in the Middle East.  Labneh is very easy to prepare.  This dish is also very versatile.   You can eat it as an appetizer with pita bread or any type of bread.  You can use it as a spread on its own on open face sandwiches or instead of mayonnaise or butter in all sorts of sandwiches.  How about as a dip?  I served it at a wedding once on crackers sprinkled with different seeds and nuts on each cracker such sunflower seeds, poppy seeds, sesame seeds.  The crackers with labneh were part of the appetizers buffet.  They must have hit a spot with some people because as soon as I put a new tray out, they were gone…

I usually make at least 3 or 4 times the amount of this recipe because it is so versatile in its use.


  • 150g plain non-fat yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp salt


Mix the yogurt with the salt.

Line a strainer with a cheese cloth or something similar.  Place the strainer in a larger bowl.  Now add the yogurt.  Cover the strainer and the yogurt with a plate on top.  Place it in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Take the labneh out of the strainer.  Place it in a small bowl or roll the strained yogurt into one big or several small balls.  Sprinkle with seeds, nuts or leave it plain.  You can sprinkle a little olive oil over it, if desired.

Guten Appetit!!!


8 Responses to “Labneh – Middle Eastern Yogurt Cheese”

  1. Anna
    October 13th, 2011 @ 23:06

    I got my chance to experience LABNEH in Egypt. We had Labneh pizza (I just got confused with the pronunciation, because they somewhat call it Lab’en…not sure really!) It was magnificent! Just the regular pizza dough, with this Labneh and honey on top. So delicious. I am happy I can do it at home, thanks for posting this blog!

  2. BalticMaid
    October 14th, 2011 @ 10:45

    You have been very lucky to try such a treat. Isn’t it fun trying food from different cultures? I love it!!! About the name, this is my understanding. Labneh is the strained yogurt cheese. Sometimes, it can be called Laban as well which might be what you encountered in Egypt but often Laban is just yogurt. Like I said, this is my understanding so if anyone knows better, please enlighten me.

  3. Natalie
    October 14th, 2011 @ 13:10

    You got it right Baltic Maid :)

  4. BalticMaid
    October 21st, 2011 @ 12:50

    Thanks, Natalie!

  5. Kayla
    January 21st, 2012 @ 16:38

    Just made this literally two seconds ago!

    I can’t wait for 24 hours to be up. I’ve been wanting to make Labneh for so long.

    By the way, your pictures are beautiful!

    I was wondering if there were any spices I could mix into the Labneh once the 24 hours are up?

    Thanks ! :)

  6. BalticMaid
    January 22nd, 2012 @ 09:04

    Thanks, Kayla!!!
    I have not yet tried mixing spices into it but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Personally, I would probably try something like cumin, coriander and/or chili but that’s up to you. You could also make cheeseballs out of them and then either roll them in the spices or seeds. Or you could just sprinkle some spices over it… Hope this helps.

  7. Heather
    September 11th, 2012 @ 06:34

    I believe the shelf life is approx one week if kept in olive oil. Is there anyway to incresse it please?

  8. BalticMaid
    September 15th, 2012 @ 14:11

    @ Heather: I am not sure how long you can keep it. Something I have done before was rolling the Labneh into little cheese balls before and put them into a jar with olive oil. I kept the jar in the refrigerator for quite a long time and took it out a little bit before serving so the oil wouldn’t be hard. I am not sure if this is something that’s recommended but it worked great for me.

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