Homemade Labneh Recipe

5 from 4 votes

Mark my words! Try labneh once, and you’ll be hooked. You might describe this labneh recipe as “Middle Eastern cream cheese.” Imagine all the intoxicating tanginess of Greek yogurt concentrated in a spreadable, silky smooth cheese. It’s ridiculously rich and divinely delicious!

homemade labneh in aqua colored dish, topped with olive oil and marinated vegetables

Today’s recipe for labneh is a jewel that comes to us from the treasure chest of Middle Eastern Cuisine. While the exact region it originated is hard to pinpoint, we know that this velvety creation has been enjoyed around the Fertile Crescent for over 2,000 years! 

As you’ll see, the recipe is quite simple — requiring only two ingredients. We mix it up, store it in the fridge, and wait for the magic to happen. Patience is honestly the hardest part, especially after you’ve tried labneh once.

For more cheesy treasures, check out my Tirokafteri (Feta Cheese Spread), Marinated Feta Cheese w/ Herbs + Chiles, or these Paneer Pakora (Cheese Fritters).

extreme close up of labneh topped with drizzle of olive oil, surrounded by green olives


  • Yogurt – Full-fat Greek yogurt is the star of the show. It brings a rich creaminess and uniquely tangy flavor. You can use half goat/half cow’s milk yogurt or you can use the full amount of either. I prefer the flavor and texture of all goat’s milk yogurt when it’s available. You can always find it at a Middle Eastern market, but many health food stores carry it as well. Either way, make sure it is full-fat Greek yogurt as regular yogurt won’t work.
  • Salt – Enhances the natural flavors of the yogurt while helping to extract the liquid. Choose a finely ground, high-quality salt like kosher or sea salt for the best results. 
  • Olive Oil – Drizzled on top of the finished labneh, olive oil adds an extra layer of richness without being overpowering. 
  • Za’atar Spice – With bright sumac, aromatic thyme, earthy sesame seeds, and more, this herby and exotic spice blend adds just the right dash of complimentary flavor and color. Find it in the spice aisle at your supermarket or check out the link for a DIY version. You can also choose to skip this or try any of your other favorite Spice Blends.


1. Prepare the Sieve. Use either a linen towel or 3 layers of cheesecloth to line a large sieve. Place the sieve over a large bowl to catch the expressed liquid and set aside.  

side by side photo collage shows pouring goat milk yogurt into cheesecloth

2. Mix the Yogurt. Combine the yogurt and salt in a bowl and whisk together. Transfer the mixture to the prepared sieve. Carefully tie the loose ends of the linen towel or cheesecloth together. 

3. Refrigerate for 1-2 Days. Move the entire yogurt-filled bowl and sieve to the refrigerator. Allow it to drain and chill for 24-36 hours. 

side by side photo collage shows straining Greek yogurt through cheesecloth and mesh sieve over glass bowl

4. Reveal the Labneh. Untie the linen or cheesecloth package and gently roll out the freshly made labneh. Transfer it to an airtight container and discard the liquid. 

5. Garnish & Serve. The yogurt should be thick and a bit dry, while smooth and creamy on the inside. Enjoy this homemade labneh recipe right away or refrigerate it for up to a week for maximum freshness.

side by side photo collage shows how to make yogurt cheese by straining through cheesecloth

Is Labneh a Yogurt or a Cheese?

Both! As an extra strained yogurt, labneh is often referred to as a “yogurt cheese.”

Once you taste it, you will easily understand why. This delightful delicacy offers the best of both worlds!

You can think of labneh as a tart, tangy, salty cream cheese. It has a satiny smooth texture similar to mascarpone while delivering the signature tanginess of Greek yogurt. 

The benefits don’t stop there though! This labneh recipe delivers all the sinful deliciousness of cream cheese with fewer calories, more protein, and less fat. Plus, since the recipe is made with yogurt, there is the added benefit of probiotics. Your taste buds and belly will both thank you! 

What Do You Serve Labneh With?

This delightfully creamy, tangy cheese is traditionally served with savory foods. It is perfect as part of a mezze platter along with dips like White Bean Hummus, Mutabal (Charred Eggplant Dip), and Muhammara (Red Pepper Dip) with plenty of Khubz (Arabic Pita Bread), sliced vegetables, olives, grape leaves, and more. 

Not prepared for a whole mezze platter? For a snack or light meal, you can simply spread out the labneh on a plate, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with za’atar seasoning, and serve with pita bread. 

It also makes a dynamite spread for bagels, wraps, and sandwiches of all types. It makes a great condiment for everything from scrambled eggs to vegetable and rice dishes. Basically anywhere you might use cream cheese or sour cream, give labneh a try!

Can You Freeze Homemade Labneh?

No, I don’t recommend freezing this homemade labneh recipe. Unfortunately, the freezing and thawing process will ruin the smooth and creamy texture that makes labneh so irresistible, leaving you with a grainy mess instead. 

For maximum freshness, homemade labneh is best enjoyed within a week. However, you can store your leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 weeks.

top down view of platter of homemade labneh with marinated mushrooms, olives, and cherry tomatoes
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homemade labneh in aqua colored dish, topped with olive oil and marinated vegetables

Homemade Labneh Recipe

5 from 4 votes
Cold, creamy, and tantalizingly tangy, this homemade, 2-ingredient labneh recipe can be considered Middle Eastern cream cheese.
Servings: 8
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 day 12 hours
Total: 1 day 12 hours 10 minutes


  • 32 oz whole yogurt (See Note 1)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Serving Suggestions


  • Line a sieve over a larger bowl to catch the expressed liquid with either 3 layers of cheese cloth or a linen towel (See Note 2). Set aside.
  • In a bowl whisk together the yogurt and salt. Pour this into the lined sieve and carefully tie the loose cheese cloth or linen ends together.
  • Place the the bowl/sieve filled yogurt package in the refrigerator for 24 to 36 hours.
  • Discard the liquid and untie the package. The yogurt will be thick and slightly dry with a smooth creamy interior. Gently roll it out of the cheese cloth or linen and keep in a container that seals. Refrigerate for up to a week.


  1. Traditionally I’ve read that 2 cups/450 grams of goat’s milk yogurt is mixed with 2 cups/450 grams cow’s milk yogurt. I love the texture and flavor from using all goats milk yogurt, if you can’t find it, source from a Middle Eastern market, order online, or use all cow’s milk yogurt.
  2. When I first made this years ago I used 2 layers of cheesecloth and when I squeezed the yogurt after it had rested over night, I ripped the cheese cloth and the yogurt went everywhere. Triple or use 4 layers to be safe or a linen towel.


Calories: 69kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 198mg | Potassium: 176mg | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 112IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 137mg | Iron: 1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Author: Kevin
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
titled image (and shown): homemade labneh recipe


I was bitten by the cooking bug as a kid cooking and baking along side my mom. After an ROP restaurant course in high school, I went to work in restaurants and catering. My love of travel and food has led me across the world and I love to share those foods with family and friends.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Kevin, I try to eat labnah every day for urinary tract health.
    I send your recipes to my 30 year old nephew in West Virginia. He loves Middle Eastern food but is a little bit “scared” to try making it by himself.
    He’s a healthy eater and your recipes are awesome for him!
    Warmest regards


  2. 5 stars
    Wow, good idea! I usually have Labneh with pomgranate, dill and pistachio’s, seasoned with black pepper, “fleur de sel” and olive oil
    Your recipe is on my menu tomorrow! Thanks xx

  3. 5 stars
    I learned to make labneh from my Lebanese grandmother. One of my favorite things with flatbread, olives, roasted peppers, and green onions!