Homemade Labneh

By • September 21, 2012 • 8 Comments

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Author Notes: These days, everyone makes hummus at home. Its quintessential pairing - labneh - is even easier to make from scratch. All you need is Greek yogurt, good olive oil, za'atar, and a lot of patience. Rivka

Serves 4-6

  • 12 ounces of your favorite Greek yogurt (I like Fage)
  • a small pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon za'atar
  1. Line a fine strainer with a few layers of cheesecloth and set over a bowl.
  2. In another bowl, combine yogurt, salt, and lemon juice. Stir to incorporate. Spoon yogurt mixture into the cheesecloth-lined strainer and fold layers of cheesecloth over the yogurt to cover completely.
  3. Transfer yogurt (and strainer and bowl) to the refrigerator for 12-24 hours. After 12 hours, the yogurt mixture will have thickened into standard labneh; after 24 hours, it will have thickened further, into the extra-stiff labneh that you can buy in tubes at Jerusalem markets. When making it at home, I favor extra-thick labneh.
  4. Remove strained labneh from the fridge, unfold cheesecloth, and transfer labneh to a serving bowl. Use the back of a spoon to make a swirly pattern in the top of the labneh. Drizzle the oil over the labneh and sprinkle with za’atar. Serve cold, with hummus and sliced vegetables and/or warm pita.
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Comments (8) Questions (0)

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about 1 month ago dinaofdoom

i've been using a strainer and greek yogurt to make "yogurt cheese", which has a chevre-like consistency. gonna try the lemon & salt and see how it goes!

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4 months ago ashley milco

Mixing cow and goat milk yogurts makes for a delicious labneh.

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10 months ago sadenis

I make my own Greek yogurt by setting my homemade yogurt in a cheesecloth-lined strainer. Could I just add the salt and lemon partway through and continue with this recipe?

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10 months ago Rivka

I don't see why not - let us know how it turns out!

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almost 2 years ago Grandma Lu

Is there a particular za’atar you recommend? Thanks!

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10 months ago Rivka

Sorry I'm so late to this comment! Don't know how I missed it. Mine is from Israel, so unfortunately I don't know a good American brand. I'd recommend buying it some place where you can smell it beforehand. If you don't have that option, I'd put my money on Kalustyan's having a good one, and you can order from them online.

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about 2 years ago alamesa

Never made Labneh and cannot wait to give this a try. I'm constantly making hummus (garlic and tahini heavy!) and this is going to be a welcome change

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about 2 years ago Rivka

Make both together! Nothing's better than hot pita with a shmear of each. Enjoy.