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Coles

  • Egg free
  • Lactose free
  • Nut free
  • Peanut free
  • Sesame free
  • Soy free
  • Shellfish free
  • Seafood free
  • No added sugar
  • Vegetarian

Rich, milky and tart, labneh is a yoghurt-cheese combo that’s considered a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine. It’s a must-try and one you can easily make at home.

  • Serves4, Makes approx 1 cup
  • Prep time24 hour
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups (560g) plain Greek yoghurt
  • Olive oil, to drizzle
  • Mint leaves, to serve

Nutritional information

Per 1/4 cup serve: Energy: 769kJ/184 Cals (9%), Protein: 7g (14%), Fat: 13g (19%), Sat Fat: 10g (42%), Sodium: 70mg (4%), Carb: 9g (3%), Sugar: 8g (9%), Dietary Fibre: 0g (0%).

Check ingredient labels to make sure they meet your specific dietary requirements and always consult a health professional before changing your diet. View dietary information here.

Percentage Daily Intake information on our recipes is calculated using the nutrition reference values for an average Australian adult.

Method

  1. Step 1

    Line a large sieve with muslin or a clean Chux cloth and place over a large bowl. Spoon yoghurt into the sieve. Loosely cover with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for 24 hours to drain.

  2. Step 2

    Place yoghurt mixture into a medium bowl and season. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with mint to serve.

    Serve with lavosh crisps, radish, snow peas, and tomatoes.

Recipe tip

  • Use as a base for dips, adding chopped herbs, spices, crushed garlic or chilli.

  • Labneh makes a great base for tzatziki, adding an extra creamy richness.

  • For a sweet version, stir through some icing sugar and vanilla paste. Use to top cakes, crepes, waffles or meringue. Serve with fruit pies, stewed fruit or puddings.

COOK. STORE. SAVE.
Use it up:
Once you’ve eaten all your labneh, don’t throw out the olive oil. Use it to make salad dressing instead.

What is labneh?

Labneh is a rich, creamy, tangy accompaniment made from strained yoghurt. A cross between yoghurt and cheese, with a texture resembling cream cheese, it’s used as a spread for flatbread or as a dip in Lebanese cuisine. And the best part? You can enjoy it any time of day or night. 

It’s not only a favourite in Lebanon – for more than 2000 years, people from the Levant region of the Middle East, which also includes Jordan, Palestine and Syria, have been making and eating labneh. Countries like India, Denmark and Greece also have their versions of strained yoghurt, which are similar to this dip-style dish.

In this recipe, you’ll learn how to make labneh from Greek yoghurt. Create authentic meals you love in your kitchen with our collection of easy Lebanese recipes that are perfect for your next feast. 

Learn how to make labneh using this essential ingredient

Making labneh is easier than you think, and because it’s made using one ingredient, choosing the best quality is important. After all, there are no seasonings to hide behind. Full-fat Greek yoghurt or regular yoghurt made from cow’s or goat’s milk will give you that creamy texture and milky flavour that makes labneh so comforting and moreish. But, if you have to use low-fat yoghurt, this is fine too and will still work for this recipe.

This recipe recommends straining the yoghurt for 24 hours, but if the thickness of the labneh is not to your liking after this time, then leave it for longer, up to 48 hours in total. It’s up to your personal preference – some prefer a spreadable consistency, while others enjoy labneh that more closely resembles a soft cheese. If you plan to shape your labneh into balls and they aren’t holding together as easily as you hoped, let it strain for longer.

The cloudy liquid that you strain out of the yoghurt is called whey. Throughout the straining time, check to see that the whey and the strained yoghurt remain separate. Tip out some of the whey if it is close to touching the strained yoghurt.  

Take this labneh recipe to new heights: Presentation is everything

Labneh is a great addition to brunch or main dishes. Spread the labneh generously on a plate, then layer with other ingredients, like in this roasted vegetable salad

Alternatively, scoop the strained yoghurt into a separate dish and drizzle your labneh dip with good-quality olive oil. Go all out with the garnishes and use chopped olives, parsley, pesto, pine nuts, za’atar, dukkah or pomegranate seeds for flavour and crunch, as well as add some colour and texture to the dish. 

For a super-simple yet impressive take on a bread dip, spread the labneh over a small, deep-set plate, then use a teaspoon to swirl patterns in it. Pour olive oil over the top to create pools of glistening olive oil throughout the labneh.

If you’re rolling the labneh into balls, try sprinkling them with chopped herbs or dusting them with spices. Roll each ball in a different herb or spice to create a platter of tasty, multi-coloured bites.

Or try flavoured labneh by mixing it with mashed garlic, crushed herbs, finely grated lemon rind or by blending it with roasted beetroot.

What are the rules for how to eat labneh?

There are no rules! There are a multitude of dishes to have with labneh – almost anything will be made tastier by adding this creamy favourite. Spread it on Lebanese pizza or serve as an accompaniment to flatbread if you want to go down the traditional route. Use it to make bruschetta or sandwiches, or pair it with grilled meat or poultry, such as this sesame-crusted chicken, grilled or roasted veggies, jacket potatoes, or a grain salad. After a brekkie to impress? Labneh works exceptionally well on toast – try these four tasty toast topping ideas

If you’re entertaining, serve labneh as part of a snack grazing board, with veggie sticks, crackers and crusty bread. Don’t limit yourself to savoury food, labneh is also delicious when used in sweet dishes and snacks. Enjoy it with a slice of fresh melon or roasted grapes, or enjoy it with stewed apple and rhubarb for a sweet treat. You can also use it as part of a sweet or savoury filling for a baked tart.

Clever storage tips for homemade labneh

Start on your labneh 1-2 days before you intend to serve it. Once it has reached your desired consistency, transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. There is no need to cover the labneh in oil if it’s in the fridge, even if you have shaped them into balls. But if you do want to cover them in olive oil, you can. Bear in mind that the olive oil will solidify when chilled, though this will not affect the flavour of the labneh.

FAQs

Labneh

Labneh
  • Serves4, Makes approx 1 cup
  • Prep time24 hour
Ingredients
  • 2 cups (560g) plain Greek yoghurt
  • Olive oil, to drizzle
  • Mint leaves, to serve
    Description

    Rich, milky and tart, labneh is a yoghurt-cheese combo that’s considered a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine. It’s a must-try and one you can easily make at home.

    Method
    1. Step 1

      Line a large sieve with muslin or a clean Chux cloth and place over a large bowl. Spoon yoghurt into the sieve. Loosely cover with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for 24 hours to drain.

    2. Step 2

      Place yoghurt mixture into a medium bowl and season. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with mint to serve.

      Serve with lavosh crisps, radish, snow peas, and tomatoes.