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How to Make Labneh (Yogurt Cheese) ~ roll it into balls, and store it in olive oil for a protein rich and super healthy Mediterranean appetizer or snack.


makes approximately 20 balls

Total time

1440 minutes


Middle eastern


  • 24 ounces whole milk yogurt (without additives or flavors)
  • of salt
  • olive oil
  • lemon zest
  • fresh thyme leaves


  1. Set a mesh strainer over a large bowl.  The bowl should be deep enough so that there are at least a few inches of space between the bottom of the bowl and the strainer.
  2. Line the strainer with a fine mesh nylon straining bag (or 2 layers of cheesecloth.)  I like nylon bags instead of cheesecloth because they last forever and are so much easier to clean.  They can be rinsed and laundered over and over again.
  3. Turn the yogurt out into the lined strainer.  Sprinkle with a little salt.
  4. Pull the fabric up around the yogurt and twist it tightly so liquid starts dripping into the bowl (you can use a clip if you like to hold it tight.)  Place a small plate on top, and then weight it down with a brick or heavy can.  Set this in the fridge for 24 hours.  Check it once or twice to make sure that it's draining. If not, increase the pressure, and make sure the yogurt is sitting above the liquid.  The longer you let it drain, the thicker the cheese will become.  It can go up to 48 hours, but usually 24 hours is sufficient.
  5. Turn the labneh out of the bag and discard the whey.  (You can use the whey in baking or cooking if you like.)
  6. Now you have two can put your labneh in an airtight container and refrigerate it as is, or you can roll it into balls. To roll into balls, roll 1 inch balls between your palms. I like to lightly oil my hands, this seems to make the surface of the cheese nice and smooth and shiny. Put the balls in a clean jar.
  7. When all the cheese has been rolled, fill the jar with olive oil, enough to cover all the balls.
  8. Will keep, refrigerated, for about a week.
Contains allergens
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