If you haven’t made labneh before, now is your chance! This creamy, tangy and protein packed Middle Eastern dip/spread is super simple to make and requires only 3 ingredients.
I grew up eating Labneh, and as a child I would get excited walking into the kitchen to see a cheesecloth hanging from the faucet, as I knew that meant there was a fresh batch of labneh being made! Growing up we ate Labneh for breakfast or slathered on pita bread as a sandwich for lunch, and even as a side dish for dinner. It is truly versatile.
What is Labneh:
Labneh is a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine. It's made by straining yogurt to remove the whey, and the result is a thick, tangy and creamy spread or dip that is similar in texture to cream cheese. It is a fantastic addition to a Mezze platter topped with olive oil and spices, and then scooped up with pita, or veggies. The options are endless and you can enjoy it any way you please.
Full Fat Greek Yogurt: It’s amazing how easy it is to make labneh, however when working with minimal ingredients, you will want to make sure to choose a good quality yogurt. I personally prefer an organic grass-fed greek yogurt like Maple Hill Creamery, however any full-fat yogurt will work. You want the Labneh to be thick, so you want to avoid using low fat or nonfat yogurt.
Salt: Any salt will work, however something like Redmond Real Salt is a great option as it includes trace minerals.
Olive Oil: Again, especially when working with minimal ingredients, it’s ideal to utilize higher quality ingredients if possible. Any day-to-day Olive Oil will work, however if you have a special olive oil you use for fresh recipes, now is the time to put it to use!
- Place colander over a bowl and line colander with a cheesecloth or coffee filter(s).
- Place yogurt in the lined colander and top with salt.
- Cover yogurt with cheesecloth or additional coffee filters and set aside or in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
- After 24 hours, remove the whey and check the consistency of the labneh. If you like it really thick, put it in the fridge for another 12 hours.
- Once Labneh has reached your desired consistency, transfer to a serving bowl and top with Olive Oil and garnishes of your choosing.
How to Serve Labneh
If serving like a dip or on a mezze platter, scoop labneh onto a serving bowl and create a well with the back of your spoon, and drizzle olive oil and your favorite toppings. Get as creative as you’d like, you can top it just as you would hummus or baba ganoush. Some of my favorite toppings are listed below:
Toasted pine nuts
For a sweet version: Drizzle of honey
I like to serve labneh with crudités, crackers or pita bread, or as part of a larger mezze tray.
How To Store Labneh
Labneh can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks. You can also drizzle with some olive oil to help it stay soft.
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How To Make Labneh At Home
- Coffee Filters
- Mixing Bowl
- 1 16oz Full Fat Plain Greek Yogurt Grass Fed if possible
- 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
- 3 tablespoon Olive Oil Extra Virgin
- Place colander into mixing bowl, the colander should sit in the mixing bowl, leaving 3-5 inches of space at the bottom.
- Line the colander with coffee filters.
- Gently pour the yogurt over the coffee filters, and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Cover yogurt with additional coffee filters and let the yogurt sit out at room temparature for twelve hours or overnight. Then transfer to the fridge for another twelve hours.
- Once the yogurt has thickened remove colander from bowl, and discard the whey from the bowl, and transfer the labneh to a serving dish. Top labneh with olive oil, flakey sea salt.
- Other fantastic toppings include: sumac, zat'ar, cayanne pepper, mint, parsley and or dill.