Labneh - Middle Eastern Soft Cheese

This is a gem of a recipe, its basically stained Greek style yogurt to remove the whey, it makes a delightful cream cheese but the bonus is because its made from Greek yogurt its high in protein and low in fat, got to love that. It could be seasoned with anything, I added zat 'tar and fresh mint and olive oil. Its a popular cheese in the Middle East and in fact its also made into balls and stored in olive oil. Labneh is wonderful as a dip or in sandwiches or on crackers. 

Its a traditional Bedouin food that can be made from camels, goats, buffalo and cows milk. The Bedouin folks would also make a dried labneh by squeezing it between two cheese clothes and stones and drying in the sun. This would preserve it and make it great for travel.  In Gaza it is a common breakfast food, eaten with flat bread. 
So how will you use yours ?
Bedouin family in Oman from Wikipedia 


makes a small bowl full, I am now making it once a week :-)
  • one cup of Greek yogurt 
  • a pinch of zat' tar
  • a handful of fresh mint chopped
  • a drizzle of olive oil 

  1. cover a bowl with paper towels or muslin cloth and add Greek yogurt, leave in fridge overnight to drain
  2. mix with zat tar, mint and olive oil and enjoy - it will keep in the fridge for a couple of days 

my wee taste tester, and I have to take the pictures fast :-)

This is so good, hubby even asked for it again. 

Who has had it?

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  1. How many people do you know who have za'atar in their pantry? Count me among them.

    1. he he your right but would be fine with any seasonings :-)

  2. Hi Rebecca, I've not eaten this but it sure look very tempting. Love your wee taste tester, looking good and sooo cute. :)

    Greetings from Malaysia. Have a nice week ahead,regards.

  3. Oh I was makings such kind of cheese and had no idea it is labneh.. I was just calling it cream cheese :D

    1. ;-) bet it has lots of names in different countries

  4. Totatlly agree with you, even i feel like making some soon.

  5. This recipe looks and sounds yummy. I quite liked this: "Its a popular cheese in the Middle East and in fact its also made into balls and stored in olive oil". I love olive oil.

    Greetings from London.

  6. I found za'atar at our health food store and bought a wee bit for some Morrocan recipes that I've been playing with ... I think I will try making some labneh! You have made it mook so simple!

  7. Ooh, I love labneh! A Lebanese friend introduced me to it at her mom's house. I buy it at the middle eastern market but I've never tried making it. I do make my own yogurt at home (usually using skim or 1% milk) so I'm not sure how well it would strain off and even if it worked whether it would taste right? (I wonder if I should use greek yogurt as the starter?) But I'll try it!

  8. I tasted this before at a friend's; I never thought I could make it; sounds simple and I know it is really tasty.

  9. I love your wee taste taster but he's getting so big! I would love to try it too :)

  10. Oh gorgeous - I'd eat this the way I eat good fresh ricotta - right from the spoon!

  11. I need to try this, seeing pictures, it reminds me about our photography session, one will be taking pictures with her camera and other who is crawling pull the light so that he can crawl through that area clearing the space.

  12. One of the reasons why I love your blog Rebecca - the international flair of your recipes :)

  13. I always see Labneh at the persian/iranian market near home. Never tried it but I have always wanted to. Now I see how easy it is to make just using Greek yogurt! I never made cheese before because I didn't have cheesecloth, but thanks to you, now I know I can just use kitchen paper towels. I may have to try this, but maybe after I try the real thing so I know I did it right, haha.

    Also, I like zataar as well. I had the zataar bread and it was so flavorful.


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