Labneh is double-strained yogurt. In other words, it’s what you create when you strain an already-strained yogurt!
During the double-straining process, most of the whey is removed from the yogurt, creating a thicker consistency than normal unstrained yogurt. The end result is a thick, creamy yogurt cheese that is a highly versatile food product that you can add to a variety of dishes or use on its own as a dip.
Labneh is hugely popular in the Middle East, but it’s also gaining popularity across other areas of the world because it tastes so good! You can find it in some specialty supermarkets, but it’s not as widely available in the Western world as we’d like (at least, not yet).
Luckily, it’s relatively easy to make labneh yourself at home. Often, the most difficult part of following a labneh recipe is the waiting time. Labneh takes a while to make because you need to wait for the yogurt to strain, and there’s nothing you can do to speed up this process.
However, with a little patience, you can create some delicious labneh that you and your guests to enjoy at your cooking parties.
The Perfect Labneh Recipe
So, how can you make labneh at home? Below, we’ve got a simple but delicious recipe that you can follow to create your very own labneh.
All you need to make labneh is two ingredients – Greek yogurt and salt. You’ll also need a cheesecloth and a bowl over which you can hang the cloth to strain the yogurt.
Ideally, you should choose full-fat Greek yogurt. Avoid low-fat or fat-free options, as they might not create the creamy texture that you’re aiming for when making labneh.
Depending on the thickness of the yogurt, you might need two layers of cheesecloth. If it’s only a thin yogurt, you can get away with just one layer of cheesecloth.
To make the labneh, combine the Greek yogurt and salt, and warp them tightly in the cheesecloth. Carefully hang the cheesecloth over the bowl to strain it. And that’s your job done! Now, all you need to do is wait for around 24 hours for the yogurt to strain.
After the 24 hours is complete, remove the cheesecloth from the bowl and open it. You’ll find a thick, creamy yogurt cheese inside the cloth.
Store the labneh in an airtight container and place it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve it. Aim to consume it within three to five days of making it to ensure you enjoy it fresh.
How to Serve Labneh
Labneh is such a versatile dish that you won’t struggle to find exciting ways to serve it in your dishes. It tastes delicious when served with olive oil, lemon juice, and a range of herbs and spices for extra flavor.
One of the most popular ways to consume labneh is as a dip on its own or as part of a mezze platter. You can also add a spoonful of labneh it to salads, pasta dishes, pizza, baguettes, and sandwiches.