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This easy recipe for Labneh Yogurt Cheese shows you exactly how to make this thick and tangy middle eastern cheese. Sprinkle with homemade za’atar seasoning for an herbed cheese that’s great as a dip or spread. 

My favorite foods to share are those of cultural abundance. Often times we only see whats in our grocery store when theres a whole variety of flavors and tastes out there. 

Labneh, also known as labnah or labne is a strained yogurt cheese that is popular in the middle east. This tangy and tart cheese spread is similar to cream cheese and can be flavored a variety of different ways.

For this recipe, I used goat milk yogurt for an extra tangy twist. You simply mix salt with the yogurt and allow the excess liquid to strain off until it’s nice and thick. Top it with a homemade za’atar seasoning for a flavorful spread or dip that will wow anyone! 

Why You’ll Love This Labneh Yogurt Cheese Recipe

  • You can make this cheese with just 2 simple ingredients. 
  • Customize the flavor by adding in your favorite seasonings whether sweet or savory.
  • Makes a great dip to serve with crackers, fresh vegetables, or anything you love to dip.
  • It can be used as a tangy and fresh cream cheese substitute.
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Labneh Yogurt Cheese with Za’atar

  • Author: Cook by Color Nutrition


For the yogurt cheese:

  • Goat Milk Yogurt – Tangy goat milk yogurt makes an excellent creamy cheese that pairs well with any herbs or spices you add to it. 
  • Kosher Sea Salt – Salt helps to flavor the cheese and helps to draw out excess moisture in the yogurt. 

For the Za’atar: 

You’ll need the following seasonings and spices to make a homemade za’atar blend. These seasonings get toasted in a dry skillet over low heat for one minute until fragrant. 

  • Dried Thyme
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds
  • Sumac
  • Aleppo Pepper
  • Oregano 
  • Salt & Pepper


  1. Mix the yogurt and salt: In a mixing bowl, mix the salt in with the goat yogurt until well combined. 
  2. Secure the yogurt: Pour the yogurt mixture into a nut milk bag, kitchen towel, or triple-layered cheesecloth, then secure with a rubber band.
  3. Strain the cheese: Place the wrapped yogurt on top of a strainer and place the strainer in a deep bowl to collect the excess moisture. Place the yogurt bowl in the fridge to strain for 24-48 hours. There should be 2 cups of liquid at the bottom of the bowl. 
  4. Season the cheese: Once the cheese is fully strained, remove it from the cloth and add it to a bowl. Stir in any spices or seasonings or top with homemade za’atar.

Recipe Tips

  • If you like a thicker consistency, leave the cheese to strain for the full 48 hours. A thinner consistency can be achieved in 24 hours depending on your preferences. 
  • If you’re using a cheesecloth or a nut milk bag, you may need to double or triple layer it to make sure the yogurt stays inside. 
  • When choosing a bow for straining, make sure it can hold at least 2 cups of liquid at the bottom so it does not overflow. 

How To Serve Labneh with Za’atar

  • Spread it on a gluten free bagel or slice of toasted sourdough toast. 
  • Mix it with some fresh pomegranate seeds or dried fruit and use it as a sweet cream cheese. 
  • Use thick labneh on a cheese plate and place your favorite crackers, vegetables and dipping vehicles around it. 
  • You can use thinned labneh as a marinade for meats such as chicken and turkey to give it flavor and help tenderize it before cooking. 
  • Toss it into cooked pasta as the creamy base for pasta salad. 
  • Spread a generous helping on homemade Potato Latkes

Storing & Freezing

Storing: Labneh must be stored in an airtight container or sanitized jar with a lid to make sure it stays fresh. It will keep for up to 2 weeks. Always give it a stir before serving. 

Freezing: When freezing yogurt, the protein structures break down which causes it to separate as it thaws. Therefore, freezing is not recommended. 


Is labneh a probiotic?

Labneh yogurt cheese is made with yogurt that contains healthy strains of probiotic in most cases. This all depends on what type of yogurt you use. 

How do I know if labneh has gone bad? 

If your cheese is starting to turn, it will usually start to harden and discolor. It will also start dispelling the rest of the liquid inside the cheese. 

Whats the difference between labneh and cream cheese?

While cream cheese is made with cows milk, labneh is often made with goats milk or sheeps milk giving it more of a tangy and tart taste. 

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