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Labneh is a tangy Middle Eastern cream cheese that is silkier than the cheese you have  on bagels. It’s equally at home under a pile of fresh vegetables in the morning as it is  drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with za’atar and lapped up with a happy-hour  flatbread. If you live someplace fancy like New York or San Francisco (or actually  maybe any place that has a Whole Foods), perfectly respectable labneh is a grocery store  trip away, but yada-yada-living-in-the-middle-of-nowhere, we make our own.

And, okay, full disclosure: I don’t always have my act together to accomplish the two  steps it takes to prepare labneh the night before, so I often catch myself calling plain  full-fat Greek yogurt labneh. With a bit of salt, they’re nearly interchangeable; but  going the extra mile and draining your already-drained yogurt will yield a sturdier  spread that’s more worthy of the title of “cheese.”

  • Duration
  • Prep Time
  • Makes just under 2 cupsServings


  • 1 quart plain full-fat Greek yogurt
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice as desired, for serving
  • Pita, for serving


1. In a large bowl, mix together the yogurt, salt, and lemon juice. Line a sieve with three  layers of cheesecloth and place the sieve over a large bowl. Pour the yogurt into the  cheesecloth and set the bowl in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight, emptying  the liquid in the bowl as needed. 

2. If you’re not using it in a recipe, you can serve it on its  own. Top with a big splash of olive oil and additional seasoning and serve with pita.

3. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Recipe posted with permission from Molly on the Range: Recipes and Stories from an Unlikely Life on a Farm.