Labneh recipe

Making this Arabic mezze is a breeze, requiring just one ingredient – yoghurt. Jazz my recipe up by using some goat or sheep’s yoghurt, which gives it a bit more of a hit, or mix in garlic, lemon juice, saffron or sugar before straining to give it an additional flavour. Prepare two days in advance of serving to ensure your labneh has thick and creamy consistency. For the history of labneh see this article.

You will need: Muslin cloth, tea towel or coffee filter; string; fine sieve; bowl


  • 1 pot natural yoghurt
  • 1 pot natural yoghurt
  • 1 pot natural yoghurt


  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern
  • Recipe Type: Side
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation Time: 45 mins
  • Cooking Time: 5 mins
  • Serves: 4


  1. Place the fine sieve over a bowl and then lay your piece of fabric over it.
  2. Simply scoop out your yoghurt of choice or yoghurt mixture (if you have mixed it with any extra flavours) onto the fabric and enclose the yoghurt within it, tying at the top with string.
  3. Leave in the fridge for 24-48 hours, remembering that the longer you leave it, the thicker the texture of your labneh. The whey will drain off over this period of time (keep it - it's useful for baking).
  4. If you want to roll it into coated balls, leave even longer. 48 hours is perfect for a smooth white dip to be scooped up with flatbread.
  5. To serve, decant your labneh into a bowl and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, some olives and a sprinkling of za'atar or smoked paprika.

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