Labneh – Versatile Soft Cheese

Labneh with Sumac

Easy to make soft cheese recipe. Labneh or Lebne is a Middle Eastern soft cheese made from yoghurt which is strained of its whey to create a more solid form similar to cream cheese and it is easy to make yourself. I find it very versatile and use it as part of mezze, in salads, with grilled mushrooms, spread on bread, dolloped on thick flavoursome soups or just eaten with a spoon! You can roll it in herbs, eat it with spices or dust it with some sumac and serve with these deliciously flavoured French Breakfast Radishes from Old School Farm, Preston in scenic North West Tasmania. Pure Labneh, without added herbs or olive oil, will keep for several weeks in a sterilised jar. Have fun making your own Labneh and Taste, Experiment and Enjoy!

Not sure what sumac is or how to use it?  You can learn more about spices and making your own fresh spice mixes in my Cooking with Spices classes. Join my Cooking Club to receive news about class dates, special offers and more.


500g Organic cow, goat or sheep’s milk Yoghurt (or a mixture)
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2-3 teaspoons strained lemon juice


  • Place the yoghurt into a glass bowl.
  • Whisk in the salt and lemon juice to taste.
  • Line a sieve with a piece of damp muslin large enough to hang over the sides.
  • Place the lined sieve over a clean glass bowl.
  • Gently pour the yoghurt mixture into the muslin lined sieve.
  • Bring the sides of the muslin together and twist and tie in place.
  • Very gently squeeze or press down on the yoghurt mixture to extract a little of the whey.
  • Place in top part of refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours. 48 hours is preferable.
  • You can even leave it for 72 hours. After which time, remove from refrigerator and unravel the muslin.
  • Sterilise and cool a glass jar with lid.
  • Use a teaspoon to remove portions of Labneh, and with clean hands, roll into small balls.
  • It’s fiddly but fun. Maybe the children can do this!
  • Place balls in the jar, seal, label and date and pop in the refrigerator ready to use in your dishes.

Use clean utensils to remove Labneh balls from the jar. Seal and keep refrigerated. Labneh should last about a week.

Learn about authentic Middle Eastern and Moroccan home cooking in my cooking classes. Be inspired by new cuisines which you can easily cook at home. Join my Cooking Club to receive news about class dates, special offers and more.

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