The CREAMIEST Homemade Labneh – Step by Step!

Last Updated on January 1, 2023 by Jacqueline Rafidi

how to make

Ingredients:
2 cups whole milk
2 cups half and half
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional – but I find it helps remove more of the whey)

Equipment:
Medium sauce pan with fitting lid
Large clean blanket or towel
Mesh bag – I’m using this one: https://elliesbest.com/collections/nut-milk-bags
(for 10% off use code TheBite)
OR Cheesecloth
Metal sieve
Large bowl

 Directions:
In a medium saucepan on medium high heat, add the milk and half and half. Stir occasionally and let come to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat and set aside.
Non-technical (but traditional) step: Let cool to the point of being able to withstand the heat of the milk with your clean pinky finger for 10 seconds. It should be between hot and warm, not enough to burn your finger but also not lukewarm. This is the technique used by most Middle Easterners and was recommended by my mom, tete (grandmother) and mother in law. However…
More accurate measurement: Let the milk mixture cool until about 115F – use a food thermometer. At this point, stick in your clean pinky finger so you know the feel of the yogurt to use the non-technical step in the future.

Once the milk is ready, stir in the prepared plain yogurt. Cover the entire pot with the towel or blanket and let sit 10-12 hours or overnight to ferment.

The next day, prepare a straining station with a large glass bowl and metal sieve on top. If using salt, mix the salt in with the yogurt at this point. Add the yogurt from the pot into either your mesh bag or cheesecloth, gently squeeze the top of the bag and place in the sieve over the bowl. Place this bowl in the fridge and let sit for about 5-6 hours, draining the whey that is removed into the bowl every 2-3 hours.

Once the whey is fully removed and the yogurt is at your desired texture (let strain longer for thicker labneh), it is ready to eat! Place in a storing container and serve simply with olive oil, za’atar and veggies for breakfast, use in place of mayo, add chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to make a spicy, smoky sauce for tacos, eat with tortilla chips and pickled jalapenos (one of my snack weaknesses). The possibilities are endless! This will last about 2 weeks in the fridge and if more whey is drained in your storing container, drain it out in the sink before eating to keep the labneh thick. Enjoy, Sahtein!

For thicker labneh:
Add more prepared yogurt to the milk mixture (even up to 1/2 cup)
Add more salt to remove more water

The CREAMIEST Homemade Labneh – Step by Step!

This is a delicious spread that we eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Course Side Dish

Equipment

  • Medium sauce pan with fitting lid
  • Large clean blanket or towel
  • Mesh bag – I’m using this one: https://elliesbest.com/collections/nut-milk-bags (for 10% off use code TheBite) OR Cheesecloth
  • Metal sieve
  • Large bowl

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt optional – but I find it helps remove more of the whey

Instructions
 

  • In a medium saucepan on medium high heat, add the milk and half and half. Stir occasionally and let come to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat and set aside.
  • Non-technical (but traditional) step: Let cool to the point of being able to withstand the heat of the milk with your clean pinky finger for 10 seconds. It should be between hot and warm, not enough to burn your finger but also not lukewarm. This is the technique used by most Middle Easterners and was recommended by my mom, tete (grandmother) and mother in law. However…
  • More accurate measurement: Let the milk mixture cool until about 115F – use a food thermometer. At this point, stick in your clean pinky finger so you know the feel of the yogurt to use the non-technical step in the future.
  • Once the milk is ready, stir in the prepared plain yogurt. Cover the entire pot with the towel or blanket and let sit 10-12 hours or overnight to ferment.
  • The next day, prepare a straining station with a large glass bowl and metal sieve on top. If using salt, mix the salt in with the yogurt at this point. Add the yogurt from the pot into either your mesh bag or cheesecloth, gently squeeze the top of the bag and place in the sieve over the bowl. Place this bowl in the fridge and let sit for about 5-6 hours, draining the whey that is removed into the bowl every 2-3 hours.
  • Once the whey is fully removed and the yogurt is at your desired texture (let strain longer for thicker labneh), it is ready to eat! Place in a storing container and serve simply with olive oil, za’atar and veggies for breakfast, use in place of mayo, add chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to make a spicy, smoky sauce for tacos, eat with tortilla chips and pickled jalapenos (one of my snack weaknesses). The possibilities are endless! This will last about 2 weeks in the fridge and if more whey is drained in your storing container, drain it out in the sink before eating to keep the labneh thick. Enjoy, Sahtein!

Notes

For thicker labneh:
Add more prepared yogurt to the milk mixture (even up to 1/2 cup)
Add more salt to remove more water
Keyword The CREAMIEST Homemade Labneh

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3 Comments

  1. Hey, Jakie!
    Thanks so much for this recipe. It was difficult to find a recipe from scratch for labneh. I love making my own yogurt and have only used cow’s milk so far but I want to make sure I’m making this cheese as authentic as it could be, so my question is if you think Kefir milk would do a better job than yogurt, and also would like to get your opinion on goat’s milk to make labneh. Thanks again!

    1. Hi Tati! To be honest, I haven’t tried either. This is how my family makes it. I would imagine it would work with either of them, but the taste would change based on the taste of the milk. Thanks for reaching out!

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