Labneh Cheese: Make Your Own Spreadable Cheese
July 12, 2013
Learning how to make Labneh cheese is one of the simplest cheese-making projects you can tackle. It originated in the Middle East and Lebanon and is similar to our cream cheese, although not quite as firm.
Labneh is basically a strained yogurt cheese. The yogurt is strained to remove the whey – the watery part of the yogurt that is left after the yogurt forms. Don’t just throw the whey away, it can be added to shakes and smoothies as an extra source of protein.
You can make Labneh from any type of full fat yogurt. Yogurt can be made from cow’s milk or goat’s milk and goat’s milk yogurt will work wonderfully in this recipe. If you use a low-fat or nonfat yogurt, the Labneh will not set up as well. Just like with cream cheese, Labneh can be flavored. If you prefer a savory taste, you can add chives, salt, dried chili peppers, or cumin. I generally prefer my Labneh sweetened so I add things like sugar, honey, citrus zest, or vanilla paste instead.
How to Make Labneh Cheese
- 1 16 oz container of full, fat unflavored yogurt or Greek yogurt
- 1/2 tsp salt or sugar
- Herbs, spices, or flavors of your choice
- Coffee filter or finely woven cheesecloth
- Bowl and spoon
- Add spices, herbs or flavorings to your yogurt now.
- Place a coffee filter in a strainer and set the strainer in a bowl. Pour the yogurt into the coffee filter.
- Close the top of the coffee filter with a clothes pin and set a bowl on it to help press out the whey.
- Set the entire thing in the refrigerator to drain overnight.
- You should leave it in the refrigerator to drain as least 12 to 15 hours. Some people leave it for up to 2 days.
- If you don’t see a lot of whey being removed from the yogurt, you can very gently press it.
- Remove the Labneh cheese from the coffee filter. You can keep it in the round shape that is traditional for Labneh or mix it with extra flavorings and store it in a clean, covered container in the refrigerator.
I enjoy Labneh on toast, bagels, and pita bread. Have you ever tried making your own cheese?