Photo: Annabelle Breakey Photo by: Photo: Annabelle Breakey

Yogurt Cheese (Labneh)

This versatile Middle Eastern cheese--which tastes like cream cheese but has fewer calories--is nothing more than strained yogurt with a bit of salt stirred in. Adding a layer of olive oil will protect and preserve it. If you want the cheese to be thicker, drain it longer.

Sunset FEBRUARY 2012

  • Yield: Makes 2 cups


  • 3 cups plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil


1. Pour yogurt into a strainer lined with a double thickness of cheesecloth and set in a bowl deep enough that the strainer won't sit in liquid. Stir in salt, then lay ends of cheesecloth over yogurt, covering it. Chill at least 1 day and up to 2 (cheese will get denser the longer you drain it).

2. Spoon cheese into a tall, narrow jar and top with 1/4 in. oil. Labneh keeps, chilled, up to 2 weeks.


Nutritional analysis is per 1/4-cup serving.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 76
  • Calories from fat: 62%
  • Protein: 3.2g
  • Fat: 5.3g
  • Saturated fat: 2.3g
  • Carbohydrate: 4.3g
  • Fiber: 0.0g
  • Sodium: 232mg
  • Cholesterol: 12mg

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Yogurt Cheese (Labneh) recipe