Making your own labneh from yogurt

labneh in bags
In your own refrigerator, there may be a little less room

You make labneh yourself by draining yogurt for a long time in a cheese or muslin cloth. Very fun to do, but unfortunately the result is never as good as our Labneh. We make the Labneh from our Dairy with specific yogurt cultures and enzymes, and it goes through different temperatures in the most hygienic conditions. You can’t possibly replicate those optimal conditions at your home.

But, as we said, it’s fun to do for once. For best results, follow these tips from Dairy.

Good explanation, but I still prefer to just buy my Labneh from the store


You need a cheesecloth, or otherwise a thin and clean towel that you rinse out frequently. You boil the cloth in water, that’s how you disinfect it. That’s what we do, too.

You need yogurt. We recommend starting with a Greek or Turkish yogurt, those are usually a little thicker. Our personal preference goes to the Turkish variety, as it leaks better. Many types of yogurt contain agents to prevent that leaking. The choice of yogurt culture also determines whether or not the yogurt leaks. In our Dairy, we make Labneh with milk, and we choose a very specific yogurt culture. When you make your own labneh, it’s best to choose a yogurt that you know will have milk whey in the jar quickly. You can use a low-fat yogurt, but the result is much tastier when you use a full-fat one.

You should clear some space in your fridge where you want to put the draining yogurt. Principally, the yogurt can also be drained at room temperature, but in that case the yogurt bacteria will acidify the labneh further, giving it a strong, more acidic flavor and often an unpleasant smell. So: clean out that fridge! If you don’t feel like cleaning, visit our store page to find a store close to you, and just buy a jar of our delicious Labneh.

Making Labneh

You have now done the important preparatory work. Now put the clean cloth in a bowl, and put a strainer or colander on top. Mix the yogurt with 1 gram of salt/100 grams of yogurt and spoon the yogurt into the cloth. Fold the cloth closed, and let the yogurt drain in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours. The longer you let it drain, the drier the labneh. If you happen to have some sense of construction (as in the photo above) you can also hang the labneh over a pot to drain. If you want the yogurt really dry, drain it for 48 hours. Then you can even make balls of it and keep it in oil. Labneh Anbaris, the Lebanese would say.

Shelf life

Labneh that you make yourself cannot be kept as long as the Labneh from our Dairy. Even when you cover it, it will only keep for a few days. For inspiration, visit our Labneh ideas page!

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