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Labaneh, also spelled Labneh or Labnah לַבַּנֶה, is a Middle Eastern strained yogurt cheese. It has a thick and creamy texture, similar to cream cheese. The good news is that it’s easy to make! You’ll need high-quality yogurt and a cheesecloth. Feeling fancy? Sprinkle some Za’atar and drizzle olive oil before serving, then enjoy with pita or crackers.

Labaneh dip on a plate
Labaneh dip on a plate

Labaneh is the Middle Eastern version of cream cheese, and making it is simple! You need a quality full-fat yogurt and a cheesecloth. Feeling fancy? Sprinkle some Za’atar and olive oil before serving, and enjoy with pita or crackers.

How to Make Labaneh?

If you have yogurt and cheesecloth…you can make labaneh. 

Selecting yogurt: High-quality yogurt is essential for making good labaneh. Use plain, whole-milk yogurt for a rich and creamy result.

Straining: To make labaneh, the yogurt is strained to remove excess whey. This can be done by placing the yogurt in a cheesecloth and allowing it to drain for several hours or overnight. The longer it strains, the thicker the labaneh will be.

Flavoring (optional): Labaneh can be enjoyed plain or seasoned with various herbs and spices. Common additions include salt, olive oil, garlic, herbs like mint or thyme, and spices like za’atar.

Serving: Labaneh is often served as a dip or spread. It can be enjoyed with pita bread, crackers, or vegetables. Some people also use it as a base for wraps or sandwiches.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  1. Creamy and tangy flavor
  2. Versatility
  3. Easy to make


Choose the right yogurt: Labaneh is made by straining yogurt to remove excess whey, resulting in a thicker consistency. To get the best results, use full-fat yogurt, as they have a higher fat content and will yield a creamier labaneh.

Add flavorings: While labaneh is delicious on its own, you can enhance its flavor by adding various herbs, spices, and other flavorings. Try adding minced garlic, chopped fresh herbs like mint or cilantro, or a drizzle of olive oil for extra flavor.

Experiment with different straining times: The longer you strain the yogurt, the thicker and creamier the labaneh will be. You can experiment with different straining times to achieve your desired consistency. For a spreadable labaneh, strain for 12-24 hours, and for a firmer cheese-like texture, strain for 24-48 hours.


How to store labaneh?

Once you’ve made labaneh, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for about a week. You can also store it in olive oil, which will help preserve its freshness and add extra flavor.

How to serve labaneh?

Labaneh provides a blank canvas for toppings. Try adding a drizzle of honey, pomegranate seeds, a sprinkle of za’atar or sumac, or some toasted nuts for added texture and flavor.

What to serve with labaneh?

Labaneh is versatile and can be enjoyed in many ways. Spread it on bread or crackers, use it as a dip for vegetables or pita chips, or incorporate it into recipes like salads, sandwiches, or wraps.

More Recipes You’ll Love

Mediterranean Pita bread

Authentic Falafel

Israeli Hummus From Scratch

Tahini Sauce

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Labaneh dip on a plate


Author Rachel
Prep Time 5 minutes
Resting time 12 hours
Yield 1 cup
Print Pin Recipe


Labaneh is the Middle Eastern version of cream cheese, and making it is simple! You need a quality full-fat yogurt and a cheesecloth.
Kosher, Dairy



  • 1 lb (450g) yogurt (whole milk)

Optional for flavoring:

  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • a pinch of salt

Optional for serving:

  • olive oil, Za'atar, and pomegranate seeds (optional)
  • Za'atar
  • pomegranate seeds


  • Mix the yogurt with garlic and salt (optional).
  • Place the yogurt into the cheesecloth.
  • Pick up the edges of the cloth and tie at the top. Hang from a kitchen sink faucet to drain overnight (let time do the hard work) for up to 24 hours.
  • In the morning, the whey strains out, leaving you with a very thick (and delicious) cheese.
  • Store in the fridge in a closed container for up to 10 days.
  • To serve, spread labaneh on a plate or in a small bowl and top with olive oil, Za'atar, and pomegranate seeds.
Tried this recipe? Tag@mamalivingabroad

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Hi, I’m Rachel.

Welcome to my little corner of the internet! I’m happy you’re here. I am the food blogger and photographer behind “Mama Living Abroad.”

In this space, I am sharing flavorful Israeli and Jewish recipes that I love to make and have my family and friends approve. My blog is 100% Kosher.

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