Fresh Yogurt Cheese (Labneh)

fresh-yogurt-cheese-Labneh Photo: Levi Brown


  • 4 cups plain reduced-fat (2%) Greek yogurt, or 2 1/2 cups store-bought labneh
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, plus additional for serving


1. In a medium bowl, stir together yogurt and salt. (If using store-bought labneh, skip to step 2.) Line a fine-mesh sieve with 2 layers of cheesecloth (allowing extra to drape over sieve); place sieve over a deep bowl or large (8-cup) liquid measure. Transfer yogurt to prepared sieve. Gather edges of cheesecloth around yogurt mixture; tie with kitchen twine. Transfer bowl, sieve, and yogurt to refrigerator; drain 12 hours (discarding liquid occasionally to make sure liquid collected from yogurt in bowl doesn't touch sieve). Remove yogurt cheese from cheesecloth.

2. Use clean hands to roll cheese into 1-inch balls (about 1 rounded tablespoon each). Meanwhile, heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat; add oregano and cook until crisp and fragrant (about 1 minute). Cool oil and oregano completely (discarding darkened oregano, if desired) and pour over yogurt cheese to serve. Garnish with fresh oregano.

    Prep: 10 minutes; Cook: 1 minute; Total time: 11 minutes (plus 12 hours draining).
  • Yield: Makes 2 1/2 cups (32 balls) (serving size: 4 cheese balls)

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving: 106
Fat per serving: 5.7g
Saturated fat per serving: 2g
Monounsaturated fat per serving: 2.5g
Polyunsaturated fat per serving: 0.4g
Protein per serving: 10g
Carbohydrate per serving: 5g
Fiber per serving: 0.0g
Cholesterol per serving: 8mg
Iron per serving: 0.0mg
Sodium per serving: 158mg
Calcium per serving: 80mg

Good to Know

Labneh is popular in the Middle East, and is great spread on a bagel as a guilt-free swap for cream cheese.