How to Make Labneh (Yogurt Cheese) – The Recipe ReDux {sponsored contest}

  How To Make Labneh Yogurt Cheese | Teaspoonofspice.com

Strained yogurt cheese or labneh provides tang, flavor and Middle Eastern flair to any meal ~ 

Disclosure: California Milk Advisory Board compensated The Recipe ReDux (co-owned by ReganMillerJones, Inc. and Teaspoon Communications), to sponsor this recipe contest. We are not eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Labneh (or labne) came onto my radar a few years ago when I was writing a food trend story. Along with kefir, I wrote it was the next “hot” dairy product. While kefir has become more mainstream, labneh isn’t exactly a household name here in America yet…but I have a feeling that might change as the flavors of the Middle East become more popular (a predicted 2014 trend by Janet Helm – THE dietitian who has her pulse on food and nutrition trends over at Nutrition Unplugged.)

So, when the California Milk Advisory Board approached The Recipe ReDux to do a National Nutrition Month recipe challenge to lighten up recipes with real California dairy foods, I knew exactly what I was going to make.

How To Make Labneh Yogurt Cheese | Teaspoonofspice.com

I wanted to see how labneh would taste using a nonfat yogurt – after all, this is a “lighten up” recipe contest. I ended up using nonfat Greek yogurt from Brown Cow Farm, started “back in 1973 by two self-proclaimed hippies in Ithaca, NY” who bought a Jersey cow and started making small batches of yogurt. They moved operations permanently to California in 1989. (Full disclosure: I worked for dairy farmers for several years and have always been partial to the Jersey breed – or “brown cows” – because of their beautiful coat and extra-rich milk.)

How To Make Labneh Yogurt Cheese | Teaspoonofspice.com

I gotta say, I think this is my new fave way to enjoy yogurt. I mixed it with some traditional ingredients (olive oil, za’atar and mint) and even enjoyed it for breakfast as they do in Lebanon with bread (whole wheat pita for me.) I also ate it for lunch and as a snack throughout the week – it was so good and filling for such a simple recipe.

For my  next batch of labneh – believe me, there will be another batch very soon –  I plan to use it place of ricotta with this pistachio pairing and as a topping on this red lentil soup.

How to Make Labneh (Yogurt Cheese)

Makes 6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces Real California Greek style yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon chili olive oil
  • 3 mint leaves, ripped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon za'atar
  • Whole wheat pita bread

Directions

  1. Mix Real California yogurt with salt.
  2. Line a colander with 4 - 5 layers of cheesecloth and place in a big bowl. Scoop yogurt into cheesecloth. Gather all sides of cheesecloth together and tie at the top. Place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
  3. Open cheesecloth and scoop out labneh. You can serve plain or mix it with chili olive oil, mint leaves, garlic and za'atar. Serve with pita bread.
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Now, let’s talk Cali milk! Real California dairy foods are available nationally and can be identified by the Real California Milk Seal or the Real California Cheese Seal.

How to Make Labneh Yogurt Cheese | Teaspoonofspice.com

California is the number #1 dairy state in the U.S., representing over 1,500 dairy families. Some of my favorite American made cheeses come from California including Red Hawk (Cowgirl Creamery), Point Reyes Original Blue (Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese) and Dry Jack (Vella Cheese.)

How To Make Labneh Yogurt Cheese | Teaspoonofspice.com

Check out all of the Recipe ReDux California dairy creations below and let us know, have you ever made cheese at home? We want to hear!


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Comments

  1. I don’t have any links, but I do want to say that I’ve made yogurt and yogurt cheese for several years now. One of my favorite uses for yogurt cheese is to give it to my children when they’re babies-starting at around 9 months. They were/are able to pick it up to feed themselves, there’s no mess and they get all the benefits of eating yogurt.

  2. Great recipe, Deanna! Za’atar is the new darling in my spice rack! I’ll be making this for sure.
    dianeboyd recently posted..Romancing the ‘Whole Diet’ Approach for Heart HealthMy Profile

  3. I’ve been wanting to try making labneh for awhile now and this looks delicious! Can you believe I call myself the Spicy RD and I’ve still never tried za’atar??? :-) On my list to make ASAP! Hope you’re having a FABULOUS weekend :-)
    ea-the spicy rd recently posted..Marvelous Magnesium {Part 1} + A SuperSeedz Pumpkin Seed GiveawayMy Profile

  4. I love the idea of mixing the strained yogurt with olive oil and spices! I can imagine how creamy and delicious this is on some soft pita bread. Yum!
    Marisa @ Uproot from Oregon recently posted..Maple Yogurt Muffin Top CookiesMy Profile

  5. We love labneh! Our next door neighbors are Turkish/Armenian/French…we have some adventures when we feast together & labneh is one of the items I always bring with me =) Making me crave this for tonight!
    Wendy Jo recently posted..{Recipe Redux} Creamy Kale Salad #RealCaliforniaDairyMy Profile

  6. Seriously gorgeous photo, Deanna. I just love how the spices, herbs and oils are floating together!

  7. I’ve been on a Middle Eastern cooking spree. Will definitely have to add labneh to the mix!
    Rachael@AnAvocadoADay recently posted..Kale, Mushroom and Blue Cheese Quiche {Sponsored Contest}My Profile

  8. I love this and it is so simple. Is the consistency similar to goat cheese? My son would love this!
    Jaime @ Zest & Zeal recently posted..Lemony Kale Caesar SaladMy Profile

  9. Wow, not only did we both make yogurt cheese we both used the same brand. Hey, I was wondering what za ‘atar is like. Is it spicy?
    Mireya @myhealthyeatinghabits recently posted..Homemade Yogurt Cheese – 3 flavorsMy Profile

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