Turn Your Yogurt into Middle Eastern Labneh Overnight

March 9, 2018

Fight us, but savory yogurt is the superior means of having the sour dairy product. It’s better when mixed into heady, spice-filled marinades, or when added to salads for acidity and creaminess. It is even more delicious when it’s the star of the dipping show, like tzatziki, or labneh. If you’re uninitiated and have never had the latter, this popular Middle Eastern dip is yogurt’s thicker and slightly cheesier cousin, often eaten as a starter, drizzled with unholy amounts of olive oil.

While it sounds hard to make, there’s a simple cheat: buy any Greek yogurt in the grocery, strain it with cheesecloth (we’ve actually tried heavy paper towels and it worked) overnight, and wake up to some pretty legitimate labneh. We punched ours up with tomatoes blistered over an open [gas range] fire, but this works with literally anything—you can even make it with honey if you disagree with us, and want it sweet.

Labneh with Chili Oil & Roasted Tomatoes

  • Serves: 6 servings
  • Active time: 30 mins
  • Total time: Overnight
  • Difficulty: Easy



  • 4 cups (800g) plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp salt

Roasted Tomatoes

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 bird’s eye chilis, split in half
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. In a large bowl, mix Greek yogurt with salt.
  2. Set a large strainer over a separate bowl.
  3. Line the strainer with cheesecloth.
  4. Place the salted yogurt onto the cheesecloth and cover.
  5. Place in fridge overnight or for at least 4 hours to drain.
  6. Just before removing labneh from fridge, coat the tomaotes and chili with oil and salt.
  7. Place in a 375F oven for 15-20 minutes or until tomatoes are softened and blistered.
  8. Remove the labneh from the cheesecloth and place in a clean bowl.
  9. Stir the labneh and place on a plate, adding the roasted tomatoes, chili, and oil on top.
  10. Serve with pita or chips.
Pamela Cortez Pamela Cortez

Pamela Cortez writes about food full-time, and has honed her craft while writing for publications such as Rogue, Town and Country, and The Philippine Star. She once rode on a mule for a mile just to eat mint tea and lamb in Morocco, and has eaten a block of Quickmelt in one sitting. Her attempt at food photography can be viewed online @meyarrr.

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