My Labneh Cheese

Strained yogurt (a.k.a., yogurt cheese, labneh (Arabic: لبنة‎ labnah),Turkish yogurt or Greek yogurt) is yogurt which has been strained (in a cloth or paper bag, or filter) to remove its whey, resulting in a relatively thick consistency (between that of conventional yogurt and cheese) — all while preserving yogurt’s distinctive, sour taste. Yogurt strained through muslin is a traditional food in the Levant, Eastern Mediterranean, Near East, and South Asia, where it is often used in cooking (as it is high enough in fat content to avoid curdling at higher temperatures). Such dishes may be cooked or raw, savoury or sweet.

I have been meaning to make a vegan labneh for the last 6 months, but it seems that something always crops up and prevents me from doing so. The recent problem was that I lost my cheese strainer, so instead, I took one of those short cuts that paid off.  All you are going to need is a reasonably good, plain, dairy-free yogurt.  The rest you can prepare in 5 minutes.  Here is some information about Labneh for you :

By the way, I have a version 2 I am working on soon.



½ Tbsp nutritional yeast (pulverize in a food processor until a powder is formed)

1½ cups plain unsweetened vegan yoghurt

½ tsp Himalayan salt

1/8 tsp citric acid

a sprinkle of garlic granules

½ tsp xanthan gum (available in the US from here, and in the UK from here)



  1. Mix all the ingredients (except for the xanthan gum) together in a glass bowl.
  2. Add the xanthan gum a little at a time to avoid over-thickening it, otherwise you will be left with a sludge.
  3. Place in the fridge for half an hour, then remove and drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Serve with hot pita bread, or one of my Middle Eastern Dishes.



All recipes and content © Miriam Sorrell 2010




  1. All the vegan yogurts I’ve tried, plain, are sweet. What do you recommend?

  2. ‘COYO’ is rich, creamy and thickish, the plain one is great Sandy. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Fusilli with Spinach, Labneh ‘Cream Cheese’, and Roasted Black Olives » Mouthwatering Vegan Recipes™

  4. Hi Miriam, can’t wait to make this as love labneh. However, am I able to sub agar agar for xanthan gum, and another ingredient (eg vinegar or lemon juice) for the citric acid? Cheers, Alice

  5. Alice Hi there, as I have not personally tried it with these ingredients, I am unable to guarantee the outcome. However, as these are not major changes, I would think it’s worth a try. Let me know how it goes if so. Good luck and enjoy ! 🙂

  6. Vegan labneh? Oh Miriam you are a hero! I am so going to try this out this week!!

  7. Hi Kathy and let me know how it goes ! 🙂

  8. Miriam, we’re in the US & only non-dairy yogurt I’ve found is sweet & also contains phosphates, a no-no on husband’s kidney diet.
    Is there a way to make my own using Happy Cream or coconut cream or…?
    Would LOVE to try this labneh! But would also love some yogurt for cooking! Thanks.

  9. Leslie Hi there – I understand how you feel about the products out there. The yoghurt I created for my book Yasou is one you would probably make and enjoy throughout your lifetime. It’s rich, thick, creamy and tastes excellent, you can use it for dessert toppings, cook with it etc. I am not at liberty to give the recipe out since it is protected by publisher copyright. That said, I have plenty of incredible recipes in the book that I feel you would love and make many times over including other cheeses and Greek Middle Eastern exotic dishes. I think I answered you on my fb page. Cheers !

  10. Thanks Miriam. I know I’ll love & use the book, but it’s over a month away! Guess I’ll have to try a few more “health food” stores in our area in the meantime. We do love middle eastern food.
    Mouthwatering Vegan doesn’t even really live on my cookbook shelf–it’s usually open on the table as I’m either checking ingredients I need or planning the next taste adventure.
    And we’re not even vegan, just off dairy because of my husband’s kidney issues.

  11. Leslie good to hear back from you. Bear with the timing of the book. It’s not a bad thing to lay off dairy in any case because of the harm to all the body that it causes in time, so your husband’s kidney issues have brought to light a different way of eating to preserve his health, and in so doing enhance your own. Also check out Dr Michael Greger’s website he has an a-z of diseases with videos of what to eat – he is highly regarded and well versed, let the info on his site be a little guide. If you order Yasou, let me know when it reaches you weeks from now Leslie. Here if you need any help. Cheers your way in the meantime. 🙂


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