Yogurt cheese is essentially yogurt that has been strained so that most of the whey is removed leaving behind a creamy, thick yogurt. It is a simple cheese that is a delicious base for dips or turning into a spreadable cheese.
Types of Strained Yogurt
Strained yogurt is popular all over the world. It is found across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
However, the basic recipe always remains the same. Yogurt is strained through several layers of cheesecloth, removing some of the whey, there by thicken the yogurt.
Here is an overview of three types of strained yogurt and how to serve them.
Yogurt cheese is a thick, cream cheese-like spread that is lightly salted. However, it is much lower fat than cream cheese. I usually flavor yogurt cheese to cover for the lack of fat.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Flavor it with herbs and garlic for a spread for crackers and sandwiches.
- Make a cinnamon dip.
- Use strained yogurt to make a healthy cheesecake.
- Or make yogurt frosting.
Greek yogurt isn’t been strained quite as much as yogurt cheese. Many brands of store-bought Greek yogurts use thickeners, however, homemade Greek yogurt will be a bit more spreadable.
To make Greek yogurt, strain for 2 to 4 hours, and don’t add any salt.
Here are a few ways to enjoy Greek yogurt.
- It is perfect for dips like tzatziki or beet dip.
- I like adding a dollop into the middle of a blueberry muffin prior to baking.
- Serve with honey and walnuts for dessert.
Labneh is tangy Middle Eastern-style strained yogurt, that is often served with meze. It is often made with goat milk yogurt.
To make labneh, strain for 6 to 8 hours, and don’t add any salt.
Simple Yogurt Cheese
Strained yogurt is also known as Greek yogurt or labneh. It is thicker and creamier than regular yogurt. Perfect for making dips or spreading on crackers. See the section above for how to customize this yogurt cheese recipe for Greek yogurt or labneh.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 1 cup 1x
- Category: Cheese
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern
- Diet: Vegetarian
- 2 cups of yogurt
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Line a strainer with two layers of fine cheesecloth. Pour in the yogurt and leave it to drain for 24 hours. If your house is warmer than 70F (21 C), then put the yogurt into the fridge while it drains.
- The whey is probiotic and healthy, so don’t pour it down the drain! See the notes for some ideas on how to use the whey.
- Scrape the strained yogurt into a container for storage. Stir in the salt.
- Store in an air-tight container in the fridge and use within two weeks. See the sections above for different serving options.
- I recommend using homemade yogurt for the best flavor and consistency. Store-bought yogurt often contains thickeners, which won’t finish as nicely.
- The whey can be added to smoothies, used for baking, or as a culture for other ferments. Here are my favorite ways to use up whey.
- Cheap grocery store cheesecloth has a much looser weave than cheesemaking cheesecloth. If you plan on making lots of yogurt cheese, it’s worth buying a package of quality cheesecloth.
- Serving Size: 1/4 cup
- Calories: 24
- Sugar: 2.4g
- Sodium: 120mg
- Fat: 0.4g
- Saturated Fat: 0.3g
- Carbohydrates: 2.4g
- Fiber: 0g
- Protein: 1.9g
- Cholesterol: 2mg