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 useful for dips, spreading on crackers or baking.
Types of Strained Yogurt
Strained yogurt is popular all over the world. It is found across Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Here are three popular variations:
- Yogurt cheese is a thick, cream cheese-like spread that is lightly salted.
- Labneh is a tangy Middle Eastern yogurt cheese, that is often served with meze. To make labneh, use a mix of goat and cows milk. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of za’atar.
- Greek yogurt is a thick yogurt that hasn’t been strained quite as much as yogurt cheese. It is used for dips or snacks. To make Greek yogurt only strain the yogurt for 2 hours and leave it unsalted.
Serving Strained Yogurt
It is no wonder that strained yogurt is popular. It is an easy to make and healthy, lowfat and probiotic.
Here are a few of the different ways that I serve strained yogurt:
- Greek yogurt is perfect for tzatziki dip.
- My kids love thick creamy yogurt cheese on crackers or bagels. I often flavour it with herbs and garlic for a Boursin-inspired spread.
- Lebneh can be turned into marinated cheese balls, which make a delicious gift.
- Use strained yogurt to make a healthy cheesecake.
- I like adding a dollop into the middle of a blueberry muffin.
Simple Yogurt Cheese
Strained yogurt is a popular all over the planet. The thick, creamy yogurt is perfect for making dips or spreading on crackers. See the section above for 5 delicious serving options.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 1 cup 1x
- Category: Cheese
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern
- 2 cups of yogurt
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Line a strainer with two layers of 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 to drain.
- 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. Mix in the salt.
- Store in the fridge and use within one week.
- I recommend using homemade yogurt for the best flavour and consistency. Store-bought yogurt often contains thickeners, which won’t finish off as nicely.
- To make Greek-style strained yogurt, only strain for 2-4 hours and don’t add the salt.
- To make Labneh, use 1 cup of goat milk and 1 cup of cow milk for a tangier cheese.
- The whey can be added to smoothies, used for baking or as a culture for other ferments. Here’s my favourite ways to use up whey.
Keywords: Lebanese, Mediterranean, Greek yogurt, labneh, strained yogurt, breakfast, dessert, snack, spread