As the Lebanese food writer and photographer Barbara Massaad says in her recipe book Mezze – “labneh is Lebanese comfort food with a capital C”!  Delicious and easy to make, it wouldn’t be complete without Zejd’s beautiful extra virgin olive oil.

Labneh is hard to come by in UK supermarkets, but it’s nothing more complicated than strained yoghurt with a bit of salt. You’ll need a piece of thin cloth, like muslin, which you can tie up and hang over a bowl somewhere cool. You can also make labneh using a sieve lined with kitchen paper over a bowl so you can put it in the fridge while it’s straining. The longer you leave the yoghurt to strain, the harder the labneh will be. Choose your yoghurt carefully, making sure there is no added salt or flavourings. We use Straight Up Greek style yoghurt. The leftover whey, which is full of protein, can be used to make soda scones for breakfast. 

In Lebanon labneh is served on a plate with a pool of extra virgin olive oil and scooped up with flat breads. Flat breads, easier found in some parts of the UK than others, are straightforward to make in a frying pan. According to The Chocolate Detective who had a go at our recipe for easy flat breads, it was indeed really easy!

During the summer, we often have a Lebanese breakfast at the weekends. A plate of labneh with a pool of golden extra virgin olive oil, Bassatin Baanoub’s za’atar mix made with Zejd’s extra virgin olive oil, a bowl of Zejd souri green cracked olives with a squeeze of lemon, a few small cucumbers and tomatoes. Dip, spread and enjoy a savoury breakfast hopefully with some sun alongside to remind you of Lebanon! 

serves 8 


900g Greek yoghurt, plain
1 tsp fine sea salt


  1. Add the teaspoon of salt to the yoghurt and mix well.
  2. Sterilise a clean cloth by pouring over boiling water (or even better have a special piece of muslin which you keep for labneh)  
  3. Line a bowl with the sterilised cloth and tip the yoghurt in.
  4. Bring the corners of the cloth together and tie a knot if you have enough material, or secure with a string.  If you have somewhere to hang it, place the bowl underneath to catch the whey. The longer you leave it the firmer the labneh will become. Left for around 5 hours, the mixture will be soft and creamy; left overnight it will be thicker and firmer. If the weather’s hot, leave it in the fridge.
  5. Unfold the cloth and marvel at the beautiful creamy white ball! Spread on a flat plate and pour a tablespoon or two of extra virgin olive oil.

You can also make labneh  with some kitchen paper lining a sieve big enough to take the yoghurt. Leave the sieve over a bowl in the fridge if the kitchen is hot.

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