We Tried a Recipe for Homemade Cheese—It Was Way Easier Than We Thought!

We promise—it's THIS easy to make homemade cheese! Learn how to make this soft, spreadable cheese using nothing more than a container of yogurt and a few squares of cheesecloth.

Cheesemaking isn’t exactly an everyday activity. It requires more time and attention than most of us are willing to give. The good news is, we have a completely stress-free, homemade cheese recipe made from yogurt!

What Is Labneh?

Erin Coffield, RDN, LDN, food and nutrition expert at National Dairy Council told me about labneh cheese: a soft, cream cheese popular in Middle Eastern cuisine. It’s not only delicious and easy to make, it takes advantage of the many health benefits of yogurt, providing your body with protein, calcium, vitamins and minerals.

How to Make Labneh

Yield: About 2-1/2 cups


  • 1 (32-ounce) container of whole cow’s milk yogurt or Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, optional
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons za’atar seasoning (buy it here), optional

Editor’s note: Everything Bagel spice works in place of the za’atar if you already have it.

You’ll also need

  • 2 (12″ x 12″) squares of cheesecloth (available here), or a linen kitchen towel
  • A fine-mesh strainer or sieve

Step 1: Season the yogurt

We start by seasoning the yogurt with salt in a large bowl. You can strain plain yogurt for labneh, but it will taste much better if you salt it first. The salt also helps pull out excess whey, giving you a creamier, thicker cheese.

Step 2: Strain out the whey

Place a fine-mesh strainer on top of a medium-sized bowl. Line the strainer with the cheesecloth (or, a linen kitchen towel), letting a few inches hang over the side of the strainer. Spoon the seasoned yogurt into the cheesecloth and gently wrap the sides over the top of the yogurt, protecting it from being exposed to air in the refrigerator.

Store it in the refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours, discarding the whey halfway through if your bowl becomes too full.

Step 3: Eat up!

Congratulations, you just pulled off the easiest recipe for homemade cheese! Remove the labneh from the cheesecloth and store it in an airtight container. Serve it as a dip by pressing a dent in the center of the cheese, drizzling the olive oil into the center and sprinkling it with the za’atar seasoning.

How to Enjoy Labneh

Labneh’s flavor and texture are like whipped cream cheese. Here are a few ways to try it, but the possibilities are endless!

  • Spread it on whole grain toast and eat it for breakfast.
  • Use it in place of mayonnaise to amp up the nutrition of your lunch sandwiches or wraps.
  • Slather it on lahmacun for your next pizza night.
  • Whip it with some honey and serve it as a dessert with berries.
  • Make it an appetizer dip for raw or grilled vegetables by topping it with olive oil and Za’atar seasoning.

Or, try using it in these amazing dishes Grandma made with cream cheese!

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Lindsay D. Mattison
Lindsay has been writing for digital publications for seven years and has 10 years of experience working as a professional chef. She became a full-time food writer at Taste of Home in 2023, although she’s been a regular contributor since 2017. Throughout her career, Lindsay has been a freelance writer and recipe developer for multiple publications, including Wide Open Media, Tasting Table, Mashed and SkinnyMs. Lindsay is an accomplished product tester and spent six years as a freelance product tester at Reviewed (part of the USA Today network). She has tested everything from cooking gadgets to knives, cookware sets, meat thermometers, pizza ovens and more than 60 grills (including charcoal, gas, kamado, smoker and pellet grills). Lindsay still cooks professionally for pop-up events, especially if it provides an opportunity to highlight local, seasonal ingredients. As a writer, Lindsay loves sharing her skills and experience with home cooks. She aspires to motivate others to gain confidence in the kitchen. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her cooking with fresh produce from the farmers market or planning a trip to discover the best new restaurants.