How to Make Thick Thick Yoghurt | Labneh | Strained Yogurt | Greek Yogurt | Yogurt Cheese

How to make thick yoghurt

The joy of thick yoghurt. As thick as thick cream, superb as a topping, spread or base for a dip or a dessert, it is a necessary ingredient in the kitchen. Easy to make, it leaves whey which can be used in oats, breads, juices and soups.

Eat labneh straight from the bowl! Or with fruit and a drizzle of honey. Over jam on crunchy breakfast toast. Or roll it into balls for a savoury labneh.

We have other recipes for Labneh. Try Garlicky Labneh, Blueberry Shrikhand, and A Dozen Ways to use Labneh.

We have many recipes that use yoghurt and you can browse them here. Have a look at our dips too. Or get inspired by our easy Mid Autumn recipes.

Pears and Thick Yoghurt (How to make thick yoghurt)

Thick Thick Yoghurt | Labneh

Take a tub of yoghurt. Tip the yoghurt into something that will allow it to drain for at least 4 hours. I line a sieve with a piece of muslin and sit this over a large bowl. A double layer of paper towels is Ok. Even coffee filters! A clean tea towel.

Allow the yoghurt to drain for up to 48 hours in the fridge. The whey drains off, and can be discarded or used in other ways you would normally use whey (in soups, bread baking etc). The amount that drains is surprising.

24 hours produces a very thick yoghurt, more like a soft soft cheese. 6 hours produces a thick but still liquid yoghurt. Choose the thickness to suit your taste and the way that you plan to use it.

Use as is on fruit, in place of cream, on muesli or porridge, in icecream, curd rice, yoghurt curries etc. Top soup with it. Make Blueberry Shrikand.

How to make thick yoghurt

Or stir a little honey or icing sugar through the labneh for sweet uses. Or finely chopped herbs, sea salt and black pepper can be stirred through for savoury labneh. Eat it straight away, or the savoury labneh can be rolled into balls and put in a jar and covered with olive oil. These will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks.

How to make thick yoghurt

A traditional way to drain yoghurt is in muslin cloth and the four corners are pulled up and tied together. This is then hung from the kitchen tap or from a wooden spoon over a large bowl.

If you drain it in a muslin-lined sieve, a weight can be placed on top to assist the draining.

Some Ways to use Thick Thick Yoghurt:


18 thoughts on “How to Make Thick Thick Yoghurt | Labneh | Strained Yogurt | Greek Yogurt | Yogurt Cheese”

  1. Nicely done and explained. This is what Greeks make Tzatziki with…overnight is best.

    Thanks Peter! I thought it might be Greek as well. I will find many uses for this, I am certain.

  2. I know this to be called “yogurt cheese” and it’s so easy to make, isn’t it? Sometimes I add a bit of salt and fresh herbs to a batch. Better for me than cream cheese and I like the tangy-tart of yogurt. I have also done this with goat’s milk yogurt. Lovely shot of the pears.

    Hi Victoria. Mmm Yogurt cheese. I can see why. Salt and herbs, even a bit of garlic or garlic oil would go so well. This will be a staple in my kitchen now.

    Thanks for commenting on the pears. Isn’t the light in autumn wonderful.

  3. Nice penning of thoughts !! first time on ur blog.. yogurt is soul food for me…

    Thank you dee. And welcome….

  4. Have not made my own yogurt yet, but this post certainly inspires me to try soon. I’m loving the thickness!

    Hi Lisa – great! Oh my goodness, the thickness is so utterly …… [sound of wordlessness].

  5. Hmm, that sounds really delicious. And I have some muslin waiting to be used in the kitchen. And some yogurt!

    Go to it, Bordeaux! Can’t wait to see what you do with it.

  6. Well, everyone knows at least TWO things about me:

    (1) I am SENIOR ADVISER at SeriousEats where I advise dummies who know nothing about cooking. And, (2) I only eat Fage Yogurt.

    I would never eat homemade.

    But thank you for sharing your recipe.

    Thank you so much for sharing, Chiffonade. We know a lot more about you now. Share your knowledge with love.

  7. I think the way you described your yogurt is very nice – *thick* yogurt seems more descriptive than *strained* yogurt… it speaks of the texture – which is the best part. I’ve made this myself and realize it’s as good as fromage blanc in France.

    I love pears too. I’ve recently become hooked on Chinese Fragrant pears that come from western China — have you tried them? They have the crisp texture of Ya Li and other Asian pears but with a honeyed sweetness and a very floral fragrance.

    Oh but is so much more than “strained”. That makes it sound like it is in pain. This is thick thick and delicious. It is as good as fromage blanc, and as versatile.

    I have not heard of Fragrant pears – I will have to find out some more about them. I have not heard of Ya Li either – maybe we don’t get them here or they are called something different here? We have nachi pears – I have had these in Hawaii also but they are called something quite different there. I will look harder when I am at the markets.

    [update] Apparently Ya Li and Nashi are different names for the same pear.

  8. Yogurt is not only tasty but also very heathy stuff.
    And do try making the shrikhand. Its worth the effort. You can make it plain too, with only cardamom for flavouring.
    Being from Palakkad, this (like the filter coffee) is a staple in my home. I make yogurt everyday but drain the whey only if I need to make something from it.
    If you boil milk so it is very slightly reduced, allow it to cool till it is only just warm and then make yogurt with this milk, you get lovely thick yogurt.
    Of course, the texture depends on the milk and the temperature at which it sets!

    Hi Aparna, so glad you dropped by. I will make the shrikhand soon, I promise, once I get over the deliciousness of the thick yoghurt! 🙂 I am going to try making my own too. Your instructions are very clear. Thank you.

  9. I know you like to play with words. I totally admire you on that 🙂

    Oh thank you Suganya, that is so lovely of you to say that. Thank you.

  10. YUM…my fave way to eat yogugrt. I usually leave it in the fridge in a steel sieve overnight & have even made a mango cheesecake of sorts with it recently. It’s my base for a dip to eat with chips & crudites, to make a sour cream & much more. I’m glad you discovered this!

    … I have some draining in the fridge right now …. Tomorrow, I will have some with honey and toasted pine nuts, I think….

  11. drained yoghurt cheese is also known as labna, lebne, labnah, lebneh…a variety of spellings is apparently acceptable.

    I just put some in the fridge yesterday. i like to infuse mine with garlic pods & rosemary florettes….it’s fabulous with crackers.

    i put a tsp of salt in the yoghurt to help the draining/separation of curd & whey process.

    YUM….clapping in excitement about yoghurt cheese LOL

  12. Ganga – this was wonderful! I finally made some strained yogurt, mixed in honey, crushed elaichi (cardamon) and berry mix. OMG! So delicious. Will post pics!

    I followed this success with rasberry yogurt/shrikhand! I like this trend!

  13. It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d definitely donate to this outstanding blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to new updates and will share this website with my Facebook group. Talk soon!

Welcome! I hope you are enjoying what you see here. Thank you so much for your comment and your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s