Greek Yogurt Cheese - so similar to goat cheese, but saves you a billion calories and fat grams. | @tasteLUVnourish

July 31, 2013 | 49 Comments
Greek Yogurt Cheese

So, here’s another one of those things that have me telling you, “I grew up eating this!” I did. But, it wasn’t really this. You may be familiar with labne (or labneh). Labne is a cheese made from yogurt, but the labne I grew up eating was flecked with bits of mint and spread into a bowl. My Mom would smooth the top with a spoon and created hills and valleys. She’d drizzle the fruitiest olive oil over the top and turned those valleys into rivers.

I make it my Mom’s way and I love it, but once I made it this way…it became my favorite. I do a few things to get as much of the whey out of the yogurt as possible and get it nice and thick. Then, I add just a bit of salt and the best olive oil I can find. Stop right there, and what you end up with is so similar to goat cheese. That is what inspired me to roll it into logs and serve it the same way you’d serve any goat cheese. Take it a step further and use a variety of herbs, depending on what you’d like to serve it with. Sprinkle them over the top or you could finely chop the herbs and roll the log to completely cover it. There are so many possibilities with this cheese.

Greek Yogurt Cheese - so similar to goat cheese, but saves you a billion calories and fat grams. | @tasteLUVnourish

Greek Yogurt Cheese

32 ounce non-fat plain Greek yogurt
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Your choice of herbs (parsley, rosemary, basil, mint)

You’ll need:
cheese cloth
large fine mesh sieve
bowl with high sides (be sure the bottom of the sieve sits high above the bottom of the bowl)
two sheets of parchment paper

Place the sieve onto the bowl and line it with the cheese cloth. Spoon the entire container of yogurt into the lined sieve.

Greek Yogurt Cheese - so similar to goat cheese, but saves you a billion calories and fat grams. | @tasteLUVnourish

Bring up the sides of the cheese cloth to cover the yogurt and place one of your largest cans on top (Don’t use two cans, like in the photo! I really just use one). This will help press the whey out even more. Place the entire contraption in your fridge and leave it alone for about three to four days. If you want, you can unwrap it after two days, but it just won’t be as firm.

Greek Yogurt Cheese - so similar to goat cheese, but saves you a billion calories and fat grams. | @tasteLUVnourish

Remove the cheese from the refrigerator. Discard the whey. Unwrap the cheese and place it in a medium bowl. Add the salt and the olive oil and blend in well using a rubber spatula. Draw a line down the center with the spatula.

Take half of the cheese and place it on the sheet of parchment. Bring up one side of the parchment over the cheese and using your hands, form a log out of the cheese. Roll it up in the paper and roll the log on your counter to give it shape. Repeat with the other half of the cheese.

Refrigerate the cheese logs or serve immediately.

Greek Yogurt Cheese - so similar to goat cheese, but saves you a billion calories and fat grams. | @tasteLUVnourish

To serve, I like to drizzle the top of the cheese with more olive oil and some fresh herbs. Try using flatbread crackers topped with the cheese and some assorted veggies.

Greek Yogurt Cheese - so similar to goat cheese, but saves you a billion calories and fat grams. | @tasteLUVnourish

Notes:

  • If you don’t have cheese cloth, you can use a clean white tea towel or even good quality paper towels.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+TumblrKindle ItStumbleUponRedditEmailPrintFriendly

49 thoughts on “Greek Yogurt Cheese

  1. Tania

    I am on a low-fat diet and had to cut real cheese out of my diet. This looks like a way for me to get my cheese fix but still stay true to my diet. I am so excited to try this. Going to start it this weekend! Thank you for the great recipe idea.

    Reply
  2. Rose Cole

    Wow! I was looking at different recipes for yogurt cheese and I found your blog and I am so glad that I did! The recipes featured are the way I love to eat everyday so I will definitely be a regular visitor here. I have some yogurt cheese processing in the fridge right now. I love the idea of roll in herbs like goat cheese. I grow my own herbs so I see lots of possibilities here. I also plan to roll the cheese into balls and submerge in olive oil and herbs. Yum!

    Reply
    1. Caroline Hurley Post author

      I’m so glad you found me, Rose! I hope you enjoy the recipes! I love your idea of rolling the cheese into balls and bathing them in some olive oil! Oooh…I may try that this weekend! Thanks for brightening my day!

      Reply
  3. Fynette

    I just made this cheese and now don’t know what kind of herbs to use with it, could you recommend any dry herbs to use? The cheese turned out just beautiful

    Reply
    1. Caroline Hurley Post author

      I’m so happy to hear it turned out so well, Fynette! As far as herbs, it all depends on what you like personally. Play around with some different herbs to see what you like best. I like fresh herbs in this, but if using dried, I would allow some time for the cheese and herbs to sit to soften the texture of the dried herbs.

      Reply
  4. junny

    hi i just found out by accident the easy way to seperated whey without strainer,muslin,cheese cloth,here’s how:just put the yoghurt in the jar,and pour boiling water into insulated thermos,put in the yoghurt jar until 2/3 of the yoghurt jar summerged into the boiling water,close your insulated thermos,then leave for 3 hour,after that u can just easily pour the whey :) i found out when i accidentally pour boiling water to make my yoghurt more firm but i end up with yoghurt cheese..so i share this cos its easier and fast(sorry my english not good,english is not my mother languages )
    oh i was using an easiyo jar as an insulated thermos

    Reply
    1. Caroline Hurley Post author

      Thanks for sharing, Junny. That’s an interesting method, but I can’t recommend it. I’d have to caution anyone using boiling water and non-tempered glass jars for fear of shattering the glass. Also, heating yogurt will kill off the yogurt’s beneficial bacteria. I would stick to straining with the method above.

      Reply
  5. Chris

    coffee filters work great for removing the whey. I use an old Mellitta (sp) drip basket. Once the whey starts to drain you can fold over the top and add the weight to force out more moisture.

    Reply
  6. Alicia Hicks

    I have a favorite recipe which has breaded goat cheese that has been fried in olive oil in the salad. Do you think you could fry this?

    Reply
    1. Caroline Hurley Post author

      I love goat cheese that way, Alicia! I’ve personally never tried preparing this yogurt cheese that way, but another reader, Judy H, has tried a few times (you can find her comments below). It sounds like it does well when only cooked very quickly. If you do try it, I’d love to hear your results. I would try to use a really hot pan to crisp up the outer coating quickly.

      Reply
  7. Alexandra Vazquez

    what brand of greek yogurt do you recomend… I bought yoplait but it is too liquid, and in the picture I see is more solid, or how do you obtained that consistency? thank you

    Reply
    1. Caroline Hurley Post author

      Alexandra, even if the yogurt is a bit more watery, all of that will drain as the yogurt sits in the sieve. I love Fage yogurt, but I’ve made this with several brands. You may want to experiment and see which you prefer because they all vary quite a bit in taste. Some are much more tangy than others. To test the consistency, just push a finger into the wrapped cheese after two to three days. It should be about the same as goat cheese. Good luck!

      Reply
  8. Thomas Cassidy

    Don’t discard the whey. I understand that it’s loaded with protein. We use it for baking, in place of milk. Great in pancakes and muffins.

    Reply
  9. Jeanie

    Wow! Can’t wait to try this. Do you think this would work as a sweet version by substituting honey for the olive oil? Would love to have options with this fabulous sounding cheese.

    Reply
  10. Alethea

    Hi Caroline ,I have finally made this lovely cheese,I am actually in Greece on holiday with family,who live here,so was lucky enough to make it with real Greek yogourt,it has turned out wonderfully :-), I have scooped out half of it after just one day & left the rest for the next three days,can’t believe how easy it was to do,will definatly be making this a lot :-).
    Can you tell me please,how long does it last for ? & Can you leave it for more than 4 days to make a harder cheese,also have you ever made cheesecake with this as I would love the recipe if you have one,many thanks from Alethea

    Reply
    1. Caroline Hurley Post author

      Alethea, how dreamy to be able to make this in Greece with their delicious yogurt! I’m so happy you like it so much! I’ve sneaked some from the top too! I’m impatient! I have tried to drain the yogurt longer and will say, possibly because I use non-fat yogurt, it becomes quite dry and not as palatable. I’ve never tested that out with a full fat yogurt, but that may work a bit better. If you give it a shot, I’d love to hear your thoughts. As far as how long to keep the cheese, I keep it wrapped up and refrigerated for up to two weeks. It’s funny you ask about cheesecake! I’ve been working on a recipe for one! It seems like it may work, but needs some tweaking. Keep an eye out for it at some point!

      Reply
      1. Alethea

        I will let you know how it goes Caroline,we have the cream cheese tonight, flavoured with dried herbs & sumac :-),tastes yummy,look forward to seeing the cheesecake recipe,thanks from Alethea

        Reply
  11. Sheila

    Be sure to save the whey and use it to make lacto fermented veggies or toss it in smoothies for added probiotics!

    Reply
  12. Judy H

    I haven’t given up cooking with this completely! I found that if I cook an omelet, sprinkle cheese on half and fold it over, heating just long enough for the cheese to warm, it does very well. It’s delicious, in fact!
    I think the secret is to not cook it so long that the oil leaves the cheese.

    Reply
    1. Caroline Hurley Post author

      You are awesome, Judy! This is so great to know! I’m intrigued! I’ll have to try it in my Sunday omelet! Thanks for being my own personal recipe tester! ;)

      Reply
  13. Judy H

    Thank you for this recipe! I’m making some now, and I can hardly wait for it to be done!

    I was wondering if you’d ever tried cooking with this cheese.
    I often like to put goat cheese on pizza or stuff chicken breasts with a mixture of goat cheese and spinach.
    Do you know if this cheese will cook well?

    Reply
    1. Caroline Hurley Post author

      I hope you loved it, Judy! That’s a great question! I’ve never tried using this in cooking, but now I’m intrigued to give it a try! If I do, I’ll let you know! Thanks so much!

      Reply
      1. Judy H

        I DO love it!! I just got it out of the refrigerator and stirred in the olive oil and salt. I could sit down and eat it all! I added a little more olive oil to achieve the consistency and taste I wanted, but otherwise followed your directions completely. On Friday I plan to use some for stuffed jalapenos on the grill, so I’ll let you know how that works out! I’d better wrap it up and put it away now, or they won’t be any left by Friday!

        Reply
        1. Caroline Hurley Post author

          Oh, that’s awesome! So glad you love it, Judy! I know what you mean…I could polish it off myself too! I can’t wait to hear how this works in the jalapeños! Sounds amazing! Thanks so much for keeping us posted!

          Reply
          1. Judy H

            They looked great and tasted good, but the general consensus was that we should use cream cheese next time. The yogurt cheese solidified in the peppers and lost most of its flavor. I was afraid it would melt, but instead it got firmer.
            Oh well! Now I know! I’m glad I still have some of the uncooked cheese to nibble on! I’ll definitely make it again! I bet it would be wonderful on crusty bread with tomato jam! :)

  14. rana

    Wow this looks really good and i want to make it today. I just have one question, since I am currently on a low carb diet, and am trying to limit carbs. (medical reason)

    If i make this cheese, will the original carbohydrate count of the yogurt be lowered in the end result?

    Cheese usually has a very low carb count (around 1-2 carbs) and yogurt is much higher depending on the brand you buy (8-9 carbs), so if i were to make this recipe, do u think by draining the whey it somehow affects the carb count, so that the final product will be lower in carbs?

    Thanks for your reply in advance, i really enjoy your site!

    Reply
    1. Alice

      I am a latecomer to this, but the reason you mistakenly believe that yogurt has a high carbohydrate content is because most yogurts are sweetened. You’d use a plain yogurt for this, which still has the same carbohydrate panel as milk, but plain Greek yogurts are nutritionally similar to a cottage cheese. Removing the whey from the yogurt is going to reduce the carbohydrate panels even further, and it will also reduce some of the calcium/phosphorous content.

      Reply
      1. Caroline

        Thanks so much for that info, Alice. I have to say, I just asked a few of my blogger friends and found that the carb content is reduced when the whey is strained. Great to know!

        Reply
        1. Jon

          I wanted to say actually that due to the lower lactose content in yogurts and other fermented milk products, this would actually be even lower in carbs than milk.

          Reply
  15. Mike Coldani

    I just saw this post, thank you so much for the kind words. I’m glad you enjoy the oil! This recipe looks wonderful and right up my alley. I am definitely going to make this one.!

    Reply
    1. Caroline

      I can’t tell you how in love I am with your olive oil, Mike! It is truly the most delicious olive oil I’ve ever tasted. Thank you for your generosity! I think you’ll love this recipe! The combination of the tangy yogurt and your fruity, rich olive oil is wonderful!

      Reply
  16. kathleen

    How long will these stay good? I’m thinking I might only make it with 16 oz. since it makes 2 logs and the 2nd log could go bad.

    Reply
    1. Caroline

      You could absolutely do that Kathleen. Yogurt is usually good for about two weeks after it’s been opened, so in my opinion, I think it would stay fresh wrapped in the parchment for about 7 to 10 days. Honestly, both logs don’t even last that long in our house! ;) Good luck with it and let me know how you like it!

      Reply
  17. Joanne

    I’ve had labneh that was already pre-strained before but I’ve never made it myself! You make it look so easy…and luscious. I need some of those olive oil rivers in my life.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>