Simply Lebanese

Labneh Balls

Labneh Balls
  • Prep Time
    3 Days
  • Serving
    25
These tangy, delicious homemade Labneh Balls are so easy to make, using only a couple of ingredients. They are preserved in olive oil and can last up to three months in your pantry!
Labneh Balls

This Labneh Balls recipe is sponsored by Stonyfield Organic, although the content represents my own personal opinion/experience.

Labneh is a creamy yogurt spread originating in the Mediterranean region. It is typically enjoyed for breakfast with some olive oil drizzled on top and eaten with pita bread. It is also considered a mezze (appetizer) and can be served alongside hummus and baba ghanoush. The most well-known labneh is creamy and spreadable, however, there is another variety, which is these Labneh Balls that are preserved in olive oil.

Labneh Balls

Two-Ingredient Labneh Balls

Labneh Balls taste like the regular, quite popular labneh spread, but tangier and with a much thicker consistency. The process to make these labneh balls, is the same as making labneh spread, but the yogurt is drained for a longer time period. Plain yogurt is poured into a cheesecloth or thin kitchen towel and drained for 2-3 days instead of 8-24 hours for regular labneh spread.

What makes these Labneh Balls so unique, is that they do not have to be refrigerated and can be stored at room temperature, for up to three months. You’ll want to store them in a cool, dark place, like your pantry. The trick for them staying fresh, is to keep them submerged in olive oil at all times. Also, always use a clean and dry spoon or utensil to remove a ball from the jar.

Labneh Balls

They can be refrigerated if you prefer, but the olive oil will solidify so, make sure to let them go to room temperature for about 20-30 minutes before serving.

If you want to make these Labneh Balls the traditional way like my grandmother does, you want to start by making a homemade yogurt. Homemade yogurt is little bit tricky to master, as you have to have the perfect temperature before adding the starter and, keep the mixture warm for it to come together.

Stonyfield Organic

To make this recipe much easier, I have a hack that uses Stonyfield Organic yogurt instead of homemade yogurt. This cuts down the process by minimum a day and saves you many extra steps. I love using Stonyfield Organic yogurt because it is organic and so high in protein. I am very mindful of what I feed my family, and because Stonyfield yogurt is organic, I can trust that it is made from the highest quality of ingredients and contains no harmful persistent pesticides.

I used Stonyfield Organic Greek yogurt for the Labneh Balls because of the thicker consistency, but the traditional Stonyfield Organic yogurt should work just as well. It may take a little bit longer to drain in the cheesecloth since it is not as thick.

Aside from using Stonyfield Organic yogurt in my Labneh Balls, it is also a wonderful substitution for ingredients like mayo, sour cream, and buttermilk in baking and for sauces.

Spiced Labneh Balls

The Labneh Balls are delicious as is, served with some of the olive oil from the jar with some pita bread or toasted bread. However, coating the Labneh Balls with a variety of different aromatic flavors and spices takes them to the next level. My favorite flavors to roll them in is dried mint, za’atar spice, and Aleppo pepper. Some other wonderful options are sesame seeds, red pepper flakes, or sumac. The spices also make them so beautiful presentation-wise, along with other mezze or breakfast items.

Labneh Balls

STEP 1

Line a large colander with a cheese cloth or a very light kitchen towel.
Labneh Balls

Pour both 32oz containers of plain Stonyfield Organic Greek yogurt into the lined colander.

Labneh Balls

Mix in the salt and bring up the sides of the cheesecloth to completely cover the yogurt.

Labneh Balls

Tie the cheesecloth and hang over a large bowl to drain all the whey (liquids) for at least two days, until no more liquid drains.

Labneh Balls

*You can let the yogurt drain at room temperature or in the refrigerator. 

STEP 2

Once the yogurt has strained and becomes firm to the touch, transfer from the cheesecloth to a bowl.

Labneh Balls

Scoop about two tablespoons of the strained yogurt and using your hands, form into small balls. Repeat until there is no labneh left (about 50 balls).

Let the Labneh Balls firm up a little bit more in a large platter in the refrigerator for one more day, loosely covered with light towel or paper towels.

STEP 3

Prepare all the spices and dried herbs you want to roll the Labneh Balls in.

Labneh Balls

Take a ball of labneh and roll around in the individual bowl of your preferred spice or herb. I rolled them in za’atar, dried mint, and Aleppo pepper.

Labneh Balls

STEP 4

Transfer the spiced or plain Labneh Balls into clean, glass jars.
Labneh Balls

Cover with enough olive oil to fully submerge all the Labneh Balls. Cover, and store at room temperature for up to three months.

Labneh Balls

*Use the remaining olive oil from the labneh jars in salads, or sauces!

Thank you to Stonyfield Organic for sponsoring this post.

Labneh Balls
Labneh Balls

Labneh Balls

These tangy, delicious homemade Labneh Balls are so easy to make, using only a couple of ingredients. They are preserved in olive oil and can last up to three months in your pantry!
4.85 from 19 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Lebanese
Keyword: labneh, lebna, Stonyfield Organic, yogurt
Prep Time: 3 days
Total Time: 3 days
Servings: 25
Calories: 316kcal
Author: Iman

Ingredients

  • 2 32oz. Containers of Stonyfield Organic Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 4 cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tb. Dried Mint
  • 2 tb. Aleppo pepper
  • 2 tb. Za’atar spice

Instructions

  • Line a large colander with a cheese cloth or a very light kitchen towel.
    Pour both 32oz containers of plain Stonyfield Organic Greek yogurt into the lined colander. Mix in the salt and bring up the sides of the cheesecloth to completely cover the yogurt.
    Tie the cheesecloth and hang over a large bowl to drain all the whey (liquids) for at least two days, until no more liquid drains.
    *You can let the yogurt drain at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
  • Once the yogurt has strained and becomes firm to the touch, transfer from the cheesecloth to a bowl.
    Scoop about two tablespoons of the strained yogurt and using your hands, form into small balls. Repeat until there is no labneh left (about 50 balls).
    Let the Labneh Balls firm up a little bit more in a large platter in the refrigerator for one more day, loosely covered with light towel or paper towels.
  • Prepare all the spices and dried herbs you want to roll the Labneh Balls in.
    Take a ball of labneh and roll around in the individual bowl of your preferred spice or herb. I rolled them in za’atar, dried mint, and Aleppo pepper.
  • Transfer the spiced or plain Labneh Balls into clean, glass jars.
    Cover with enough olive oil to fully submerge all the Labneh Balls. Cover, and store at room temperature for up to three months.

Nutrition

Calories: 316kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 101mg | Potassium: 56mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 521IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 3mg
    Iman

    Owner

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    Recipe Reviews

    • Avatar

      sharon

      5 stars
      I’d like to try this recipe, can lo fat or no fat organic yoghurt be used in this recipe too? I’d like to reduce the fat content for my husband!

    • Avatar

      Liz

      I tried this, but unfortunately the balls didn’t hold together and squished at the bottom of the jar. Is it possible that a) I didn’t let the yoghurt drip long enough (I dripped it for 2.5 days) or b) that the balls were to big? I’m sure it still tastes great anyway 🙂

      • Iman

        Iman

        Maybe the type of yogurt you used needed to be strained for a longer time, or in a dryer location. Like if you are somewhere too humid and moist, the balls might not dry out enough.

    • Avatar

      Shraddha

      What kind of bread should I use for the spread?

      • Iman

        Iman

        Any bread!! Traditionally it is enjoyed with pita bread, but I also eat it on toast, or bread loafs like baguette or sourdough as well.

    • Avatar

      Alice

      Thank you for this delicious recipe. We accidentally left the jar of labneh balls in the fridge, and now there is mold on the inner sides of the jar. The ball itself is still submerged in oil (although the oil has solidified in the fridge). Do you think it is safe to simply remove the mold and eat the balls?

      • Iman

        Iman

        Up to you, but you probably can remove the labne balls, do a quick rinse, and place in a new jar with new olive oil! Make sure never to use a “wet” spoon to remove the labne, that can cause mold as well.

    • Avatar

      Jorge

      Can the same jar of olive oil be reused to store the next batch of labneh?

      • Iman

        Iman

        To be honest, I am not sure. I have not tried it, but I do not see why it would not work especially if it is not too far apart.

    • Avatar

      Aaia

      Hi how r u ! Tninks for your amazing recipe , i have one question, what i use to make a sour (hamed🍋😊) lebna ball? I love them 😍😍😍

      • Iman

        Iman

        Thank you very much! You want to use a more sour yogurt or you can add some citrus acid to make it more sour before drying it!

    • Avatar

      Prina

      Can we use sesame oil instead of olive oil? Where I’m from, olive oil is pretty hard to get and are super expensive.

      • Iman

        Iman

        I have not tried but I do not see why not! Any oil should preserve it well, the taste may differ however.

    • Avatar

      Anthony

      5 stars
      These are phenomenal! Mine are nearly a year old and are better than they were at first…(sitting @ room temp. the whole time).

      • Iman

        Iman

        Yes, they last so long!!

    • Avatar

      Jasmine

      5 stars
      THankyou for this amazing recipe!

      • Iman

        Iman

        Thank you for checking it out!

    • Avatar

      Judy Zeineddine

      Hello dear, thank your for this amazing recipe.
      What can I do to prevent oil leakage after storing the product at room temperature and ensuring that the jars are properly sealed? Even with the Makdous product, I’m having the same problem. Do you have any suggestions?

      • Iman

        Iman

        Try to use a jar large enough so that you do not have to fill it all the way up with oil. Thank you for your kind words!

    • Avatar

      Alex

      5 stars
      This is a great recipe. This is how I usually make my Labneh balls, except for the use of many different spices in one single jar and I love it! It’s so decorative how they look like edible marbles.

      • Iman

        Iman

        Thank you, yes they are so pretty!!

    • Avatar

      Silvia

      5 stars
      Hi! Your recipes are great! I have a question for you… I made labneh balls once and I put them in a jar with olive oil to store. The following day, I don t know why but the jar was all splilled. I didnt store it in the fridge… maybe the day was to hot?

    • Avatar

      Cheryl

      I love learning about foods that don’t have to be refrifgerated. Can regular yogurt be left on the counter, or does salt need to be added? Being of Scottish, Irish German background, food would be saved by drying, smoking or salting or “canning” in jars. My friend taught me to save grape leaves by placing roled bundles in a jar,and pouring boiling hot salted water over them.

      • Iman

        Iman

        No, unfortunately regular yogurt cannot be left on the counter. Even with the Labneh balls, it is more than just the salt, the olive oil in a secured jar is what preserves them. If you don’t add olive oil, they will mold and go bad.
        Yes, it is such an interesting process!

    • Avatar

      Ibrahim

      5 stars
      Tastes like home

      • Iman

        Iman

        Yes, it does!

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