Mouth-Watering Lebanese Laban Recipe for Beginners!

Are you ready to embark on a culinary journey to the Middle-East? Join me as we explore the delicious flavors and the culture of Lebanon through one of its most beloved dishes – Laban, also known as Yogurt.

Laban is a staple ingredient in many Middle Eastern diets, and it is used in various forms and dishes such as Labneh balls, Laban drink, Cucumber Salad, and even Kibbeh dip. The Lebanese Laban recipe that I’ll be sharing with you today is a simple and easy-to-follow version that will undoubtedly elevate your food game.

Homemade yogurt is a highly valued ingredient in Lebanon. Freshly made laban enhances any dish and can be used to make appetizing cold dips, refreshing drinks, or hearty soups. Being able to make homemade laban not only enhances your cooking skills but also saves money and reduces waste.

The great thing is that you only need two ingredients to make Laban: milk and yogurt. In just three simple steps, you can achieve the desired texture and thickness of yogurt. With my tips and tricks, homemade laban will be easier than you think.

Are you ready to impress your family with some authentic Lebanese food? Let’s dive into this laban recipe together!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Lebanese Laban (Yogurt)
Lebanese Laban (Yogurt)

Do you love yogurt for its creamy texture and tangy flavor? Then, you’ve got to try Lebanese Laban or yogurt. This recipe is a staple in Lebanese cuisine, and it’s easy to see why. It’s simple to make with just two ingredients, yet it’s so versatile that it can be served as a side dish or used as a dip or sauce.

Homemade yogurt is always better than store-bought yogurt, and Lebanese Laban takes it up several notches. There’s something in the way, the laban gets thicker when it’s made from whole milk, making it the perfect ingredient for dips and sauces. Plus, it has a distinct taste that sets it apart from regular yogurt.

The recipe is flexible enough that you can add flavors according to your preferences too. For instance, you can add chopped fresh herbs or seasonings like paprika to give it some extra pizzazz.

Have you ever tried khayar bi laban or cucumber yogurt salad? You’re in for a treat! This recipe includes instructions on preparing this popular Lebanese salad which uses lemon juice and olive oil to create a lovely balance between sour and savory flavors.

Whether you’re making stuffed zucchini, kousa bil laban, lamb, Kibbeh Blaban (a Syrian twist to using Laban as an ingredient in meatballs) or other Middle Eastern meals that pair well with Laban – this recipe is one where you will surely impress your guests.

In short, if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to spruce up your dishes or wanting to try your hand at making your homemade yogurt, then Lebanese Laban is an excellent place to start. Trust us — once you’ve tried it, you’ll be hooked!

Ingredient List

 Laban: The creamiest and dreamiest yogurt you've ever tasted!
Laban: The creamiest and dreamiest yogurt you’ve ever tasted!


  • 4 cups of whole milk (Note: Can use 2% or skim milk for low fat options)
  • 3 tbsp. of plain yogurt (Note: Start with a high-quality store bought plain yogurt or reserve from your previous homemade batch)
  • 1 ½ cups of Lebanese cucumber (Note: You can substitute with Persian cucumbers if Lebanese are not available in your area)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Cold water

(Note: For the best Lebanese Laban, try to get the freshest and highest quality ingredients you can find.)

The Recipe How-To

 Perfect for any occasion, this Lebanese Laban is a crowd-pleaser.
Perfect for any occasion, this Lebanese Laban is a crowd-pleaser.

Now that we are over with the ingredients let’s dive into the recipe. Making the Lebanese Laban is easy, and only takes a few steps!

Step 1: Boil the Milk

In a medium-sized pot set over medium-high heat, bring 4 cups of whole milk to a boil while stirring constantly. After boiling, remove the pot from the stove and let it cool down until lukewarm.

Step 2: Add Yogurt Culture

Once the temperature cools down, take two tablespoons of homemade or store-bought plain yogurt and mix it with ¼ cup cold water. Gently whisk this mixture into the warm milk until dissolved.

Step 3: Ferment the Yogurt

Now pour the mixture into a glass jar/container and cover tightly with a lid or plastic wrap. Place in a warm place for 8-12 hours to allow fermentation to occur. Remember, longer fermentation will result in tangier yogurt.

Step 4: Chill

After fermentation, transfer to the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours so that it can thicken enough for use in Lebanese Laban recipe.

That’s it! You now have your very own homemade Lebanese Laban that you can use in various recipes such as (Kousa Bil Laban, Cucumber Yogurt salad) or enjoy it as it is with some bread. Also, Don’t forget to check our Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating section for ways to keep your laban fresh for up to one week.

Substitutions and Variations

 A tangy dip that's simple to make and even simpler to devour.
A tangy dip that’s simple to make and even simpler to devour.

When it comes to cooking, it’s always great to have variations and substitutions for your ingredients. Here are some alternative ideas to try with your Lebanese Laban recipe:

– Milk: Instead of using whole milk, you may substitute with low-fat milk or even use almond or soy milk if you prefer a non-dairy version.

– Garlic: Feel free to adjust the amount of garlic used in the recipe according to your preference. You can also replace fresh garlic with garlic powder for a milder flavor.

– Cucumber: If Persian cucumbers aren’t available in your area, you can use regular English cucumbers or any other type of cucumber you prefer.

– Olive oil: Swap it out with vegetable oil or any other oil that you like.

– Serving variations: If you’re feeling adventurous, try adding chopped mint leaves, dill or parsley to your Lebanese Laban for an extra layer of flavor. You can also use it as a dip for your vegetables or pita bread.

– Spice it up: Add chili flakes or hot sauce for an extra kick to this refreshing yogurt salad.

Don’t be afraid to experiment and make this recipe your own. The possibilities are endless!

Serving and Pairing

 A refreshing yogurt dip that pairs perfectly with grilled meats and vegetables.
A refreshing yogurt dip that pairs perfectly with grilled meats and vegetables.

Serving a bowl of creamy Lebanese Laban is like serving a refreshing dose of sanity. This luxurious yogurt recipe is a classic Middle Eastern side dish, perfect for balancing out spicy flavors or cooling down your senses after a hot and heavy meal.

One of the best ways to enjoy Laban is with Kibbeh, or kousa bil laban (stuffed zucchini) or lamb, especially if you have an adventurous palate. Its versatility also makes it a great pairing to any salad, whether on the side or as the dressing.

For a quick cucumber yogurt salad or khyar bi laban, mix finely chopped persian cucumbers with 2 cups of Laban and 1/2 cup of cold water. Drizzle olive oil on top and season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish it with some herbs such as dill, parsley or mint, and enjoy it as an appetizer before diving into the main course.

If you’re looking for something that can complement any snack, turn your Lebanese Laban into a dip by simply adding garlic and lemon juice. It can be served alongside chips, pita bread, or other Middle Eastern dips like hummus.

To make it more refreshing and palatable during hot days, add ice cubes to your laban drink for a sweet and tart treat. No matter how you serve it, Lebanese laban is always tantalizingly irresistible.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The secret to this recipe is using full-fat, plain yogurt to get that perfect texture and creaminess.
The secret to this recipe is using full-fat, plain yogurt to get that perfect texture and creaminess.

Now, in terms of storing your Lebanese Laban, you can keep it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If the top of the yogurt has separated from the liquid, that’s totally normal – just give it a good stir before serving. You can also freeze any leftover yogurt for up to a month if you’d like.

If you’re making this recipe for a gathering or event, it’s perfectly fine to make it ahead of time. I actually recommend that you do! You can make it up to 2 days before and then keep it stored in the fridge until ready to serve.

When it comes to reheating your Lebanese Laban, keep in mind that heating it up too quickly may cause separation of the sauce, so slow and steady is the way to go. Heat on low heat, stirring constantly until warmed through or heat for a few seconds at a time in the microwave, stirring after each interval.

One quick note: if you’ll be using any leftovers as a dressing or sauce for other dishes (like a salad or dip), be sure to store them separately and not mix them in with what you plan to eat right away. This will help prevent any unwanted sogginess or spoilage.

Overall though, this recipe keeps well and maintains its delicious flavour even after being stored or reheated!

Tips for Perfect Results

 The combination of tangy and creamy makes this dip burst with flavor, making every bite a party for your taste buds.
The combination of tangy and creamy makes this dip burst with flavor, making every bite a party for your taste buds.

If you’re looking to achieve the perfect Laban (or yogurt) when following this Lebanese recipe, here are some tips and tricks that I’ve found to be successful.

Firstly, make sure your milk is boiling at medium heat. This ensures that the heat is high enough to activate the cultures in the yogurt but not too high that it burns or boils over.

As soon as you take the pot of milk off the stove, allow it to cool down until it’s warm but not hot. If you try adding in the yogurt while the milk is still hot, the heat will kill off the bacteria needed to make yogurt, resulting in a soupy disaster.

When adding in the yogurt for culturing, make sure to whisk it thoroughly until combined with the milk. Any lumps may cause inconsistencies within the yogurt.

It’s important to maintain a consistent temperature while incubating your homemade yogurt. Store your container of yogurt in a warm place, such as near a heating vent or on top of your fridge. The ideal temperature range is between 100°F and 110°F; any lower and your yogurt won’t set well and any higher can kill off cultures.

For an even creamier texture, strain your finished Laban through cheese cloth overnight for a few hours or until desired consistency is achieved.

If you’re looking to store leftover Laban, ensure it’s in an air-tight container and stored in the fridge. It will keep fresh for up to 2 weeks.

By following these tips, you’ll be sure to achieve success in recreating this Middle Eastern staple. Happy cooking!


As we near the end of this Lebanese Laban Recipe article, I know that you may have some lingering questions about the process of making homemade yogurt, or maybe some alternative ways to use it. Well, fear not! I have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to ease your concerns and offer some insight into different recipe options. So let’s dive right in!

What is the difference between yogurt and laban?

Labneh is a type of cheese that is made similar to yogurt, but with a thicker and creamier texture, as most of the whey is removed during the straining process. This cheese is a great source of protein and is commonly used as a savory dip or spread in Middle Eastern cuisine.

What is the difference between laban and labneh?

Labneh, which is a type of soft cheese, gets its name from the Arabic word for yogurt, Laban. There are two variations of Laban: Laban A’rabi, made from sheep’s milk, and Laban Baqari, made from cow’s milk. Labneh is a type of yogurt cheese that is made using Laban.

What is laban Lebanon?

Although Lebanese cuisine is popular worldwide, there seems to be a lack of pre-packaged traditional meals available in the market. One such traditional Lebanese dish that stands out is Laban immo. It is a nutritious and well-balanced meal option, popular among Lebanese families.

How is laban made?

Laban, a common drink, is made by fermenting milk for a day, then churning it to remove the butter. The remaining liquid, known as buttermilk, can be stored for a few days at room temperature.

Bottom Line

Now that you have all the information you need to make Lebanese Laban at home, it’s time to take action! With just a few simple ingredients and our easy-to-follow recipe steps, you can create a delicious and healthy yogurt dish that is perfect for any occasion. Whether you are looking for a refreshing drink or a tasty salad that pairs well with lamb or stuffed zucchini (Kousa Bil Laban), our Lebanese Laban recipe will not disappoint.

So why not give it a try today? By making your own homemade yogurt, not only are you saving money, but you are also providing your family with a nutritious and wholesome dish that is both delicious and easy to prepare. As someone who has been cooking Middle Eastern cuisine for years, I can attest to the fact that there is truly something special about making your own yogurt from scratch.

Of course, if you have any questions or concerns about the recipe, please refer to our FAQ section and tips for perfect results. And be sure to let us know in the comments how your Lebanese Laban turned out – we would love to hear from you!

In conclusion, whether you are an experienced chef or simply someone who loves trying new recipes, we believe that our Lebanese Laban recipe will quickly become one of your favorites. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and make some delicious homemade laban today!

Lebanese Laban (Yogurt)

Lebanese Laban (Yogurt) Recipe

Plain Yogurt
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Beverage
Cuisine Lebanese
Servings 8 cups
Calories 165.5 kcal


  • 8 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup yogurt


  • Place a couple of tablespoons of the milk in a small container and stir in the yogurt to make it more liquid.
  • Bring milk to a boil. Place aside until lukewarm.
  • Stir in yogurt (don't stir too much). Cover pot with lid. Wrap pot with a wool cover. Place in a warm place for 6 hours. Be careful not to move the pot during this time.
  • Cool in refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 259gCalories: 165.5kcalCarbohydrates: 12.1gProtein: 8.5gFat: 9.4gSaturated Fat: 5.9gCholesterol: 36.1mgSodium: 126.6mgSugar: 0.7g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Asian, Breakfast, Easy, Egg-free, Free Of..., Inexpensive, Lebanese, Middle Eastern
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