Part yogurt, part cheese, this thick and creamy vegan labneh couldn’t be any more simple or delicious. My simple no-strain method means you can quickly have healthy, yet cheesy, tangy, and creamy dairy-free labneh in almost no time at all.
This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for details.
Hey Internet, it’s about time I published a new vegan cheese recipe. I love making up new vegan cheeses.
And yes, this is another of my many nut-free vegan cheeses - check out the guide I put together!
Labneh is a Middle-Eastern yogurt style cheese that’s thick and creamy but yet spreadable or dippable.
It’s made by straining yogurt in cheesecloth for a long period of time, much like Greek yogurt but even moreso.
I’ve definitely cheated with this recipe to make a vegan labneh that requires no straining.
BUT if you prefer not to blend in extra ingredients, then just mix lemon juice, salt, and vegan plain yogurt together and you can strain it in cheesecloth for 24-48 hours in the fridge.
Either way it’s easy to make this delicious dairy-free cheese.
How to eat labneh? Any way you please! It’s great on crackers, toast, veggies, in a wrap… or even on it’s own with some grape tomatoes, cucumber slices, good olives, and a sprinkle of fresh herbs like dill and/or mint.
It’s also a great alternative to cream cheese, though if you want a good vegan cream cheese recipe… I have one of those too.
What You’ll Need
- Raw Sunflower Seeds: Nuts or seeds serve two purposes in this recipe--to make the labneh taste richer and to thicken it so we don’t have to strain it. You can leave it out and double the vegan yogurt if you do intend to strain it. Raw cashews also work, but note that they are very slightly sweet, so I recommend raw sunflower seeds instead, which are actually a lot cheaper.
- Plain Vegan Yogurt: So that this vegan labneh has that super yogurty flavor, I do recommend using some plain vegan yogurt. I love Kite Hill Plain Vegan Yogurt for this--it’s so thick and neutral tasting, but it is almond based so be sure to choose something else if you can’t eat almonds. Other great vegan plain yogurts that will work include So Delicious Plain Coconut Yogurt or Forager Project Plain Cashewgurt. You may use whatever you can find at the store. No luck finding vegan yogurt where you live? Add half a block of firm tofu (drained but not pressed) OR an additional cup of sunflower seeds and the juice of a second lemon.
- Lemon juice: I HIGHLY recommend fresh lemon juice from a lemon for this recipe.
- A clove of garlic: While it’s not an ingredient in traditional labneh, I find it’s quite delicious in this recipe. Don’t skip it unless you can’t have garlic!
- Sea salt: Cheese is salty. This stuff needs some salt to really taste like labneh. Feel free to adjust the salt to your own tastes. If using table salt, use half the amount.
What to Serve with Dairy-Free Labneh
- Thinly sliced cucumbers
- Halved grape or cherry tomatoes
- Fresh herbs like dill or mint
- Za’atar spice
- Good olive oil
- Fresh cracked black pepper
- Grated garlic
- Chopped dates and dried apricots
- Roasted fruit
- Serve on top of toast or in a sandwich or with crackers and cut up veggies
How to Make Vegan Labneh
For the no-strain method:
- Note: If you do not have a high-powered blender like a Vitamix, I recommend soaking your raw sunflower seeds in hot water for 1 hour or in just-boiled water for 10-15 minutes before blending.
- Add raw sunflower seeds, plain vegan yogurt, lemon juice, garlic clove, and salt to the blender.
- Blend until smooth and thick. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides of the blender container once or twice--try not to add additional liquid if you can help it. If you need to, I recommend adding more vegan yogurt. I blended mine for 90 seconds to make it super smooth.
- Taste and adjust the seasonings if you need to.
- Scrape out the contents of your blender container into a container and refrigerate for 1 or more hours to get it cold. It’s good straight out of the blender, but I think it’s better cold.
For the straining method:
- Note: Your strained amount will be half the amount of yogurt, so you may want to double the recipe and use 4 cups vegan plain yogurt, the juice of 2 lemons (I’d use small lemons with this method), and 1-2 teaspoons sea salt.
- In a bowl, mix together the vegan plain yogurt, lemon juice, and salt. If you want garlic, use a microplane to finely grate a clove of garlic in. Mix well.
- Place a double layer of cheesecloth or a kitchen towel free of excess fibers over a strainer over a large bowl.
- Pour the yogurt mixture over the cheesecloth or towel, wrap it up, and place a weight over it (like a can of beans), and store in the refrigerator. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours, or up to 48 hours if you are starting with a thinner vegan yogurt or if you like your dairy-free labneh very thick.
To Serve and store:
- Serve your dairy-free labneh with tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh herbs, and a drizzle of good olive oil (optional) if you like, OR use how you like--on top of toast, in sandwiches, with crackers or cut up veggies, etc.
- Refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days in an airtight container.
More Easy Vegan Cheese Recipes
I don’t blame you. Vegan cheese is awesome! Did you know I have a whole section on vegan cheese on my site?!
And here’s my FAVORITE nut-free vegan cheese recipes.
- Vegan Brie
- Vegan Cottage Cheese
- Nut-Free Vegan Cheddar Cheese - This one’s a fan favorite as well!
- Vegan Goat Cheese Crumbles
- Vegan Feta
- Stretchy, Melty Mozzarella
- Vegan Camembert
- Stretchy, Melty Cheddar Sauce
- Vegan Ricotta
- Vegan Cotija
Teaser: I have a thing for vegan cheese and I come out with new recipes all the time. If you’d like to sign up for my free newsletter so you don’t miss any cheese recipes, please fill out the below form!
As always, I hope you love this recipe--I know I do, and Mr. Zardyplants does too. This got the seal of approval from both of us on the first try--a rarity! We’ve been enjoying the subsequent testing rounds as well.
This vegan labneh is:
- And super versatile--great in sweet or savory dishes, or served with fruit or vegetables.
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!