Tamara Duker Freuman, MS, RD, CDN
The Bloated Belly Whisperer

Recipes Index

I like to cook. And I'm undaunted by the challenge of cooking for folks with restricted diets for reasons of celiac disease, digestive intolerances or allergies. Some of my favorite recipes are housed here-- feel free to poke around and see what looks good!

Goat's Milk Labneh Dip

Goat's Milk Labneh Dip  (image T.Freuman)

Goat's Milk Labneh Dip (image T.Freuman)

Labneh is a thick, creamy Middle Eastern yogurt dip, traditionally topped with a pool of olive oil and heavy sprinkle of za’atar– a green herbal mixture that features some combination of thyme, hyssop, oregano and/or marjoram with sesame seed and salt.  (Some versions also contain sumac.) Alongside better-known mezze staples like hummus and babaganoush, labneh makes a delicious topping for pita bread or–in our case– gluten-free alternatives.  

Labneh is hard to find in stores, even here in the New York area.  So when my mother-in-law showed up here with a huge vat of it–that she made herself (!!)– I naturally started plying her for the recipe. As it turns out, making homemade Labneh is so ridiculously easy that she didn’t even have a recipe.

Goat's Milk Labneh Dip


  1. Line a sieve or fine strainer with cheesecloth, a thin tea towel or two layers of paper towels.
  2. Place it over a large pot.
  3. Dump a 32 oz container of plain, whole milk goat's milk yogurt* in it (you can use Cow's milk or Lactose-free cow's milk yogurt as well)
  4. Leave it out at room temperature for 2 hours.
  5. Remove and discard the liquid from the pot.  Refrigerate the strained yogurt until it is cold again.
  6. To serve: Spread onto a serving plate. Top with a pool of high-quality olive oil (fancy ones are great here, as you will really taste the nuanced flavors… a nice, green grassy one will be LOVELY).  Sprinkle generously with Za’atar, which you will need to buy at a specialty shop or online.  You can find it in supermarkets with a large selection of imported food products from Israel or the Middle East, at ethnic specialty markets like Kalustyan’s in New York City, or online.  This dish makes a great appetizer, or a fabulous, savory breakfast spread.

I made mine with plain goat's milk yogurt, which is lower lactose than cow's milk yogurt... and lower still after straining even more liquid from it; after draining for two hours, about 1/3 cup of liquid had seeped through the paper towels into my pot.  I think goat's milk yogurt gives a hint of the signature, musky twang of goat cheese that I love. You can use lactose-free cow's milk yogurt (Green Valley Organics) if you need to be sure your Labneh is fully lactose-free.

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