These labneh balls are ultra rich and creamy, covered in herbs and spices and preserved in olive oil.
They're the perfect appetizer to serve at all your parties and get-togethers, or even just to enjoy as a snack when you're hit by a hunger pang.
They're super easy to put together, and you can actually make them ahead of time too!
This dish has its roots in the Mediterranean region, and has simple, rustic flavors.
The creaminess of the yogurt is a nice contrast against all the herbs and spices, and it all comes together in one beautiful, rich and versatile concoction that you just won't be able to stop eating.
Ingredients For the Labneh Balls Recipe
To make these rich and creamy yogurt balls, here's what you'll need.
Yogurt: Use creamy, full fat yogurt for this recipe. Greek yogurt works wonderfully too!
Olive oil: You'll need lots of olive oil to preserve the labneh balls. Extra virgin is best, but you can also stick to regular olive oil if you want to.
Sumac: Sumac just lends an extra dash of flavor and deliciousness to the yogurt balls.
Chili flakes: Chili flakes add a touch of spice and lots of nice pop speckles of color to the creamy balls.
Toasted sesame seeds: You can use both black and white sesame seeds to coat the labneh balls. These bring a nice crunch factor into the dish.
Dried herbs: I used dried oregano and thyme to add some extra layers of flavor to the yogurt balls.
How to Make the Labneh Balls
Start by straining all the excess liquid off the yogurt using a muslin cloth. Set it aside in another bowl and refrigerate for a few hours.
In a small bowl, combine all the spices and seasonings for the labneh balls
Coat all the balls in the spice mix.
Carefully transfer them to a jar and fill it up with olive oil.
Tips & Tricks to Nail the Recipe
- Make sure you strain the yogurt well and get rid of all the excess liquid. Doing this will help you shape the balls easily, and they won't end up sticking to your hands.
- You might also want to refrigerate the yogurt before you start shaping it- this will help it hold its shape better.
- To bring some color and flavor variation, you can coat the balls in all the seasonings separately instead of mixing all the seasonings together and creating a uniform coating.
- Remember to fill the jar with enough olive oil so that all the labneh balls stay submerged inside.
- Make sure you use a clean, dry spoon to serve the labneh balls, and close the lid on the jar every time you're done serving it. This will help them last longer.
What Other Variations Can I Try?
- Crushed pistachios and walnuts can be a nice coating to these labneh balls.
- For some citrusy flavor, you can add lemon zest to the coating mixture.
- Want some garlicky goodness? A dash of garlic powder can work wonderfully and bump up the flavors of these delicious yogurt balls.
How to Serve the Labneh Balls
The best part about these yogurt balls is the fact that they're incredibly versatile. You can enjoy them in lots of different ways- here are a few good ideas to get you inspired.
As a Dip
These creamy labneh balls are actually great to serve as a dip. You can team them up with some pita chips, cucumber or carrot sticks or even just some crackers.
Don't forget to drizzle a bit of olive oil over the top or add some olives over them to add some extra flavor to the dip.
As a Sandwich Spread
Believe it or not, these labneh balls can also be turned into a nice, protein rich sandwich spread.
Spread some of it on your sourdough before you add in the fillings of your choice- its just that simple.
As a Part of Mezze
You can make these yogurt balls as a part of Mezze- a Middle Eastern platter with lots of condiments and appetizers.
In fact, you can also deconstruct the balls, spread them onto a board, surround them with some snacks and then serve them.
While you can store the labneh balls for up to 6 months if you do it correctly, I would recommend refrigerating it for 2 months max.
Labneh has a very neutral flavor and a creamy texture, exactly what you would expect strained yogurt to be.
- 1 cup Olive oil or as needed
- 2 cup Yogurt
- 1 tablespoon Dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon Dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon Chili flakes
- 3 tablespoon Sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon Sumac
- Start by straining all the excess liquid off the yogurt using a muslin cloth. Set it aside in another bowl and refrigerate for a few hours.
- In a small bowl, combine all the spices and seasonings for the labneh balls
- Coat all the balls in the spice mix.
- Carefully transfer them to a jar and fill it up with olive oil.