Strained Yogurt (Thick Yogurt)

Strained yogurt drizzled with olive oil and garnished with fresh mint leaves and red pepper flakes on a white ceramic plate.

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 1 review

It's very easy to make your strained yogurt at home using a simple strainer, a bowl and a muslin.


  • 4 cups plain yogurt (whole, low fat or no fat)

    ¼ teaspoon salt, optional

Equipments needed:

  • A large bowl
  • A strainer or a colander
  • A nut bag or cheesecloth or muslin


  1. Place the nut bag in the strainer. Pour yogurt into it. (Alternatively, line the strainer with two layers of cheesecloth or muslin, pour yogurt over them and bring the sides of the layers together and make a bundle.)

  2. Place a weight like a mortar on the bag or bundle. This will help the straining process. 

  3. Put them together in the refrigerator and let them sit there overnight. Yogurt will drip its excessive liquid into the bowl. To make a creamy strained yogurt, also known as Greek yogurt, let it sit in the refrigerator. for 8-10 hours. To make super thick yogurt, also known as labneh or yogurt cheese, let it sit for 24-48 hours. 

  4. Store it in a jar or another container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.


  1. Don’t try to squeeze the bag or bundle in which you put the yogurt. It has to drip the excessive liquid, so it needs time.
  2. The bag or bundle doesn’t have to be tied. 

  3. If you don't have a muslin or cheesecloth, you can use a few pieces of thick paper towel. Choose the thickest type of paper towel you can find to ensure it doesn’t fall apart from being soaked in liquid for hours. We would recommend maybe using two layers if your paper towel isn’t as thick.

  4. Also, you can use a basket-style coffee filter – it will fit better into the strainer. You only need one layer, but you may need multiple filters depending on the size of your batch. Cover the top of yogurt either with plastic wrap or paper towel before putting it in the fridge.

  5. Strain it overnight if you are planning to use it in smoothies.

  6. The longer you strain, the thicker it gets. So you can check and stop straining when you are happy with the thickness.

  7. If you are planning to use store-bought yogurt, read its label and make sure it doesn’t have modified corn starch as a thickener. It is hard to strain it because the liquid won’t separate. 

  8. You get about 1 cup of thick yogurt from 4 cups of regular yogurt but this might change depending on the brand and how runny the regular yogurt you are using is.

  9. You can use the whey removed from yogurt in baking as a substitute for milk, yogurt or water, especially for breads like no yeast bread loaf and yeast dinner rolls.