Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Yogurt Cheese #Recipe by Leslie Karst

As a companion recipe to my last post for Microwave Lemon Curd, I thought today I'd share with you a recipe (if you can call it that—it’s so simple it’s really more just a “method”) for what I call "Yogurt Cheese," which is a bit like a rich cream cheese.

Spoon half a large container of full-fat, plain yogurt into a sieve which has been lined with a coffee filter.  (Any more and it won't fit inside a normal-size coffee filter.)

Set the sieve over a bowl and place it in the refrigerator, uncovered:

Let it sit in the fridge for two or three days. You’ll notice that the whey separates from the yogurt and runs into the bowl, and the yogurt shrinks and starts getting firm. Here it is after one day:

And here it is after three days:

You can leave it for up to four or five days, but after a while it stops getting any thicker, because all the whey that’s going to, has run out. Here is the cheese dumped into a bowl, with my hand to show the size of the yield (about a cup):

And voilà the whey—a tangy sort of buttermilk—that resulted after three days of draining:

You could use the whey in a smoothie, or in lieu of milk or buttermilk in baking, or simply drink it (I’ve heard it makes good lemonade). But don’t drink it if you’re lactose intolerant, as it’s jam-packed with the stuff.

The resulting “yocheese” is similar to cream cheese, but a little tangier, and apparently has about half the calories and carbs. I’ve been using it in a variety of ways (wheys?):

I made bruschettas by slicing a loaf of French bread and toasting it under the broiler, then spreading the slices with a little tomato paste and yocheese,

and then pesto, and topping it with grated Romano cheese. I broiled them right before service, to melt the cheese:

But my favorite use so far is simply combining the yocheese with the lemon curd I recently made. When mixed together it’s like a luscious lemony-creamy pudding:

This combo is also delicious on toast:

Who knew it could be so easy to make cheese? 


🍋  🌿  🐄

The daughter of a law professor and a potter, Leslie Karst learned early, during family dinner conversations, the value of both careful analysis and the arts—ideal ingredients for a mystery story. Putting this early education to good use, she now writes the Lefty Award-nominated Sally Solari Mysteries, a culinary series set in Santa Cruz, California. 
An ex-lawyer like her sleuth, Leslie also has degrees in English literature and the culinary arts. She and her wife and their Jack Russell mix split their time between Santa Cruz and Hilo, Hawai‘i.

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WHAT A DEAL! For the entire month of January, Leslie's two Lefty Award-nominated books, MURDER FROM SCRATCH and DEATH AL FRESCO are Kindle Deals of the Month, on sale for only $1.99! Wow! 

Praise for Leslie's most recent Sally Solari mystery, the Lefty Award-nominated MURDER FROM SCRATCH:
“Karst seasons her writing with an accurate insider’s view of restaurant operation, as well as a tenderness in the way she treats family, death and Sally’s reactions to Evelyn’s blindness.”

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  1. So interesting! Does it taste at all like mozzarella?

  2. Another unusual recipe. I look forward to trying it. What fun!

  3. @Lucy..I wouldn't think so. Mozzarella has a sweetness to it. This is tangier I expect.

    Well done! And mixing it with lemon curd sounds wicked good.

  4. I have tried Leslie's method, and can attest that it is really good and so simple! I must try that lemon curd recipe now.

  5. This looks so easy and tasty! I wonder if it would work with Greek yogurt and reduce the straining time since it's already so thick? I'm pretty sure this is how labneh is made.

    1. Yes, I'm guessing you're right--that it would quicker, since a lot of the whey has already been removed from the Greek variety.

  6. Hey Leslie! I made the microwave lemon curd and it turned out well. I will have to give your yocheese a shot before long. Looks good.