What is yogurt cheese?

Dear Hannah:

What is yogurt cheese, and how do I make it? Thanks,


Dear Brenda:

Yogurt cheese is made from yogurt that has been placed in cheesecloth in a colander or a yogurt strainer overnight. What that does is remove moisture from the yogurt, leaving a more solid, cream cheese-like final product. The longer you strain it, the drier it will become and the more it will resemble cream cheese. Usually an 8-ounce container of yogurt makes 6 ounces of yogurt cheese if left to drain for 24 hours.

In fact, you can use it like cream cheese on a bagel, or you can flavor it for a topping. Here's a tasty recipe for a lemon topping that is good on fresh fruit or in place of whipped cream:

  • 1 cup non-fat yogurt cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon, finely minced
  • juice from 1 lemon

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and chill.

Thanks for the question,

Hannah McCarthy, chef and director of the Whip & Spoon, a cooking school in Maine.

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