Homemade Greek Yogurt Recipe

Turn plain yogurt into strained Greek yogurt in no time.

Vicky Wasik

Why It Works

  • Allowing the whey to drip out of the yogurt thickens it, creating the strained yogurt we know as Greek yogurt, labneh, and other names.
  • This recipe works with store-bought plain yogurt or homemade.

Strained yogurts like Greek yogurt and labneh are simply made by draining whey from plain yogurt. You can use store-bought or follow my instructions for homemade yogurt and drain it after it’s fully set:

Spoon the yogurt into a fine-mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth or a large coffee filter and set it over a bowl. The whey will drip out, filling the bowl below. Your yield will decrease, though it's impossible to say by how much; it all depends on how much whey you allow to drip out.
Remember, too, that you can use the whey. You can drink it, bake with it, feed it to your cats, and more. No need to send it down the drain.

How thick your final result is depends on how long you let it drain.

June 2019

Recipe Facts

Active: 10 mins
Total: 60 mins

Rate & Comment


  • Plain yogurt, preferably homemade


  1. Line a fine-mesh strainer with cheesecloth or a large coffee filter and set it over a large bowl. Spoon the yogurt into the prepared strainer, transfer to the refrigerator, and allow the whey to drip out until the yogurt has thickened to your desired level. Transfer the strained yogurt to a sealed container and keep refrigerated. You can drink the whey or use it in some baked goods or other preparations.

    Straining homemade yogurt to make Greek-style strained yogurt.

    Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Special Equipment

Fine-mesh strainer, cheesecloth or large coffee filter

Make-Ahead and Storage

The strained yogurt can be refrigerated for up to two weeks.

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