Herbed Yogurt Cheese – DIY

I will admit, the first time I heard the term “yogurt cheese”, I wasn’t exactly intrigued. Not repulsed either, but it elicited more of an “Eww!” from my senses than an “Ooo!”

It took a good five or six exposures for me to regard it with any kind of interest.

When it occurred to me – finally – that it was similar to cream cheese – THAT was when it started to sound tempting.

That and the fact that I am currently on a self-proclaimed health kick – here, anyway – on Home is Where The Cookies Are.

On my couch at 9 PM as I devour a quarter bag of evil Doritos – not so much.

And probably not as I sample thirty-two bites of rice pudding. . . .

But in the earlier hours of the day, when I still maintain a modicum of self-control and composure, yogurt cheese is a good thing.

Especially herb-packed Greek yogurt cheese.

On some Triscuits.

Triscuits are healthy, you know.

Really.

I read it.

They are one of the only whole wheat crackers that can stand up to the advertising they’ve portrayed as a healthy, whole grain snack.

So herb and veggie packed Greek yogurt cheese with Triscuits. Lunch, snack or guilty healthy indulgence?

Take your pick.

This really is more of a how-to, DIY type deal.

Yogurt cheese is one of those things that doesn’t really require a recipe once you have the drainage part down.

You can make it with plain yogurt or flavored yogurt.

You can go with traditional yogurt or Greek yogurt.

You can make it sweet or salty.

Totally up to you and your cravings.

Slather it on crackers, a bagel, toast. . . .

Whatever you’d normally do with cream cheese? Do it with yogurt cheese.

So here you go:

DIY Yogurt Cheese

Ingredients:

Desired amount of yogurt (I used one 6 ounce container of plain, Greek yogurt)

Add-ins (such as herbs, veggies, spices, honey, cinnamon, fruit, cocoa, etc. I used carrots, scallion, parsley, garlic powder, coarse salt and fresh ground black pepper.)

Directions:

In a fine mesh strainer lined with paper towels, add yogurt. Press yogurt in a thin layer (about 1/8 – 1/4 inch) around the paper towel. Let sit for at least 15 minutes. The liquid of the yogurt will seep into the paper towels. When the first round of paper towels is soaked, check the consistency and determine whether or not you are satisfied with the texture. If you’d like it drier, repeat the same process again. Meanwhile, prepare your add-ins. When the yogurt cheese is finished draining, thoroughly mix in your add-ins with a fork. Store and refrigerate as you would cream cheese.

*If you’d like to rush the process, you can “sandwich” the yogurt between layers of 3 or 4 paper towels on top and 3 or 4 on the bottom, then gently press the yogurt with your hands to extract some of the liquid. Repeat with new paper towels once the first round is soaked. If you still would like to take more liquid out, repeat with a third round of paper towels and use a rolling-pin to gently roll the liquid out of the yogurt. Just repeat until you’ve reached your desired consistency.  

** A third, but most time consuming method is to place a fine sieve over a bowl and line the sieve with layers of cheese cloth. Add the yogurt to the lined sieve and keep it in the fridge over night. This will also drain the liquid. It just takes much longer.

Source: First spotted, then adapted from, Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home.

 

14 thoughts on “Herbed Yogurt Cheese – DIY

  1. Nothing is healthy if you eat half a box. Is it? Like what if we filled a Triscuit box with apple slices. That wouldn’t be healthy, either, would it? 😉

  2. This totally intrigues me! Probably because I could slather herbed cream cheese on my foot and eat it…this sounds much more reasonable, and I love Triscuits too, the sweet chili ones are delicious!

  3. Hi:

    This is my first time on your blog.

    I’m intrigued with this process.

    I do not like philladelphia cream cheese, but I do love ricotta and marscapone.

    This would be a great substitute for any of them.

    How much volume of cheese do you get from 6 oz. of yoghurt?

    Does it have to be a certain fat content?

    I can’t quite get my visual around rolling yoghurt with a rolling pin.

    Isn’t yoghurt too thin?

    Wouldn’t it squish out the sides.

    Would you have to scrape the dried cheese off the paper towel???

    I’m sorry for so many questions, but I’m really trying to get my head around it.

    It just sounds so good!

    Thank you for sharing.
    Have a Joyful Day
    Charlie

    • Hi Charlie – I love your comment (questions!) First, I would say that if you are not a fan of cream cheese, I would try regular yogurt first because it is more mild in flavor. I don’t know the exact volume I produced from 6 oz of yogurt, maybe it was about 1/3 of a cup before any add-ins? I’ll have to pay more attention next time I make it. I used fat free Greek yogurt, but I know you can use full fat as well, and anything in-between. Probably with regular yogurt, more fat is better because it is thinner to begin with. Yes, the rolling pin might be a little harsh if done too quickly or with too much force. You can create a layer of 3 or 4 paper towels, spoon your yougurt over it and smooth it out with a spoon or spatula, then top it with 3 or 4 more and gently press with your hands to soak up the initial liquid. Repeat this one or two more times, rolling on the last go round to extract the last bits of liquid. You may find you don’t want to take it that far and that you’d rather keep it with a little more moisture. And yes, you do have to scrape a little, but you’d really be surprised, it comes up pretty easily. One last method is to place a fine sieve over a bowl and line the sieve with layers of cheese cloth. Add the yogurt to the lined sieve and keep it in the fridge over night. This will also drain the liquid. It just takes more time. Good luck!!

  4. Hi Sara:

    Thank you so much for answering my questions!

    I’m going to give this a try!

    I should be all right with the Greek.

    I love goats cheese and yoghurt so the taste won’t bother me.

    I don’t know what it is about Philadelphia, I just do not like the taste and the richness of it.

    Will give this a try and let you know.

    Have a Joyful Day
    Charlie

  5. So the first time I saw this, I was mildly intrigued. 2nd time, I’m very intrigued (which, I probably won’t be after trying it, as I really, really dislike yogurt… weird that I was intrigued at all, right?!?) I think it’s my cream cheese side that’s intrigued (But I’m not a fan of cream cheese on it’s own… but I like it in small amounts on things that are salty like crackers, or when it’s herbed… or sweetend…. gosh… I’m a weird one, aren’t I)
    anyway, my main focus of this comment is that there seems to be missing instructions! “Press yogurt in a thin” what? ball? rectangle? flattened amoeba shape under a pan? I could be WAAAY overthinking this step, but I want to make sure I do it right 😀
    Thanks! Looks yummy, and I WILL try it, even though yogurt-brain is trying to convince me otherwise, now that I’ve analyzed my psyche 😉

    • Hey Jenni! Yes – there was a missing word! It’s a thin “layer”, and it will look a little like an amoeba – or circle, or oval – however you spread it! Sorry about that – it’s fixed now!

  6. Oh geez…another awesome recipe I must try. Cream cheese! Gimme a spoon, I’ll eat it just like it is. Call me weird, but I love cream cheese on Doritos :). And yogurt? Don’t even get me started. This sounds like a match made in heaven!

    • Oh, wow. Cream cheese on Doritos. . . . At first that sounded gross, but now that I think about it, maybe not! It would be nacho-ey. Which, of course, is delicious!

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