When you strain yogurt, you get this very thick yogurt which has the texture of whipped cream cheese. There is the rich mouthfeel of milk but with less calories. I love that it is kinder on my waistline! Strained yogurt is nothing new. In the Middle Eastern region, it is known as ‘labneh, a strained yogurt cheese’ and in India it’s the basis of the dessert ‘Shrikhand’ (saffron, cardamons…).  As long as there is dairy around, some form of strained yogurt will be in the diet. It’s eaten at breakfast, lunch, dinner, really any time and pairs well with almost anything.

Here, I have chosen to use the strained yogurt in a dessert. I can’t understand why it isn’t featured more in desserts as it doesn’t take a lot of ingredients to make it into a delicious dessert. I drizzled thyme honey over little demitasse size servings. You could use brown sugar, a fruit puree, coconut sugar, maple syrup, agave… Instead of topping with walnuts, use pistachios, peanuts, dried fruits, peaches… Sprinkle cornflakes, ameretto, or any crushed biscuits… Numerous possibilities no?

A note about my topping of walnut that you see.  It’s my Chinese Candied Sesame Walnuts.  It’s a challenging recipe, as you have to boil (briefly), coat with syrup and fry the walnuts, but it does make great walnuts with a thin coating of crackling syrup (because it is fried instead of bake).  Click here, for recipe.

No Cook 3-Ingredient Dessert

Prep: 10 minutes
Inactive: 6 hours to overnight refrigeration
Level: Easy
Makes: ~ 3 cups 
Oven Temperature:
Can recipe be doubled? Yes.
Make ahead? Strained yogurt keeps for a week refrigerated.


4 cups (1 litre) greek yogurt
Scroll down to ‘Tips’ for list of substitutes.


1. If you are using regular yogurt, because it is less thick than greek yogurt, you will end up straining off more whey and with less strained yogurt. What to do with the whey? Scroll down to ‘Tips’.
2. Line a sift or a colander with muslin/cheese cloth/draining liner. What do ‘draining liners’ look like? Refer to my image below. I bought them from a Japanese sundry shop. They are disposable -very convenient. Set the lined sift/colander in a bowl to catch the whey.

3. Pour the yogurt into the lined sift/colander. Gather up the loose ends of the muslin/cheese cloth/draining liner towards the centre and twist to enclose the yogurt.
4. Set a plate over the yogurt and put a weight over the plate to weigh it down.
5. Leave it to drain for a minimum of 6 hours but it’s best to leave it overnight. I leave it in the refrigerator. It will keep for a week.
6. When yogurt has drained, distribute into 1/4 size bowls/cups. Use a teaspoon to create a well on the surface of the yogurt to hold the honey.
7. Just before serving, drizzle the honey and top with walnut.


Other toppings to try
1. Sweeteners: brown sugar, coconut sugar, agave, maple syrup, any fruit coulis (puree), good jam/preserves, dried fruit, fresh fruits, coconut strips, toasted coconut, …  Chocolate and yogurt does not go down well with me but if you like it, go ahead.
2. Toppings: cereal, granola, any kind of nuts (peanuts are particularly good), seeds, biscotti, amaretti biscuits, any kind of biscuit/cookie that won’t soak up liquid too quickly, …

Other ways to serve
1. Incorporate the sweeteners directly into the strained yogurt.
2. If you are using a coloured sweetener (fruit coulis, maple syrup,…), ripple it into the yogurt instead to get pretty streaks of colours.

What to do with the whey that has been strained off?
1. If you have a dog, the easiest thing will be to offer it to the amiable 4 legged creature. Mine loves it.
2. Incorporate it into your bread recipe. I have quite a few simple bread recipes where I could replace the water in it with whey. It does not make the bread sour just a touch more moist and softer. Here are my suggested recipes, Moroccan-Inspired Whole Wheat Round Bread Loaves, Hamburger Buns, Oh So Soft Pita Bread, Milk And Cheese Bread.

Milk And Cheese Bread Baked In Food Cans make for an interesting dinner conversation starter.