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Garlic Basil Yogurt Cheese Recipe



Marinated Yogurt Cheese

© Image 2014 Jennifer Meier
This cheese spread is firm enough to form into small balls, if you like. These lovely little "cheese" balls are made using Greek-style yogurt, which tends to be thicker and creamier than other yogurts. The recipe is very simple but does require planning ahead so the yogurt can drain overnight.

Stored in a pretty glass jar, these cheese balls would make a nice gift. Served in a bowl with olive oil and sliced baguette on the side it would make a perfect party appetizer.

Yogurt Cheese Balls recipe makes 12-15 small balls.

Prep Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 8 minutes


  • 17 ounce container of Greek-style plain yogurt, preferably full or 2% fat
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 - 1 cup olive oil
  • 1-2 finely chopped garlic cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • A thin towel or cheese cloth to drain yogurt


Wrap the yogurt in cheese cloth (or a thin dish towel) and tie a loose knot at the top. This satchel needs to hang above a bowl (or the sink) so excess liquid can drain out of the yogurt. If you have a deep bowl, pot or pitcher then lay a long metal spoon or ladle across the top and tie the satchel of yogurt to the handle so it can hang over the bowl. The yogurt should drain for at least 8 hours.

After the yogurt has drained, fill the container you want to store or serve the cheese balls in with 1/2 cup of oil and the garlic and red pepper flakes. Scrape the yogurt into a separate bowl and add oregano, basil and salt and mix well. Lightly oil your hands and roll about a tablespoon of yogurt into a ball. Continue rolling balls until the yogurt is gone, setting each ball in the container of oil. Add more oil if needed so the balls are almost completely covered.

Refrigerated, the balls will hold their shape although the texture remains quite soft. In oil, the balls with keep at least a week in the fridge.

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