Cucumber Laban – Lebanese Yogurt Sauce

Cucumber Laban - The Lemon BowlCucumber laban holds a special place in my heart. Growing up, I remember watching my Aunt Paula make it in her kitchen before family dinners or holiday gatherings.  She would test taste often to find the perfect balance of garlic, mint and lemon juice. Cool, creamy and refreshing, I can’t get enough of it. 

To this day I am confident mine doesn’t taste as good as Aunt Paula’s which is funny because she never thinks hers tastes right either. Why is that?

Cucumber laban is traditionally served alongside Lebanese dishes such as Meat Stuffed Grape Leaves, M’Juddarah (lentils and bulgur with caramelized onions), Stuffed Kousa Squash or Sfeehas (meat pies). It is also great in a pita sandwich or on top of grilled salmon, chicken or pork.

Of course, you could always eat it plain in a big bowl which is my 20 month old son’s favorite way to eat it! He literally can’t get enough of it and has eaten it since he started with solids. To make it baby/toddler friendly, you can grate the cucumber so that it doesn’t require teeth. :)

When I served mine to my mom and aunts recently I was relieved when they said it tasted just like their Grandma Sito’s which is the best compliment you can get in our family.

Your fork is waiting.

5.0 from 3 reviews

Cucumber Laban – Lebanese Yogurt Sauce
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serving size: ½ cup
  • Calories: 99
  • Fat: 2.4 g
  • Saturated fat: 1.5 g
  • Unsaturated fat: .9 g
  • Trans fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 13.5 g
  • Sugar: 9.3 g
  • Sodium: 380 mg
  • Fiber: 1.1 g
  • Protein: 7 g
  • Cholesterol: 10 mg

Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
This cool and creamy yogurt sauce is perfect with grilled meats, salmon or as a side salad with a variety of Middle Eastern specialties such as grape leaves, tabbouleh or m’juddarah.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups plain low fat yogurt
  • 2 cups cucumber – finely chopped
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons dried mint
  • 1 clove garlic – grated
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well.
  2. Check for seasoning and add more lemon, garlic, mint or salt depending on your personal preference.

This recipe is naturally gluten free. Want more delicious gluten free recipe ideas? Join the discussion over at the Udi’s Gluten Free Community. It’s free and fun resource for all of your gluten free needs.

Comments

  1. says

    I’ll be the first to comment and say that I love this sauce!! We put it on everything…I also grew up eating it and am so happy you shared this recipe!

    • Liz DellaCroce says

      I thought of you when I wrote this post!!! I love that at least one person loves this recipe as much as I do!!

  2. says

    Yogurt sauce is a perfect side for so many wonderful dishes (many of which you named). And like your little guy I could also eat it with a spoon! Might just have to hit up the local Lebanese joint for lunch now.

    • Liz DellaCroce says

      It really is isn’t it??? I go through a large container of plain yogurt every week for this very reason!

    • Liz DellaCroce says

      Yes totally! It’s the Middle Eastern version of the Greek tzatziki or the Indian raita. Thank you Kalyn – I really am lucky. :-)

    • Liz DellaCroce says

      PERFECT for dipping veggies!!! Good idea. :) You can also grate/shred the cucumber to make it easier for dipping!

    • Liz DellaCroce says

      I actually haven’t tried those yet Nikki!! It’s a little bit less thick than Greek yogurt since I use regular yogurt but you could either a) let the yogurt strain through a cheese cloth for 45 minutes or b) use Greek yogurt instead. :) Regardless it’s addictive and extremely toddler friendly!

  3. says

    Soooo…I feel like such a creeper, but I’ve totally been doing the plank challenge with you and just not saying anything…but OUCH. My abs are burning, and I love it! And, by the way, I love that I can eat this amazing dip and not worry that I just lost all of the hard work from the plank challenge ;)

    • Liz DellaCroce says

      haha That does not sound creeper at all! I’m thrilled!!! Yes I’m all about eating lots of food so that means it is usually healthy. :) Keep up the good work with the planks!!

  4. Linda says

    My grandmother used to make homemade Luban, so I decided to checkout this post. When I saw the link to Steehas it reminded me of her so I had to check it out. Love that your family gets together to make Lebanese food.. my favorite!! Any chance your Aunt would consider letting you post her Steehas recipe? They look very much like my grandmother’s and I would love to give them a try.

    • Liz DellaCroce says

      Linda we tried several variations that day and none of them were up to my aunt’s standards!!! I wish I knew. :(

  5. says

    Liz,
    Looks very yummy–I think my way-more-than-20 month olds would prefer grated cukes too, as they are not cucumber fans, though they like cooling sides.

    Thanks!

  6. says

    Yay!! Another’s cuke recipe, and this ones right up my hubby’s alley! Reminds him of his aunt’s who are fabulous lenabese cooks.. Let see if I can wow him with this and use up my cukes at the same time!

  7. Michelle says

    LOVE this sauce!!!! Thank you for this recipe!!! This is so refreshing….creamy and good it’s hard to believe it’s healthy!

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