This cool and creamy Lebanese laban cucumber yogurt sauce is perfect with grilled meats, salmon or as a side salad with a variety of Lebanese specialties such as grape leaves, tabbouleh or m’juddarah.
Cucumber 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.
What types of yogurt work best for leban?
Greek yogurt would work but it would make the laban tangier. Low-fat yogurt works best.
How far in advance can this be made?
Cucumber laban can be made 1-2 days ahead of time for a gathering.
- Meat Stuffed Grape Leaves
- M’Juddarah (lentils and bulgur with caramelized onions)
- Stuffed Kousa Squash
- Beef Shawarma Pitas with Tahini Dipping Sauce
- Sfeehas (meat pies)
- Grilled Chicken
Lebanese Laban Cucumber Yogurt Sauce
- 2 cups plain low fat yogurt
- 2 cups cucumber (finely chopped)
- 1 juice of lemon
- 2 tablespoons dried mint
- 2 cloves garlic (grated)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well.
- Check for seasoning and add more lemon, garlic, mint or salt depending on your personal preference.
Check out more Lebanese recipes on my Pinterest board!