This cool and creamy cucumber laban (Lebanese yogurt sauce) is perfect with grilled meats, salmon, or as a side salad with a variety of Lebanese specialties.
Cucumber laban (Lebanese yogurt sauce) 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 taste test often to find the perfect balance of garlic, mint, and lemon juice. Khyar bi laban is traditionally served alongside many Lebanese dishes such as Meat Stuffed Grape Leaves, M’Juddarah (lentils and bulgur with caramelized onions), Stuffed Kousa Squash, or Sfeehas.
- Yogurt: I use low-fat plain yogurt, for a creamy, tangy, refreshing taste.
- Cucumber: Using English cucumbers is my go to as they don’t have as many seeds and the skin usually isn’t as bitter, but you could use regular cucumbers as well.
- Lemon juice: The bright, acidic, citrusy flavor cuts through the creamy yogurt sauce and pairs well with the cucumber.
- Mint: I use dried mint as it has an intense flavor and is easy to access, but you could use fresh mint as well, although you’d have to use more of it.
- Garlic: Strong, aromatic, and a little nutty if flavor, it pairs well with many flavors and ingredients.
How to Make Cucumber Laban
Start your cucumber laban by dicing your cucumber. Alternatively, you could also shred it.
Then in a large bowl, scoop in your yogurt.
And add in the chopped cucumber.
Then using a microplane, freshly grate your garlic, or you could also mince it.
Then add your freshly squeezed lemon juice.
And finish with the dried mint, and some salt and pepper to taste.
Mix well until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
Garnish with additional mint (dried or fresh), serve, and enjoy your Cucumber Laban (Lebanese Yogurt Sauce)!
Frequently Asked Questions:
What types of yogurt work best for laban?
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.
What is the difference between tzatziki and laban?
They are very similar in that they use yogurt and cucumber, but where Greek tzatziki uses dill, laban uses mint.
- Meat Stuffed Grape Leaves
- M’Juddarah (lentils and bulgur with caramelized onions)
- Stuffed Kousa Squash
- Beef Shawarma
- Sfeehas (Lebanese Meat Pies)
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Whip up a batch of my Cucumber Laban (Lebanese Yogurt Sauce) and pair it with a Lebanese classic, or it’s also great in a pita sandwich or on top of grilled salmon, chicken, or pork.
No fork required.
Cucumber Laban (Lebanese 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.