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.
Super easy and so delicious!
This is amazing. We like to double the lemon quantity.
Hi, may I ask how long can I store the sauce in the fridge?
Up to three days! Enjoy!
My girlfriend said she’ll eat it again. That’s good, because like you, it was a childhood favorite. My mother taught me to slice the cucumber thin and layer it with salt, let it sit and then squeeze it to draw out the water. At any rate, I used labneh from ARZ in California which is made from cow milk. I never put lemon juice in mine, so it was interesting to see how it turned out. Great!
Ohhh that’s a really great idea Bob!!!
Can you use Greek yogurt instead or is it best to use the low-fat yogurt?
Greek yogurt would work but it would be more tangy than I typically prefer. :)
This sounds amazing. Is thsomething i can make a day ahead for company?
Oh yes absolutely! 1-2 days ahead is fine!
I made this for your Chicken Shawarma recipe and I pretty much want to eat it on EVERYTHING now. And I don’t even like cucumbers!
We are trying to go dairy-free at my house due to an allergy, so I made this with unsweetened coconut yogurt and it was perfect. My husband had no idea it wasn’t regular yogurt.
YES!! Isn’t it so good?!
My mother made this dish all the time. I am Lebonese and Greek and growing up Sundays were terrific
Oh I’m so glad she did!! Btw I’m teaching a Lebanese cooking class March 24th!! You should join! https://irielemon.com/events/lebanese-cooking-class-march-2021/
This is the only recipe site where I have seen the autiomatic servings converter for ingredient quantities. Brilliant!
Aww thank you so much!! :)
Brings me back to my childhood in a Lebanese, Greek, & French Canadian kitchen- did WE get a little taste of everything!
Our cucumbers were cut into bites and with the same dressing, served as a salad.
Oh that’s wonderful!!!! Thank you so much!
As soon as I saw the words “Lebanese and yogurt”, I was sold! I grew up in Asia and the Middle East (State Dept. brat) and have such fond memories of Beirut. When you lived in third world nations in the 50’s and 60’s, Lebanon was a wonderful place to vacation, It was a lovely city with gorgeous beaches and the food was too delicious for words. I use this sauce in so many ways and my family loves it, from the oldest to the very young. (I also just eat it with a spoon.) Your recipe is perfect and it must have been kismet when it popped up on my Pinterest feed.
Oh that makes me so happy! I would love to visit Lebanon one day – it’s on my travel bucket list. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!!! Let me know if you try any of my other Lebanese recipes: https://thelemonbowl.com/middle-eastern/
Found this recipe about 6 months ago and have been making it regularly. Love, love, love! We make homemade yogurt, and I try to eat a healthy amount of it for health reasons, but I really struggle wit the sweet variations on it (added fruit, honey, etc) and much prefer savory. This recipe is perfect. Thank you for sharing!
I’m so happy to hear it!!! I’m the same way – I much prefer savory! Have you tried my Raita? https://thelemonbowl.com/cucumber-yogurt-raita/
This is the bomb!
I’m so glad you love it!! We make it all the time!
LOVE this sauce!!!! Thank you for this recipe!!! This is so refreshing….creamy and good it’s hard to believe it’s healthy!
Im so glad you like it!
Is There Anything I Can Use Instead Of mint? I Can’t Find It At My Store
Thanks Liz, ignore my double post/question on the kafta recipe, sorry!
Very helpful, I have made your tzatziki before, super good!
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!
It’s always great to have an aunt who makes delicious foods!!!
Thank you, Liz for the nice recipes and good information.
You are so sweet Liz – my pleasure!
I’m making vegetarian gyros today! I think I’ll add this in ^_^
Thanks for the recipe. :)
Oh goodness, I have got to make this soon it looks fantastic!
You would love this friend!! So flavorful!
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.
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.
Linda we tried several variations that day and none of them were up to my aunt’s standards!!! I wish I knew. :(