Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

Yogurt-Marinated Pork Kebabs with Cucumber-Lemon Labneh

Scott Phillips

Servings: 6

This flavorful dish pairs juicy Middle Eastern-spiced pork with a lemony spread made by straining yogurt to make labneh, an ultra-thick salted yogurt cheese. The pork and labneh both need an overnight rest in the fridge, so plan ahead. Sumac is a brick-red spice with a lemony flavor. It’s a pretty touch, but if you don’t have it, simply leave it out.


For the pork

  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt, homemade or store-bought
  • 3-1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 tsp. ground coriander
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lb. pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Olive oil spray

For the labneh

  • 4 cups plain yogurt, homemade or store-bought
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. packed finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch white pepper
  • Kosher salt

For serving

  • 1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into small dice
  • 1/4 tsp. sumac (optional)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for finishing

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 300
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 110
  • Fat (g): 12
  • Saturated Fat (g): 6
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 105
  • Sodium (mg): 450
  • Carbohydrates (g): 11
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Sugar (g): 9
  • Protein (g): 36


Marinate the pork

  • In a large bowl, whisk the yogurt, lemon juice, coriander, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, 1-1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Add the pork and turn to coat. Cover with plastic, pressing it against the top of the mixture, or scrape into a 1-gallon zip-top bag. Press out the air and seal the bag. Massage the bag to distribute the marinade evenly. Refrigerate 12 to 24 hours.

Make the labneh

  • Set a strainer over a bowl and line with two layers of damp cheesecloth or paper towels, allowing a few inches of overhang. Spoon in the yogurt, and gently stir in 1/2 tsp. salt. Cover with the cheesecloth overhang or another paper towel. Top with a plate slightly smaller than the strainer and weigh down the plate with a can or jar. Cover loosely with plastic. Refrigerate until very thick, at least 12 hours and up to 24. Discard the whey or reserve for another use.
  • Stir the lemon zest, lemon juice, and white pepper into the labneh. Season to taste with salt.

Cook the pork

  • Transfer the pork to a colander in the sink. Let drain until most of the marinade has dripped away and the pork is at room temperature, about 30 minutes. Divide among six 12-inch metal skewers or wooden skewers that have been soaked in water for 30 minutes. Spray the pork with olive oil and season lightly with salt.
  • Meanwhile, prepare a medium-high (400°F to 475°F) grill fire, or heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.
  • Grill, turning once, until the meat is just barely pink in the center and dark grill marks appear, 5 to 6 minutes.


  • Distribute the labneh among 6 dinner plates, smoothing with the back of a spoon. Scatter the cucumber on top. Divide the skewers among the plates. Sprinkle the sumac, if using, over the pork and cucumbers, finish with a drizzle of olive oil, and serve.


If you prefer, you can substitute 1-3/4 cups store-bought labneh and skip the straining step (you can also skip the 1/2 tsp. salt, but you may want more to taste). You’ll still want to use regular yogurt for marinating the pork, however.


Rate or Review

Reviews (1 review)

  • dademuth | 08/29/2020

    I am surprised that there are no comments on this recipe. I made this when it first came out in 2016 and it was awesome! If you buy Greek Yogurt, it is already thickened and can be used without the fuss of straining. I make my own yogurt and strain it, as that is the way I prefer it, so it is always on hand at our house. The meat is so moist and tender! Yum!

Rate this Recipe

Write a Review

Delicious Dish

Find the inspiration you crave for your love of cooking

Fine Cooking Magazine

Subscribe today
and save up to 50%

Already a subscriber? Log in.


View All


Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks

We hope you’ve enjoyed your free articles. To keep reading, subscribe today.

Get the print magazine, 25 years of back issues online, over 7,000 recipes, and more.

Start your FREE trial