Middle Eastern-Inspired Cheese Board Recipe

Middle Eastern Inspired Appetizer Cheese Board
Anita Schecter
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Drain yogurt: 24 hrs
Total: 24 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1778 Calories
103g Fat
205g Carbs
24g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 1778
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 103g 132%
Saturated Fat 11g 56%
Cholesterol 4mg 1%
Sodium 1604mg 70%
Total Carbohydrate 205g 75%
Dietary Fiber 18g 63%
Total Sugars 37g
Protein 24g
Vitamin C 78mg 388%
Calcium 113mg 9%
Iron 5mg 29%
Potassium 3969mg 84%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If you're the type who loves to graze on lots of different food tid-bits and offerings during gatherings, then cheese boards and appetizer platters are definitely for you. Standard cheese boards usually offer about 3 kinds of cheese, of different textures, along with a variety of crackers. But nothing beats an appetizer board for variety and interest. Cheese, crackers, dried fruit, fresh fruit and vegetables are all appropriate. It's delicious and a fun treat for guests! This party platter offers some classic Middle Eastern flavors for a creative twist on appetizers.


  • Marinated labneh balls

  • Hummus

  • Tahini sauce

  • Dates

  • Dried figs

  • 1 cup pistachios

  • Toasted za'atar pita chips (recipe follows)

  • Cherry tomatoes

  • 1 medium English cucumber, thinly sliced

  • 1 pomegranate, quartered

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • Additional hard cheeses, optional

For the Marinated Labneh Balls:

  • 2 cups full-fat or 2 percent Greek-style yogurt

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon za'atar seasoning

  • Olive oil, plus an additional teaspoon of za'atar for marinade

For the Tahini Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup sesame paste, or tahini

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Toasted Za'atar Pita Chips:

  • 4 white or whole wheat pita rounds

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon za'atar seasoning

Steps to Make It

To Make the Marinated Labneh Balls

  1. Combine the Greek-style yogurt, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of za'atar.

  2. Scoop the mixture into cheesecloth and knot tightly. Place the cheesecloth bundle into a mesh strainer over a bowl. Leave on the counter, at room temperature for about 1 hour, drain the liquid that forms in the bowl and then refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours. The longer you refrigerate, the firmer the labneh cheese will be.

  3. When ready, remove the strained yogurt from the cheesecloth and form 1-ounce balls with your hands or a cookie scoop. Place the cheese balls in a jar and fill with olive oil and the additional teaspoon of za'atar. Refrigerate at least overnight.

To Make the Pita Chips

  1. Slice each pita into 8 triangles by cutting in half, then half again to get 4 quarters. Then cut each quarter into two.

  2. Combine the olive oil and za'atar in a small bowl and brush both sides of each pita triangle lightly.

  3. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in a pre-heated 400 F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the pita chips are a light golden brown.

To Make the Tahini Sauce

  1. Whisk together the sesame paste, water, minced garlic and lemon juice until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

To Assemble the Board

  1. Pour the tahini sauce and hummus into individual dishes and place on or near your serving board.

  2. Scatter around the pita chips, nuts, dried fruit, vegetables, pomegranate quarters, honey, marinated labneh balls and any other cheese you are serving.

  3. Provide guests with napkins and small knives for spreading the cheese balls on their pita.