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Small plate with two manakeesh on it overlapping each other, and hand spreading labneh with back of spoon.
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5 from 14 votes

Cheese Manakeesh

Cheese manakeesh is a Lebanese flatbread topped with gooey cheese that's hard to resist. Learn how to make this delicious recipe at home!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Lebanese
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 12 servings
Calories 196kcal
Author Yumna Jawad



Make the Dough

  • In a large bowl or a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment, mix the flour, water, yeast, and salt until it comes together in a shaggy mixture, about 1 minute. Add the olive oil and, using your hands right in the bowl or with the dough hook, thoroughly knead the dough until it transforms from a tight, rough mass into a smooth, springy, cohesive ball, about 5 more minutes.
  • Cover the dough in the bowl with a slightly damp kitchen towel or a piece of oiled plastic wrap. Set the bowl aside at room temperature until the dough has puffed and risen to double its volume, about 60 minutes.

Assemble and Bake

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Lightly flour a flat surface, transfer the dough ball from the bowl to the surface. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, and using your palms, shape them into round balls. Set aside to rest on the prepared baking sheet covered with a slightly damp kitchen towel for 10 minutes to relax the dough’s elasticity.
  • Take a ball of dough and press it into a round, flat, palm-sized disc about ¼-inch thick and 4 inches in diameter. Return the flatbread to the prepared baking sheet and cover again with the kitchen towel while you work on the rest. Use a fork to poke each flatbread to prevent it from puffing up too much in the oven.
  • Sprinkle the flatbreads with about 1 tablespoon of mozzarella cheese and 1 tablespoon of Akawi cheese. Bake until they are slightly puffed, golden brown on the bottom and the cheese has melted, 10 to 13 minutes. Let the manakeesh cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.


Labneh not included in nutrition.
Storage: Store in an airtight container or wrap in the fridge for up to a week.
Use instant yeast. It requires no activation time and produces a more consistent rise compared to active dry yeast making for a faster and more efficient dough-making process.
Be patient and let it rise. For a light and fluffy texture, the flatbread dough requires two rises: first, after mixing the ingredients and forming a ball, and second after dividing into smaller balls and flattening. Skipping these resting times will result in a tough and chewy texture.
Poke holes in the manakeesh before baking. This prevents the flatbreads from over-puffing and prevents the dough from becoming too soft or soggy by allowing steam to escape.
Avoid overloading toppings. I use about 2 tablespoons of cheese for each one which allows the cheese to melt on top and crisp up the bread as it bakes. Adding too much cheese or additional toppings will make it difficult to cook the dough properly.


Calories: 196kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 283mg | Potassium: 67mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 68IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 116mg | Iron: 2mg