Oh, tzatziki sauce. Creamy, tangy yogurt and crunchy, cooling cucumbers. Mixed with fresh dill, garlic, and lemon juice to make a mouthwatering and addictive dip. No pita, gyro, or kebab is complete without it. This quick and simple tzatziki is the best!
I love doing a Greek meze-style meal prep for the week. I make tzatziki, some homemade hummus, cut up a ton of veggies, and open jars of olives and pepperoncini peppers. Then I’ll make some flatbread or buy whole wheat pitas from the bakery to go with everything. If I feel up to it, I make a couple of heartier mains like lemon garlic grilled chicken and broccoli orzo.
I lay out a spread on Sunday, and then we eat leftovers all week. It’s healthy, delicious and easy. And it never feels complete without a big bowl of creamy, tangy tzatziki sauce.
What is tzatziki?
Tzatziki is a sauce or dip made with yogurt, cucumber, garlic, and herbs. I’m partial to dill and ALWAYS include it in my tzatziki. I also like the bright, fresh flavor that freshly squeezed lemon brings to the mix. Tzatziki is made in the Middle East and Mediterranean. It’s also easy to make. Tzatziki is gluten-free, vegetarian, and low-carb. I love recipes that happen to match a variety of dietary needs without having to change them! It makes serving a crowd easy.
Tzatziki sauce ingredients
Cucumber. We’re shredding the cucumber for this tzatziki recipe. So you can use just about any cucumber. If you use a typical garden cucumber, remove the larger seeds first. I like to partially peel thick skinned cucumbers so they don’t make the tzatziki chewy or bitter. If you use an English cucumber, you don’t need to peel or de-seed it.
Don’t skip the cucumber straining. If you don’t strain the shredded cucumber, it will release juice into the dip and make it watery.
Need help choosing a cucumber variety? Check out this guide!
Whole milk plain Greek yogurt has been strained to create a rich, thick, tangy yogurt. It can stand up to the liquid from the cucumbers and lemon and still make a rich and thick dip.
Fresh garlic cloves add a bold flavor and a hint of spice to the sauce.
Freshly squeezed lemon juice adds a bright and fresh flavor. It is so much better than the bottled stuff.
Chopped dill adds a fresh and herby flavor. Dill is easy to grow from seed. I love sowing it in my herb garden. You can also find it in little containers in the refrigerated produce section. If you can’t find fresh dill, substitute freeze dried dill. It’s the next best thing.
Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the top right before serving. It adds richness to the dip and a silky mouthfeel.
Make a thinner sauce. Use regular plain yogurt instead of Greek to thin the tzatziki. It’s good for drizzling over gyros.
Make it dairy-free and vegan: Use a dairy-free plain yogurt like Silk instead of Greek yogurt.
Make it low-fat: Use low-fat or no-fat Greek yogurt and skip the olive oil drizzle at the end.
How to make tzatziki sauce
Remove any tough peelings from the cucumber. If you’re using a thin-skinned variety, you don’t need to peel it at all. Cut out any large seeds.
Shred the cucumber with a box grater and place it in a fine mesh strainer or sieve over a bowl. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon salt over the cucumber and toss to combine. Let the cucumber sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Gently press on the cucumber to squeeze the excess liquid out. Discard the liquid and add everything else to a large bowl.
Mix the cucumber with the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, and dill. Salt and pepper to taste.
How to store tzatziki
Store in the fridge in an airtight container like these deli containers for up to 4 days. Re-stir before serving.
Frequently asked questions about tzatziki
No, I do not recommend freezing tzatziki. It will change the texture and turn the cucumbers to mush. It is best made fresh.
Yes, tzatziki is a dairy-based sauce. If you want to try a dairy-free version, use a dairy-free yogurt substitute like Silk. It will make a thinner sauce.
Yes! Using plain Silk soy yogurt will make this tzatziki vegan as well.
How to serve tzatziki
- Serve it as an appetizer with pita wedges or pita chips.
- Make a meze platter with hummus, pita, olives, marinated feta, and veggie sticks.
- Use it as a dip for homemade crostini.
- Spoon it onto gyros.
- Serve it with kebabs.
More Mediterranean-inspired recipes
Did you make this tzatziki? Let me know in the comments!
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