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Tzatziki Sauce

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!

Mediterranean tzatziki sauce with yogurt is served with pita wedges.

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. 

A pita wedge dipped in tzatziki with yogurt, cucumber, and dill.

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

Ingredients for making Mediterranean dipping sauce, tzatziki; with yogurt, dill, cucumber, garlic, and lemon juice.
  • 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. 
Tzatziki with a drizzle of olive oil.

Tzatziki Variations

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.

Stirring a bowl of low carb tzatziki.

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

Can you freeze tzatziki?

No, I do not recommend freezing tzatziki. It will change the texture and turn the cucumbers to mush. It is best made fresh.

Does tzatziki have dairy?

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.

Can I make vegan tzatziki?

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.
A pita wedge dipped in homemade tzatziki sauce.

More Mediterranean-inspired recipes

Did you make this tzatziki? Let me know in the comments!

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Tzatziki Sauce

Tzatziki sauce with sour cream served with pita wedges.

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5 from 1 review

Creamy, tangy tzatziki sauce with yogurt, cucumber, fresh dill, garlic, and lemon juice. Perfect served as a dip with pita, kebabs, or gyros.

  • Author: Mandi
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: about 2.5 cups 1x
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Stir
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 large Cucumber
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole milk plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil for serving

Instructions

  1. 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. 
  2. Shred the cucumber using a box grater and place it in a fine mesh strainer or sieve over a bowl. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon salt over the cucumber and gently toss to combine. Let the cucumber sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour. 
  3. Gently press on the cucumber to squeeze the excess liquid out. 
  4. Add the strained cucumber, yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, and dill to a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine everything. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle the olive oil over the top before serving.

Notes

Store in the fridge in an airtight container like these deli containers for up to 4 days. Re-stir before serving. 

Make a thinner sauce: Use regular plain yogurt instead of Greek to make a thinner sauce. 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. 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 62
  • Sugar: 2.4 g
  • Sodium: 212.1 mg
  • Fat: 3.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3.3 g
  • Fiber: 0.2 g
  • Protein: 4.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 6.2 mg

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @mandiofthemountains on Instagram – I can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

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