This Easy tzatziki recipe is a keeper. This Greek cucumber sauce is made with just a few ingredients in only 10 minutes and it’s perfect for vegetables, meat, or simply a dip. Video and step-by-step tutorial is included.
All Mediterranean recipes are made with fresh and delicious ingredients and are very flavorful. Greek cuisine is an important part of Mediterranean cuisine. Today, we are doing a classic called tzatziki, a Greek cucumber and yogurt sauce that you can serve as a dip alongside other Greek dips and spreads such as skordalia and and melitzanosalata. This easy Greek yogurt dip is made with fresh herbs such as dill and it’s absolutely tasty.
What is tzatziki?
Tzatziki (Tsaht-zee-kee) is a Greek sauce that is common in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. This yogurt sauce is known as cacik in Turkish cuisine and probably has similarities to Iranian mast-o-khiar. It’s common to serve it as a cold soup, dip or spread. Tzatziki is usually made with strained goat or sheep’s yogurt, cucumber, salt, herbs such as dill and mint, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice or vinegar.
Tzatziki sauce is often served in Greek or Mediterranean restaurants as a side dish or mezze alongside main dishes and gives so much refreshing flavors to the dish thanks to the cucumber and yogurt combination. This sauce is usually served cold.
What are the ingredients for homemade tzatziki recipe?
This is truly the best tzatziki recipe because it’s delicious, easy and simple. It has just a few ingredients:
- Fresh dill
- Olive oil
What kind of cucumbers should I use for an authentic tzatziki sauce recipe?
It’s best to make Greek Tzatziki sauce with seedless cucumbers such as English cucumbers or Persian cucumbers. If the cucumber you’re using is too seedy, scoop out the seeds using a small spoon. You don’t need to peel the cucumbers to make tzatziki at home.
What yogurt is good for tzatziki?
I love using Greek yogurt because it’s thick and has the perfect consistency for this Mediterranean sauce, but we can use regular yogurt or whole milk yogurt too.
Preparing the cucumbers
To make tzatziki, you need to grate cucumbers. As you know, cucumbers has a lot of water in them and they start releasing it once they’re grated. To prevent your tzatziki from becoming too watery, it’s best to squeeze grated cucumber and discard the liquid. By squeezing the grated cucumber, you’ll make sure that the Greek tzatziki will have a thick and spreadable consistency.
A little note: You can place the grated cucumber in a cheese cloth and let the liquid drain instead of squeezing it with your hands.
How to make tzatziki sauce
- Grate the cucumbers and squeeze them very well. Discard the liquid and put the cucumber in a bowl.
- To the grated cucumber, add yogurt, minced garlic, fresh dill, olive oil, lemon juice and salt.
- Mix well until all the ingredients are combined.
- Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Tzatziki is flavored with garlic so please be generous with the garlic. Garlic powder cannot be used instead of fresh garlic in this recipe.
What to serve Greek tzatziki sauce with
This Tzatziki recipe is very simple and you can whip it up in no time. Traditional Tzatziki goes very well with different dishes. Here are some of serving suggestions:
- As a part of a mezze platter with hummus, dolmas, vegetables and pita chips.
- With grilled meat dishes such as beef shish kabob, keftedes or kofta kebabs.
- Spread on pita bread to make a gyro or chicken souvlaki wrap.
Can I make tzatziki ahead of time?
Yes, you can make this cucumber yogurt sauce ahead of time. Cover it and refrigerate for up to one day. To serve, give a good stir and top with some fresh herbs.
Can I freeze tzatziki sauce?
I don’t recommend freezing this Greek cucumber sauce because it contains dairy. When you freeze dairy sauce, frozen dairy crystals would form in the sauce and once thawed, the sauce will lose it’s consistency and flavor.
Is tzatziki good for you?
Nutritionally speaking, this yogurt cucumber sauce is a light addition to meals in comparison to regular sauces such as mayonnaise or ranch. Since it’s made with yogurt, tzatziki is a good source of protein as well.
Notes and tips to make easy tzatziki sauce recipe
- To make tzatziki sauce with sour cream, leave out the Greek yogurt and use the same amount of sour cream instead. This won’t be a traditional tzatziki sauce but it’s tasty.
- You can add mint to this Greek sauce in addition to or instead of fresh dill. Herbs make this yogurt and cucumber sauce very tasty.
- Tzatziki sauce is best served fresh and cold. You can store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for about 2 days. Stir the sauce well before using it.
- When using fresh garlic, you may feel that the taste is too strong. If so, please let tzatziki sit in the fridge for a few hours before serving. The longer it sits, the less of a bite the garlic will have.
- For tzatziki recipe, you need minced garlic cloves. I don’t recommend taking any shortcuts such as using garlic powder, mashed garlic or store-bought minced garlic since they don’t deliver the flavor the way freshly minced garlic does.
Looking for more Mediterranean recipes?
- Eggplant Moussaka
- Greek Pastitsio
- Greek potatoes
- Greek salmon salad
- Lemon chicken orzo soup
Tzatziki Recipe (Greek Cucumber Sauce)
- 3 Persian cucumbers
- 2 cups Greek yogurt
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 3 tbsp fresh dill chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Wash and dry the cucumbers. Peel them in stripes and grate them in a large bowl.
- Squeeze the grated cucumber in your hand and discard the excess water.
- Place the squeezed cucumbers in a bowl and add in yogurt, minced garlic, fresh dill, salt and lemon juice.
- Mix well and cool in the fridge for thirty minutes.
- Stir well and serve with grilled meat, veggies or pita bread as a dip.
- You can use one English cucumber instead of three Persian cucumbers.
- Don't use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic in this tzatziki recipe.
- Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Give the sauce a good stir before serving.