Tzatziki Recipe

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Tzatziki is such an exotic-sounding dish. This Mediterranean recipe is wonderful as a sauce or dip. You can add it to sandwiches, especially those made with falafel, or just dip some pita bread or pita chips into it.

No matter how you serve this, it’s amazing stuff. It’s also easy to make with very simple ingredients. If you’ve never made it before, you’ll love how fast it comes together. While it does have to chill for a couple of hours in the fridge, prep time is minimal, and you’ll enjoy a wonderful dip or sauce as a result. I highly recommend keeping some of this in the fridge.

A pita chip with Tzatziki sauce on it over a dish filled with the dip.

What Is Tzatziki?

A popular Mediterranean Greek sauce, tzatziki is made from yogurt, cucumbers, and garlic. It’s a refreshing and tangy condiment that’s commonly served as a side dish or accompaniment to various Mediterranean dishes such as gyros, spanakopita, souvlaki, and much more.

What Do You Eat With Tzatziki?

  • Pita bread
  • Fresh vegetables (such as carrots, cucumber, bell peppers)
  • Grilled meats (like chicken, lamb, or beef)
  • Falafel
  • Gyros or souvlaki
  • Mediterranean-style wraps or sandwiches
  • Crudité platters
  • Baked or roasted potatoes
  • Mediterranean salads
  • Dolmas (stuffed grape leaves)
  • Grilled seafood (like shrimp or fish)
  • Meze platters with olives, feta cheese, and hummus
An overhead view of a cutting board holding a white dish filled with Tzatziki, pita chips, half a lemon and a cucumber.

What Can Be Used As A Substitute For Dill In A Tzatziki Recipe?

There are many fresh herbs you can use to flavor Tzatziki. In some cases, you can even combine a few different herbs, such as fresh mint and dill, together. The choice is yours. Here are some suggestions for those who don’t care for dill.

  • Parsley
  • Mint
  • Basil
  • Chives
  • Cilantro

Can You Make This Into Vegan Tzatziki?

You can! Simply substitute the yogurt for a plant-based yogurt. The rest is already vegan and dairy-free.

How To Thicken Tzatziki

If your Tzatziki is too runny, chances are you didn’t wring enough water out of the cucumbers. Thankfully, there are two ways to fix this. But both will take a little time.

  1. Put the dip into a multi-layer cheesecloth and let it drip for a few hours.
  2. Line a mesh sieve with paper coffee filters and let the dip drip through that.

After a few hours, your dip will be thicker. The amount of time you’ll need for this will depend on how watery your dip is.

A wood spoon lifts a spoonful of Tzatziki out of a white dish that is filled with it.

What Is Tzatziki Sauce Made Of?

English cucumber – You can peel this or leave the peel on. I kept the peel to get more fiber into the dish. It was perfectly tasty and didn’t hurt the overall texture at all. But the choice is yours.

Plain Greek yogurt – If you don’t mind a runnier sauce, you can use regular, plain yogurt as well. Those who are dairy-free can opt for a plant-based yogurt.

Fresh garlic – While it’s tempting to always add more garlic than a recipe calls for, 2 cloves are really about the maximum here without overpowering the sauce. If you want more garlic, opt for larger cloves. But I recommend two medium-sized cloves.

Extra-virgin olive oil – Use the best quality oil you can.

Fresh lemon juice – While fresh will always add better flavor, in a pinch, you can also use bottled juice as long as there is nothing else added. You want juice, not lemonade.

Dried dill – Feel free to use a tablespoon or more of fresh dill if you prefer that. I just didn’t have any on hand. Typically, this dish is made with fresh dill.

Salt – Add to taste. I used pink Himalayan salt, but whatever salt you normally cook with will work just fine here.

Black pepper – Add to taste.

How To Make The Best Tzatziki Sauce Recipe

Ingredients for this Tzatziki Recipe sitting on a cutting board.

Gather all your ingredients.

A partially grated English cucumber lays on a plate next to a grater and a partially whole cucumber.

Grate the cucumber using a box grater or finely chop it.

Sprinkling salt over grated cucumber in a mesh sieve.

Place the grated/chopped cucumber in a fine-mesh strainer or colander and sprinkle with a little salt. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes to draw out excess moisture.

Yogurt, garlic, dill, lemon juice and oil in a mixing bowl.
The mixed sauce without the grated cucumber added.

While the cucumber drains, in a medium bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, minced garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and dill. Mix everything together thoroughly.

Grated cucumber in a tea towel.
A tea towel filled with grated cucumber, partially wrung out.

After the cucumber has drained, squeeze out as much liquid as you can using a clean kitchen towel. This step is important to prevent the tzatziki from becoming watery.

Strained and grated cucumber added to dip in a mixing bowl.
Mixed Tzatziki in a silver mixing bowl.

Add the grated cucumber to the yogurt mixture and stir until well combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning by adding salt and black pepper according to your preference.

A covered mixing bowl on a countertop.

Cover the tzatziki and refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.

A pita chip, just dipped into a white dish of Tzatziki.

Prior to serving, drizzle a little extra olive oil on top and garnish with a sprig of fresh dill (optional).

How Long Does Tzatziki Dip Last?

Tzatziki will last up to about four days if covered and kept in the fridge.

Freezing

Freezing Tzatziki is not recommended. If you feel this recipe will make too much dip for you, feel free to cut it in half.

Reheating

Do not heat. Keep and serve chilled.

More Healthy Dip Recipes

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A pita chip with Tzatziki sauce on it over a dish filled with the dip.

Tzatziki Recipe

A delicious Mediterranean dip or sauce that has many uses and applications.
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Course: Appetizer, Dips, Snack
Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 36kcal

Ingredients

  • ½ medium English cucumber (grated)
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt (or non-dairy yogurt for vegans)
  • 2 medium garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. dried dill
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Gather all your ingredients.
    Ingredients for this Tzatziki Recipe sitting on a cutting board.
  • Grate the cucumber using a box grater or finely chop it.
    A partially grated English cucumber lays on a plate next to a grater and a partially whole cucumber.
  • Place the grated/chopped cucumber in a fine-mesh strainer or colander and sprinkle with a little salt. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes to draw out excess moisture.
    Sprinkling salt over grated cucumber in a mesh sieve.
  • While the cucumber drains, in a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, minced garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and dill. Mix everything together thoroughly.
    The mixed sauce without the grated cucumber added.
  • After the cucumber has drained, squeeze out any excess moisture using a clean kitchen towel. This step is important to prevent the tzatziki from becoming watery.
    A tea towel filled with grated cucumber, partially wrung out.
  • Add the drained cucumber to the yogurt mixture and stir until well combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning by adding salt and black pepper according to your preference.
    Mixed Tzatziki in a silver mixing bowl.
  • Cover the tzatziki and refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.
    A covered mixing bowl on a countertop.
  • Prior to serving, drizzle a little extra olive oil on top and garnish with a sprig of fresh dill (optional).
    A pita chip, just dipped into a white dish of Tzatziki.

Notes

Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup (approx) | Calories: 36kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.001g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 10mg | Potassium: 76mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 35IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 0.2mg

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