Tzatziki Sauce Recipe
There’s a reason why Greek Tzatziki is so popular. This creamy Tzatziki Sauce is great with chicken, grilled vegetables, in gyros with Pita Bread, or as a fresh veggie dip. It’s also great as a salad dressing.
In the summer months when our garden cucumbers are booming, we are all about our favorite cucumber recipes. Fresh dishes like Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad and Creamy Cucumber Salad are on our regular rotation. Tzatziki is definitely on our ‘favorites’ list.
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Years ago we took a trip to Seattle Washington where my cousin Alla served us a Mediterranean menu that rocked my Ukrainian taste buds and we felled in love with this tzatziki sauce.
This sauce tied everything together. I pretty much drowned my chicken and smothered everything on my plate with it. I then proceeded to down everything way too fast because it all tasted so good! Did I also acquire the Moroccan Chicken and Grilled Veggie Skewers recipes? Do you even have to ask?
Tzatziki Sauce Video Tutorial
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I hope this Tzatziki Sauce recipe becomes a new favorite all-purpose sauce for you. If you enjoyed this video, please subscribe to our Youtube Channel, and don’t forget to click the bell icon so you get a notification when we post a new video.
What is Tzatziki Sauce?
Tzaziki is a Greek cucumber yogurt dip. It’s a healthy sauce you can serve with chicken, grilled veggies, pita chips, gyros, and as a raw veggie dip. My cousin Alla is a fabulous cook and I’m blessed to be able to glean from her kitchen wisdom.
Homemade Tzatziki is also a healthy sauce with just 57 calories in a generous 1/4 cup serving. Try this once and you will love the fresh flavors.
Tzatziki Sauce Ingredients
- Cucumber – we used half of an English cucumber, but 3-4 small Persian cucumbers will also work.
- Greek Yogurt – should be cold right out of the refrigerator and you can use full fat or fat-free.
- Garlic – add this to taste as it can get stronger as the flavors meld in the refrigerator. We love garlic so we use 4 cloves and you can either grate garlic or use a garlic press.
- Dill – we have used fresh chopped dill or frozen dill for making tzatziki.
- Lemon juice – fresh squeezed is best. Do not use lemon juice from concentrate. 1 1/2 Tbsp is the juice of 1/2 lemon.
- Salt and Pepper – add this to taste as a little goes a long way.
How to Make Tzatziki Sauce
- Cucumber Prep – peel and finely dice the cucumbers. You can also grate on the large holes of a box grater but we prefer the texture of diced cucumber. Set cucumber over a bowl lined with a cheesecloth, or over a fine-mesh sieve. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt, stir and set aside to soften and release juice.
- Make the Sauce – in a large mixing bowl combine the remaining ingredients: yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, dill, olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Strain Cucumbers – Use the cheesecloth to squeeze out as much juice as you can from your chopped cucumber. Discard the liquid and add cucumber to the bowl mixing bowl.
- Stir and Refrigerate – stir all of the ingredients together then cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight. It stores well for 3-5 days in the fridge.
Pro Tip: Getting rid of excess cucumber juice is important so that your tzatziki sauce isn’t watery the next day. You’ll be amazed how much liquid you can strain off. Cheesecloth is the most effective way, but you can also squeeze by the fistful over a strainer.
Tzatziki is one of the most versatile sauces. It’s great with:
- Roast Chicken
- Moroccan Chicken
- Grilled Vegetables
- Pita Chips
- Gyros wrapped in Pita Bread
- Fresh Vegetables (as a dip)
Tzatziki is pronounced “tuh·zee·kee”
Use either fresh lemon juice or substitute with white vinegar, adding it to taste (start with 1 tsp and go up from there). Do not use lemon juice from concentrate.
Mint is a traditional flavoring sometimes added to tzatziki. Add fresh or dried mint to taste.
Add the garlic to taste, keeping in mind that fresh homegrown garlic can taste much stronger and spicier than store-bought garlic. I love adding the full 4 cloves of garlic to give the sauce extra flavor.
Traditional tzatziki does not include dill so you can omit it, but it does add more flavor to use dill.
This is one of those recipes you’ll want to print and keep to make over and over. We’ve perfected this Tzatziki Sauce over the years and I hope it becomes a new favorite for you.
More Greek Recipes
Tzatziki Sauce Recipe
- 1/2 English cucumber
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
- 16 oz Cold plain Greek yogurt (2 cups, either full fat or fat-free will work)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice Juice of 1/2 lemon; please squeeze a real lemon
- 3 to 4 garlic cloves peeled and grated
- 1/3 cup chopped dill
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt or to taste
- 1/8 tsp black pepper or to taste
Prep the Cucumber:
Peel and finely dice the cucumber, or you can grate on the large holes of a box grater if preferred. Transfer to a bowl lined with a cheesecloth* and sprinkle cucumbers with 1/2 tsp salt and give them a light stir. Set aside for the cucumbers to release their juice while you prep the remaining ingredients.
How to Make Tzatziki Sauce:
In a large mixing bowl, combine plain Greek yogurt, lemon juice, grated garlic cloves, chopped dill, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, or season to taste.
Use the cheesecloth to squeeze out as much juice as you can from your chopped cucumber. You'll be surprised how much juice comes out. Discard the juice and add squeezed cucumber to your mixing bowl.
Stir everything to combine and season to taste with more salt and pepper if desired. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until ready to serve. I love serving drizzled with a little more extra virgin olive oil.
*If you don’t have a cheesecloth, you can also set cucumbers over a fine mesh strainer then squeeze out as much liquid as you can with your hands.
**Nutrition label is based on using fat-free Greek yogurt.
The original Tzatziki recipe was first posted in 2013. We updated the photos, added a video, and found a better way to strain the cucumbers to get as much juice out as possible. Also adding the extra virgin olive oil made this such a luxurious sauce. It’s our best version yet!