If you love Mediterranean food, you’re going to flip over this easy homemade tzatziki sauce recipe. Tzatziki, also known as cucumber sauce or gyro sauce, is a yogurt-based sauce that is popular in Greece and it’s so good. In this blog post, I’ll show you how to make tzatziki sauce from scratch using simple ingredients.
- Prep ahead. This tasty dip will keep in the refrigerator for about 5 days.
- Versatile. Enjoy this cucumber-yogurt sauce as a dip, as a snack, in a Greek-inspired grain bowl with grilled gyro meat or with my favorite zucchini fritters.
- Healthy. Greek yogurt makes this a protein-packed snack.
- Special diet friendly. Tzatziki sauce is naturally gluten-free, low carb, and vegetarian. And it’s easy to adapt for vegan or low fat diets!
Mediterranean Magic: A Step-by-Step Guide to Making Tzatziki at Home
Tzatziki sauce is the best.
It’s a creamy, delicious Greek condiment that’s a staple of Mediterranean cuisine and a popular condiment for dishes like lamb gyros, pita sandwiches, and grilled chicken. This refreshing sauce also pairs perfectly with fresh veggies or pita chips as a snack or pre-dinner dip.
Unfortunately, store-bought versions can be expensive and contain unnecessary preservatives or flavorings.
Luckily, making tzatziki at home is quick, easy, and affordable!
It’s also a healthy option since it’s made with Greek yogurt, a great source of protein and probiotics.
Not only will making your own tzatziki taste better than anything you can buy at the store, but it’s also surprisingly easy. It’s ready in about 30 minutes and is made from simple, fresh ingredients.
Whether you’re looking to elevate your gyro game or just want to add some flavor to your veggies, you definitely need to learn how to make tzatziki sauce in your own kitchen!
What is Tzatziki sauce?
Tzatziki sauce (or gyro sauce) is a traditional Greek sauce made from yogurt, cucumber, garlic, and fresh herbs.
It’s typically served as a dip or condiment and goes well with grilled meats or vegetables. Tzatziki can also be used as a salad dressing or as a delicious topping for baked potatoes.
The yogurt in the sauce helps cool and balance the spiciness of the garlic, while the cucumber adds a refreshing flavor. In addition to being delicious, this cucumber-yogurt sauce is also healthy, with lots of protein but low in calories and fat.
It only takes a few simple ingredient to make homemade tzatziki.
You can eat it right away — and I often do — but it’s even better if you refrigerate it for a few hours so all the ingredients have time to meld together.
To make it, you’ll need:
- Seedless cucumber. Seedless cucumber has a great texture when grated and is less watery than regular cucumber.
- Plain Greek yogurt. You can use either full-fat Greek yogurt or low-fat Greek yogurt for this recipe.
- Garlic. A little garlic goes a long way in this recipe, since you’ll be adding it raw.
- Lemon juice. Fresh lemon juice things the sauce a little bit and adds a pop of acidity.
- Fresh dill. Fresh dill is the star of this tzatziki sauce and gives it it’s classic flavor.
- Salt. A pinch of salt helps bring the flavors into balance.
Ingredient Substitutions and Variations
- No lemon juice? Red wine vinegar is a delicious substitution.
- Using a traditional cucumber? Peel the cucumber and slice it in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds by scraping them out with a spoon, then shred the cucumber and drain well.
- Swap the dill for fresh mint. Or use a combination of the two!
- For extra flavor, add a drizzle of good quality olive oil before serving.
- For a dairy-free or vegan version, use your favorite plain non-dairy yogurt. If you’re using a non-Greek variety, be sure to strain it through a piece of cheesecloth (a coffee filter also works well) to thicken it up.
How to Make Homemade Tzatziki Sauce
Step 1. Choose your cucumber wisely.
The best cucumbers for this sauce are seedless cucumbers, sometimes sold as English cucumber or Persian cucumber.
They have fewer seeds and less water content than standard garden variety cucumbers, which means that when you grate them, you end up with a more concentrated flavor.
Step 2. Get shredding.
Some cooks chop their cucumber, but I like to shred mine. It practically disappears into the sauce, and the texture is fantastic. Use a microplane grater or a food processor fitted with a shredding plate.
Shredding the cucumber also means you can easily drain the excess liquid, so your cucumber sauce isn’t too watery. You can shred it into a strainer and let it sit for a bit to drain, or use your hands to squeeze out the extra moisture. You’ll be surprised how much cucumber juice is left over! Go ahead and throw it away or use it to make a green juice.
When grating the cucumber, you can leave the skin on for some color variation, but if the skin has been waxed, be sure to wash it well or peel it off first. Grate the cucumber into a bowl and set aside until needed.
Step 3. Add Garlic.
Mince your garlic garlic as finely as you can to avoid bitterness—you want it to be almost a paste. A mortar and pestle or microplane is helpful here.
Add the garlic to a medium sized mixing bowl and add 1 cup of Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the juice of one lemon. Stir well to combine.
Step 4. Bring it all together!
Mix together the grated cucumber, garlic, yogurt, lemon juice, and dill. Enjoy immediately or chill before serving!
How to store leftovers
Cover tightly and keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Stir well before eating since it will settle as it sits.
Tzatziki does not freeze well.
What to eat with tzatziki sauce
More Recipes for Pantry Staples
- Homemade pita bread
- How to make hummus
- Baba Ganoush
- Herby Greek yogurt dip
- Spiced Chickpeas with Feta and Preserved Lemon
- Cauliflower tabbouleh salad
- Kale and quinoa tabbouli
- Instant Pot apple sauce
- Tomato cream sauce
- Homemade enchilada sauce
- Air fryer tortilla chips
How To Make Tzatziki Sauce (Gyro Sauce)
- ¼ seedless cucumber
- 6 ounces plain Greek yogurt
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
- ½ lemon juiced
- ⅕ teaspoon sea salt or to taste
- Use a microplane or box grater to grate the cucumber. Strain or use your hands to squeeze out as much water as possible. Discard the water.
- Peel the garlic and mash it into a paste with the side of your knife.
- In a bowl, stir together the yogurt, cucumber, garlic, lemon juice, and dill. Mix well to combine. Season with salt to taste.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 5 days.