If you love Medeterranian food, you’re going to flip over this easy homemade tzatziki sauce recipe. Tzatziki, also known as cucumber 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.
Tzatziki sauce is the best.
It’s a creamy, delicious Greek condiment that’s good on everything from gyros to grilled chicken. This refreshing sauce also pairs perfectly with fresh veggies or pita chips as a snack or pre-dinner dip. The best part? It’s super simple to make authentic tzatziki sauce yourself!
Not only will making your own tzatziki taste better than anything you can buy at the store, but it’s also surprisingly easy. You can make this recipe in about 30 minutes.
- PREP AHEAD. This tasty dip will keep in the refrigerator for about 5 days.
- VERSATILE. Enjoy as a snack, in a Greek-inspired grain bowl with grilled 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.
What is Tzatziki sauce?
Tzatziki 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. The yogurt in the sauce helps to cool and balance the spiciness of the garlic, while the cucumber adds a refreshing flavor. Tzatziki can also be used as a salad dressing or as a topping for baked potatoes. In addition to being delicious, this cucumber-yogurt sauce is also healthy, low in calories and fat.
Next time you are looking for a new sauce to try, be sure to give tzatziki a chance. You just might find that it becomes your new favorite.
Homemade Tzatziki Sauce Ingredients
It only takes a few simple ingredient to make 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 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 shreddin’.
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. Garlic it up.
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
It’s also great as a simple dip with mini peppers, cucumber slices, pita wedges, or pita chips.
More Recipes for Pantry Staples
- Homemade pita bread
- How to make hummus
- Herby Greek yogurt dip
- Za’atar and lemon roast chickpeas
- Cauliflower tabbouleh salad
- Kale and quinoa tabbouli
- Instant Pot apple sauce
- My favorite pink sauce
- Homemade enchilada sauce
- How to make air fryer tortilla chips
Homemade Tzatziki Sauce
- ¼ seedless cucumber
- 6 ounces plain Greek yogurt
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons freshly 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.
- In a bowl, stir together the yogurt, cucumber, garlic, lemon juice, and dill. Mix well to combine. Season with salt. Serve immediately or refrigerate.