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World’s Best Tzatziki

I love Greek food, and after much trial and error, this is the best tzatziki recipe I’ve come up with! Refreshing cucumber, creamy Greek yogurt, and zingy lemon make it the perfect condiment for just about everything.

This is the best tzatziki recipe! Refreshing cucumber, creamy Greek yogurt, and zingy lemon make it the perfect condiment for just about everything.

Greece is pretty far up there in my list of favorite countries, and this is probably largely due to it being the home of the best sauce known to man, TZATZIKI! And while I’d like to begin a business of importing Greek tzatziki to then redistribute across all of America so everyone might bask in its glory, I will instead just give you the secrets to the World’s Best Tzatziki recipe.

What yogurt do you use for tzatziki?

You start with some good, plain Greek yogurt (2 cups). We’ll strain the moisture from the yogurt. Now there’s the fancy way of doing this, by placing the yogurt in a cheesecloth and letting the water drip from that, but if you’re like me, you don’t own cheesecloth. I don’t think that’s one of those things that 22 year olds are obligated to own yet. So I used the one strainer I do have…my coffee filter I plopped the yogurt into a paper coffee filter, soon realizing the wet paper wouldn’t be strong enough to hold the yogurt, then set the whole yogurt in paper filter contraption into the actual coffee filter (I’d suggest a good wash first, unless you’d like to experiment with some real unique flavor combinations). Set the yogurt straining contraption aside and move on to the cucumber.

Do you peel cucumber to make tzatziki?

Short answer: you don’t have to! To make the World’s Best Tzatziki recipe you’ll need a cup of cucumber (1 big or 2 small, you can guestimate). If yours has seeds, get those outa there before anything. I shredded my cucumber in the food processor, but you can also finely dice it. I also left the peel on, more nutrients and fiber! Once you’ve got the cucumber all shredded or diced, you’re going to strain the moisture out of this too. No need to get as involved as with the yogurt (and good thing because I’ve only got one coffee pot). Just sprinkle with a touch of salt then lay the cucumber out flat on a few layers of paper towels and let sit while you prepare the other ingredients. The salt helps to draw out more moisture. If need be, you can wring it to get those final drops out.

Tzatziki Recipe

How do you make Greek tzatziki?

After you have your thick Greek yogurt and shredded cucumber, the rest is pretty simple. Finely chop 1 tablespoons of dill, mince 2 cloves of garlic, and measure out 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or white wine vinegar. You can let the yogurt sit for a few hours, or half an hour if you’re like me and want tzatziki NOW!  Mix it all together and voila!

Tzatziki RecipeThis is the best tzatziki recipe! Refreshing cucumber, creamy Greek yogurt, and zingy lemon make it the perfect condiment for just about everything.

4.5 from 14 votes
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World's Best Tzatziki

This is the best tzatziki recipe! Refreshing cucumber, creamy Greek yogurt, and zingy lemon make it the perfect condiment for just about everything.

Course Appetizers, Dips, Sauces, and Salsas
Cuisine Greek
Keyword tzatziki, yogurt sauce
Diet Gluten-Free, Low Carb, Raw, Vegetarian
Occasion 4th of July, Game Day
Time 15 minutes or less
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 3 cups
Calories 40 kcal
Author Live Eat Learn

Ingredients

  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt 480 g, can use dairy-free
  • 1 cup shredded or diced cucumber 200 g
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice or white wine vinegar 30 mL
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 Tbsp chopped dill
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Thicken yogurt: Strain yogurt using a cheesecloth or coffee filter for 30 minutes to 3 hours to remove excess moisture (you can skip this step if you're in a hurry).

  2. Prep cucumber: Meanwhile, sprinkle salt onto shredded or diced cucumber and lay on paper towel to draw out moisture.

  3. Mix: Mix together yogurt, cucumber, dill, garlic, and lemon. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

  • Add a touch of extra-virgin olive oil for flavor and shine.
  • Serve with pita, veggies, on Roasted Chickpea Gyros, or really anything!
  • The flavors become less tangy as you let them sit, so your tzatziki might just be best the next day. The gift that keeps on giving.
Nutrition Facts
World's Best Tzatziki
Amount Per Serving (0.25 cups)
Calories 40 Calories from Fat 22
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2.4g 4%
Saturated Fat 1.5g 8%
Cholesterol 8mg 3%
Sodium 50mg 2%
Potassium 103mg 3%
Total Carbohydrates 3.2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0.1g 0%
Sugars 2.7g
Protein 1.7g 3%
Calcium 5%
Iron 1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Products I use in the World’s Best Tzatziki Recipe


Comments (50)

  1. Sherry says:

    Can’t wait to try it.

    1. Sarah says:

      Let me know how it goes, Sherry! 🙂

  2. Emily says:

    Made this just now along with the roasted chickpea gyros! So delicious! You can enjoy this with just about anything, 🙂

    1. Sarah says:

      I always make extra so I can put it on salads and use it as a dip for the whole week 🙂 Plus the flavors get better after a day or two. So happy to hear you liked it!

  3. Desiree Johnson says:

    I made these over the weekend and they were fabulous! I used smoked spanish paprika, so the chickpeas had a nice smokey flavor. I will definitely make these again.

    1. Sarah says:

      Oh sounds delicious! I bet the smokey flavor paired well with the tzatziki. So happy you enjoyed it!

  4. laurie says:

    NOT MY USUAL KIND OF MEAL, BUT HAVE BEEN WNATING TO TRY GYROS. EVEN HUBBY LIKED THEM! VERY GOOD AND INTERESTING FLAVOR

    1. Sarah says:

      Happy to hear, Laurie! 🙂

  5. Casey says:

    Making these tonight with the roasted chick pea Gyros and fresh pitas 🙂 the only thing that rubs me wrong is the suggestion to buy low-fat yogurt- noted that it’s good for you, as if the whole milk version is a less healthy choice. Not true! To each their own but from my own research I choose to buy the whole milk yogurt. This tzaziki will be delicious regardless and I look forward to the meal!

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Casey, thanks so much for dropping by and I hope your gyros turned out tasty! Regarding the fat content of the yogurt, I tend to go for low fat yogurts as the whole milk yogurts are high in saturated fat, but the other macros aren’t actually all that affected. Let’s look at the nutrition for Fage’s Total yogurt:
      1 cup of full fat yogurt has 220 calories, 11 g fat, 9 g carbs, and 20 g protein.
      1 cup 0% fat yogurt has 130 calories, 0 g fat, 9 g carbs, and 23 g protein.
      While I’m not the type to go replacing everything with a low fat alternative (low fat mayonnaise should be against the law it’s so awful), looking at the macros and comparing the ingredients leads me to choose the low fat yogurts.
      But yes, to each their own! This recipe is great with whichever variety of Greek yogurt suits you! 🙂

  6. Jessica says:

    Hi how long can I store this until it starts going bad?

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Jessica, I try to eat mine within 5 to 7 or so days. (But the flavor is BEST on the second day, after all the flavors have really blended together)

  7. Joelle says:

    I buy the giant tub of Fage 0% at Costco, and just recently got on a cottage cheese and fruit kick instead, so I had lots of yogurt on hand. Hubby LOVES tzatziki, and usually buys that at Costco as well. Long story short, I thought we had plenty, and after we came home from Costco, realized I was wrong. Whipped this up and it’s TITS! So delicious and much tastier than the one we thought we liked. Stupid easy too! Thanks so much:)

    1. Sarah says:

      Hahah so happy to hear, Joelle! If you’re like me you probably put it on EVERYTHING, so the batches never last long 😉 Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

  8. Shaila says:

    Made this for dinner, the whole family loved it. Since I have meat eaters I cooked a turkey tenderloin and sliced it up, just as delicious without.

    1. Sarah says:

      So happy to hear, Shaila! Did you put the tzatziki on the turkey as well? Sounds like that would be a good flavor combo as well!

      1. Shaila says:

        We did and it was just as delicious!

  9. Dani says:

    Amaziiiing, and so easy to do once you find the cheesecloth! (used a triangular gauze I had hidden in my medikit and worked perfectly)

    1. Sarah says:

      Haha I love your outside the box thinking, Dani! I usually use a paper towel if I don’t have cheesecloth, but medical gauze works well too! 🙂

  10. Felicia says:

    I had to substitute lemon for lime (note *it does not take quite as much) because that’s what I had on hand. My husband was skeptical about it, but he really liked it!!

  11. Billie says:

    Your recipes look delish. Can’t wait to try the gyro. Tzatziki looks good too. A little secret for our Tzatziki in Greece is to add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to it. Not only does it make it more tasty but adds all the benefits of olive oil too.

    1. Sarah says:

      Thanks so much, Billie! And you’re so right about the olive oil. I drizzle a little bit in sometimes and definitely adds a boost of flavor (and healthy fats!) 🙂

  12. bill Bradley says:

    I noticed in your directions, you call for 2 tbs. chopped dill. The ingredients say 1 tbs. chopped dill. Just thought i’d mention it.

    1. Sarah says:

      Hey Bill, thanks so much for catching that! It should be 1 Tbsp 🙂

  13. Sherry says:

    Made this with the gyro recipe for lunch today and it was excellent!!! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Sarah says:

      So happy to hear, Sherry!! 🙂

  14. Noel says:

    I made this with 4 cloves of garlic and instead of vinegar or lemon juice, used the liquid from Kosher dill pickles but also cut up dill sprigs and used a little lemon juice. It is fantastic. Got the recipe from a Greek restaurant that makes it’s own tatziki and pita bread and it was the best I’ve ever tasted. I do drain the yogurt and cucumbers and it stays thick and creamy.

    1. Sarah says:

      Oh that sounds great! I’m not particularly fond of pickles, but I bet the acidity would be great in this! And I LOVE homemade pita. Have you tried it?

  15. Livia says:

    Hi Sarah,

    Can I use dill seasoning (dry) instead of fresh dill?

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Livia! Absolutely! Just substitute fresh dill with 1/3 dry (so 1 teaspoon of dry dill)

  16. Tina Sommer says:

    Here’s another tip for a promising youthful cook – Never use artificial lemon juice!
    Especially if you’re going through the trouble to make your own Tzatsiki sauce. Always fresh!

    1. Sarah says:

      Thanks for the tip! 😀 I use real lemons much more often nowadays.

  17. james says:

    Just made, yummy right from the bowl, but have no fresh dill, I have some mint in garden???? Thoughts?

    1. Sarah says:

      Hey James! I haven’t tried it with mint before but another reader did and said it was tasty! Perhaps mix the mint into half of it and taste. Otherwise, I make it without dill quite often and it’s still tasty 😀

  18. Angela says:

    This is perfect thank you! Delicious~

    1. Sarah says:

      Happy to hear, Angela! 😀

  19. Juana de la Gaviota says:

    Re leaving the cucumber unpeeled: Supermarket cucumbers have a coating as a preservative, and most people don’t realize it. I do–it’s wax., and it’s awful.

    If you don’t believe me, buy a cucumber at a supermarket and another at a farmer’s market and see how long each lasts in the fridge.

    1. Sarah says:

      Thanks for the tip, Juana! 😀

  20. John Harlow says:

    Sounds good. Mine is very similar but I add a touch of Olive Oil and a bit of sour cream to make it richer.

    1. Sarah says:

      Sounds nice, John! I also tend to add some good olive oil (when I remember to), but haven’t tried the sour cream before!

  21. Allie says:

    Like John, always use our cream and olive oil. Both make a noticeable difference.

    Thanks for posting this recipe.

    1. Sarah says:

      Sounds like I’ll have to try it out next time! It’s hard to find sour cream here in the Netherlands, so perhaps I’ll try with crème freche.

  22. Melanie Witte says:

    I grew up with this stuff in Germany. We make it half Greek yoghurt and half sour cream or even creme fraiche. Using low-fat or even fat-free versions is an absolute no-no.

    1. Sarah says:

      I like the crème fraiche idea! I’ll have to try it next time 😀

  23. Weedpicker565 says:

    I had to buy the cuke’s cause they are not ready yet but the garden gave me dill and the tips of the garlic plants. Using vegan yogurt. Anyone know how to make vegan yogurt?

    I’ll let you know how it goes…big fireworks party tonight!!!

    1. Sarah says:

      Minimalist Baker has a great tutorial on how to make vegan coconut yogurt here. Hope you had a fun fireworks party! 😀

  24. Dan says:

    Please – try not to use Dill in tzatziki. everything else looks fine.

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Dan, do you not like dill? You can easily omit it from this recipe (but it is an ingredient in traditional tzatziki, so I’ve included it). 😀

  25. Cate says:

    I was thinking of making this but I can’t get past the bottled, fake lemon juice. I don’t understand why someone would use this when buying and prepping other fresh ingredients. Slicing and squeezing a fresh lemon is so simple and inexpensive. Bottled lemon tastes horrible, is more costly, not to mention entirely Eco-unfriendly.

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Cate! I actually agree, but made this recipe long ago when I didn’t entirely know the difference (it’s actually the first recipe on the blog!) Will be remaking the post soon with updated ingredients and photos 😀 Thanks for pointing that out!

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