Let’s make homemade tzatziki! With just a few simple ingredients like grated cucumber, creamy Greek yogurt, dill, and zingy lemon, this quick and easy tzatziki recipe is super versatile, and a refreshing sauce, dressing, dip or spread.
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!
But first, what is tzatziki? Tzatziki (pronounced tuh·ZEE·kee) is a yogurt- and cucumber-based sauce that originates in Southeast Europe and Middle Eastern cuisine.
And while I’d like to begin a business of importing 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. This is one of my favorite recipes in the realm of homemade dips and sauces (rivaled only by homemade hummus and this easy baba ganoush).
What yogurt do you use for tzatziki?
To make homemade tzatziki, you’ll need to get yourself some good, plain Greek yogurt. For best results, strain the moisture from the yogurt by spooning it into a cheesecloth (or a few layer of paper towels), setting it into a mesh sieve, and letting the excess moisture drip out.
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 like to leave the peel on for more nutrients and fiber (it doesn’t compromise the flavor)!
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 moisture from the cucumber!
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 zero hours if you’re like me and want tzatziki NOW! Mix it all together and voila! You have a healthy, low carb tzatziki sauce with just 5 minutes of hands-on work.
Is tzatziki healthy?
This sauce became a favorite of mine while I was studying nutrition, because not only is it packed with flavor, but it’s also healthy!
To really know if tzatziki is healthy, you’ve got to look at its main ingredient – Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is a healthy nutrition powerhouse, containing more protein than its traditional yogurt counterpart. Add in to that the fiber-packed cucumber and antioxidant-heavy lemon juice and you have yourself a healthy tzatziki sauce!
This recipe is suitable for either full-fat or nonfat Greek yogurt. But what does the fat percentage in Greek yogurt mean? Full-fat greek yogurt is usually 5%, meaning it is 5% of fat by weight. Nonfat Greek yogurt, on the other hand, has had all the fat removed. They both have their benefits, with full-fat providing a richer mouthfeel and more satiation, while nonfat has far less calories. The choice is yours!
Speaking of using different fat contents, you can also use sour cream to make tzatziki! It can be used 1:1 for the yogurt, or you can simply replace some of the yogurt with sour cream. The fat content of most sour creams is about 20%, making sour cream tzatziki ultra-creamy and rich.
Uses For Tzatziki Sauce
Tzatziki is great as a veggie or bread dip, but it can also be used in a number of Mediterranean inspired recipes!
- Roasted Chickpea Gyros
- Mediterranean Roasted Veggies
- Portobello Mushroom Gyros
- Mediterranean Kale Salad
- 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
- Thicken yogurt: Strain yogurt using a cheesecloth or paper towel for 30 minutes to 3 hours to remove excess moisture (can skip this step if you're in a hurry).
- Prep cucumber: Meanwhile, sprinkle a pinch of salt onto shredded or diced cucumber and spoon into cheesecloth or paper towels. Let sit for a few minutes then wring it out to draw out moisture.
- Mix: Mix together yogurt, cucumber, dill, garlic, and lemon. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Tips & Tricks
Fun fact: This was the very first recipe posted on Live Eat Learn! Here’s a photo from way back when I first published it. Thanks so much for stopping by and for making easy recipes like this tzatziki possible.