This Tzatziki Sauce is a refreshing cucumber-yogurt condiment that uses 7 simple ingredients and takes only 15 minutes to make! It has tons of uses and will easily become a staple in your house.
What is Tzatziki?
Tzatziki is a yogurt sauce of Greek origin. It's made with thick yogurt, cucumber, lemon, garlic, olive oil, and fresh herbs. You can use it in various meals that focus on the flavors of Mediterranean cuisine like wraps, pita pockets, salads, bowls, or even use it as a dip! I love serving it with Greek Fries.
It's really easy to make, you only need 7 ingredients and about 15 minutes of time. It's such a simple sauce but the cucumber-yogurt-garlic-herbs combo is truly unmatched!
Ingredients and Substitutions
The ingredient list is pretty straightforward, you only need 9 including salt and pepper.
- Cucumber - I don't have any possible substitute for the cucumber here, it's a huge part of the recipe.
- Greek Yogurt - The type of yogurt you use is up to you but keep in mind the better the yogurt, the better the sauce. I like Greek yogurt because it's thick and creamy. Using a thinner yogurt will result in a thinner sauce. You can use any yogurt you like - cow, goat, sheep, or vegan yogurt. You can also strain the yogurt to make it thicker but I find this to be unnecesary.
- Fresh dill and mint - I prefer fresh herbs here over dried because they give the sauce so much more flavor. You can use dried herbs if that's all you have, just refer to the recipe card for quantities. Both Morrocan Mint and Spearmint work great. Some versions of Tzatziki also include parsley.
- Lemon or lime juice - The photo below shows lime juice but lemon juice is used in classic Tzatziki. You can use whichever you have on hand.
- Extra virgin olive oil - If you don't have olive oil, I would just skip it. Don't add a different oil for the sake of adding oil, it's there to add a slight olive flavor to the sauce.
- Garlic - One clove is enough here. When a recipe calls for two I always use five too but here you're adding raw garlic. It has a much more intense flavor than cooked garlic. When I added two, it was really spicy. don't say I didn't warn ya! You can use dried garlic powder instead.
How to Make It
Below are step-by-step photos showing how to make the recipe. It's super simple, it's basically just a matter of grating the cucumber, chopping the rest of the ingredients, and mixing it all together.
After grating the cucumber, use your hands to squeeze as much liquid out as you can. The cucumber will release water once you add salt so this prevents the sauce from being too runny. Do not skip this step.
Mix the grated cucumber with the Greek yogurt, finely chopped dill and mint, extra virgin olive oil, lemon or lime juice, minced garlic, and salt and pepper. You can either serve this right away or keep it in the fridge until ready to serve.
Serving and Storing
There are a lot of ways you can eat Tzatziki sauce! There are definitely more but here are my favorites.
- Serve it as a dipping sauce for fries or raw veggies like cucumber or carrots.
- Serve it on salads or grain and protein bowls. It goes great with this Mediterranean Orzo Salad or this Greek Potato Salad.
- Add it to pita pockets with falafel or Greek meatballs, veggies, and hummus.
- Use it on Gyros
- Serve it with calamari
- Use it as a spread for sandwiches. Try it in this Halloumi Sandwich with Roasted Vegetables.
- Use it as a salad dressing. You can either use it straight or add a bit more lemon juice and olive oil to loosen it a little bit.
Storing - Store the tzatziki in the fridge in an airtight glass jar for up to 3 days.
The sauce actually gets better the next day, in my opinion. I like to make it the night before because it gives all the flavors time to blend together and infuse the yogurt.
Tzatziki is a thick sauce made with yogurt, grated cucumber, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and fresh herbs like dill, mint, or parsley.
Greece. The sauce is based on the Indian Raita sauce but the Greeks made it their own and that's where it's most common now. The work Tzatziki is derived on the Turkish word "cacık".
You can add it to pita pockets, gyros, salads, bowls, sandwiches, or use it as a dipping sauce.
Yes, it's made of fresh herbs, cucumber, and yogurt so it is but as you know everything is best in moderation.
In short, yes. Ranch dressing is usually made with sour cream or mayonnaise and Tzatziki only has Greek yogurt so you could say it's healthier than ranch.
Tzatziki Sauce is a great staple in the Mediterranean cuisine. Add it to salads, bowls, sandwiches, pitas, or use it as a dip.
- ½ cucumber, grated (makes 1 ¾ cup)
- 1 clove of garlic, minced (or ¼-½ teaspoon dried garlic powder)
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill (or more to taste)*
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint (or more to taste)*
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1-2 tablespoon lemon juice (½ lemon, or sub lime)
- 1 cup greek yogurt (300g)
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- Grate the cucumber and squeeze out as much liquid out of it as you can. It shrinks down to 1 cup after squeezing.
- Add the cucumber, minced garlic, chopped dill and mint, extra virgin olive oil, greek yogurt, sea salt, and black pepper to a bowl and stir to combine everything well.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
* You can substitute the fresh herbs for dried. Use 1 teaspoon of each dried dill and dried mint.
This sauce is best made a few hours in advance because it gives all the flavors time to come together.
If you don’t have Greek yogurt, use any kind of thick yogurt - cow, sheep, goat, or vegan yogurt are all great here. If you use thinner yogurt, it will make the sauce thinner but it works just as well.
Keywords: cucumber, tzatziki, sauce