Tzatziki is a refreshing (and healthy!) chilled sauce, spread or dip that takes only a few minutes to make. This authentic Greek yogurt and cucumber sauce is so versatile to serve with anything from pita or Naan, fresh or grilled veggies, gyros, or spread on fresh Salmon Burgers.
There’s a few Greek staple recipes that are in my summer tool belt. The first is Greek Salad, the second is Beet Hummus and Lemon Garlic Hummus, and the third is tzatziki.
In the summertime, I almost always have cucumbers in the fridge, and this sauce is the perfect way to make to use them up! You’ll want to put tzatziki on EVERYTHING.
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What Is Tzatziki?
So what is tzatziki (tsaht-ZEE-kee), anyway? It’s a sauce or dip made from strained yogurt (AKA Greek yogurt), cucumber and garlic. A dash of lemon juice and fresh dill add brightness, and a splash of olive oil (Greek olive oil for bonus points!) forms the perfect consistency sauce while enhancing the flavor.
Tzatziki is typically associated with Greek food, but it’s also found in other parts of the Mediterranean and Middle East with slight variations.
- Non-fat plain Greek yogurt – you can use full-fat or partial fat Greek yogurt, but I actually prefer the texture and taste of non-fat Greek yogurt for tzatziki.
- English cucumber – I grate a whole English cucumber on the coarse setting of a cheese grater. English cucumber has thin skin and small seeds compared to regular cucumber, so I prefer the English kind in this recipe.
- Lemon – the juice of a lemon adds a complementing acidity and brightness to your tzatziki.
- Garlic – garlic is a classic ingredient in tzatziki. Yes please!
- Olive oil – a dash of olive oil (preferably the Greek kind) rounds out the flavor while loosening the consistency of the yogurt to a sauce/dip.
- Dill – fresh dill is the most popular herb to use in tzatziki. It has a fresh, lemony anise taste like no other!
How to Make Tzatziki Sauce
Time needed: 10 minutes.
Make tzatziki sauce in just 10 minutes! Full recipe below; this is just an outline.
- Grate cucumber.
Remove the ends of the cucumber. Use a cheese grater’s coarse setting to grate the unpeeled cucumber. Squeeze out excess liquid from grated cucumber with paper towels.
- Mix & enjoy.
Mix together yogurt, grated cucumber, olive oil, dill, lemon juice, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.
How to Use Tzatziki Sauce
Oh my! There are so many ways to enjoy tzatziki! Use it as a healthy dip, sauce, or spread. Here are 10 of my favorite ways:
- With fresh pita or Homemade Naan
- With crispy pita chips or Baked Tortilla Chips
- On Fresh Salmon Burgers
- Dolloped on Tomato Cucumber Salad or Greek Salad
- Spread on Greek Pita Pizza
- With other dips like Beet Hummus, Lemon Garlic Hummus, or Muhammara
- With veggies, like Grilled Corn, Broiled Asparagus, or raw bell peppers or carrots
- With other assorted antipasto like Citrus Marinated Olives, cheese and salumi
- Dolloped on Lentil Salad
- In gyros, with falafel and tabbouleh
Leftovers & Storage
Although I doubt there will be much leftover tzatziki, store in the fridge – covered – for 5 to 7 days.
Other Sauce & Dip Recipes You’ll Love!
- Chipotle Corn Salsa
- Avocado Pesto (Vegan & Dairy Free!)
- Classic Italian Gremolata (Gremolada) Sauce
- Creamy Italian Tonnato Sauce
- Easy Homemade Tomato Sauce
- Cheese grater (with a coarse setting)
- Remove the ends of the cucumber. Use a cheese grater’s coarse setting to grate the unpeeled cucumber. Squeeze out excess liquid from grated cucumber with paper towels.
- Mix together yogurt, grated cucumber, olive oil, dill, lemon juice, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Enjoy right away or chill before serving.
- You can use full-fat or partial fat Greek yogurt if preferred.
- Keeps well in the fridge for 5-7 days, covered.