This easy recipe shows you how to make the best authentic Greek tzatziki! Try this cucumber yogurt sauce as a dip or spread, on gyros, pitas, or with falafel!
Authentic Tzatziki Recipe
Tzatziki has always been one of my weaknesses. If it’s on a menu, hands down, no question, I am definitely ordering it. Whether it’s on gyros, pita, with chicken or falafel, or even just on a spoon, I love tzatziki.
Obviously that meant that I needed to figure out how to make the best tzatziki at home. This authentic tzatziki recipe is the perfect blend of flavors.
None of the flavors are overpowering. They all meld together to create the perfect balance of dill, garlic, cucumber, tart, and creamy.
What is Tzatziki?
Tzatziki is a creamy Greek yogurt sauce. It’s made with cucumber, garlic, dill, and strained Greek yogurt. The flavor is creamy, flavorful, and just a little bit tangy.
How to Make Authentic Greek Tzatziki Sauce
There are two important steps in the preparation that make all the difference with this homemade tzatziki recipe.
The first is to make sure you get the cucumber as dry as possible. Whether you wring the cucumber out by hand, or let it drain in the refrigerator overnight, this step is very important.
The drier your cucumber is, the better the texture of the sauce will be.
The second is to let the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt marinade together in the fridge before mixing in the dill and cucumber. If you add the dill in too early, the dip will be overpowered by its flavor.
Let the yogurt and garlic meld together for a minimum of 5 minutes, 1 hour if you can spare it, and overnight or 6 – 8 hours if you want the best results. This allows the flavors to really combine beautifully and gives the garlic a chance to lose its spiciness.
What to Eat with Tzatziki
This is such a versatile sauce! Tzatziki is traditionally served as a Meze (or Greek appetizer).
To enjoy tzatziki as part of an appetizer spread, try serving it with:
- As a Raw Vegetable Dip
- As a Dip for Warm Pita Bread or Toasted Pita Wedges
- With Roasted Vegetables (Especially Bell Peppers, Asparagus, Green Beans, Carrots, and Corn on the Cob)
Here are some of my other favorite ways to use it:
- On Gyros
- With Falafel
- As a Salad Dressing
- With Greek Meatballs
- With Chicken (Especially Grilled Chicken)
- As the Sauce for Pasta Salad or Quinoa Salad
- On Burgers (and Turkey Burgers)
- On Tacos (Especially Fish Tacos)
- As the Spread for Sandwiches (Especially Pita Sandwiches)
- With Tabbouleh, Lentil Salad, or Chickpea Salad
If you like Mediterranean and Middle Eastern inspired dips, you may love my Roasted Cauliflower Hummus Recipe. It’s incredibly delicious and very popular!
Can I Make Tzatziki Using Sour Cream?
Yes, you can substitute sour cream for the Greek yogurt 1:1.
Tzatziki is traditionally made with strained sheep or goat’s yogurt, but that can be very hard to find in the U.S. That’s why I opt to use Greek yogurt, which is a strained yogurt that’s both thicker and higher in protein than regular yogurt.
While I most prefer using full-fat Greek yogurt, I’ve also made this recipe with non-fat Greek yogurt and it turned out very well.
How Many Carbs and Calories are in Tzatziki?
This recipe makes 8 servings. Each serving contains roughly 78 calories, 3.9 grams of carbs, and 3.6 grams of net carbs.
How to Make Vegan Tzatziki
Tzatziki is a very easy recipe to make plant-based. To make a dairy-free and vegan tzatziki sauce, simply substitute the Greek yogurt with plant-based yogurt. You could even make your own cashew sour cream to use as the base for this recipe.
How to Make Gluten Free Tzatziki
This recipe is gluten free as it’s written and no substitutions are needed!
How to Pronounce Tzatziki
I get it! This is a tricky one to pronounce if you haven’t heard it before. That’s probably why there are so many common misspellings (including tzaziki, tzatiki, taziki, and tzatsiki).
Tzatziki is pronounced: tsaht – ZEE – kee (you can listen to the correct pronunciation here).
What You’ll Need
Using one of these two tools will make such a difference in how your sauce turns out. The goal for both tools is to drain as much water out of the cucumber as possible.
The second option is a nut milk bag. There’s so much water in the grated cucumber that it’s pretty challenging to wring the extra water out of the cucumber using just paper towels. A nut milk bag is much sturdier and makes the task a lot easier.
- 1 ½ cups full-fat Greek yogurt
- 2 large cloves garlic (finely minced)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 - 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (depending on taste preference)
- ½ large English cucumber (grated with excess water squeezed out; about 1cup)
- 2 Tablespoons fresh dill (minced)
- In a medium bowl, add the Greek yogurt, garlic, olive oil, salt, and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour, but 6 - 8 hours or overnight is best.
- Just before serving, stir in the dill and cucumber.
Don’t add the dill and cucumber to the tzatziki until just before serving. If you add it too early they will overpower the flavor of the dip.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 78Total Fat: 6.2gSaturated Fat: 2.1gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 9.1mgSodium: 178mgCarbohydrates: 3.9gNet Carbohydrates: 3.6gFiber: 0.3gSugar: 3.3gProtein: 2.1g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.
If you try this recipe, please let me know what you thought in the comments or on Instagram! @keytomylime
Be sure to pin this recipe for later!
The next time you’re craving Mediterranean food, try making this authentic tzatziki recipe!