Creamy, tangy Greek Tzatziki Sauce is an easy, fast-to-make yogurt dip or sauce that’s so versatile! Garlic, cucumber, fresh herbs make this refreshing recipe great for dipping vegetables, to serve on grilled recipes or spread on a sandwich!
This Tzatziki sauce recipe is fast to whip up. In fact you can make it in less than 15 minutes!
It’s so cool and refreshing, you’ll find yourself using it on everything during the summer.
It’s naturally gluten-free and something the whole family will love!
What is Tzatziki Sauce?
This delicious sauce is made mainly from yogurt making it a thick, cooling, tangy sauce to serve in many ways.
It includes cucumber, garlic, lemon juice and fresh herbs giving its signature flavors.
The sauce is from the Middle East, Turkey and Greece. It’s featured as a partner in many favorite dishes from those regions.
Because of the yogurt base it’s great to take the spiciness out of grilled dishes or other things it may be served with with.
How do you Pronounce ‘Tzatziki’?
The American pronunciation differs from the Greek.
Most native English speakers would say it ‘tsuh-see-key‘ (that link to a pronounciation) with the s being more of a soft z sound.
It’s pronounced differently in Greek (that link to the Greek pronunciation). It sounds almost like ‘zah-zzee-key’ or ‘cha-cheeky’ depending.
What Does it Taste like?
It’s light, tangy and full of fresh flavors. Because it can be changed up using different herbs, the flavor is easy to adapt for any accompanying dish.
I love the fresh dill in this recipe.
It’s an easy recipe to modify to meet your personal taste preferences.
You can add more garlic or lemon juice, or dial an ingredient back if you prefer.
- English Cucumber
- plain Greek Yogurt
- Sour Cream
- Garlic Cloves
- Lemon Juice (fresh)
- White Wine Vinegar
- fresh Dill
- Salt and Pepper
- Olive Oil to drizzle on top
The reason an English Cucumber is used is for a few reasons. It has thin skin so doesn’t need to be peeled for use.
It is essentially seedless. They are less bitter so add better flavor to the dip. They also have less moisture.
Grating the cucumber can be done with the larger hole handheld grater or with the larger grating disk of a food processor.
Substituting regular Cucumber
If using a regular cucumber instead:
- peel it
- slice it lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a dining spoon
- proceed with grating and squeezing out the moisture
Use Greek Yogurt
It’s important to use plain Greek yogurt (not regular yogurt). It is thicker and already strained so it has less extra liquid.
Any fat content of Greek yogurt will work for this recipe: whole milk, low fat or non-fat Greek yogurt all work.
Traditional Greek Tzatziki uses strained sheep’s milk which is hard to find.
PRO TIP: Did you know dairy products are the one thing that can take the heat out of spicy recipes?
If you eat food with peppers or spices don’t drink water, have dairy products, like milk or yogurt.
That makes this sauce a perfect match with spicy grilled food or or anything with spicy ingredients to make them milder.
Fresh Lemon Juice tip
Put the lemon in the microwave for 10 seconds before juicing it for more juice yield!
I prefer hand held juicers to get the most juice. Squeezing by hand works too!
Use Fresh Herbs
Do not use dried Dill. This recipe tastes best with fresh Dill.
How Much does the Recipe Make?
The total yield is about 1 3/4 cups.
How to Make it- Step-by-Step
STEP 1: Drain the Cucumbers. Squeezing the moisture from the grated cucumber is important to make sure the Tzatziki sauce will not get watery.
Place the grated cucumber in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze the moisture out of the cucumbers (photo 1). The resulting yield should be about 3/4 cup of cucumber.
Put the cucumber in a large mixing bowl (photo 2).
STEP 2: Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl: greek yogurt, sour cream, garlic, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, fresh dill (photo 3). Mix fully together (photo 4), taste and add pepper and salt to taste.
Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil before serving!
Pro Tips and Suggestions
Drain the Grated Cucumber
To create the best consistency for the dip be sure to follow the steps for draining the moisture from the grated cucumber.
Chill Before Serving
Though the Tzatziki sauce can be eaten as soon as it is made, it’s better after chilling for a bit.
This allows the flavors to come together.
Try Different fresh Herbs
This recipe uses fresh Dill but you can try other classic herbs for a different flavor. Try fresh mint, thyme or parsley!
How Long Does it Last?
Keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
Freezing not recommended.
How to Eat it
Once you try it you’ll find so many uses for Tzatziki sauce!
Here are some favorite ideas:
- As a dip: for fresh vegetables, chips or pita bread.
- Roasted or Grilled Meat: it’s delicious served on pork, beef, chicken. Try it with chicken kabobs and other kabob recipes.
- Grilled Vegetables: try it on grilled asparagus
- Fish: it’s great with white fish. Try swapping it into Fish Tacos.
- Falafels: it is a classic sauce on Falafels.
- Burgers: use it on meat or veggie burger for a cool creamy dressing.
- In Sandwiches and Wraps: try swapping out mayo for tzatziki – so good!
- As salad dressing: makes for a refreshing dressing on your greens.
- On baked or mashed potatoes: Try it instead of sour cream.
More Dip Recipes You’ll Love!
- Queso Fundido – Spicy Mexican Cheese Appetizer Dip
- Party Dips – Great Recipes to Make Any Occasion a Party!
- Green Goddess Dip with Vegetables
- Pico de Gallo
- Creamy Hot Artichoke Dip
Try these Sauce Recipes too!
- Artichoke Dipping Sauce
- Blueberry Whiskey Barbecue Sauce
- Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
- Spicy Aji Sauce
- Salsa Verde Aioli
Cool and refreshing, this tangy yogurt dip or sauce is perfect for dipping vegetables, on grilled meats or on a sandwich.
- 1 English cucumber partially or unpeeled, grated with the large holes of a cheese grater
- 7 ounce container plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon Sour cream
- 1 large Garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon Lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon White wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped Dill
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Drizzle of olive oil
In a clean kitchen towel, squeeze the excess moisture out of the grated cucumber. There should be about ¾ cup or so.
In a bowl, combine yogurt, sour cream, cucumber, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Stir until well mixed.
When ready to serve drizzle a bit of olive oil over top.
This is best made ahead a couple of hours. It gets better with times.
If you can’t find an English cucumber, use 1 regular peeled cucumber but remove the seeds with a spoon first.