Tzatziki is the creamy, garlicky, and refreshing Greek dip that goes with everything! Once you make it at home, you won't want to buy it from the grocery store anymore. It's quick and easy to make too.
Tzatziki is a Greek cucumber and yogurt sauce. It's a Mediterranean dish that's immensely popular here in North America, and you can buy it at any grocery store. There's probably a million similar recipes out there, but that's ok. I've tweaked my recipe over the years to arrive at a version I love. It's wonderfully garlicky and fresh.
This post was originally published on August 3, 2015. I periodically update my blog posts with better photos, more information, and more clearly written recipes.
I'd love to visit Greece one day... it's on my list. In the meantime, I make plenty of tzatziki. I've loved it since I was a kid, actually. Give me some with warm pita and I'm one happy clam!
How to make homemade tzatziki sauce (overview)
Grate the cucumber and squeeze out the excess water, then add the Greek yogurt to a bowl along with the cucumber, garlic, lemon juice, salt & pepper, and optional add-ins (mint, dill, oregano) if using. Stir well, give it a taste, and adjust seasonings to your liking as needed. Serve with a splash of olive oil on top. (Full ingredients and instructions are in the recipe card below)
Greek tzatziki sauce recipe notes & tips:
- I prefer using full-fat (10%) Greek yogurt whenever possible. Yes, it adds some calories, but they're well worth it. The taste is richer, creamier, and incomparable in my opinion. If you're in Alberta like I am, I love the Bles-Wold brand. It's the BEST, and I go out of my way to buy it since not everywhere stocks it!
- I've made homemade tzatziki so many times that I've experimented with a bunch of different things like adding chopped onion, trying different herbs (some fresh, some dried), just making it with garlic and cucumber when I'm feeling lazy, and chopping cucumber instead of grating it. It's all good (although it may not be authentic anymore)... but you can definitely tweak it to your preferences once you've figured out exactly how you like it.
- Making it with the optional mint? Use up the rest of the mint by adding it to your water! Mojitos would be more fun, though. 😉
- Some tzatziki recipes mix plain yogurt and sour cream - that's another thing you could try if you're in an experimenting kinda mood and love the tangy taste of sour cream.
- Add a pinch of cayenne pepper for a little heat - one of my favorite restaurant varieties of tzatziki does this.
- Add more/less garlic depending on your tastes. I looove garlic, so I sometimes add even more than the recipe suggests.
What to serve with tzatziki?
- Pita bread or pita chips
- Kalamata olives
- Veggies (raw or even grilled) or try my mom's fabulous fried eggplant.
- Grilled meats (try lamb)
- Saganaki (Greek fried cheese)
- Chicken souvlaki
- As a spread on sandwiches or burgers
- I love making a whole meal out of Greek dips including tzatziki, hummus, melitzanosalata, baba ganoush, and taramasalata (served with plenty of pita bread of course)
How do you like to make your tzatziki? Talk to me in the comments below. Questions? Feel free to ask!
- 2 cups plain Greek yogurt see note
- 1/2 English cucumber grated
- 2 cloves garlic minced (or more to taste)
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional add-ins: fresh chopped dill and/or mint (up to 1 tablespoon each), and/or a pinch of dried oregano to taste
- Olive oil optional, for drizzling on top
- Grate the cucumber using the large holes in a box grater. You can either grate it into a sheet of paper towel and then ring it out to remove the excess liquid, or simply grate it into a bowl and then squeeze out the excess liquid with your hands. Or, don't bother squeezing the liquid out at all if you're ok with a less firm end result.
- Add the Greek yogurt to a bowl and stir in the cucumber, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and the optional add-ins if using. I am quite generous with the salt. Be sure to taste & adjust ingredients to your liking (I've included a bunch of tips/suggestions in the recipe notes).
- Let it sit for at least 10 minutes, up to a few hours so the flavors mix and intensify. Serve with olive oil drizzled over top.
- 2 cups Greek yogurt = 16 ounces (this is half of a 32 oz. container). Here in Canada, I just buy the 500g containers and use the whole thing.
- You can use full-fat Greek yogurt to make this tzatziki extra rich and delicious (I highly recommend it). I often make this with 2% Greek yogurt, but I've also made this with plain yogurt instead of Greek yogurt. It's not as thick a consistency but it still tastes great.
- This will keep in the fridge for a few days.
- Customization tips:
- Fresh mint and dill add some amazing flavor if you get get some. If using dried dill, use 1 teaspoon.
- Dried oregano adds another layer of flavor if you want to try something a little different (start with adding 1/4 teaspoon or so).
- If you prefer a less tangy tzatziki, skip the lemon juice.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.