Tzatziki (Tζατζίκι) is THE quintessential Greek dip – easy to make, healthy, fresh and delicious. Tzatziki is made simply with yogurt, cucumber, fresh herbs, lemon, garlic and olive oil. The perfect dip for your mezze table and an essential sauce for souvlaki and gyros. This delicious recipe is naturally vegetarian and can be easily tweaked to make it vegan.
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If you want to bring some authentic Greek cuisine to your next dinner party or gathering then my tzatziki sauce is a must have. Read along and find out how to make authentic and delicious τζατζίκι (Greek cucumber and yogurt dip).
How To Pronounce Tzatziki like a Greek
Tzatziki is pronounced “zza-zzee-key” with the emphasis on the second syllable. Think of the “zz” in the word “pizza” and you come close to the “tz” sound in Greek.
I can tell you that most Greek people are very forgiving when it comes to pronunciation though – making the effort is usually appreciated in itself.
INGREDIENTS FOR TZATZIKI SAUCE
You need just a handful of ingredients to make this creamy and refreshing yogurt sauce. It is so easy to make, deliciously tangy, garlicky, delicious and incredibly versatile.
- Greek yogurt – the ideal ingredient is full fat Greek yogurt which is double strained so it is thick and very creamy. You can use reduced fat or zero fat yogurt but what you lack in calories you will also give up on taste. My preferred brand is Fage Total 5%
- Cucumber – peeled and deseeded if the cucumber is large.
- Fresh dill and mint
- Dried oregano
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Garlic – finely minced garlic adds a strong taste to the sauce. Garlic powder will lend a milder flavour.
- salt and freshly ground pepper
HOW TO MAKE TZATZIKI
Full measurements and instructions can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page. Please take a look at the steps and video before attempting this recipe!
Start by peeling your cucumber. Slice in half lengthwise and remove the seeds (this is usually a delectable treat for the dogs). Line a colander with a clean linen towel and Grate the cucumber over it.
Gather the towel into a bundle and squeeze out the excess moisture. You can use the cucumber juice in a smoothie or a cocktail (try my Cucumber Martini).
Add the drained cucumber into a bowl. Finely chop the mint and dill and add to the bowl together with the oregano. Stir the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil. salt and minced garlic. Have a taste and adjust the lemon juice or seasoning as needed.
Garnish your tzatziki dip with a sprinkle of ground pepper, oregano and fresh herbs and serve with an extra drizzle of olive oil. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve. It keeps for up to two days in a suitable container.
What do you eat with tzatziki?
Tzatziki is an all-purpose dip when you are serving a variety of small plates (mezze). Greeks will pair it with fresh vegetables, fried appetisers, fish, potatoes or meatballs (keftethes).
It also used as a sauce in pita wraps with gyros or souvlaki. You can also add it to a hummus platter or in salad bowls. The possibilities are pretty much endless.
Here are some recipes that make perfect tzatziki partners:
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN TZATZIKI
Make one simple swap and your tzatziki sauce is vegan. Simply replace the Greek yogurt with a Greek-style vegan yogurt equivalent. Look for a thick and creamy plant-based yogurt and adjust the acidity with lemon juice or vinegar.
RECIPE NOTES AND TIPS
Make sure to squeeze all the moisture out of the grated cucumber otherwise it will make the tzatziki watery and insipid.
You can adjust the cucumber to yogurt ratio as you please. I like to use about half a large cucumber (peeled and de-seeded) to one cup of yogurt. The recipe can also be easily doubled if you are serving a crowd.
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- ½ medium cucumber
- 1 cups (240g) Greek yogurt, ideally full fat
- 1-2 garlic cloves , minced or grated (or up to 4 if you are a fan!)
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice , or to taste
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil , more to serve
- 2 tsp chopped fresh dill
- 1 tsp chopped fresh mint
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp sea salt , or more to taste
- freshly grated pepper , to taste
- Start by peeling your cucumber. Slice in half lengthwise and remove the seeds (this is usually a delectable treat for the dogs). Line a colander with a clean linen towel and grate the cucumber over it using a box grater or a Microplane.
- Gather the towel into a bundle and squeeze out the excess moisture. You can use the cucumber juice in a smoothie or a cocktail (try my Cucumber Martini). Empty the drained cucumber into a bowl.
- Finely chop the mint and dill and add to the bowl together with the oregano.
- Stir the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil. salt and minced garlic. Have a taste and adjust the lemon juice or seasoning as needed.
- Garnish your tzatziki dip with a sprinkle of ground pepper, oregano and fresh herbs and serve with an extra drizzle of olive oil. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve. It keeps for up to two days in a suitable container.