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How to Make Tzatziki



best tzatziki recipe

Reading: sauce tzatziki

Tzatziki! Tsaht-ZEE-kee! Otherwise known as that yogurt and cucumber sauce you love at Greek restaurants but worry about mispronouncing (hear the correct pronunciation here).

Tzatziki is made simply with yogurt, drained cucumber, olive oil, fresh herbs (usually mint or dill), garlic, lemon juice and salt. It’s a refreshing chilled sauce, dip or spread.

I traveled to Greece last fall and ordered tzatziki at every restaurant. I’m serious. I enjoyed tzatziki with every single meal, even breakfast. This recipe tastes just like authentic tzatziki.

Read more: Quick 10 Minute Pickled Jalapenos

tzatziki ingredients

I tend to associate tzatziki with Greek food, but you’ll find it served across the Mediterranean and Middle East, sometimes under different names or in slightly different forms.

Tzatziki is often served with grilled meats and gyros, but I can’t think of a grilled or roasted vegetable it wouldn’t play nicely with. You can also serve up some tzatziki with your next appetizer spread. Let’s make some already!

how to drain cucumber

Uses for Tzatziki

Grilled Vegetables

  • Bell peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Carrots
  • Asparagus
  • Green beans
  • Corn on the cob

Appetizer Spreads

  • Toasted pita wedges
  • Crisp raw vegetables
  • Olives
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Hummus
  • Zhoug or Shatta (Middle-Eastern hot sauces)

Falafel, Sandwiches and Salads

  • Falafel
  • Pita sandwiches (you could use it instead of the avocado in that recipe)
  • Tabbouleh
  • Lentil salad
  • Chickpea salad

Traditional Greek Tzatziki sauce made with cucumber, yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and fresh dill and mint!

My Tzatziki Technique

Fortunately, tzatziki is super easy to whip together. The only trick is to properly drain the cucumber before mixing it into the yogurt. Otherwise, cucumber waters down the sauce too much. Salting the grated cucumber and letting the excess moisture drip out takes a while.

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The easiest and most efficient way to get rid of the excess moisture is to lightly squeeze the grated cucumber over the sink. The only wait required in my recipe is to let the tzatziki rest for five minutes after you mix it all together, to let the flavors meld. At that point, you can serve it right away or chill it for later.

Tzatziki Nutrition & Yogurt Notes

Nutritionally speaking, tzatziki is a creamy but light sauce. You can dollop it generously on your food without adding a lot of calories (unlike, say, mayonnaise or ranch dressing). It’s made mostly with Greek yogurt and cucumber, after all.

I haven’t found a noticeable difference in texture whether I use whole-milk yogurt, low-fat or non-fat, so any of those will work. Traditional Greek tzatziki is made with strained goat or sheep’s yogurt, but it’s hard to find those here. The Greek yogurt sold here in the U.S. is strained yogurt (that’s why it’s thicker and higher in protein than regular yogurt), so I use that.

tzatziki sauce recipe

As always, please let me know how you like this recipe in the comments! I’m excited to hear how it turns out for you and how you serve it.

Watch How to Make Tzatziki Sauce

Greek cucumber yogurt sauce


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