I learned how to make this Tzatziki Sauce Recipe while I was visiting Athens – everyone who tries it tells me that it’s the authentic tzatziki recipe they were looking for and it only takes 15 minutes!
This authentic Greek Tzatziki Sauce is tangy, creamy, and refreshingly cool. I love using it on pita bread, veggies, sandwiches, and my lamb gyros!
While in Athens, Greece, I decided to take a cooking class on preparing classic Greek dishes. We made several recipes, including this homemade Tzatziki recipe and this 5 Minute Greek Feta and Red Pepper Dip!
Table of Contents
What is Tzatziki Sauce?
This is a classic Greek appetizer (or “meze”) made from thick strained Greek yogurt, cucumber, garlic, olive oil, and fresh dill. It’s super simple to make and a hit at any get-together! I love adding Tzatziki on top of my Greek Chicken Souvlaki.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Cucumbers: I love fresh, crisp cucumbers, which are a key ingredient in this recipe and in my Classic Greek Salad (Horiatiki Salad).
Fresh Dill: Just like my Simple Greek Black Eyed Peas, the fresh dill infuses the dish with its unique flavor.
Herbs: While dill is the traditional herb used in tzatziki, you can experiment with other herbs such as fresh mint or parsley for a different flavor profile.
Yogurt: If you’re vegan or lactose intolerant, you can replace the Greek yogurt with a dairy-free yogurt made from coconut milk, almond milk, or soy milk. Just make sure to choose an unsweetened variety.
Lemon Juice: Though my recipe doesn’t call for it, some variations of tzatziki include a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for added tanginess.
How to Make Tzatziki Sauce
Assemble your ingredients for this Greek tzatziki recipe, see the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Step #1: Grate ½ of a large cucumber, unpeeled. A box grater is good for this step.
Step #2: Drain the grated cucumber through a fine mesh sieve or strainer. Allow the grated cucumber to drain out the excess moisture overnight in the fridge by placing the sieve over a bowl and covering with plastic wrap. If you don’t have time to do the overnight drain, just gently press the cucumber in the sieve to press out as much liquid as you can.
Step #3: Add 1 ½ cups plain, full-fat Greek yogurt, 2 large garlic cloves, finely minced, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and ½ teaspoon of salt into a large bowl. Mix the yogurt and other ingredients well. The yogurt mix should be smooth and consistent. Cover and refrigerate the yogurt mix overnight.
Step #4: When you are ready to serve the tzatziki, mince the fresh dill to yield one tablespoon of dill. Take the yogurt mixture out of the refrigerator and transfer the drained cucumber and dill into the yogurt mixture.
Step #5: Stir well to combine in the cucumber and dill. The tzatziki should be well combined as shown below.
Make sure your grated cucumber is well-drained. If you have time, you can drain it in cheesecloth or a fine mesh sieve overnight. I prefer the sieve as you can use it over and over. If you need one of these, snag it on Amazon from one of the two links below:
If you’re in a rush, you can use your hands to squeeze the liquid out of the cucumber.
The longer the garlic rests in the yogurt, the less sharp bite it will have and the better it will taste.
For best results, combine all of the ingredients except for the cucumber and dill, then let it rest overnight in the fridge while your cucumber is draining.
Add the dill at the last minute so it doesn’t overwhelm the rest of the flavors.
Frequently Asked Questions
I always prefer using fresh herbs when I can. However, you can use dried dill, but you should use less. Use 1 teaspoon dried dill instead of 1 Tablespoon of fresh dill.
Yes, you can use either English or Garden Cucumbers in this recipe.
No, there is no need to peel the cucumber.
Cucumber raita is an Indian cucumber sauce that is made by combining freshly chopped cucumber, green chilies, and yogurt, and optionally finely chopped tomato and onion. So, the cucumber raita has a bit of a spiciness to it with the green chilies. The raita is also a little thinner than our thick Greek tzatziki sauce.
Cacik cucumber sauce, also know as Turkish tzatziki, is very similar to Greek tzatziki with the exception that most recipes chop the cucumber instead of grating it as in our Greek tzatziki sauce recipe. The chopped cucumber gives this recipe a chunkier consistency.
How to Use Tzatziki Sauce?
This Greek yogurt sauce is so tangy and delicious you can use it many ways!
It is perfect spread over some warm pita bread or served with pita chips! I also love to eat this yogurt dip with raw veggies as a healthy snack option. There’s lots of protein in the yogurt, so it keeps me full for ages.
I also love to use it as a spread for sandwiches, especially the kind that are made in a pita. These vegan pita sandwiches are amazing with some tzatziki sauce spread inside!
To store leftovers in the refrigerator, place the tzatziki in an airtight container. The tzatziki sauce can last for about 3 to 4 days.
Before using, give the sauce a good stir as some separation may occur. If the sauce seems too thick after refrigeration, you can stir in a splash of olive oil or a small spoonful of yogurt to refresh its creamy texture.
Unfortunately, tzatziki doesn’t freeze well because of the yogurt and cucumber content. These ingredients tend to become watery and lose their texture when frozen and then thawed. Therefore, I would recommend enjoying the sauce fresh and not keeping it beyond the 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.
Authentic Greek Tzatziki Sauce Recipe
- 1/2 of a large cucumber - unpeeled
- 1 1/2 cups plain full fat Greek yogurt
- 2 large garlic cloves - finely minced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
- Grate the cucumber and drain through a fine mesh sieve overnight in the fridge. If you don't have time to do the overnight drain, just gently press the cucumber in the sieve to press out more of the liquid.
- Combine the yogurt, garlic, oil, vinegar, and salt in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight. If you want to serve this immediately, then you can skip the overnight part.
- Transfer the grated cucumber and fresh dill to the yogurt mixture and stir to combine. Serve chilled with pita bread for dipping.
This Greek dip is often misspelled as: tzatiki sauce, taziki sauce, tzaziki recipe, tzatsiki, tatsiki and tatziki.