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!
Let me start by apologizing for not posting this sooner.
I know I’ve promised you all sorts of Greek recipes, so starting today I am going to deliver! First things first…. How to Make Tzatziki Sauce!
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!
While in Athens, I decided to take a cooking class on preparing classic Greek dishes.
One of the first things we made in that (six-hour + exhausting + amazing) class was this Tzatziki sauce! I was so thrilled when we made this, because I’ve been looking for the perfect homemade tzatziki sauce recipe for ages.
I made a few adjustments to suit my taste (mainly because I don’t like putting a TON of chopped dill in my Tzatziki), but feel free to experiment with your own amounts of each ingredient!
Right, so back to this Greek tzatziki sauce recipe.
How to Make Tzatziki Sauce.
First, assemble the ingredients for this lovely homemade Greek tzatziki sauce recipe:
You’re going to need whole milk Greek yogurt, olive oil (extra virgin), grated cucumbers, and chopped dill. Some versions use lemon juice and other herbs like fresh mint, but we like our recipe the best. You can use kosher salt if you need to tweak the saltiness.
Grate ½ of a large cucumber, unpeeled.
Drain the grated cucumber through a fine mesh sieve.
Allow the grated cucumber to drain 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 more of the liquid.
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 as shown below.
Cover and refrigerate the yogurt mix overnight.
The next day, 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.
Stir well to combine in the cucumber and dill.
The tzatziki sauce should be well combined as shown below.
Serve this Greek style yogurt dip chilled with pita bread and veggies for dipping.
I’m getting hungry just looking at this deliciousness on a plate!
Best Tips for Making Tzatziki Sauce
Here are the most important tips and tricks I picked up in class:
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.
Also, if you are looking for a vegan tzatziki sauce or a dairy free tzatziki sauce recipe, then just use coconut milk yogurt instead of Greek yogurt.
Ways to Use This Tzatziki Sauce
This Greek yogurt sauce is so tangy and delicious; 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 would be amazing with some tzatziki sauce spread inside!
If you have leftovers, make these adorable little Tzatziki Bites with Greek Salsa!
This sauce is also delicious with our Greek Chicken Souvlaki.
Of course, this Greek Tzatziki sauce recipe makes a great Gyro sauce and you can make your Homemade Greek Gyros with our recipes for Beef Gyros, Lamb Gyros, our recipe that combines those meats for Lamb and Beef Gyros or our Greek Chicken Gyros recipe.
Here is a photo our Delicious Chicken Gyros.
Save Me For Later on Pinterest!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I convert this to a vegan Greek tzatziki sauce recipe?
Yes, just substitute coconut milk yogurt for the yogurt in the same quantity as in the recipe.
Can I use dried dill?
Yes, you can use dried dill, but you should use less. Use 1 teaspoon dried dill instead of 1 Tablespoon of fresh dill.
Can I use English Cucumbers instead of Garden Cucumbers?
Yes, you can use either English or Garden Cucumbers in this recipe.
Do I need to peel the cucumber before using?
No, there is no need to peel the cucumber.
What’s the difference between tzatziki sauce and cucumber sauce?
There are a few key differences between tzatziki sauce and other cucumber sauces.
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 long does this generally keep in the refrigerator?
Generally, this Greek sauce should be fine for up to 3 days in a container with a lid in the refrigerator. Some of the water may separate, but you can just stir it back in before serving.
Can I put in the freezer to prolong its shelf life?
Yes, you can freeze tzatziki sauce; however, it won’t have the same consistency as when it was freshly made. The cucumbers can get mushy in the freezer.
If you freeze your tzatziki sauce, make sure to store it packed in an airtight container, and then stir it very well before serving.
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.