This homemade tzatziki recipe, the traditional Greek cucumber sauce, features fresh dill, creamy Greek yogurt, and garlic. Perfect for dipping pita!

Tzatziki recipe | Homemade tzatziki sauce

We just returned from Greece and we’ve been working to recreate some of the fabulous eats we had there. If you’ve been to the country or are a fan of Greek food, you probably know about tzatziki, that famously creamy and garlicky Greek cucumber sauce. It’s commonly eaten as a dip on pita or veggies, or as a gyros sauce (one of our favorite sandwiches, when we flex our flexitarian muscle). So if you’re wondering how to make gyros sauce, you’re in the right place!

Want a quicker, easier spin? Try this Quick Cucumber Sauce.

What makes the best authentic tzatziki?

Eating tzatziki sauce in Greece tastes like heaven. So Alex and I took up the challenge to to create a homemade tzatziki sauce recipe. Turns out, just as with the best potato salad or tomato sauce, everyone and their grandmother has an opinion on the “right” way to make a tzatziki recipe. Fortunately we were prepared for this, since we posted a tzatziki recipe back in June 2012.

There was lots of debate in the comments about the perfect tzatziki recipe! Dill or mint (or both)? Lemon juice or vinegar? Olive oil or none?

Tzatziki recipe | Greek cucumber sauce | Authentic tzatziki recipe

Common tzatziki ingredients

We set about to try our hand at making authentic tzatziki sauce again. After lots of research and trial and error, we found our contender for the best tzatziki recipe. What’s in our tzatziki recipe?

  • Grated cucumber: Just a bit of it, which keeps a creamy consistency
  • Dill: It’s a little more traditional than mint, though some recipes we’ve seen even omit the dill.
  • Olive oil: important for taste and texture.
  • White wine vinegar: there’s just a bit of acid for some tang: typically white wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • Full fat Greek yogurt: using full-fat yogurt is key to get the desired creaminess

Want more with cucumbers? See Top Cool Cucumber Recipes.

How to make tzatziki

Making homemade tzatziki is incredibly easy! To make this Greek sauce, you’ll first need to peel and grate the cucumber, then squeeze out as much excess liquid as possible. Next, mix together the grated cucumber with minced garlic and dill, Greek yogurt, white wine vinegar, olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper.

For the best flavor, you’ll want to let the mixture refrigerate for a few hours before serving. If stored in an airtight container in the fridge, your homemade tzatziki should last up to a week.

Want more with cucumbers? See Top Cool Cucumber Recipes.

dipping pita and veggies into tzatziki  recipe | How to make gyros sauce

Tips for the best tzatziki sauce

Now, making this tzatziki recipe isn’t just a matter of mixing all the ingredients above together! There are a few tips for how to make gyros sauce / homemade tzatziki sauce at home:

  • Squeeze out as much liquid from the cucumber as possible. Too much water in the cucumber makes for a watery dip. After you grate the cucumber, place it in a fine mesh strainer and use your hands to squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
  • Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours to allow the flavors to marry. To really amp the flavors in this homemade tzatziki sauce recipe, let it sit in the fridge for a few hours before serving. This lets all the flavors meld together and makes for the most flavorful sauce.

While we’re not Greek ourselves, this is the culmination of our research, recipe testing, our best memories of Greece, and the consensus of our taste testers. One last tip: we noticed it was usually served in a shallow dish or plate (instead of a deep bowl, for easy dipping), garnished with a drizzle of olive oil and many times an olive.

What’s your best tzatziki recipe? We’d love to hear your tips!

dipping pita and veggies into tzatziki  recipe | How to make gyros sauce

Looking for more Greek recipes?

Our trip to Greece has inspired us to cook more Greek fare at home. Some of our favorite Greek foods to make are:

This tzatziki recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Tzatziki Recipe

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 ½ cups 1x


This homemade tzatziki recipe, the traditional Greek cucumber sauce, features fresh dill, creamy Greek yogurt, and garlic. Perfect for dipping pita!


  • 10 ounces cucumber (1 medium cucumber or 3/4 large cucumber)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (do not substitute dried)
  • 18 ounces full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 ½ tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper


  1. Peel the cucumber, cut it in half, then scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Grate the cucumber using a box grater, then place the shreds in a fine mesh strainer and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Sprinkle with kosher salt, then let stand for at least 10 minutes to drain any remaining water. Squeeze once more to drain.
  2. Mince 1 clove garlic and chop 1 tablespoon fresh dill.
  3. When the cucumber is ready, mix cucumber, garlic, dill, 18 ounces Greek yogurt, 1 ½ tablespoons white wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, and a few grinds of fresh ground black pepper. Refrigerate for at least 1 to 2 hours so the flavors can marry. Keeps up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
  4. To serve, drizzle with olive oil; if desired, garnish with olives and a sprig of dill. Serve with pita, crackers, or vegetables.
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Mixed
  • Cuisine: Greek

Keywords: tzatziki recipe, how to make tzatziki, tzatziki sauce, Greek tzatziki

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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  1. I love tzatziki – it’s such a refreshing and cooling dip and just perfect for anything from bread to grilled meat. Your tips are super helpful; I think I always go too heavy on the cucumber and I can’t wait to make batch after batch over this over the summer.

  2. Not to distract from the main point of your post, which looks delicious, but if you’re looking for a gyro without having to flex, Sinking Ship has a vegan one that’s amazing.

  3. I am of Greek descent and make this wonderful dip often. I do not use dill, as some people don’t like it and find it doesn’t add or detract from the yogurt-cucumber flavor. I am a lemon lover so prefer it to the vinegar bite…..and have only strained “American” yogurt before the Greek style was so available. I do use the box grater for the cucs, better on the tongue than the strips. But great post and I will follow you along on your food journey.,
    Thanks for your input.
    PS My sister is Sonia and I am Alex. How’s that for a oddity?

  4. Indeed, your recipe is authentic (I’m greek, was born and raised in Greece- lived there 25 yrs). You can use a 2% or less, if you strain it (Faye is a good brand to use). Also, in some places in Greece, together with the cucumber they grate a pickle. Yes, I know, sounds strange. But it tastes awesome too!

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