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This tzatziki sauce recipe is cool and creamy, starring Greek yogurt, cucumber, and garlic! It’s great for veggies, falafel, gyros, and more.

Tzatziki sauce
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When it comes to iconic yogurt-based dipping sauces, tzatziki sauce is at the top of the list! This famously creamy and garlicky Greek cucumber sauce is commonly served as a dip with pita or veggies, or a sauce with falafel or gyros: but it works with just about anything! After an epic trip to Greece, we created a version to capture the magic of our experience with this traditional dip. Whether you’re dunking pita chips or slathering on a sandwich, we know you’ll love this one!

Common tzatziki ingredients

Tzatziki is a yogurt and cucumber sauce that is common in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, specifically Greek and Turkish food. It is often served as a side dish with pita or veggies, or as a sauce with gyros or falafel.

There are lots of opinions when it comes to this dip, especially about what makes the most authentic tzatziki recipe! We don’t have Mediterranean or Middle Eastern heritage, so we honor the great tradition of this cuisine (here’s a traditional recipe by a Greek chef). Here are the common ingredients in tzatziki:

  • Full fat Greek yogurt: Using full-fat yogurt is key to get the desired creaminess!
  • Grated cucumber: Just enough to keep the creamy consistency. It’s best to use an English cucumber since you don’t have to peel or seed it!
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic is essential here; don’t use jarred minced garlic.
  • Olive oil: Oil is important for taste and texture.
  • Red wine vinegar: a bit of acid adds some tang. Some people use lemon, but our research shows the most authentic is vinegar.
  • Fresh dill (optional): Fresh dill is not always included in traditional Greek tzatziki, but we love how the herbaceous flavor enhances the dip.
  • Salt: Salt is essential for good seasoning.
Tzatziki sauce

How to make tzatziki sauce

There’s just one trick to tzatziki sauce: otherwise it’s just dump and stir! Cucumbers are full of water, so it’s important to remove as much excess as possible before mixing it into the dip. Here’s what to know:

  • Peel and grate the cucumber, then salt it and let it stand 10 minutes. This helps to draw out the liquid.
  • Squeeze out as much excess liquid as possible with your hands. This is essential, otherwise the dip will be much too runny.
  • Mix! Then mix the cucumber with the Greek yogurt, garlic, olive oil, and seasonings.

English cucumber vs standard cucumber

This tzatziki sauce is best using an English cucumber versus a standard one, but either works! English cucumber has a sweet flavor and imperceptible skin and seeds, making it simple to use in this recipe. You can use a standard cucumber, but make sure to seed and peel it first since the peel is very bitter and the seeds are large. Persian cucumbers also work: they are similar to an English cucumber but smaller!

English cucumber

Storage for homemade tzatziki

Tzatziki tastes even better after it’s been chilled for a few hours: but it’s great right away, too! How long does homemade tzatziki last? Store it in a sealed container for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

Ways to serve it

Tzatziki sauce is full of creamy, bold, garlicky flavor: perfect for dipping and adding to sandwiches or serving with chicken or fish. Here are a few ideas on how to serve this tzatziki sauce recipe:

Tzatziki sauce

More sauces and dips

And that’s it! Let us know what you think of this tzatziki sauce recipe in the comments below. Here are a few more essential sauce recipes to try:

This tzatziki sauce recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Tzatziki sauce

Tzatziki Sauce


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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 ½ cups 1x

Description

This tzatziki sauce recipe is cool and creamy, featuring Greek yogurt, cucumber, and garlic! It’s great for veggies, falafel, gyros, and more.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup finely grated English cucumber* (10 ounces or ¾ large cucumber)
  • 2 cups (18 ounces) full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (optional)
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Grate the cucumber using the small holes on a box grater (if using a standard cucumber instead of English, peel and remove seeds first). Place the grated cucumber in a fine mesh strainer and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon kosher salt, then allow to stand for at least 10 minutes. Then use your hands to squeeze out as much water as possible from the cucumber before adding it to the dip.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the Greek yogurt, minced garlic, red wine vinegar, olive oil, remaining ½ teaspoon kosher salt, fresh dill (if using), and freshly ground black pepper. Stir in the grated cucumber.
  3. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to 1 week.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Keeps up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
    To serve, drizzle with olive oil; if desired, garnish with olives and a sprig of dill. Serve with pita, crackers, or vegetables.

Notes

*You can use a standard cucumber, but make sure to peel it and remove the seeds first. You can also use Persian cucumbers, which are similar to English cucumber but smaller.

  • Category: Dip
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: Greek
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

  1. Sabrina says:

    thank you, and good to know that vinegar is the more authentic ingredient than lemon, which I’ve used before to make a tzatziki and yes, I prefer dill too!