Tzatziki sauce may be my favorite reason to eat Greek food. This tzatziki sauce recipe is super easy to make with no cooking involved. It is traditionally served as a dip to condiment alongside vegetables, pita or meat dishes like gyros or other grilled meats.
I personally love the garlic and herbs that are prominent in Mediterranean food and cool tzatziki sauce cuts those powerful flavors in a way just makes you want more.
Our favorite recipe to serve with homemade tzatziki are these chicken skewers, made with lemon, garlic, and herbs – all great Greek flavors!
What is Tzatziki Sauce
Tzatziki sauce is a dip or condiment made with strained yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and cucumbers. It also includes different herbs, most often dill and mint. (I prefer mine with just dill when I make it at home, but feel free to experiment with different flavors!)
The trick to making great tzatziki at home is to make sure you drain the water from your cucumbers after you grate them. The easiest way to do this is to sprinkle the grated cucumbers with salt and leave them on a paper towel for 20 minutes or so before making your sauce. Then when you are ready to stir them into your yogurt mixture, give them a good squeeze over the sink to remove as much water as possible.
While you don’t have to seed or peel your cucumbers before making Tzatziki sauce, I prefer to just to avoid my kids accidentally seeing one and declaring a family emergency. To do that, I just cut them in half longways rather than into coins, scoop out the seeds with a spoon and grate the cucumbers from there. I do leave the peels on, just because I think the green is really pretty in the finished product.
By the way, not sure how to pronounce tzatziki –> you can hear it here.
How to Make Tzatziki Sauce
I have also found that is works best to use a high-quality, thick Greek yogurt. While Greek yogurt is already strained, some brands are thinner than others and I like my tzatziki to be thick enough that it is not drippy!
If your yogurt is on the thin side, you can always take an extra step and strain your yogurt further (we do this to make homemade labneh – which is just super thick Greek yogurt that takes on the consistency of cream cheese.) You can strain it until it reaches the consistency you want.
Once you have your ingredients together, just mix them all in a bowl and leave it for a bit to let the flavors meld together. Keep in mind the longer your tzatziki sits, the bolder the flavors will taste.
What to Eat with Tzatziki
Homemade tzatziki sauce goes great with pretty much any vegetable you can think of — bell peppers, carrots, snap peas. It is also fabulous on pita bread or flatbread. And with any grilled meats.
If you are making an appetizer platter, include this tzatziki recipe alongside this homemade hummus and these oven-roasted olives!
Delicious when served with the Grilled Lemon Herb Chicken Skewers or fresh summer veggies, this homemade Tzatziki Sauce is easy to make!
- 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
- 1 cup cucumber grated and water removed
- 2 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1.5 tbsp olive oil
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
Let tzatziki sauce sit for 15 minutes for flavors to come together.
Taste and adjust lemon, herbs, salt to your personal taste.
Chill until ready to serve. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
- After grating the cucumber, strain off access liquid before adding it to the bowl.
- This sauce can be served immediately, but the flavor improves as it sits.
- This sauce's classic flavor is very versatile and goes great on practically any cut of simply flavored meat. It’s also great on fresh veggies or with mixed greens.