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This authentic Tzatziki sauce recipe is rich, creamy, and full of complex flavors that you wouldn’t expect from its simple ingredients. Made with Greek yogurt, garlic, lemon, and dill, it’s a Tzatziki sauce that you’ll always want to have on hand.
Table of Contents
This tzatziki sauce recipe is a tangy and savory Greek yogurt sauce that is almost always served with kebabs or souvlaki. You’ll also find tzatziki sauce in sandwiches like steak gyros and served with vegetables and pita bread as a dip. It only takes a few minutes and few ingredients to make, and it has so many great uses!
This was delicious! I’ve been trying a few tzatziki recipes and haven’t found one that the right taste I was looking for until this one. It’s a keeper in my book and will be using this from now on! Tysm for sharing. – Julie
What is Tzatziki Sauce?
Tzatziki (pronounced Tsaht-zee-kee) sauce is a dip that is made with strained yogurt (like Greek yogurt) along with cucumbers, dill, garlic, olive oil, salt and vinegar or lemon juice. It’s served cold and usually used to balance out spicy meat dishes.
It’s a Greek recipe that is very popular in the Mediterranean diet and throughout the Middle East. We have a similar type of yogurt sauce that we call khyar ou laban (which translates to cucumbers and yogurt) in Lebanon. Instead of using dill, we add mint to it, but it’s a very similar concept.
Recipe at a Glance
Cuisine Inspiration: Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Primary Cooking Method: No-Cook
Dietary Info: High-Protein, Low-Carb
Key Flavor: Savory and tangy
Skill Level: Easy
- Quick and Easy: The bulk of making this recipe is simply mixing the ingredients in a bowl, and it comes together in minutes.
- Nutritious: The ingredients in tzatziki create a dip packed with protein, active cultures, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
- Whole30 and Keto-Friendly: This high-protein, low-carb recipe is Whole30 and Keto-friendly and fits into almost any lifestyle.
- Versatile: Tzatziki sauce is great for dipping or used as a topping for gyros and various Mediterranean dishes, making it useful in a variety of settings.
- Authentic: There are no twists or tweaks to this sauce. It’s real, authentic tzatziki sauce at its finest.
Ingredients to Make Tzatziki Sauce
- Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt is the base for this sauce and creates its signature, super-creamy texture. It’s also packed with protein and active cultures for gut health.
- Persian Cucumbers: These small, tender cucumbers have few, if any, seeds, making them perfect for grating and adding to the sauce. They’re full of vitamins, minerals, and some fiber, as well.
- Garlic: Garlic adds tremendous depth of flavor and is essential for creating the authentic flavor of this tzatziki sauce.
- Lemon: Lemon juice and zest add acidity and brightness to the sauce, along with a healthy dose of Vitamin C and antioxidants.
- Fresh Dill: Fresh dill adds a citrus-like flavor with slightly grassy undertones to the tzatziki sauce and is a key ingredient for authentic tzatziki flavor.
- Olive Oil: Olive oil adds extra creaminess to the sauce and helps the ingredients blend together more readily. It’s also a great source of heart-healthy fat.
Popular Substitutions and Additions
- Use any variety of Greek yogurt. Full-fat Greek yogurt creates the creamiest, richest possible tzatziki sauce, but you can use 2% or low-fat varieties if you prefer.
- Use English cucumbers. Like Persian cucumbers, English cucumbers are small and have very few seeds, making them perfect for this sauce.
- Use vinegar for the sauce. Both lemon juice and vinegar are acids used in authentic tzatziki sauce, so you can use either for real, authentic flavor.
- Try mint: While dill is the herb most commonly thought of for tzatziki sauce, mint is also an authentic addition and gives the sauce a different flavor.
How to Make Tzatziki Sauce
The process of actually making the tzatziki sauce only involves mixing all the ingredients together in a bowl and then letting it rest for a few minutes for all the flavors to blend well. You can serve it at room temperature or chilled.
I tried this recipe along with your air fryer falafel. I wanted to make a falafel sandwich and need some tzatziki to drizzle on the falafel. And it taste so amazing. With few ingredients it turned out to be so good. Thank you for the recipe – Ruchika Agrawal
Tips for Making the Best Tzatziki
- Use Persian cucumbers if possible. This is the type of cucumbers we buy most often and we love how crunchy and sweet they are. Plus they have no seeds, which means their water content is less, making them a great ingredient for the tzatziki sauce.
- Grate the cucumber using a large grater if possible. If the grater you’re using is too fine, the cucumbers will become very watery and may affect the texture of the tzatziki.
- Drain the liquid from the cucumber. The cucumber should add texture to the sauce, not moisture. So be sure to seed the cucumber if necessary and drain the liquid after grating. You can use your hands to lightly squeeze the grated cucumber to remove the liquid.
- Allow the tzatziki sauce to set. For best flavor, I highly recommend letting the sauce rest in the fridge before serving, for at least 15 minutes, but up to one hour. That’s because the flavors really start to blend better that way!
What to Eat with Tzatziki Sauce?
- With Meats & Poultry: The most popular way to serve tzatziki is with kababs and souvlaki.
- In Sandwiches: It’s very common to also add the sauce to chicken gyro, pita sandwiches or even a shawarma wrap.
- As an Appetizer: Serve it with crudite, pita chips, crackers or even grilled vegetables.
How to Store Tzatziki
For maximum flavor and freshness, refrigerate your sauce in an air-tight container as soon as it’s made. Always place it back in the refrigerator immediately after using it.
How Long will Tzatziki Sauce Last in the Fridge?
This sauce will stay fresh and delicious for up to four days when refrigerated in an air-tight container.
Can I Freeze this Tzatziki?
Never freeze your tzatziki sauce. Sauces made with dairy tend to break after defrosting, creating a grainy, watery, and generally unappetizing texture.
Frequently asked questions
Thoroughly draining your shredded cucumber is key to creating tzatziki sauce that is thick and rich rather than water. The best way to drain your cucumber is by squeezing it with your hands. This forces the water out of the shredded cucumber and prevents a watery or thin sauce.
This is a rare instance where substitution isn’t recommended. If you don’t have Greek yogurt, you should go get some. The thick, rich texture of real tzatziki sauce can only be achieved with Greek yogurt.
The maximum freshness and shelf life of tzatziki sauce requires quick refrigeration. Bacteria can begin to grow on food almost immediately, so If you leave your sauce out for too long after making it or while serving it, it won’t last as long.
This tzatziki sauce recipe is such a good one to learn when you start to fire up the grill during the summer. It’s fresh and light, and it’s the perfect accompaniment to so many Mediterranean recipes.
More Sauce Recipes:
- Tahini Sauce
- Lebanese Garlic Sauce
- Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce
- Cilantro Yogurt Sauce
- Homemade Marinara Sauce
If you try this healthy-ish feel good Tzatziki Sauce recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then please come back to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!
This Tzatziki Sauce recipe was originally published on April 21, 2020, and has recently been updated with new photography, tips, and other information. The recipe has stayed the same.
- Peel the cucumber and grate with the larger blades of a cheese grater. Drain any liquid from the cucumber and transfer to a medium size mixing bowl
- Add the yogurt, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice and olive oil and stir to combine until creamy. Fold in the chopped dill and season with salt.
- Serve with pita, vegetables or on top of gyros or kebabs.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.