Make this Tzatziki Sauce Recipe in only 5 mins and 6 basic ingredients. This creamy Greek yogurt sauce is easy to make and perfect with gyros, kebabs & pita
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 it in sandwiches like gyros, and served with vegetables and pita bread as a dip. It takes a few minutes and few ingredients to make, and has so many great uses!
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.
What are the ingredients in tzatziki sauce
- Greek yogurt: You can use full fat, 2% or low fat. This is the base of the recipe and is the most crucial part. I wouldn’t recommend substituting regular yogurt though since the consistency should be thick.
- Persian cucumbers: You can also use English cucumber or American cucumbers. Make sure they are seeded if necessary.
- Garlic: This adds tremendous flavor to the dish. Make sure it’s raw, but also make sure it’s grated or pressed so that it’s not too pungent. It should be an evenly distributed taste throughout the tzatziki sauce recipe.
- Lemon: I use juice + zest to add some acidity to the sauce. In Greece, it’s more common to use vinegar than lemon.
- Fresh dill: While you can use other herbs like parsley or mint, dill is the traditional herb used and it’s very iconic of the tzatziki sauce taste. And I wouldn’t recommend substituting for dried dill.
- Olive oil: The olive oil helps to blend everything together and add extra creaminess to the sauce.
How do you 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.
Tips for making tzatziki sauce
- 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.
Frequently asked questions
Store any leftovers in an airtight storage container and use within 3-4 days.
No, I wouldn’t recommend it. The cucumbers will likely become more watery and change the consistency of the sauce. Also, the acid from the lemon juice might curdle the yogurt. It’s best to have it fresh and if you have leftovers, you can use it to marinade chicken.
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:
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- 2 Persian cucumbers
- 1 cup Greek yogurt 2% fat
- 1 garlic clove pressed
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice plus 1 tablespoon zest
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill chopped
- Pinch salt
- 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.