The famous Greek dip tzatziki! Anyone that has travelled to Greece has tried this refreshing, garlicky, tangy sauce. Greeks usually have it with grilled meat and it’s one of the key ingredients in ‘souvlaki’, a pitta bread wrap with gyros or skewers, tzatziki, tomato and onion slices.
Here, I’m sharing with you an authentic tzatziki sauce recipe that my mother taught me how to make and it’s the way we make it in most places in Greece. The main ingredients are yogurt and cucumber, and the key for success is to use a strained Greek yogurt that is thicker than normal yogurt and to squeeze and drain well the grated cucumber.
Why you should try my recipe
- Easy steps to follow for a thick tzatziki sauce.
- How to store the tzatziki sauce in the fridge or freezer.
- Perfect to dip breadsticks, pita bread or fries and veggie sticks.
- Ready in just 15 minutes.
- Healthier and more refreshing than mayo based dips.
Ingredients & How-to
To make this authentic tzatziki sauce, you will need Greek strained yogurt, cucumber, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and optionally some fresh dill. So let’s get started!
01. I start by grating the cucumber. I’m using a bowl and a tea towel to drain any excess water from the grated cucumber. I’m squeezing hard the towel to remove any water and now the cucumber is ready to use. The remaining water can be used in smoothies if you don’t want to waste it.
02. Now, in a big bowl I’m mixing all the ingredients together, the yogurt, grated cucumber, olive oil, vinegar, chopped garlic, chopped dill and a little bit of salt.
Make sure that you use a strained Greek yogurt type rather than a greek style one that will make your tzatziki more runny. As for the garlic, you could use one or two cloves depending on how sharp you want it to taste. I like to use a garlic presser but you could also use pestle & mortar or cut it very finely.
This tzatziki sauce goes well with meat, veggies or just bread. It’s much healthier than mayonnaise based sauces as it’s less fatty and refreshing from the cucumber. We love to have it with
- Grilled meat
- Grilled vegetables
- Bread and pitta bread
- Raw vegetables like carrot sticks
- As sauce in wraps and sandwiches
If you are sharing the tzatziki dip with little ones under 12 months, then I recommend leaving out the salt as you need to keep the daily salt intake to a minimum.
You can store any leftover tzatziki sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. After that, the sauce might get more runny and it will lose some of its flavor.
What does tzatziki sauce taste like? Tzatziki sauce has a refreshing, tangy taste due to its main ingredients being Greek yogurt and cucumber. The garlic and vinegar give it a sharpness that sometimes can be a bit fiery if you add too much garlic, the way many Greeks prefer it. The addition of fresh dill is optional but very popular in Greece as it adds a nice herbal aroma to tzatziki.
Can you freeze tzatziki sauce? You could freeze the tzatziki sauce for up to 2 months in an airtight container. If you want to avoid your tzatziki sauce getting runny when defrosted, you must make sure it is prepared with thick strained Greek yogurt and the grated cucumber is well drained. When defrosted, you could add another tablespoon of yogurt to get creamier.
Why is my tzatziki runny? If you are tzatziki is runny, then you probably have used a yogurt that is runny and not strained or you didn’t squeeze out the excess water from the grated cucumbers.
Do I put vinegar or lemon in tzatziki sauce? You will find many recipes using lemon juice for the tzatziki sauce, but the authentic recipe is using vinegar to add some acidity to the tzatziki sauce. Lemon juice in fact could cause some separation in yogurt and result in a more runny tzatziki sauce.
Watch the video
Authentic Greek Tzatziki SauceThe fresh and tangy taste of this tzatziki sauce will travel you to Greece! Make sure to use thick Greek yogurt and strain your cucumber well to avoid ending up with a runny tzatziki sauce. You could serve the tzatziki with your main course or as a meze with some bread or raw veggies to dip in.
- 2 cups (500gr) Greek strained yogurt
- 1 cucumber
- 2 tablespoons of vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1-2 garlic cloves pressed or finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons of dill finely chopped
- Peel the cucumber and grate it inside a tea towel. Use the towel to strain the grated cucumber and remove any excess water.
- Add the yogurt, cucumber, chopped dill, vinegar, olive oil, garlic and salt to a bowl.
- Mix well until all ingredients are well combined.
- Leave the tzatziki to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving to let the flavors blend.
You could substitute Greek yogurt with an alternative one like coconut milk yogurt for a dairy free or vegan version of the tzatziki sauce.
You can store any leftover tzatziki sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Nutrition Info (per serving)
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.