Tzatziki sauce is a creamy Greek yogurt sauce or dip with grated cucumbers, garlic and mint. Vegetarian, gluten free and ready in 15 minutes.
This super creamy and rich sauce is a very versatile one and you can use it many ways. Along with serving as dip with crackers, crudites, this sauce is also very good as sandwich spread or for using as mayo replacement in wraps.
Greek Tzatziki Sauce
Do you love creamy chilled dips with your crackers, veggies? Then you are in for a treat with this recipe 🙂
Creamy Greek yogurt or hung curd mixed with grated cucumbers, freshly minced garlic, chopped dill or mint leaves and everything topped with a swirl of extra virgin olive oil, how good is that?
The first time I tasted this Greek tzatziki sauce was in a in a buffet with some veg gyro, what a splendid combo it was! Along with the taste I also found the name and pronunciation of tzatziki interesting. (It is pronounced as zatziiki ).
Later, I found this tzatziki recipe in a magazine many years back and it is one of our favorite dip that I make very often.
To make tzatziki with just Greek yogurt, olive oil, minced garlic, mint leaves or dill leaves, lemon juice, salt and freshly cracked pepper. Serve with a extra swirl of olive oil and some toasted sesame seeds. I am actually in a phase where I add toasted sesame seeds to everything, if you are not obsessed like me you can leave it out.
For such a simple no cook recipe, this is a wonderful dip with complex flavors. How can mint and garlic mixed together go wrong?
This is an authentic Greek Tzatziki recipe with only one change. I have used homemade hung curd instead of packaged Greek yogurt. If you make your own hung curd for recipes like paneer tikka, shrikand etc you already know that it is so much better than packaged Greek yogurt.
However if you are preparing this yogurt and cucumber sauce in a whim you can use plain Greek yogurt and just stir in the other ingredients.
This tzatziki is often served with gyro but there are tons of other ways you can serve this. If you are like me, just dig in spoonfuls as snack!
This Tzatziki Sauce Is
Authentic recipe made with yogurt, cucumber and mint leaves
Rich, delicious and addictive
easy t o make ready in 15 minutes
vegetarian & gluten free
can be made vegan
Creamy and flavorful!
Though the recipe is very simple, here are some tips, breakdown of ingredients and step by step instructions for you.
Ingredients You Will Need
Greek Yogurt- As I have mentioned above I have used homemade Greek yogurt aka hung curd.
If you are using store bought yogurt make sure it is plain and fresh.
Cucumber– Use English cucumbers if available if you dread the seeds. If you are like us and want tzataiki the moment you crave, use any variety of salad cucumber available. Just remove the visible seeds for better texture.
I like to peel the cucumbers but you can leave the skin on peel partially for some texture.
Olive oil– Use best quality olive oil for excellent flavor. Seriously good quality olive oil makes so much difference in Greek and other middle eastern recipes.
Herbs– Authentic tzatziki sauce is made with dill leaves but the variation with mint leaves are equally popular. I use whichever herb I have handy. This time I have made it with mint leaves.
Instead of chopping the mint leaves, I always mince garlic and mint together in a food processor. This method releases more flavor and also the sauce is smoother.
Garlic– As much as you like 🙂 It is the star flavoring ingredient for this sauce and just add as many cloves you like. If you are not a big fan of raw garlic you can add just 2 cloves.
I like to add 4-5 cloves of garlic for the given quantity of yogurt. For a more mellow or mild flavor of garlic you can slightly roast and then mince.
Salt & pepper– as per taste, use freshly cracked black peppercorns for best flavor. For a different flavor and spicy tasty you can sprinkle a dash of paprika or cayenne pepper while serving.
Lemon Juice- A splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice rounds off the flavor. Use lime juice or vinegar if lemon is not available.
Tips & Notes
Drain the grated cucumber really well– One pro tip for making lush, thick and creamy tzatziki sauce is to drain the grated cucumber well.
Grated cucumber leaves out a lot of water and if you mix it as such with yogurt, your tzatziki will become very watery. To avoid this we have to drain away the excess from grated cucumber.
After grating the cucumber simply place it over a strainer and squeeze of excess water with the back of a ladle. This is the easiest method to remove excess water from the cucumber.
Use chilled yogurt for best results– though we are going to chill this yogurt and cucumber sauce for an hour before serving, if possible use chilled yogurt to make this tzatziki recipe.
Chilled yogurt yields very creamy and thick sauce, please try it out to know what I mean.
Allow some time for flavors to steep– This is an important tip to get the real taste of this cucumber and yogurt sauce. Once prepared, cover the bowl and refrigerate for an hour before serving.
Refrigerating the sauce also helps in making it thicker.
Notes on yogurt- Even with full fat yogurt, this dip is lighter compared to mayo or any other cream laden dip. However you can make it more light by using low fat yogurt.
To make vegan tzatziki just use your favorite vegan yogurt.
Make ahead and storage instructions- You can make this dip well ahead of time and refrigerate. This taztziki sauce keeps well for 3-4 days in refrigerator. Keep it well covered.
Also note that the flavor of garlic really develops in refrigerator, so if you are not a fan of strong garlic flavor, make the required quantity and finish off the same day.
What Do You Eat Tzatziki With?
There are so many uses for tzatziki sauce.
Serves as dip with gyro
Use as dip with crudites
As a part of your mezze platter.
Use as sandwich spread.
How To Make Tzatziki
Rinse, peel and grate the cucumber. Place over a strainer and squeeze the excess water with the back of a ladle or just squeeze with your hands.
Whisk the yogurt well and set aside.
Add rinsed mint leaves and peeled garlic cloves to a food processor and process for a minute. Alternately you can mince the garlic and finely chop the mint leaves.
Now combine whisked yogurt, drained cucumber, minced mint and garlic, salt, freshly cracked pepper olive oil and lemon juice in a bowl.
Mix gently. Cover and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes before serving.
While serving add more grated cucumbers, toasted sesame seeds and a swirl of olive oil.
I hope you will try this Greek tzatziki recipe and enjoy as much as we did. P
Tzatziki (Yogurt Cucumber Sauce)
- 1 large cucumber around 1.5 cups grated
- 1.5 cups fresh plain greek yogurt Use dairy free for vegan variation
- 2 tablespoons mint leaves minced
- 3 garlic cloves peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black peppercorns
- salt to taste
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- toasted sesame seeds optional
- Rinse, peel and grate the cucumber. Place over a strainer and squeeze the excess water with the back of a ladle or just squeeze with your hands.
- Whisk the yogurt well and set aside.
- Add rinsed mint leaves and peeled garlic cloves to a food processor and process for a minute. Alternately you can mince the garlic and finely chop the mint leaves.
- Now combine whisked yogurt, drained cucumber, minced mint and garlic, salt, freshly cracked pepper olive oil and lemon juice in a bowl.
- Mix gently. Cover and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes before serving.
- While serving add more grated cucumbers, toasted sesame seeds and a swirl of olive oil.