Whip up this Tzatziki Sauce with only minutes of prep! Made with creamy yogurt, and fresh cucumber, and seasoned with dill and garlic, this delicious Homemade Tzatziki Sauce is a perfect complement for meat, and vegetables, or to use as a dipping sauce.
Tzatziki Sauce is a flavorful Greek condiment that is made with yogurt, cucumber, dill, and garlic. It is creamy, herby, and incredibly fresh tasting. It is not only delicious and served as a dip for warm pita or raw veggies, but Tzatziki makes the perfect finishing touch to sandwiches, gyros, and grilled meats, or as a dipping sauce for meatballs.
It is incredibly easy to make at home and requires very few ingredients that come together to create the most incredibly flavorful sauce.
Notes on Ingredients
- Yogurt: Non-fat, whole milk, or 2% plain Greek yogurt are all suitable for Tzatziki. For an authentic, luscious sauce, I advise using whole milk yogurt. For best results, you really need to use Greek yogurt, not regular yogurt, or your Tzatziki could become thin and watered down.
- Cucumber: Seedless cucumbers are best for making Tzatziki as they have less water content and the peel can be left on the cucumber. You can use a standard garden cucumber, but you must peel and remove the seeds before grating the cucumber for the sauce.
- Garlic: Use fresh whole garlic or minced jarred garlic. I find the best results when I grate fresh bulbs of garlic using a Microplane. This will prevent large, overwhelming, chunks of garlic in your sauce.
- Dill: For Tzatziki, fresh dill is best. If you don't happen to have fresh dill, you can use dried dill, but the sauce will not have the same fresh quality. While traditional, the dill is optional. When serving Tzatziki with curries, I typically opt to omit the dill.
- Lemon Juice: Only use the juice of fresh lemons! Jarred lemon juice will make this sauce taste bitter and leave an unpleasant aftertaste.
- Olive Oil: Be sure to use extra-virgin olive oil for the best results.
How to Make Tzatziki Sauce
- Use a box grater or a food processor fitted with the grating blade to finely grate your cucumber.
- Place the grated cucumber into a mesh strainer over a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Let it sit in the bowl for 10-15 minutes. The salt will help draw out the cucumber's extra moisture.
- After 10-15 minutes, transfer the cucumber to a cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel and wring out any excess liquid. This will help prevent your Tzatziki from becoming watered down.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, cucumber, garlic, lemon juice, dill, salt, and olive oil.
- Cover the dish and place it in the refrigerator and chill for at least 1 hour before serving. This will give the flavors of the Tzatziki Sauce time to marry.
- When ready to serve, transfer to a serving dish and drizzle with oil.
The uses for Tzatziki sauce are really endless.
- Serve as a dip alongside pita bread and fresh vegetables.
- Use as a sauce for Chicken Gyros, Greek Chicken, grilled meat and vegetables, or falafel.
- Serve Greek Quinoa Salad with a dollop of Tzatziki for a creamy finish.
- Mix chickpeas with Tzatziki and stuff them into a pita for a quick dinner.
- While not traditional, I love pairing Tzatziki with spicy dishes like Instant Pot Butter Chicken or Vegetarian Curry.
Preventing Watery Tzatziki
It is crucial to drain your cucumber well to prevent your sauce from becoming watered down. If your sauce becomes watery within the 3 days of preparation, chances are you did not properly drain your cucumber. To remedy this issue, you can drain over a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth to remove the excess liquid.
Keep in mind that storing Tzatziki longer than 3 days will give the cucumber time to break down and start to water down your sauce.
More Delicious Homemade Sauces
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Homemade Tzatziki Sauce
- Wash and dry the cucumber then finely grate it using a box grater or food processor fitted with the grating blade.
- Place the grated cucumber into a fine-mesh strainer and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, place the cucumber into a piece of cheesecloth and squeeze out any excess liquid. Alternatively, you place the cucumber in a mesh strainer and use a cup or spoon to press the excess liquid out of the cucumber.
- Mix together the yogurt, garlic, remaining salt, olive oil, lemon juice, and dill together until well combined. Gently stir in cucumber.
- Refrigerate for at least 60 minutes before serving.
- When ready to serve, drizzle with olive oil if desired.