Okay, before I proceed to rave about this Greek godsend, let’s say this together: Tzatziki is pronounced sat-see-kee.
Not tuh-za tuh-zi-kee, nope. Sat-see-kee.
I had to learn that the hard way. Oh, if you could just see the waiters trying to stifle a smile for all the times I proudly requested “more of that delicious tuh-za tuh-zi-kee for my kabobs”.
It wasn’t until I was on the phone later that night, telling a friend how darn good it was, when she laughed, “You know it’s pronounced sat-see-kee, right?” LOL.
I never made that mistake again.
Anyway, if you’ve never tried tzatziki, I implore you to give it a try. It comes together in less than 10 minutes, and tastes heavenly! A true godsend.
There’s absolutely no heat or real cooking involved and plus point: that means less to clean up, too 😉
Tzatziki is a mixture of Greek yogurt and the freshest ingredients like cucumber, olive oil, lemon, garlic, and fresh herbs. It’s got the zest and lusciousness of sour cream, except better!
Have it as a kabob dip or a flatbread spread. It’s always able to add little zing to any Mediterranean meal (which is already amazing on its own) like this feta turkey burger.
Now do you see why I am obsessed with tzatziki! Are we on the same page yet?!
Is Tzatziki Healthy?
Tzatziki is hands-down, WAY healthier than most other sauces. Unlike sauces that are heavily processed, and full of artificial flavoring and sodium – *cough* Mayonnaise, BBQ sauce, and mustard *cough* – this cucumber yogurt dip is definitely the healthier option.
It’s also keto-friendly, gluten-free, and low-calorie. Most of its calories come from Greek yogurt (strained yogurt) and olive oil, which are still pretty good sources of protein and healthy fats. Then, there’s the addition of whole fresh produce like lemon, loads of cucumber, and garlic. What more could we ask for?
That doesn’t mean we should have it every day at every single meal, though! Too much of something isn’t healthy, and besides, you’ll get bored having tzatziki sauce every day. Balance puts the ‘key’ in tzatziki.
This recipe will make about 3 cups worth of tzatziki sauce. Feel free to double or even triple it to yield more sauce! (See Storage Instructions for meal-prep suggestions.)
To make this easy tzatziki recipe, we will need:
- Cucumber – Grate one medium cucumber using a box grater. Grating the cucumber is a workout in itself (your personal trainer will be proud). But the really challenging bit is to squeeze the cucumber and remove every last drop of water. Any excess water in tzatziki will create separate layers of yogurt and water.
- Greek yogurt – Plain Greek yogurt is the base for all tzatziki, but this recipe calls for thick, whole milk Greek yogurt. I’m a sucker for its super creamy texture!
- Lemon juice – Tzatziki gets its refreshing and zesty flavor thanks to freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Extra-virgin olive oil – This will loosen up the texture of tzatziki and make it easier to stir. Of course, you can also use regular olive oil.
- Garlic – A staple ingredient in Mediterranean dishes. I love minced garlic and the subtle nutty flavor it brings.
- Sea salt – Season to taste. Feel free to replace it with regular table salt or kosher salt.
- Chopped dill – Fresh dill is preferred for its herby aroma, but of course, dry dill is also fine.
Best Ways To Use This Sauce
Tzatziki is very versatile, acting as a condiment for a variety of dishes (usually best with Mediterranean or Middle Eastern cuisines). Here are some of the best ways to use this sauce!
Use this easy tzatziki recipe as a dip for:
- Grilled chicken kabobs
- Vegetable kabobs (with mushrooms, bell peppers, corn, onions, or asparagus)
- Raw vegetables (celery, baby carrots, or cherry tomatoes)
- Pita bread, naan, or flatbread
- Cheese and crackers
You can also spread tzatziki as a dressing for dishes like:
- Greek salad
- Mediterranean chicken salad
- Pasta salad
Have leftover tzatziki from your Greek family feast? I hope no one double-dipped!
Keep your tzatziki at its best consistency and flavor even after some time.
Chilled tzatziki – Chilled tzatziki keeps fresh for up to five days, making it easy to grab and go whenever you feel like a quick bite. Store it in a container with a tight-fitting lid and chill. Since tzatziki is usually served cold, it does not need to be thawed to room temperature.
Frozen tzatziki – You can definitely make tzatziki in large batches and keep them in the freezer for meal-prepping. They’re great for midday snacks, whether you’re packing them with you to the gym or to work.
I recommend dividing the sauce into individual portions. This will make things a lot easier when you want to thaw just a small amount to be used.
Place it in a container with a tight-fitting lid and freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw tzatziki, simply keep it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight until it melts into a creamy consistency. Dollop some more Greek yogurt and stir well if the tzatziki has lost its creaminess.
Looking for more easy sauce recipes? Check out my homemade caesar salad dressing, the best pico de gallo salsa, and this quick guacamole recipe!
- 1 ½ cups grated cucumber from about 1 medium cucumber
- 2 cups thick whole milk Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 tablespoons chopped dill
- Start by grating the cucumber, using your cheese grater.
- Next, the most essential step for making a creamy tzatziki – squeeze the water out of the grated cucumber. Do not skip this step as the water from the cucumber will cause your tzatziki to separate and become watery. Place the cucumber on a towel (or paper towel) and gently squeeze out the excess water directly over the sink.
- Lastly, stir everything together! In a medium bowl, combine the squeezed cucumber with the yogurt, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, olive oil, salt, and dill. Chill until ready to use.