Easy Homemade Greek Tzatziki Dip

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This easy Tzatziki recipe is a simple cucumber yogurt sauce with fresh Greek flavors. It is fast to stir together these six ingredients and dig into right away, or make it ahead and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours for the flavors to fully develop. Enjoy homemade tzatziki as a healthy dip for vegetables or pita, or serve it with your favorite Mediterranean-inspired meals.

Easy Homemade Greek Tzatziki Recipe Image with Title

I always enjoy getting my kids to try new foods. Luckily they aren’t terribly picky, though they do have their moments. But it is fun to see them trying, and often enjoying, things I didn’t even know existed when I was a kid. And it might be even better trying to teach them how to pronounce the different dishes the love.

Calamari and paella and pad thai and…

TZATZIKI!

Many adults even had a hard time with that one.

TZA – is kinda like the “za” in pizza with a soft “t” in front of it. So it’s neither a “t” nor a “z” but a little of both.

TZI – just like the “tza” but with a long “e” sound at the end.

KI – sounds like the word “key”.

Or I’ll just tell them it is Greek cucumber yogurt dip.

But it’s more entertaining to make them say “tzatziki”. 

Speaking of trying new things, one thing I’ve learned is that if my kids are a bit hesitant about a dish or don’t want to eat their veggies, the best thing to do is give them a sauce or dip. I am always making healthy Greek yogurt dips so that they are more likely to finish off their carrots and broccoli and celery, but they aren’t drowning them in something that almost completely cancels out any nutritional value of what I want them to eat.

And when you make a sauce or dip that has extra veggies in the dip itself (*cough cough* roasted cauliflower hummus), it’s a double mom win. That’s why I love this…

Veggies on a platter to dip into homemade tzatziki

What is tzatziki sauce?

Tzatziki is a simple Greek yogurt sauce that is light and refreshing while at the same time being rich and creamy. It gets freshness and texture from the addition of shredded cucumber, as well as the addition of lemon juice and dill for. And a little olive oil adds to the smooth consistency.

It adds a bold punch of flavor when you spoon it over simple grilled chicken or seafood, or roasted vegetables. You can spoon it onto falafel that you’ve stuffed in a pita with lettuce and tomatoes. Or round out a full Mediterranean meal by serving it with Greek Beef Kabobs, rice or potatoes, Tomato Cucumber Salad with Feta or Greek Zoodle Salad, and a scoop of hummus.

It’s similar to Cucumber Dill Yogurt Dip, but in that recipe, the cucumbers are left in larger chunks. That’s great for scooping up with chips, but tzatziki is perfect for dunking veggies.

A traditional homemade tzatziki recipe can take a long time because the yogurt and grated cucumber are drained overnight so that the liquid is removed. But since I’m sure you will want to dig into your sauce right away, or at least you don’t want to spend a full 24 hours making something so simple. So I have one trick I’ll tell you about later to make sure you can enjoy it as quickly and easily as possible.

You can make it ahead, as the flavors mellow and blend when you let them sit and combine in the fridge for a few hours, and you can keep it for a few days.

If you want to go straight to the recipe, keep scrolling to the bottom of the post. But the tips and information I share here might be helpful to you!

Easy Tzatziki Sauce in a White bowl with falafel in background

What’s in tzatziki?

Besides salt, which, yes, is essential for this recipe, there are only six other ingredients.

  • cucumber – this is one of the key components of traditional tzatziki. You can get a similar texture if you use shredded celery or zucchini, but it will not have that characteristic fresh flavor. For the best texture, you’ll want to peel and seed your cucumber, whether you use a regular cucumber or seedless English cucumbers. Those seedless cucumbers do still have small seeds and leaving them in can make your tzatziki watery.
  • plain Greek yogurt – depending on your preference, nonfat, low fat, and whole milk Greek yogurt all work, just be sure to use Greek yogurt to ensure your dip is thick enough. Otherwise, you will end up with a thin and liquidy sauce. Also, this probably goes without saying, but do not use a flavored or sweetened yogurt.
  • garlic – I prefer to use only one clove of garlic to keep the flavor a bit milder in order to be able to eat it right away. The flavor will mellow out if you let it sit in the refrigerator, so if you love a strong punch of garlic, feel free to add two or three cloves.
  • olive oil – adds to the smooth, rich flavor and texture of the sauce.
  • lemon juice – I always recommend fresh lemon juice. Bottled lemon juice can be too strong and bitter. In a pinch, you can substitute it, but I would recommend starting with half the amount and then adjust to taste.
  • dill – fresh dill will give you the best flavor and is really what gives tzatziki it’s characteristic flavor. You can use dried, but I would ensure you have time to let the tzatziki chill in the fridge so the dried dill can absorb some moisture and the flavors and al blend together,

Why do you have to put salt on the cucumbers?

As I mentioned, salt is a key ingredient in this easy tzatziki recipe. It plays a part in that little trick I told you about so that you can make it as quickly as possible. That is because it helps with removing excess moisture from the cucumber quickly so that your tzatziki isn’t watery. 

Bowl of Tzatziki sauce with pita and falafel

How to Make Greek Tzatziki Sauce:

You’ll find the full recipe and quantities in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post. But here is a brief overview to show you how simple it is.

Draining the cucumber:

  1. Start by cutting off the ends of your cucumber and peeling it. Then slice it in half lengthwise. 
  2. Using a spoon or knife, scrape the seeds out of the cucumber.
  3. Finely grate the cucumber. I prefer to use a fine grater, but you can grate it to your desired size.
  4. Place the shredded cucumber in a cheesecloth or double layer of paper towels in a strainer over a bowl.
  5. Sprinkle with salt and toss gently.
  6. Let sit for about 10 minutes while you prepare the rest of the tzatziki sauce recipe.
  7. Wrap the cucumber in the cheesecloth or paper towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

Making the tzatziki:

  1. Peel, remove the seeds and finely grate the cucumber. 
  2. Salt and drain the cucumber (see details above).
  3. In a bowl, stir together the Greek yogurt, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and dill.
  4. Stir in the cucumber.
  5. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Easy Greek Tzatziki Sauce in a bowl to spoon onto Mediterranean dishes

What do you serve with Tzatziki?

As I mentioned, Greek tzatziki sauce is a staple for adding to a Mediterranean meal like souvlaki, shawarma, or falafel. But there are many other options outside of the usual Greek dishes.

How long does it last in the refrigerator?

Cover the tzatziki sauce tightly with plastic wrap or seal it in an airtight container to store it in the refrigerator. Due to the fresh ingredients that contain a lot of moisture, it will only last for 2-3 days. Should it appear watery when you go to eat it, you can either pour off the excess liquid or just stir it thoroughly.

Greek Yogurt Tzatziki Dip for Veggies on a platter

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More of my favorite healthy Mediterranean-inspired recipes:

More Greek yogurt dips:

Easy Tzatziki Recipe

It only takes a handful of ingredients and a few minutes to make this homemade tzatziki sauce. It’s fresh and light while still being smooth and creamy. Use it to complete a traditional Greek meal, spoon it over grilled meat, seafood, or vegetables to add a burst of fresh flavor, or serve it as a healthy yogurt dip for veggies and pita. Everyone should know how to make this simple sauce and it will soon become a staple in your kitchen.

I hope you’ll leave a comment and give it a FIVE STAR rating or share a photo on Pinterest!

Greek Yogurt Tzatziki Dip for Veggies on a platter

Easy Tzatziki Sauce

This easy Tzatziki recipe has fresh Greek flavors and only six ingredients. Enjoy it as a sauce on grilled meat, seafood & more, or as a healthy veggie dip.
Prep: 10 mins
Servings: 16

Ingredients

  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt, nonfat, low fat, or whole milk
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill

Instructions

Draining the cucumber:

  • Start by cutting off the ends of your cucumber and peeling it. Then slice it in half lengthwise.
  • Using a spoon or knife, scrape out the seeds.
  • Finely grate the cucumber.
  • Place the shredded cucumber in a cheesecloth or double layer of paper towels in a strainer over a bowl. Sprinkle with salt and toss gently.
  • Let sit for about 10 minutes while you prepare the rest of the tzatziki sauce recipe.
  • Wrap the cucumber in the cheesecloth or paper towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible before adding to the sauce.

Making the tzatziki:

  • In a bowl, stir together the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and dill until smooth.
  • Gently fold in the drained cucumber.
  • Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Spoon over your favorite grilled meats, seafood, or vegetables, salads, Greek dishes like falafel, or use it as a dip for veggies.
Nutrition Facts
Easy Tzatziki Sauce
Amount Per Serving (2 Tablespoons (approximately))
Calories 27 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Cholesterol 1mg0%
Sodium 82mg3%
Potassium 26mg1%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 26IU1%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 27mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Enjoy!

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