This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.
It only takes a handful of ingredients and a few minutes to make this easy Tzatziki Sauce recipe. You’ll love this simple homemade yogurt sauce with fresh Greek flavors. Enjoy it with your favorite Mediterranean meals, or serve it as a healthy dip for veggies and pita.
Easy Tzatziki Recipe
Since they were little, I have always enjoyed getting my kids to try new foods. And some of the fun has been trying to teach them how to pronounce the different dishes they love.
Calamari and paella and pad thai and…
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”.
And this homemade Tzatziki recipe is simple to make and a great way to get everyone to eat more vegetables. When I make healthy Greek yogurt dips, the kids are more likely to finish off their carrots and broccoli and celery.
But it’s also great to spoon over grilled meat, seafood, or vegetables to add a burst of fresh flavor. It’s a staple in our house!
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 shredded cucumber, as well as the addition of lemon juice and dill. 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.
Why I Love This Recipe
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 this recipe uses one simple ingredient to speed up the process… SALT!
Why do you have to put salt on the cucumbers?
Salt is a key ingredient because it helps with removing excess moisture from the cucumber quickly so that your tzatziki isn’t watery.
Ingredients in Tzatziki
You only need a few simple ingredients. That means that each one shines, so you’ll want to use fresh ingredients, if you can. Here is a quick overview, but make sure to scroll down to the recipe card for the full amounts and detailed instructions.
- Cucumber – Peeled and seeded. Even seedless cucumbers do still have small seeds and leaving them in can make your tzatziki watery.
- Salt – For draining the cucumber and enhancing all of the flavors.
- Plain Greek yogurt – You can use nonfat, low fat, and whole milk yogurt, as preferred, but do not use a flavored or sweetened yogurt.
- Garlic – Just one clove, unless you like it very garlicky or plan to let it sit in the refrigerator for a day or more to let the flavor mellow out.
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice – Use fresh. Bottled lemon juice will be too bitter.
- Dill – Fresh is best, but you can use dried.
How to Make Greek Tzatziki Sauce
Let’s see what you’ll need to do, starting with the first step of draining the cucumber.
Drain the cucumber
Cut the cucumber. Cut off the ends and peel it. Slice it in hals lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Then use a fine grated to shred the cucumber.
Salt and drain. Place the shredded cucumber in a cheesecloth or double layer of paper towels in a strainer over a bowl. Sprinkle it with salt and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
Make the tzatziki
Combine the ingredients. In a bowl, stir together the Greek yogurt, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and dill.
Stir in cucumber. Add the drained cucumber and mix it in thoroughly. Enjoy right away or refrigerate to let the flavors mellow and blend together.
Tips for Success
Fresh is best. For the freshest, most authentic flavor, use fresh lemon juice and fresh dill.
Don’t skip the draining step. Cucumber holds a lot of moisture. If you don’t salt and drain it, your tzatziki will be watery.
Use the right yogurt. Again, you want to have that thick, dippable consistency. So you want to use Greek yogurt, not regular yogurt.
Choose when to make it. Feel free to dig in right away. But 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 or days.
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.
What To Serve With Tzatziki
As I mentioned, Greek tzatziki sauce is a staple for adding to a classic Mediterranean meal like chicken souvlaki or shawarma with Greek salad. Or try it with more non-traditional dishes like Greek Chicken Stuffed Zucchini Boats or Mediterranean Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes. But there are many other options outside of the usual Greek dishes.
More Healthy Greek Yogurt Dips
- Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip
- Creamy Balsamic Yogurt Dressing
- Greek Yogurt Blue Cheese Dressing
- Healthy Honey Mustard Dip
- Healthy Big Mac Sauce
Easy Tzatziki Sauce
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.