Easy Homemade Tzatziki Sauce Recipe 

Tzatziki Sauce or Dip
Posted On: July 24, 2015
Last updated: March 8th, 2024

This creamy and cool sauce or dip is a favorite healthy side in our house.  Not only is it great with fresh pita bread, but it’s outstanding as a veggie dip, with some Mediterranean grilled meat or some fritters.  You’ve probably had some store bought tzatziki sauce, but never thought to try making it on your own.  It’s so easy to make this creamy cucumber sauce and such a treat if you’ve never made it yourself.

Great way to use those Cukes!

We’ve had quite the thriving cucumber plants this year and they’ve been growing at such a rapid speed that I’ve been needing to get extra busy making other dishes besides pickling cucumbers to keep up with our harvest.  I found that making some tzatziki sauce is a great way to use some up fast.  Also, if you have a plethora of tomatoes in your garden, you can toss this with some cut up tomatoes to use it as a thick creamy salad dressing.  

Herb it Up!

If you want your homemade tzatziki to taste like some of the store bought tzatziki sauce you’ve enjoyed you really need to use both dill and mint.  If you only use dill, I really think you’re missing that extra pow factor in the flavor.  I actually always thought just dill made the dip until I realized mint was missing.  The mint addition finally gave it that perfect tzatziki taste.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I have not traveled to Greece and tried authentic tzatziki sauce (I really hope to some day), but comparing it to the sauces I’ve tried in great Mediterranean restaurants, it seems the taste is pretty darn good for a copy cat.

close up shot of pita chip with some dipped tzatziki sauce with vegetables in the background.

Tzatziki Zing

To give your tzatziki that extra zing, that extra deliciousness, make sure you use real ingredients.  Use good full fat plain Greek yogurt. Don’t ruin this fantastic sauce with a fat free or low fat yogurt.  Please….for the sake of your taste buds and your body, use the real deal.  It’s already been proven that low fat food, especially dairy is worse for us.  Saturated fat is not what’s making us fat! It’s the low fat/fat free “diet” food that’s highly processed and screwing with our bodies.  It’s been all over health news in recent years.  Low fat dairy means they have to take out the good stuff and replace it with bad stuff, like sweeteners or chemicals to give it better flavor.  We’ve made the switch to full fat dairy and haven’t gained a pound, if anything we’re in better health than before, plus our food tastes better.

Regarding the texture of this tzatziki sauce or dip, it’s a matter of preference.  I often make a chunky version, but a smoother version with grated cucumbers is what most people prefer.  Some tzatziki is smooth and blended, but we prefer this sauce to have a bite to it and not perfectly smooth.  If you prefer it super smooth just blend up the final product.

5 collage images for making tzatziki sauce from grating to stirring all together.

How to Make Tzatziki

I start out by peeling about half the skin off the cucumber.   At this point you need to decide if you want your tzatziki a little chunkier or not.  I sometimes dice my cucumber really small, but I prefer it grated overall.  You can grate it with a box grater, rotary grater (my personal preference) or use a food processor.  Then I add the cucumber to a fine mesh colander and add about 1 tsp of kosher salt, stir it up and allow it to sweat and drain excess moisture for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, you can gather up and prep your remaining ingredients in a small bowl. 

Once the 30 minutes is up on the cucumbers, I rinse them off really well and then squeeze out as much excess water as possible.  Then I add them to the bowl with the yogurt, zest, lemon juice and herbs.  

Ingredients shown for homemade tzatziki sauce

Homemade Tzatziki Ingredients

For the best tzatziki you want the best ingredients like good quality Greek yogurt and fresh herbs.  

  • Cucumber– I’ve made this recipe with all sorts of cucumbers, including pickling cucumbers we’ve grown ourselves.  If you’re using store bought, Persian or English cucumbers are great for this since they have less seeds. 
  • Greek Yogurt–  I only use whole milk creamy Greek Yogurt for this recipe.  If you’re low on yogurt you could substitute with some sour cream.  A good quality plain thick Greek yogurt is the best for this though.  It is after all a yogurt-based dip, so the proper yogurt is highly recommended.  Standard plain yogurt will not have the same sourness and texture of Greek yogurt.
  • Lemon– For the best flavor, I like to use fresh lemon juice and zest. If you don’t have a lemon on hand, some bottled lemon juice will suffice.
  • Garlic– A couple fresh garlic cloves for this recipe is ideal, but if you don’t want raw garlic, you could use granulated garlic, but it honestly won’t be the same.
  • Salt– I prefer coarse Kosher salt, but coarse sea salt is fine as well. 
  • Dill Weed– fresh dill is essential for a great tzatziki.  Sometimes it is hard to find, so you can use dried if that’s all you have.
  • Mint (Optional)- Fresh mint is optional, but I think it gives the cucumber dip an extra cool edge.

Give this awesome sauce or dip a try let me know how it turns out for you!

Try some of our other Mediterranean Recipes!

Homemade-Pita-Bread-600-Wholemadeliving
Try this Tzatziki with our Homemade Pita Bread!
Roasted Garlic & Basil Hummus
Try our Roasted Garlic & Basil Hummus too!
Tzatziki Sauce or Dip

Easy Homemade Tzatziki Sauce Recipe

Katia
Enjoy this Tzatziki sauce with some Gyro meat on Pita Bread or with pita chips and fresh vegetables for dipping. 
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer, Dip/Sauce, Sauce
Cuisine Greek, Mediterranean
Servings 8
Calories 27 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup Greek Yogurt full fat
  • 3/4 lb. English cucumber partially peeled
  • 1 lemon zest & juice (divided)
  • 2 garlic cloves squeezed or minced
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Coarse Kosher salt or Sea Salt
  • 1 Tbsp fresh dill chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh mint (Optional) chopped
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

Instructions
 

  • For best results, grate cucumbers and add them to a fine mesh colander with 1/2 Tbsp. of kosher salt.
  • Mix the grated cucumber with the salt and allow it to sit and drain for 30 minutes.
  • While the cucumber is draining you can add the yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice and zest, garlic, dill, mint and ground pepper to a small mixing bowl and stir to combine.
  • After the 30 minutes is up, go ahead and rinse the cucumber under water for about 30 seconds, giving it a good stir with your hands and then squeeze out as much water as possible.  
  • Use a clean towel or doubled up paper towels to squeeze out the remaining liquid and then add the cucumber to the bowl with the yogurt.
  • Taste and adjust salt and pepper if necessary.
  • Chill in fridge until you are ready to serve it. 

Notes

Serve with pita bread, as sauce for meats, veggies, wrap spread or a dip for veggies or pita chips.  Enjoy within 5 days of making. 

Nutrition Disclaimer:

The nutritional information provided is only an estimate based on a third party nutritional plugin. Different online calculators may give different results depending on their own sources. The estimates may also change based on the ingredients you use. If you have dietary restrictions and need to accurately calculate the nutrition of this recipe, Whole Made Living recommends consulting a professional nutritionist.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cupCalories: 27kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 3gFat: 0.2gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.03gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.01gTrans Fat: 0.001gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 189mgPotassium: 124mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 79IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 41mgIron: 0.3mg
Keyword Gyro Sauce, Tzatziki, Vegetarian dip, yogurt dip
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