Greek Cucumber Sauce or Tzatziki (Tshat- ZEE – kee) is a classic Middle Eastern dip made using Drained Cucumber, Greek Yogurt, Garlic, and Fresh Herbs like Dill. Make this super easy, creamy, and light yogurt and cucumber sauce in under 10 minutes.
If you are fond of Middle Eastern food, then here are some more delicious recipes that you can try – Mutabal, Falafel, Black Bean Hummus, Traditional Greek Salad, Baba Ganoush, Pita Bread, Muhammara Dip, and Lavash Crackers.
About This Recipe
There has always been a soft corner for Middle Eastern or Mediterranean food in my heart. Wherever I go, If I see a Middle Eastern dish, I have to try it, and thus it is often prepared at home too. And the recent recipe I tried at home is this Tzatziki Dip (pronounced as Tshat-ZEE-kee or tsah-see-key). Creamy, easy, and low in calories, this Greek cucumber dip is all you need to serve with your starters.
Tzatziki Sauce is a garlicky yogurt dip with a strong flavor from dill and crunch from yogurt. It is mildly sour, salty, and refreshing in taste.
I can easily say that this is my favorite Summer dip as it has all the refreshing summer ingredients such as yogurt, cucumber, and dill or mint. It has a strong flavor from garlic that makes this dip different from similar yogurt-based dips.
You can put it together in under 10 minutes with just eight ingredients and zero cooking. All you need is good quality ingredients.
Well, if you see the recipe, you can compare Tzatziki Sauce to the Indian Raita, except only cucumber is the vegetable used in the preparation, and olive oil gives it an added flavor.
Making this Greek dip at home makes sure it is preservative-free, economical, and made using the best ingredients. It is a great make-ahead dip too. Make it a day or two before the get-together and just pull it out of the refrigerator at the time of serving. What else do you need? right!
This Tzatziki Dip is,
- A Summer favorite
Cucumber – I prefer to use English cucumbers as they are seedless. You can use any cucumbers that are easily available to you. If they have seeds, make sure to scoop them out before grating the cucumber.
Peel the Cucumber or not? It’s totally up to you. I like to peel them for a creamier sauce but you can totally choose to grate them with the skin on.
Yogurt – Traditionally Goat or Sheep’s yogurt was used to make Tzatziki, however, I have used Plain Greek Yogurt to make the dip. If Greek yogurt is not available, you can use hung yogurt. To make hung or strained yogurt, hang the regular yogurt in a muslin cloth for an hour and then use it.
I have tried using both whole milk yogurt and low-fat yogurt and there wasn’t much of a difference in the taste or texture of the final dish. So feel free to use whichever you fancy.
Use vegan yogurt like cashew yogurt or soy yogurt if you are on a vegan diet. You can replace yogurt with sour cream as well.
Garlic – Garlic is the hero ingredient in this dip. Use freshly minced garlic to get the best result. The longer it stands in the yogurt, the better it tastes and its sharp taste mellows downs.
Fresh Dill – Use fresh dill leaves to add the best flavor and crunch. It’s important that you add dill leaves right before serving to avoid its strong flavor to overwhelm the rest. You can also adjust the quantity according to your taste.
How to make Tzatziki Sauce?
Mix cucumber with ½ teaspoon salt and keep aside for 5-6 minutes.
Squeeze the cucumber and keep aside. You can use the liquid while making curries or make buttermilk.
Add all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Pro Tips By Neha
Remove the seeds from the cucumber if they have any. Peel and then grate using the large holes of a box grater. You can choose to leave the skin on too.
Make sure you drain out the water from the grated cucumber. You can squeeze out the liquid using a cheesecloth or leave it in a mesh sieve overnight. If you are in a hurry, then squeeze out all the water using your hands. I am always in a hurry and squeezing works perfectly fine.
The liquid discarded from cucumber can be used while making curries or buttermilk. It is rich in nutrients so do not waste it. You can even drink it after diluting it with water.
Garlic is the hero ingredient in this dip. The longer it stands in the yogurt, the better it tastes and its sharp taste also mellows down.
For best flavor, mix all the ingredients in the yogurt except cucumber and dill and refrigerate it overnight.
It’s important that you add dill leaves right before serving to avoid its strong flavor to overwhelm the rest.
If Greek yogurt isn’t available and you need to make tzatziki, you can use sour cream or hang the plain yogurt for some time to drain the excess water.
You can also make vegan tzatziki using tofu as the base. Just blend tofu in a blender until smooth. Then add all the remaining ingredients as mentioned in the recipe below and your vegan dip will be ready in no time.
This recipe yields 1 cup dip. It can be easily halved, doubled or tripled.
Adding a splash of red wine vinegar in the dip elevates it’s taste a lot. Do try!
It is a versatile dip that can be served with anything and everything.
This tangy and delicious Tzatziki can be spread over some homemade warm bread!
You can serve it with snacks and appetizers. It is mostly served as a meze (cold appetizer) or a side dish.
You can even serve it with roasted or grilled vegetables, chips, nachos, or finger food at any party or dinner.
Serve it with Crunchy Pita, soft warm Pita Bread or any other bread, Sliced Vegetables, Grilled or Roasted Chicken.
You can serve it with Gyros, Pita Sandwiches, Shawarma, Chips, or Greek Baked Potatoes. You can even use it as a sandwich or burger spread.
You can make it ahead of time and store it in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator. Consume it within 2 to 4 days.
You can freeze tzatziki, but it is not preferable. As cucumber will lose its crunch and dill will overpower all the other flavors. Yogurt will become sour with time. Therefore, it is better to not freeze it.
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Tzatziki Sauce Recipe
- ½ cup English Cucumber (Grated)
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- ½ teaspoon Garlic (Minced)
- 2 tablespoon Fresh dill (Chopped)
- 1 tablespoon Lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt (To taste)
- ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper Powder
- Mix cucumber with ½ teaspoon salt and keep aside for 5-6 minutes.
- Squeeze the cucumber and keep aside.
- Add all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
- Refrigerate the dip for up to 2-3 hours.
- Serve with pita chips or nachos.