Homemade tzatziki sauce is super quick and easy to make and great as a sauce or dip with veggies, sandwiches, and classic Greek dishes. Flavors of creamy yogurt, fresh cucumber, herbaceous dill, and a just-right kick of garlic layers on those fresh flavors!
This is dedicated to all my condiment lovers out there. You know the ones. The only thing that can make a dish better is some sort of sauce, dip, or drizzle.
All my saucy friends out there, I see you. We're a team! And today the team is gushing on homemade tzatziki sauce.
This sauce is so quick to make and goes great on so many dishes! What kind of dishes? Well, for me personally, anything with falafel. Baked falafel quinoa bowls definitely fit that bill, and it's also superb as a spread on burgers (like these feta stuffed lamb burgers!) and even drizzled on salads.
Sometimes I like to use it as a dip for fries and tots too! Or serve them next to grilled skewers, meatballs, the possibilities are pretty endless.
What is tzatziki sauce made of and why is it so creamy?
The base for this cool and creamy sauce is yogurt! Greek yogurt specifically, which is known for being thicker and creamier. If you can't find Greek yogurt, Icelandic skyr is a great substitute too!
Other flavors you'll find in this popular Mediterranean sauce are garlic, cucumber, lemon, dill and/or mint.
I like my tzatziki sauce with either dill or mint but generally reach for dill. The coolness of the fresh cucumber is perfect, so I tend to add mint to my dishes rather than the tzatziki.
How do you make homemade tzatziki?
Get those ingredients because we're about to fly through all this prep work!
You'll want to start with the cucumber. Grate it on the largest holed side of a cheese grater. You can either leave the peel on or peel it off first.
I prefer to use european cucumbers or cello cukes (the name varies) because the seeds are smaller.
Chop the garlic and the dill very finely! This will make sure all the flavors are even spread through each bite. Dill is a really strong herb and a little goes a lot way especially against the milk flavor of plain yogurt.
This is it on the prep work. Just combine all the ingredients and off you go!
Do you have to squeeze the grated cucumber?
In my book, it's optional. When I'm in a rush or if I want tzatziki that will be good for drizzling, I don't squeeze out the excess water from the cucumber. If I want a really thick, good for dipping style tzatziki then I will.
To squeeze out the excess water just wrap the grated cucumber in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze over the sink. Easy peasy!
How long is it good for?
After making your sauce, store it in an air-tight container in the fridge. It should last about 4 to 5 days. You may need to drain excess water that settles on the top of the sauce in between uses.
This makes it great to make in advance! I love having it on hand in the summertime for veggies or to serve with grilled skewers. These Greek lamb tacos from my girl Elizabeth over at Bowl of Delicious is a perfect warm-weather staple too made complete with homemade tzatziki!
How will you be serving your sauce? Tell me in the comments and if you make this recipe and post it on social be sure to tag me so I can see your beautiful handiwork!
Easy Homemade Tzatziki Sauce
- ¾ cup grated cucumber squeezed (about ½ European cucumber)
- 1 ½ cups Greek yogurt
- 2 cloves garlic grated
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill or mint finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil optional
- Prep. Grate the cucumber on the largest side of a box grater, peeling the skin from the cucumber is optional. In a clean kitchen towel or on two stacked paper towels squeeze the excess water from the grated cucumber. Finely chop the mint or dill, you can also use a combination of the two herbs. Finely grate the garlic.
- Mix. In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, chopped fresh herbs, garlic, lemon juice, and salt.
- Drizzle. To add richness, drizzle or mix extra virgin olive oil into the sauce before serving. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 to 5 days.
- You can use any style of Greek yogurt that suits your preference - nonfat, 2%, 5%, etc. The higher the fat content the thicker and richer the yogurt should be.