This Greek Tzatziki Sauce recipe is easier to make than you think, and definitely tastier than what you buy at the supermarket! Don't waste your money at the store when homemade always tastes creamier and has more flavor!
My friend Helena, who is from Greece, swears by this simple Tzatziki recipe. She introduced us to a Feta Flatbread with Olives recipe, a family favorite now! Helena is my Greek food authority, and her homemade Tzatziki sauce is amazing.
Yogurts Are Not All The Same!
Tzatziki Sauce is made with a strained Greek Yogurt. The strained part just means that after straining, it's a thicker yogurt compared to regular yogurts. You can buy pre-strained Greek yogurts, or strain it yourself with a cheesecloth which can take a few hours.
My preference is to use real yogurt that has no thickening agents. Read the ingredients, you'd be surprised. If you can find a real Greek Pot Set Yogurt, that means you have the real stuff, nice and thick as intended and full of probiotics!
How to Make Tzatziki Sauce
Greek food such as grilled meats or as an appetizer (Meze) with Greek Pita bread. If you're enjoying it as a Meze, then it's traditionally served with Ouzo, an anise flavored liqueur.
It's so easy to a Greek Tzatziki. Just mix grated cucumber, garlic, salt, olive oil, vinegar with the Greek yogurt with some fresh chopped dill and you're done!
The Turkish people also have a similar dish called Cacik. Without getting into food politics, there are some common threads from the Greek and Turkish recipes. Versions of Tzatziki also are in Turkey, the Balkans and in the Middle East.
Have You Tried Real Olive Oil?
I must admit, I didn't try real Extra Virgin Olive Oil until I moved to Australia (where we have Olive groves). Authentic EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) makes all the difference, but not all of them are the great. Growing up in Canada, where olives don't grow, I didn't realize the difference in Olive oils.
I highly recommend buying a 'fruity' Olive Oil, which is rich in flavor and aroma. More expensive EVOO tend to taste fruitier, which tastes buttery, pepper and grassy. Avoid light Olive Oils that provides zero flavor. Fruity Olive oils tend to be darker green in color, instead of bright yellow. Drizzle it over all your Greek Foods, including Greek Tzatziki when serving!
Why is my Tzatziki Sauce watery?
Nobody likes a watery sauce. Not only does it not look appealing, but tastes different too. When preparing the grated cucumber, make sure you remove as much liquid as possible to prevent the Tzatziki going soggy. Cucumbers are made of of mostly water, about 96%. The liquids won't release right away into your sauce, but if you have any leftovers (or make in advance) it will be watery.
In Greece they take watery Tzatziki very seriously. Some people hang the grated cucumber in cheesecloth overnight allowing the juices to drip out. That's dedicated to cucumbers! I'm always in a hurry and just use my hands to squeeze out the cucumber juices from the grated pulp.
With all recipes, your tastebuds should determine your specific tastes. Do you like more garlic? Then add another clove, it's going to be ok. Some people are scared to deviate from recipes. My suggestion is to taste, and adjust as required.
Lemon Juice or Vinegar?
Greeks usually use white or red wine vinegar when making Tzatzki sauce. The addition of lemon juice instead of vinegar, is a recent American addition. My suggestion is to make this recipe authentic style, like the Greeks have been doing for thousands of years. I'm clearly in the vinegar camp. However, I won't judge if you have a few spare lemons, but I don't alter the taste of the recipe.
Check Out My Favorite Greek Recipes
- Spanakopita Triangles (perfect to dip Tzatziki)
- Instant Pot Greek Lamb Roast
- Greek Meze Dinner Party
- Greek Salad Recipe (with an easy dressing)
- Slow Roast Leg of Lamb
- Lamb Kofta Skewers
- Yogurt Garlic Sauce for Kebabs
So enjoy this Easy Tzatziki Sauce recipe. It is quicker to make this at home than driving to the store to buy some. It's also authentic and delicious. Greeks never joke when it comes to food, they've had thousands of years to perfect their recipes. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
- ½ Long English Cucumber
- 2 cups of plain Greek Yogurt
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil extra virgin
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill finely chopped
- Grate the cucumber. Using your hand, squeeze all the juices out.
- In a bowl, combine squeezed grated cucumber with the Greek Yogurt, minced garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt and dill.
- Cover and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours for flavors to meld together. Enjoy.