Tzatziki Sauce

Tzatziki Sauce in a bowl with a spoon
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As creamy and fluffy as clouds over the Mediterranean, tzatziki is a classic Greek dip and spread that is at once luxurious, bright and refreshing. Cooling chunks of cucumber counter raw garlic’s sharp bite, while dill adds its own herbal nuance.  

Tzatziki—Tough to Say, Easy to Make. 

Let's just get this out of the way (if you're wondering how to pronounce tzatziki you are not alone)—tzatziki is pronounced tsah-see-key. Think of that first syllable "tsah" as the same as the sound you make when you say the second syllable of "pizza". Phew. OK, now you’re ready to try out our tzatziki sauce recipe and serve it to your friends with confidence!

ingredients laid out Greek yogurt, lemon, salt, pepper, garlic cucumber

What Is Tzatziki Sauce?

Many Mediterranean countries have some sort of cucumber-and-yogurt sauce in their cuisine, and tzatziki sauce is one of the most common iterations. Tzatziki sauce is most strongly associated with the cuisine of Greece, Turkey and Cyprus and—although there is sometimes a local variance from town to town—is usually made up of some combination of strained yogurt, cucumber, lemon juice and plenty of fresh garlic. Our homemade tzatziki sauce recipe is no different except that we call for Greek yogurt, which (here in the U.S.) is almost always cow’s milk-based, and truly traditional Greek tzatziki sauce would often be made using a yogurt made from sheep or goat’s milk. 

ingredients for Tzatziki Sauce in a bowl
Tzatziki Sauce in a bowl

Greek Tzatziki Ingredients

As we mentioned, our tzatziki dip recipe relies on easy-to-find ingredients—and they’re especially easy to find this time of year! Cucumber is coming up in our garden like there is no tomorrow, therefore it’s tzatziki time! Here’s what you’ll need to make our easy tzatziki sauce: 

  • Greek yogurt. Full fat is going to taste best, and will make for a lighter, fluffier texture, but you could use a low-fat variety if you prefer to keep this low-carb dip low-fat, too. 
  • Cucumber. And the genius thing here? You grate the cucumber! That’s basically the secret trick to this whole tzatziki recipe—you’re welcome. 
  • Dill. Dried, but try not to use anything too old—it’ll be barkdust-y instead of bright and herby. 
  • Za’atar. So we’re saying this is optional, because this is by no means an everyday spice for most of us, and other than the za’atar we love the idea that you could make this dip without making a special trip to the store. But! If you add it to your homemade tzatziki, you will be so excited that you did. 
  • Garlic. Good and good for you, not to mention that it’s sharpness truly defines this creamy dip .
  • Lemon. Because tzatziki hails from the land of lemon trees, and because you need a little acid to lift up the other flavors. 
  • Sea salt & black pepper. Always.  
Tzatziki Sauce in a bowl with a spoon

How to Make Tzatziki Sauce

Alright already time to cut to the chase. Here’s how easy it is to make the best tzatziki ever: 

  1. Grate, mince and squeeze the cucumber, garlic and lemon. 
  2. Open a container of plain Greek yogurt. 
  3. Combine all of this in a bowl with the spices and herbs. And you’re done!
Tzatziki Sauce in a bowl with a spoon and lemons

Serve Your Homemade Tzatziki Sauce With:

In addition to serving it with a classic mezze platter brimming with Mediterranean goodies like dolmas, falafel and warm pita bread, homemade tzatziki makes these recipes come to life: 

Tools You’ll Need: 

Tzatziki Sauce in a bowl

For Pita-Dipping? Or Burger Topping? 

Snap a photo of your beautiful homemade tzatziki and show us what you served it with! Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so we can see your handywork. Happy eating!

Tzatziki Sauce

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup cucumber, grated
1 tbsp dried dill
2 tsp za’atar (optional)
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small lemon, juiced
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp black pepper

Method

  1. In a small bowl mix together all ingredients. Refrigerate for an hour before using.