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Tzatziki Sauce

Cooling bits of cucumber counter raw garlic’s sharp bite, while dill adds its own herbal nuance in our classic yogurt-based, easy tzatziki recipe.


Tzatziki Sauce in a bowl with a spoon

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

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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: 6
  • Prep Time:  5 min
  • Cook Time:  5 min
  • Calories: 17


  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup Cucumber, grated
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Za’atar (optional)


  1. In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, cucumber, dill, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and Za’atar if using. Mix together all ingredients.

  2. Refrigerate for at least an hour before using.

Note: Makes 2 cups

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories17
  • Protein2 g
  • Carbohydrates3 g
  • Total Fat0 g
  • Dietary Fiber0 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg
  • sodium214 mg
  • Total Sugars1 g

Tzatziki Sauce

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • juliette baldwin

    Can tzatziki be made with low fat Greek yogurt if it comes that way.


  • Worden

    Do you have a substitute for the yogurt?

    Tzatziki is a yogurt sauce so no substitution would be a super great replacement. We have never tried making this without yogurt. We've heard of people using vegan cream cheese as the base but since we haven't tried it we couldn't vouch if it's great or not.

  • Sonia

    Can this be made ahead and refrigerated?

    Absolutely, Sonia! Tzatziki sauce should stay good for about 4 days in the refrigerator.

  • Holly C

    This tzatziki sauce is SO good! I bought some sumac for it and za'atar and used cashew yogurt (I'm dairy-free) and I tried it as soon as it was mixed up and yum!! I might make this more often!

    Thanks Holly, we are so glad you loved it! Happy to hear it worked with cashew yogurt too!

  • Tracy R.

    This is soooo yummy! I would note to people to squeeze the cucumber dry with paper towels after shredding so your tzatziki doesn't get too watery. I made a homemade Za'atar which was really easy and it's all spices I had on hand. I've never used Za'atar in my tzatziki, but I will from now on! Really delicious, thank you!

    Thanks Tracy, so glad you loved it!

  • Theresa Skalky

    Just wanted to say thank you for the awesome recipe! Delicious! Much appreciated!

  • Abby

    Lovely and the added Za'atar is absolute perfection. I made this with your Kofta receipe, some rice, curried chick peas and a nice Greek salad. A fine meal indeed!

    Glad you loved it Abby! Sounds like a VERY fine meal.

  • Sarah Legat

    This stuff is so good, I make it a lot. My mom showed me this recipe and we’ve been obsessed. Just remember to GRATE the cucumber and not PEEL it... Still good though.

    We are obsessed too! Glad you love it!