Homemade tzatziki sauce is a deliciously rich and creamy dipping sauce made with Greek yogurt, cucumber, garlic, and olive oil. This tzatziki sauce recipe is so delicious, you'll be dipping everything you can find into it.
Ah, tzatziki sauce, how I love you. Seriously, it's one of my favorite dipping sauces. If I'm having a gyro, I always order extra so I can get the maximum amount of sauce possible with each and every bite.
In fact, that's how most people eat it, but it's so good for so much more than that. This versatile dip is delicious with all kinds of dip holding items.
The thing that makes this homemade tzatziki sauce so versatile is its flavor and texture. It's rich, creamy, and cool, but not sweet. This makes it perfect for both savory and sweet dipping options.
In fact, it's the perfect dip or topping for almost any food and any occasion. I'm a big fan of serving this dip with basically anything.
From veggies to graham crackers—don't laugh, they have garlic-flavored ice cream—this tzatziki sauce recipe is delicious with almost anything you can think of.
What is Tzatziki Sauce?
Tzatziki sauce is a traditional Greek dipping sauce and topping made with a Greek yogurt base. Greek yogurt is strained, making it much thicker than other yogurts.
That's how this sauce gets its rich, creamy texture.
This sauce is used on gyros, shaved lamb pita sandwiches, as well as being paired with chicken, pork, or lamb. Traditionally, this sauce will have cucumber, garlic, and olive oil.
Some people like to add other ingredients to their sauce, but I prefer the simple goodness of the original.
Creamy Homemade Tzatziki Sauce
This homemade tzatziki sauce is so good and so easy to make. It only takes a few steps, and the fussiest part is simply grating the cucumber. Other than that, the recipe is as simple as mixing, chilling, and enjoying.
With a sauce this easy and delicious, you'll be making it again and again.
This homemade tzatziki sauce only takes a few ingredients, which come together to create something that is pure, creamy magic.
You'll almost certainly have all the ingredients you need to make this sauce in your pantry and refrigerator, and if you don't they're all easy to find at your local grocery store. There's nothing fancy here.
To make this tzatziki sauce recipe, you'll need a cucumber, Greek yogurt, olive oil and three garlic cloves. That, ladies and gentlemen, is it.
Making the Sauce
To make the sauce, you'll simply peel, shred, and drain your cucumber and then combine it with the Greek yogurt, olive oil and garlic. Cover the sauce and let it chill in the fridge for an hour, and you're all done. It's really that easy.
Homemade Tzatziki Sauce Tips
With a recipe so simple and delicious, there's really not a lot to go over regarding making it. However, there are some important things to know before you make the sauce. So let's take a look at the things you need to know to make sure you get the best possible outcome.
Choosing Your Cucumber
While any cucumber will work for this recipe, English cucumbers are the way to go. Slicing cucumbers have more and larger seeds, more water, and thicker skin. While these cucumbers will work, they won't give you the best outcome.
English cucumbers, on the other hand, have thin skin, edible seeds, and they're a bit sweeter than slicing cucumbers, making them ideal for this recipe. You don't even have to peel them, although I do.
Prepping Your Cucumber
It's imperative that you take your time when shredding your cucumber. You want to get as much of the water out of your cucumber as possible so your homemade tzatziki sauce won't be watery.
I have a little trick to make sure as much water as possible is removed from the shredded cucumber. Place your shredded cucumber in a strainer over a bowl, and place two large resealable bags filled with water on top.
After that, leave the shredded cucumber in the fridge for between one and three hours. When you remove the shredded cucumber, you'll find that a good amount of water has collected in the bowl.
Chilling Time Matters
While you only need to chill this homemade tzatziki sauce recipe for about an hour, the longer it sits, the better it will taste. As the sauce chills, all those wonderful flavors mix and meld, and the longer they have time to do that, the better the depth of flavor is.
So if you don't have to serve this sauce right away, don't.
There are a few things that make fantastic additions to this homemade tzatziki sauce. All of these are traditional Greek flavors, so they're right at home in this sauce.
That's important to me because, while I like to be creative, I prefer simplicity when it comes to this recipe. Try adding these to your tzatziki.
- The juice and zest of a lemon
- Two or three tablespoons finely diced fresh mint, dill, oregano, or chives
- More or less garlic to taste
How to Serve Homemade Tzatziki Sauce
There are two main ways to serve this sauce: in a bowl or on a pita sandwich. If you're serving it on a sandwich, it's as straightforward as slathering it on and enjoying.
If you're serving it in a bowl, there are all kinds of great options for dipping. Fruit, veggies, meats and chips are all great options here. Some of my favorites are:
- Bell peppers
- Graham Crackers
- Cinnamon Chips
- Potato Chips
- Veggie Chips
- Tortilla Chips
On a final note, don't knock sweets like graham crackers or cinnamon chips dipped in this homemade tzatziki sauce recipe until you've tried it. After all, they make garlic-flavored ice cream, and it's really good!
How to Store Homemade Tzatziki Sauce
This tzatziki sauce recipe will keep for up to four days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. While it will be good for up to four days, it tastes best if in the first two days.
After two days, the water left in the shredded cucumber will start to leech out into the dip, making it watery. Always keep this dip in the refrigerator when you aren't enjoying it. It is dairy, after all.
Homemade Tzatziki Sauce FAQ
This sauce is delicious and so easy to make. There's really nothing to it. That being said, I'm a fan of going over the high points just to be sure that we've covered everything. If you're taking the time to make my recipes, I want them to be amazing for you!
Do I have to use Greek Yogurt?
Yes. If there's one thing that's non-negotiable when it comes to this homemade tzatziki sauce recipe, it's Greek yogurt. It's so much thicker than other yogurts, it's the only one that will give you the right texture.
What can I serve this sauce with?
You can serve this sauce with practically anything. It's excellent on any kind of Mediterranean-seasoned meat like chicken, beef, pork or lamb. It's amazing on gyros, as we all know. Also, it's delicious with veggies, chips, some fruits and even sweet options like cinnamon chips.
Can I use any cucumber?
Any cucumber will work, however, English cucumbers are best-suited for this recipe. They have a slightly sweeter flavor, edible seeds and thin skin, making them perfect for this tzatziki sauce.
How much garlic should I use?
That's totally up to you. That's the beauty of this recipe. You can take the existing ingredients and mix them to your tastes.
How long will this homemade tzatziki sauce last?
This sauce will keep in the fridge for up to four days in an airtight container. However, after the second day the water in the cucumber will leech out and being to make the dip watery.
Make This Homemade Tzatziki Sauce and Enjoy
This homemade tzatziki sauce recipe is super simple to make and supremely delicious. With only three ingredients, it just takes a few minutes to create a versatile dip that's delicious on sandwiches or as a dipping sauce that everyone will love.
Enjoy this sauce on pita, with meats like chicken, pork, beef, and lamb or a dip with chips, veggies and fruit. However you choose to enjoy this dip one thing's for certain, you'll want to make it all the time.
Grab your Greek yogurt, olive oil, garlic and cucumber and get cracking on creating this creamy, delicious dip. You and your family will be glad you did.
Homemade Tzatziki Sauce - Rich, Creamy, and Healthy
- fine mesh strainer
- 1 medium cucumber peeled, halved lengthwise, scooped out and seeded
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt this is not negotiable
- 2 tablespoons olive oil optional but I always include it
- 3 garlic cloves minced or pressed through a garlic press, more or less to taste
- 1 lemon juiced and zested
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh mint, dill, oregano leaves or chives finely diced
- add more or less garlic
Getting your Cucumber Ready
- Peel your cucumbers if desired. I usually do no matter which type of cucumber I use but if you use English cucumbers you don’t have to.
- Slice all of your cucumbers in half LENGTHWISE.
- Using a spoon, scrape out seeds and pulp from your cucumbers. Pat freshly scooped cucumber surface with paper towel.
- Using the large holes on a box grater shred all of the cucumber.
- Place shredded cucumber into a strainer over top of a bowl that will catch all of the drained water from the cucumbers.
- Toss shredded cucumber with 1 teaspoon of salt.
- Now, here is the trick.
- Grab one or two of your largest resealable bags and fill them up with water. Make sure the bags are sealed up tight.
- Place bags on top of shredded cucumbers and refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours.
- Once ready, remove cucumbers from strainer, place inside a good sized bowl and discard juices from bowl or reserve for another use.
- Grab a few pieces of paper towel and finish drying off your cucumber.
- In a mixing bowl, add yogurt, cucumber, oil and garlic.
- Combine with a whisk.
- Stir until blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover and refrigerate until set and chilled, at least an hour if not two. Frankly, the longer the better. The ingredients need time to meld together.
- When ready to serve, stir your tzatziki sauce to blend and drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil if desired.
- The tzatziki sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Tzatziki will last another 2 days for a total of four but is freshest within the first two days.
- After the first two days the cucumber will still release some water making the dip a little more watery than it should. To fix this just add a little extra Greek yogurt before serving.