A creamy homemade tzatziki sauce recipe with a bright and tangy flavor brings out the best in any Mediterranean meal. Made in less than five minutes!
Hi, friends! A couple of weekends ago, my aunt got a HUGE thing of dill for $3 at the Farmer’s Market in Flagstaff. She filled a quart-size sandwich bag of fresh dill to take home with me.
I’d mostly used it on Air Fryer baby potatoes and passed some along to my MIL, but knowing that we had a Greek meal planned on the menu, I decided to make my Tzatziki sauce instead of buying it like I usually do!
As discussed in detail below, I never really liked homemade tzatziki sauce in previous attempts at making it, despite liking it at restaurants. So, I was skeptical as to how this adventure would turn out. I did a little research and realized that the store-bought and restaurant versions I like have finely DICED cucumber and not stringy shredded cucumber. BINGO problem found. I finely diced my cucumber and ended up LOVING the final result.
I also loved that it used minimal ingredients I already had at home and that I could adjust the sauce to my preferences. For instance, I downplayed the raw garlic a bit compared to other recipes since it can obviously be very spicy and harsh. I also upped the fresh dill since I had so much of it and liked the taste. We all loved this sauce so much! The baby was trying to eat it by the spoonful, which is really okay because, in reality, it’s just yogurt! haha
PS If you aren’t in the habit of buying or keeping fresh dill, try freeze-dried! I keep that in the house at all times. It’s very flavorful and has a one-to-one substitution. I get mine at Sprouts. Now, let’s talk the ins and outs of Tzatziki or scroll to the bottom for the recipe!
What’s is Tzatziki Sauce?
Tzatziki is a cucumber yogurt dip that has a tangy, bright flavor. Tzatziki, a Greek word, is popular in Mediterranean cuisine throughout southeast Europe and the Middle East. This yogurt-based spread is traditionally mixed with fresh dill and sometimes mint, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice or vinegar. It’s a very simple and versatile sauce that takes less than five minutes to whip up.
Is Tzatziki Sauce Healthy?
Tzatziki sauce is absolutely healthy! Fresh herbs and garlic add an anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense punch to this dish. Olive oil provides heart-healthy fats. And plain yogurt is a calorie-friendly base for the sauce that provides bone-building nutrients like calcium and potassium, plus it’s rich in probiotics which are great for immune and gastrointestinal health. Bonus, making homemade Tzatziki sauce means your sauce will be free of preservatives and other additives.
How to Make Homemade Tzatziki Sauce
The only prep work you need to do is to finely dice or shred your zucchini and mince your garlic. After that, you can combine and adjust to your taste preferences!
Swaps and Substitutions
What kind of yogurt is in Tzatziki Sauce?
You can use any plain yogurt in tzatziki sauce, including whole milk, 2%, nonfat, and Greek. I prefer 2% whole milk or plain as it’s more creamy and overwhelmingly tangy. But Greek yogurt works, too, especially whole milk, for extra creaminess.
You can also use non-dairy (vegan) yogurt in tzatziki sauce. I prefer plain cashew or almond milk (Kite Hill or Forager Brands). Coconut has an overpowering flavor that doesn’t taste quite right in tzatziki sauce.
I prefer the flavor of lemon juice, but you can also use red wine vinegar or white vinegar.
You can use fresh or freeze-dried dill, but you can’t omit it. Dill is the hallmark that makes tzatziki sauce, well, tzatziki sauce.
You can use any kind of cucumber, regular, Persian, or English. It doesn’t matter. You can use shredded or finely diced, but I much prefer diced. In fact, I never understood why I liked tzatziki sauce when in restaurants and from the store but not when I made it at home until I realized that restaurants use diced cucumber and homemade recipes, watery, stringy grated cucumber. I’m opinionated, but grated cucumber is popular too.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
It adds a traditional Mediterranean flavor but isn’t required to make this sauce. You can skip it if you are out or prefer a lower-calorie version. But it definitely adds a depth of authentic flavor and creaminess to the recipe.
Salt & Pepper
Optional, add to taste.
How to Store Homemade Tzatziki Sauce
Store Tzatziki sauce in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.
**Keep in mind that if you use yogurt that expires in two days, your sauce is only good for two days. So keep an eye on that expiration date when making your sauce!
Can You Freeze Tzatziki Sauce?
You can freeze tzatziki sauce for up to 3 months. I don’t prefer it, though, the texture of frozen yogurt products after rethawing is watery, plus you have the cucumber to contend with. So I would skip freezing it if I could.
What’s To Eat With Tzatziki Sauce?
This sauce is so versatile. It adds flavor and moistness to just about any protein or veggie.
- Use it as a veggie dip
- Cracker or pita bread dip
- Air Fryer Chicken Shawarma
- Chicken Shawarma
- Greek Chicken Burgers (recipe coming tomorrow)
- Any dish with fish
- Gyro meat (you can buy it pre-made at Trader Joe’s)
- Anything Mediterranean flavored
- I like to mix cherry tomatoes and cucumber slices with tzatziki to make a healthy chopped salad.
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
- Mediterranean Hummus Pizzas
- Greek Chicken Burgers
Homemade Tzatziki Sauce Recipe
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Serve immediately or store in refrigerator.1 cup plain yogurt, 1 -3 clove minced garlic, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1/2 cup cucumber, diced or shredded, 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 2 tbsp fresh dill, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper