When it comes to tasty and versatile dips, tzatziki is hard to beat. This classic Greek dish combines creamy, garlicky yogurt with cucumber and other flavorful ingredients to create a dip that you can use in many different ways. You can use it as an easy party snack or a sandwich spread. And making tzatziki at home is simple.
What Is Tzatziki?
Tzatziki is a traditional Greek cucumber and yogurt dip or spread. It’s made with Greek yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, and diced cucumbers. Tzatziki has been around for centuries, though its exact origin is unknown. Many believe tzatziki originated in Greece or Turkey — some even say it dates back to Ancient Greek times.
Making tzatziki at home is simple. All you need are a few quality ingredients and about 10 minutes of your time. This tzatziki recipe has the right amount of garlicky tanginess to pair well with any type of food – from wraps, sandwiches, and salads to grilled meats, poultry, or fish. And because it’s so easy to make, it’s an ideal choice if you’re looking for a last-minute addition to your meal.
Tzatziki is often served as an accompaniment to grilled meats or vegetables, but it can also be enjoyed as a dip for chips or crackers. You can even use it as a topping on burgers. Its cool, savory taste makes tzatziki the perfect condiment for all kinds of dishes.
Ingredients You’ll Need for Tzatziki
- English cucumber
- Greek yogurt (unsweetened)
- Garlic clove
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Olive oil
- Fresh spearmint and/or fresh dill (optional)
How to Make Tzatziki
- Wash the English cucumber and grate it into a bowl.
- Add 1 tablespoon of the salt to the cucumber and let it sit for 10 minutes for it to release its juices.
- Grate the garlic clove (without the central stem), and finely chop the fresh herbs.
- Mix together the Greek yogurt, garlic, olive oil, and herbs in a bowl.
- Pour out the released water from the cucumber. Squeeze the grated cucumber between your hands until all its water has been released. You should end up with a pretty dry lump.
- Mix the cucumber and lemon juice into the yogurt mixture. Taste it and add more salt if needed.
- Serve with some cucumber slices, carrot sticks, celery sticks, or toasted pita bread.
Tips and Variations for Tzatziki
When it comes to tzatziki, there are a few tips to keep in mind for the best flavor.
- If possible, use English cucumbers since they have less water than regular ones. But if you can’t find them, it’s okay to use regular cucumbers.
- Peel the cucumbers if you want to. But I like to grate mine with the peel on so a bit of green is popping here and there. It also has extra nutrients.
- Use fresh dill and garlic when making tzatziki as these two ingredients give it its classic Greek flavors.
- Choose full-fat plain Greek yogurt to make the creamiest tzatziki. But you can use low-fat versions if you want to lower the fat content.
- If you have time, allow the tzatziki to chill for at least an hour before serving so all the flavors can settle together and deepen in taste.
- Serve as a dip with any kind of fresh vegetables, crackers, bread, or pita chips.
- Spread the creamy tzatziki on all sorts of meat or veggie sandwiches or burgers.
- Adjust the ingredients depending on how garlicky or tangy you want it. Try different fresh herbs, such as dill, mint, or parsley.
- Give your tzatziki an extra zing by stirring in a spoonful of prepared horseradish.
- Make your tzatziki spicier by adding cayenne pepper or red chili flakes.
- Add flavor complexity with diced olives, capers, or roasted peppers.
- Mix in some honey or agave nectar for a sweeter tzatziki.
Is tzatziki a dairy free, gluten free, or vegan recipe?
This tzatziki recipe is gluten free. It is not dairy free or vegan because of the Greek yogurt. Substitute a vegan dairy-free yogurt if desired.
Is tzatziki a healthy option?
Yes, tzatziki is healthy. The Greek yogurt provides protein, vitamins, minerals, and probiotics, which are healthy bacteria that are beneficial for your gut. Cucumbers are low in calories and contain essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
How do I store leftovers of tzatziki?
You can store the tzatziki in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days. After it’s been stored for a few hours, you’ll notice some water forming on the surface. That’s normal; just stir it again before serving.
Other Dip & Spread Recipes
- Vegan Roasted Eggplant & Parsley Dip
- Canteen Inspired “Broccomole” Dip
- Supercharged Basil & Garlic Hummus
- Easiest Blender Vitamix Salsa
Tzatziki is an easy Greek dip or spread that you can enjoy in many ways. It’s healthy and full of flavor. Enjoy tzatziki as a part of your favorite Mediterranean-inspired meal.