No need to wait until you head to your favorite Greek restaurant to enjoy the taste of Tzatziki Sauce. Instead make Homemade Tzatziki sauce with just a few ingredients right in your own kitchen.
For those who aren’t familiar with this famous white sauce, it is what is traditionally used as the sauce in Gyros. However, you can use it in so many other ways as well.
Another common way to serve Tzatziki sauce is as a dip for sliced vegetables. It is especially popular to serve it in the middle of the summer as it is a cool and refreshing dip.
Because the sauce is made with Greek yogurt, shredded cucumbers and either dill or mint, it is a welcome condiment on a hot, summer day. Not only can you add it to your vegetable tray, you can also use it as a chip dip or even place a small bowl of it on your next charcuterie board.
But don’t think of this famous sauce only as a replacement for Homemade Vegetable Dip. It is often used as a condiment on burgers, chicken and pork as well.
Because there are so many different uses for this sauce, we always keep a fresh batch on hand in our refrigerator during the summer months. Best of all, it only takes a few minutes to prepare.
And with the help of a food processor, it can be made even quicker! So this summer, when you don’t want to heat up the kitchen to prepare something for your next backyard picnic, grab some veggies and make this delicious, Homemade Tzatziki Sauce.
Because this recipe requires just a few ingredients, there are only a couple of items that you will need. Of course you will need a cutting board, measuring cup and measuring spoons.
Next, you will need a vegetable peeler. Although if you prefer you can use a sharp knife instead to ribbon cut the skin off the cucumber.
You will also need something to grate the cucumber. As mentioned above, using a food processor with a grating blade will save you time when making homemade tzatziki sauce.
However, you can also use a standard box or hand grater as well. But the most important item that you will need to make this recipe is a tea towel or cheesecloth.
In order for the sauce to remain nice and thick, you must squeeze the water out of the cucumber after it has been grated. And this is where the tea towel or cheesecloth will come in handy.
Simply place the salted cucumber shreds in the center of a clean cloth and then twist and squeeze. You will be surprised at how much water that you will extract.
Finally, you will need a bowl and silicone spatula to mix all the ingredients together. Then cover and place the bowl in the refrigerator until it is time to serve.
So now that you know what equipment that you will need, let’s get to the actual recipe!
Homemade Tzatziki Sauce Recipe
*Specific measurements and complete recipe instructions are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article. However, be sure to continue to read the tips and tricks to making this recipe below.
- 1 medium Cucumber, seedless
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
- 4 Garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon distilled White Vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 cups plain Greek Yogurt
- ¼ teaspoon ground Black Pepper
- 1 TBSP fresh Dill, finely chopped
The first step in making homemade Tzatziki sauce is to prepare the cucumber. Start by washing the cucumber under cold water.
Then cut the ends off each cucumber and set it upright on one end. Using a standard vegetable peeler, remove a strip of the skin.
Then rotate the cucumber, and place the peeler so that the next strip that you remove will allow a strip of the peel to remain intact. Continue to ribbon cut the cucumber and discard the peels that were removed.
The reason that you don’t want to peel the entire cucumber is that you want the sauce to have a slight hint of green speckles throughout. However, if you don’t peel it at all, the sauce will not only become too green it will also have an odd texture.
If you are using standard salad cucumber, you will need to slice the cucumber in half from top to bottom and remove the seeds. Do this by running the tip of a spoon down the center of each half and discard the seeds.
Now it is time to grate the cucumber. Use a small food processor fitted with a grater blade, or a box or hand grater to finely grate the cucumber.
The Most Important Step In Making Homemade Tzatziki sauce
As mentioned above, you must drain the water out of the cucumber before mixing it with the other ingredients. First toss the grated cucumbers with ½ teaspoon Kosher salt.
The salt will help extract the liquid from the strands. Then place the grated cucumber onto the center of the cheese cloth or a tea towel and squeeze out the liquid over a sink or bowl.
Keep squeezing until all the liquid is released. You will be shocked at how much water will come out of those little strands. Discard the liquid and finish making the sauce.
Mix The Ingredients
In a large mixing bowl, add the minced garlic, ½ teaspoon Kosher salt, white vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil. Stir the ingredients until they are well combined.
Next, add the grated and drained cucumber strands to the bowl and stir. Measure out the the Greek Yogurt in a push measuring cup and add it to the bowl.
Then measure out the ground pepper and fresh dill and sprinkle it on top of the other ingredients. Stir the homemade Tzatziki sauce until well incorporated.
Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. The time resting in the refrigerator will not only allow the sauce to become nice and chilled, it will also allow time for the flavors to meld together.
When you are ready to serve, stir the tzatziki sauce and serve it as a condiment on your favorite burger, in a wrap, on top of grilled chicken breasts, fish filets or in a gyro. Or, if you are using it for a veggie or chip dip, place the sauce in a serving dish and drizzle the top with a little extra virgin olive oil.
Frequently Asked Questions About Homemade Tzatziki Sauce
1. Can I use jarred minced garlic?
Although I always recommend using fresh garlic whenever possible, you can substitute refrigerated jarred mined garlic in place of the minced garlic cloves.
1 clove of garlic = 1/2 teaspoon jarred minced garlic.
Therefore, in this recipe, substitute 2 teaspoons of jarred minced garlic in place of the 4 garlic cloves.
2. Can I use fat free Greek yogurt?
Yes, you can use low fat or fat free yogurt to make homemade Tzatziki sauce. Just be aware that the sauce will be a little thinner than if you used full fat Greek Yogurt.
3. I don’t have fresh dill, can I use dried dill?
Because I usually make this recipe in the summer, I tend to plenty of fresh dill on hand because I make a lot of Homemade Pickles. However, when I make this recipe for a tailgate party in the Fall, the dill from my herb garden is no longer available.
That is when I will turn to my spice drawer and pull out my dried dill spice container. As a general rule of thumb, 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs = 1 teaspoon of dried herbs.
Therefore, for this homemade Tzatziki sauce, use 1 teaspoon of dried dill if fresh dill isn’t available.
4. Can I use mint instead of dill?
If you want a hint of mint in your sauce, add 1 teaspoon of fresh diced mint and give the sauce a taste. Mint has a much stronger flavor than dill, therefore, you will want to use less than you do when adding fresh dill.
You can add both dill and mint or if you prefer, or you can leave the dill out entirely and just use the mint. This recipe is intended to be a guideline to helping you make homemade tzatziki sauce the way you like it, so feel free to make any adaptations that you prefer!
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- 1 medium seedless cucumber, ribbon peeled and sliced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 4 garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
- 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 TBSP fresh dill, chopped fine
Use a small food processor or hand grater to finely chop the cucumbers. Toss the grated cucumbers with ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Spoon the grated cucumber into a cheese cloth or a tea towel and squeeze out the liquid. Keep squeezing until all the liquid is released.
In a large mixing bowl, add the minced garlic, ½ teaspoon Kosher salt, white vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil. Stir to combine.
Add the grated and drained cucumber to the bowl. Add the Greek yogurt and stir. Stir in the yogurt, ground pepper, and the fresh dill until well incorporated.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Stir the tzatziki sauce before serving and drizzle with a little olive oil on top if serving as a dip.
Serve as a dip with vegetables, pita bread, or use as a spread or condiment in your favorite gyro, wraps or sandwiches.
Recipe provided by Make Your Meals
Serving Size:1 tablespoon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 14Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 45mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g
Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.