Homemade Tzatziki is a cool and creamy Greek Yogurt Sauce that's lemony and loaded with cucumbers and fresh herbs. Use this sauce as a spread or dip and pair it with all of your favorite Mediterranean dishes, pita chips, grilled vegetables, sandwiches and more.
Whether you are grilling meat or fish, serving raw vegetables or building a gyro sandwich, you'll want to add a generous helping of Tzatziki sauce. This simple sauce is cool and creamy and pairs well with a variety of foods. It perfect in the summer but you can enjoy homemade Tzatziki any time of the year.
What is Tzatziki Sauce?
Tzatziki dip is a Greek yogurt sauce made with strained yogurt, cucumbers, lemon, salt and a selection of herbs and spices. It's used on meat, seafood, vegetables and more. Tzatziki is flavorful but not overpowering. It's cool and creamy so it balances bold foods and is the perfect condiment on a hot summer day.
Some of my favorite ways to eat homemade Tzatziki sauce is to spoon it over air fryer baked potatoes instead of sour cream or slather it on a bold and flavorful Chicken Shwarma Sandwich. Tzatziki can even be drizzled over this colorful Rainbow Greek Chicken Salad and used like a salad dressing.
- Greek Yogurt – Greek yogurt has been strained so it is thick and creamy. Use plain, unsweetened yogurt for the best results.
- Lemon Juice – Use freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Cucumber – Shredded cucumber will practically melt into the tzatziki sauce. If you prefer a bit more texture, you can dice the cucumber.
- Olive Oil – For an even bolder flavor, use extra virgin olive oil.
- Garlic Powder – You can substitute with 1-2 freshly minced garlic cloves. I often use garlic powder because it is convenient and the flavor is less pungent than raw garlic.
- Fresh Dill – Freshly chopped dill adds flavor and color to the dip. Authentic Tzatziki sauce is typically made with dill or mint or a combination. Fresh is best but use 1 teaspoon of dried if that is all you have.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Tzatziki Sauce
- Combine yogurt, lemon juice, cucumber, olive oil, salt and garlic powder in a small bowl. Stir in the freshly chopped dill.
- Store in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight until ready to serve. Garnish with extra fresh dill or olive oil for a nice presentation if desired.
Hint: Grate the cucumbers and place them in a colander lined with paper towels to drain off extra water. This will prevent your finished Greek yogurt sauce from becoming watery.
- Low Fat and Healthier – Depending on your dietary needs you can use low-fat greek yogurt or use full fat for keto and low-carb diets.
- Spicy - Seed and finely chop jalapenos for a spicy greek yogurt sauce.
- Dairy Free and Vegan - To make this dairy free and vegan, substitute the Greek yogurt with a vegan option such as coconut yogurt.
- Use Sour Cream - Replace the Greek yogurt with sour cream for a richer, more decadent tzatziki sauce.
- Additions - Traditional tzatziki is simple and basic but you can boost the flavor by adding in mixins such as chopped artichokes, red pepper, olives, or fresh garlic.
Leftovers / Storage
Store any leftover sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Because of fresh ingredients, this dip won't keep for long. If you smell any off odors or notice any mold, discard it right away.
As with many sauces, the flavor of Greek yogurt sauce improves with time. Make the sauce the day before you plan to serve it and refrigerate it overnight to allow flavors to develop.
What to Eat with Tzatziki
Tzatziki can be served as a dip, sauce or even a salad dressing. I like to serve it with cut raw vegetables for an easy appetizer but this sauce is versatile and can be used in so many ways. It's great spread on burgers or sandwiches too. Here are some of my favorite ways to use this creamy Greek yogurt sauce.
- Dip meaty Kofta Kabobs in Tzatziki sauce.
- Prepare homemade pita bread then slice and bake them to make pita chips. Serve them with creamy greek yogurt sauce.
- Serve this cucumber yogurt sauce with Greek Shrimp Skewers as an alternative to cocktail sauce.
While you can freeze Tzatziki, it's not recommended. When using yogurt or sour cream, freezing will change the texture and the sauce may become grainy and watery, even after fully defrosting.
Due to the freshness of the ingredients in homemade Tzatziki sauce, it doesn't have a long shelf life. The leftover sauce should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. If the sauce has an ammonia smell, off odor or mold, discard it.
When made with low fat Greek yogurt, this dip is both low in calories and fat and a great source of protein and probiotics. Taztziki dip is a great alternative to mayonnaise or sour cream based dips.
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Homemade Tzatziki Sauce
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup shredded cucumber
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
- In a small bowl, mix together yogurt, lemon juice, cucumber, olive oil, salt garlic powder, and dill. Combine well.
- Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Garnish with extra fresh dill or olive oil if desired. (See notes below.)
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