Tzatziki (pronounced tsah-see-key) is a simple cucumber yogurt sauce made with garlic, dill and lemon juice. It’s the perfect topping for meat, veggies and pita or as a dip. It’s also a great addition to salads and soups. It’s the kind of food that people order at Greek or Mediterranean restaurants. It’s really easy to make at home and you can control the ingredients that go into it. This is one of those recipes that I recommend making ahead so the flavors have time to meld. It also keeps well in the refrigerator.
This recipe is based on a recipe from a cookbook I bought years ago. I have made a few modifications over the years. The most important is the use of full fat, plain yogurt rather than low fat or non-fat. The flavor and texture is much better with full fat yogurt. Another change is to add fresh dill instead of dried dill. Dried dill is a little bitter and just doesn’t have the same flavor as fresh dill. The last ingredient I changed was to add some sugar. This helps the tzatziki to keep it from going runny after sitting out for an hour or so.
If you’re looking for a low-calorie alternative, try substituting the yogurt with sour cream. It won’t be as thick but it will still taste delicious!
I also recommend grating the cucumber using the large side of the box grater and draining it really well. The biggest contributor to watery tzatziki is the cucumber so it’s important to get as much moisture out as possible. You can use a paper towel, a coffee filter or even your hands to press out the excess water. It’s worth the extra effort because a watery tzatziki is not as delicious as a creamy tzatziki.
Once everything is mixed together, it’s important to let the tzatziki sit for an hour or so in the fridge. This gives the flavors a chance to blend and it makes the tzatziki super creamy. It also allows the cucumber to soften and it becomes less sour.
Tzatziki is so easy to make at home and it’s much healthier than the versions you get at a restaurant. Plus you can control the amount of fat and preservatives that are added. So make some today and serve it on a chicken souvlaki wrap, in a chicken gyro sandwich, on a piece of crudite or as a veggie dip. It will be a hit with everyone you serve it to. Enjoy! tzatziki rezept