Tzatziki (pronounced zhat-zee-kee) is a traditional, Greek cucumber yogurt sauce flavored with tons of lemon juice and chopped dill. It serves as a refreshing condiment for pita bread, gyro, kofta, raw or fried vegetables, whole baked fish, grilled meats, or really any Greek dish out there!
Its most traditional form is composed of strained yogurt made from fat-free goat’s milk or sheep’s milk, strained of its whey, which results in a thick consistency.
In just 15 minutes, you will be left with a lusciously creamy sauce for any Mediterranean main course or appetizer.
- Full-fat Yogurt
- Lemon Juice
- English Cucumber
- Ground Pepper
Grating the Cucumber
Cucumbers have a ton of water in them. To ensure your tzatziki is not thin and lifeless, we recommend grating the cucumber and using either cheesecloth or paper towels to squeeze out the excess water before adding it to the yogurt. This step will only take a few minutes.
Some very traditional methods will require you to remove the excess water using a cheesecloth and allow the cucumbers to dry out overnight in the refrigerator. However, we have found that simply taking the time to remove some of the excess water at the beginning of the process will help achieve the right consistency.
Use Strained Yogurt or Full-Fat Yogurt
Although tzatziki is most commonly made from strained yogurt, strained yogurt may or may not be accessible depending on where you live. If you cannot get your hands on strained yogurt, we recommend using full-fat yogurt for this recipe.
Using full-fat yogurt will ensure the consistency is thinner than hummus but thicker than a smoothie. The choice is up to you, but this is an important consideration when making your yogurt selection.
How to Thicken the Tzatziki
You will likely not have to employ this technique for this recipe if you use strained or full-fat yogurt. Nevertheless, if you make the tzatziki and are still unhappy with the consistency, seal it in an airtight container and refrigerate it for two hours. It will naturally thicken in the refrigerator.
How to Eat It
Store it in your refrigerator in an airtight container and consume it for up to 4 days.
Purge Your Fridge
- 1 cup full-fat plain yogurt
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 1 cup English cucumber grated
- 1/4 cup dill finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp cured sumac
- 1/2 tsp salt
- ground pepper
Cut the Vegetables and Squeeze the Lemons
- Grate the English cucumber.
- Wrap the grated cucumber in cheesecloth and squeeze out the excess liquid.
- Finely chop the dill, and peel and clean the garlic cloves. Set aside.
- Squeeze the lemons. Set the juice aside.
Blend the Tzatziki
- Combine yogurt, garlic, and lemon juice in a food processor.
- Grind until smooth.
Stir in the Seasoning
- Stir in the cucumber, dill, cured sumac, salt, and ground pepper.
- Serve and enjoy.