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Tzatziki sauce in a white bowl on a white platter with cucumber slices, pita chips, and cherry tomatoes.

Tzatziki (Cucumber Yogurt Sauce)

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5 from 11 reviews

Tzatziki is hard to pronounce but so easy to put together. This Greek condiment uses simple ingredients and is fresh, healthy and delicious, a true crowd-pleaser. Use it as a sauce with grilled meats, sandwiches, gyros, tacos, and salads. It's also a great dip with pita chips and raw vegetable platters.

  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups


  • 2 cups full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup coarsely grated cucumber, seedless (about 1 large cucumber)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (plus more to serve)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


  1. If you have regular yogurt, let it drain for several hours to a day to thicken. Place a cheesecloth-lined colander (or fine mesh sieve) over a bowl, cover it, and let it sit in the fridge. When ready to use, discard the water collected at the bowl's bottom.
  2. For the cucumber: peel it if you want to (I don't), cut it in half lengthwise and then in half again to make quarters. With a kitchen knife, remove the seeds by cutting them downwards (similar to removing the core of a pineapple).
  3. Grate it using a coarse or large-holed grater, add ½ teaspoon salt and place it in a medium mesh colander over a bowl that contains it. It should have space for the liquid to collect. Let it sit for 30 minutes. Drain it well by squeezing it with clean hands or a kitchen towel. Or place it on paper towels and blot to remove excess water.
  4. Place the yogurt in a medium bowl and add the drained cucumber, minced garlic, chopped herbs, lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil, salt, andblack pepper to taste, and stir to combine.
  5. Check the seasonings, adjust if needed, and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to a day, covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container to avoid dryness. 
  6. Serve cold with extra cucumber slices, pita chips, lemon wedges and fresh herbs.


  • Grating: use a large-holed or coarse grater (a box grater also works). You can also dice it small, but squeezing the excess liquid is harder. 
  • Yogurt: if Greek yogurt is unavailable, strain regular natural yogurt until thick and creamy. 
  • Storage: it's encouraged to make it a few hours to a day before to allow the flavors to meld. It keeps well for 1-2 days in the refrigerator before the herbs wilt too much. You can keep it longer in an airtight container, but the dill and mint will not be as bright or fresh. I don't recommend freezing tzatziki, though you technically can. The cucumbers and herbs lose the freshness that is characteristic of this Greek sauce. 
  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Sauces - Dips
  • Method: Mixing
  • Cuisine: Greek


  • Serving Size: 1/8
  • Calories: 89
  • Sugar: 3.2 g
  • Sodium: 316.6 mg
  • Fat: 5.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 4 g
  • Fiber: 0.1 g
  • Protein: 6.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 9.3 mg