The perfect summer sauce, tzatziki is cool, refreshing, tangy, and zesty! Serve plain, as a dip, or as a side.
* This post was updated with new photos 🙂
Since we're in the heart of summer, I wanted to share a low effort, refreshing sauce. And if you ask me, there's not a more refreshing side than tzatziki! This sauce only requires a handful of ingredients, and doesn't take much prep!
What is tzatziki sauce?
If you've never heard of or had tzatziki, it's basically a yogurt and cucumber based sauce, usually served alongside grilled chicken, lamb, beef, or vegetables. Most traditionally, tzatziki is used to top off gyro sandwiches.
What is tzatziki sauce made of?
Tzatziki sauce is typically made out of Greek yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and herbs (usually dill or mint).
I personally like to leave the olive oil out of the mixture itself, and use it as a topping. It's mostly because I love A LOT of olive oil, but my family likes a more subtle flavor. Using it as a topping helps me make it more customizable, but it's traditionally mixed in with the sauce directly.
Don't have Greek yogurt?
Most tzatziki recipes call for Greek yogurt, which is basically like regular yogurt, but it has some of the liquid strained from it. That means it's like a firmer, drier yogurt. If you don't have Greek yogurt, you can still make tzatziki sauce!
I've made this sauce with plain yogurt a lot of times before, and the flavor doesn't change one bit! The only difference is the texture. Tzatziki sauce made with plain yogurt is runnier and saucier, while tzatziki made with Greek yogurt is firmer.
You can also strain plain yogurt to make a DIY Greek yogurt substitute. Place a strainer over a large bowl, and line the strainer with some cheesecloth or a few layers of paper towel. Add your plain yogurt to the strainer and salt it. The salt will pull the water out of the yogurt. Cover and refrigerate.
You can let the yogurt sit for as long as you like. The longer it sits, the firmer your yogurt will be. I like to leave it for around 2 to 4 hours. If you find your yogurt has firmed up too much, you can stir in some of the liquid that's seeped out into your bowl to soften it again!
How to serve tzatziki sauce:
You can serve tzatziki sauce on its own, as a dip, or as a side to a lot of different meals. Some of my favorite things to dip are vegetables (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, bell pepper, celery), tortilla chips, pita bread, and toasted bread. Tzatziki sauce also goes wonderfully with some grilled chicken, kebabs, steak, or grilled vegetables!
How long is tzatziki good for?
Tzatziki sauce will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge. When storing, make sure to pack the tzatziki into an airtight container and seal well to help it last longer.
If you liked this tzatziki sauce, you may also like:
Tzatziki Sauce Recipe
- 1 cup cucumbers, grated on the large side of a box grater
- 1 & ½ cup Greek yogurt * see notes
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fresh or dried mint ** see notes
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Grate about 3 to 4 medium cucumbers with the large side of a box grater, until you have about 1 cup. Top with a pinch of salt and let the cucumbers sit for about 5 minutes to release some water. Gently squeeze out the water with you hands, and transfer the cucumbers to a medium mixing bowl.
- Top your cucumbers with the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, mint, and salt. Mix together until incorporated. Cover and keep stored in the fridge until ready to serve.