Home » Recipes » Course » Dips » The BEST Creamy Tzatziki Sauce

The BEST Creamy Tzatziki Sauce

Jul 6, 2023 | 0 comments

Thick, creamy tzatziki sauce feels like summer on a plate. Tangy Greek yogurt, fresh cucumber, zesty lemon and a hit of garlic makes this super easy dip irresistibly delicious. It’s quick, easy, uses minimal ingredients and you need no special equipment.

Tzatziki sauce spread onto a small green serving plate, topped with marinated olives with pita chips on the side.

Tzatziki, when done right, instantly transports me Greece, swooping freshly baked pita through a big bowl of it, looking out to the sea.

It feels fresh, light and when it’s properly thick and creamy, is utterly divine. It’s also INCREDIBLY easy, uses minimal ingredients and no fancy equipment. If you’ve never made your own dip before, tzatziki is the perfect place to start.

Serve it with a selection of dips, sourdough crackers, crudites and pita chips, use it as a base for grilled meat (like these Greek chicken meatballs or lamb koftas), toss through salads for a quick dressing, dollop onto flatbreads or pizza, or serve as a dipping sauce with crispy fries or potato wedges. There are seriously so many ways to serve tzatziki.

Three tricks to get the BEST thick and creamy tzatziki

  • Grate your cucumber. Some recipes call for chopping it, but I much prefer grating here. Not only is this quicker, it means you get so much more of the cucumber flavour in your tzatziki and it’s MUCH easier to get the water out (the second key step). To make things even quicker and easier, use a small food chopper to blitz the cucumber.
  • It’s KEY to squeeze as much water out of your cucumber as possible. I know this is kind of an annoying extra step, but I PROMISE it’s worth it. Cucumbers are more than 90% water, and as they sit, that water will release into your tzatziki, making it runny and thin.
  • Use a thick, proper Greek or Greek-style yogurt as your base. Fat-free is fine, but make sure it’s THICK and not plain, natural yogurt, which tends to be a lot runnier.

Ingredients

All you need are a handful of basic ingredients to make this lovely sauce.

Ingredients for tzatziki sauce laid out on a grey marble background and labelled.
  • Cucumber. You should only need half a large cucumber here, but if yours is small (less than 15cm/6″), use the whole thing.
  • Greek yogurt. Use a proper thick, Greek or Greek style yogurt for the best creamy result. Fat-free is fine, but try to stay away from plain, natural yogurt. This tends to be too thin and watery to produce a lovely creamy tzatziki. For an extra luxurious version, use labneh (strained yogurt) as your base.
  • Garlic. I am a garlic field so am using three fat cloves here, but you can reduce the amount (or increase it!) if you like.
  • Lemon. We’ll use lemon zest and juice here, so ideally you want to go for a fresh lemon. If you can’t find one, just use bottled lemon juice, but you might need to add a little more since you won’t have the zest.

How to make it

Use a box grater to grate your cucumber (no need to peel it or de-seed it), then place the grated cucumber into a sieve or colander set over a bowl, lined with layers of kitchen towel, or a piece of cheesecloth. Mix in a little salt, then let it sit for a few minutes.

Squeeze as much water as you can from the cucumber, then transfer it to a small bowl along with the other ingredients.

PRO TIP: If you don’t have any kitchen towel or cheesecloth, just pop the grated cucumber straight into a fine sieve, and use your hands to squeeze and press the cucumber together to wring out the water.

Mix the tzatziki together, then give it a little taste and add a touch more salt, pepper and lemon juice if you like. Spoon out onto a serving plate and serve with your favourite crackers (I can never go past pita chips).

A drizzle of olive oil finishes things off nicely, and I love adding a scattering of nutty dukkah, marinated olives or confit garlic too.

Got a question?

Is tzatziki made from yogurt or sour cream?

Traditionally, tzatziki is made with thick, strained yogurt, not sour cream.

Can I add anything else to the tzatziki?

You can add fresh herbs like mint, dill or flat-leaf parsley if you like.

How long will tzatziki last in the fridge?

It will keep well at least 1 week, stored in a covered container in the fridge. Give it a little mix before you go to use it, any remaining water from the cucumber tends to settle at the bottom of the container, but is easily mixed back in with the sauce.

Five ways to serve tzatziki

Like this recipe? You might like to try these other quick dips

If you make this recipe, I’d love to hear from you! You can leave me a comment below.

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Tzatziki sauce spread onto a small green serving plate, topped with marinated olives with pita chips on the side.

The BEST Creamy Tzatziki Sauce


  • Author: Kate Alexandra
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Thick, creamy tzatziki sauce feels like summer on a plate. Tangy Greek yogurt, fresh cucumber, zesty lemon and a hit of garlic makes this super easy dip irresistibly delicious. It’s quick, easy, uses minimal ingredients and you need no special equipment.


Ingredients

Scale

For the tzatziki –

  • 1/2 large cucumber
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup thick Greek or Greek-style yogurt
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Black pepper

Optional, to garnish –


Instructions

  1. Grate your cucumber. Set a colander or fine sieve over a small bowl, then line it with 4 layers of thick kitchen towel, or a cheesecloth. Use a box grater to grate your cucumber (skin and all). Place the grated cucumber into the prepared colander or sieve. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt over the cucumber and mix it through, then let it sit for a minute. PRO TIP: If you don’t have kitchen towel or a cheesecloth, just place the grated cucumber directly into the sieve.
  2. Squeeze the excess liquid from the cucumber. Pick up the ends of your kitchen towel or cheesecloth, so that the cucumber collects as a ball at the bottom. Squeeze and wring the cloth, getting as much water out as you can. There should be a good 1/4 cup of water released from the cucumber. If you’ve put your cucumber directly into the sieve, use your hands to squeeze the cucumber together and press it against the sieve to release the water that way. It’s a little messier but works just as well.
  3. Mix the tzatziki. Add the squeezed cucumber to a small bowl, along with 1 cup of Greek yogurt, the crushed garlic cloves, the zest of your lemon, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and a good grind of black pepper. Give it a good mix to combine well, then taste, and add a little more salt or lemon juice if you think it’s needs something extra.

Notes

STORAGE INSTRUCTIONS: The tzatziki will keep well for 1 week, stored in the fridge in an airtight container.

INGREDIENT NOTES: If you want proper thick and creamy tzatziki, it’s important to use thick, Greek or Greek style yogurt, instead of plain natural yogurt. Fat free is fine too. If you like, you can add a handful of chopped fresh mint, dill or flat-leaf parsley to the sauce.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Serve with your favourite crackers or pita chips, spoon onto fresh bread (it’s great with no knead focaccia, Vogel’s style seed bread or rosemary parmesan bread), dollop onto flatbreads or pizza, toss through salads, serve with grilled meat or roasted veggies.

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Category: dips
  • Method: no cook
  • Cuisine: mediterranean

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 tablespoons

Keywords: tzatziki, cucumber dip

Welcome!

I’m Kate, the creator behind Dished. I love creating flavour packed, simple (ish) recipes for you, designed for every day and special occasions.

GET YOUR FREE

Fakeaway

Favourites

E-BOOK NOW

This e-book includes my absolute favourite fakeaway recipes (popular takeaway dishes you can make at home!)

Leave a comment & rate this recipe

your email will not be published

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star