This is my very best authentic Greek tzatziki sauce recipe (yogurt, garlic, cucumber dip) for you to recreate it from scratch just like you have tasted it at the best taverns!
What is Greek tzatziki sauce?
Tzatziki is a traditional Greek garlic, yogurt and cucumber sauce, that is known and loved around the world. It is also known as “gyro sauce”, because it is commonly used in stuffed pita bread with gyro meat (souvlaki).
Tzatziki is cool and refreshing with creamy and light texture. It is a very versatile dip and of course the ideal match for that super tasty chicken souvlaki, lamb souvlaki, pork souvlaki, beef souvlaki, grilled meats and of course a traditional greek salad!
It is also served as part of a meze platter together with some hummus, taramasalata, talatouri, melitzanosalata (aubergine dip), tirokafteri (spicy feta cheese dip), fava (Yellow Split Peas Puree) and some delicious beef meatballs and lamb meatballs. Of course also by itself, with warm crusted bread or pita bread.
Ingredients for an Authentic Greek Tzatziki sauce recipe
The main ingredients for making an authentic Greek tzatziki recipe are plenty of fresh garlic, extra creamy thick yogurt and cucumber. A great Tzatziki sauce is all about the garlic. If you are not afraid of the smell use a little extra. Your tastebuds will thank you!
Most tzatziki recipes outside Greece call for the use of chopped dill or mint. However, for the authentic Greek tzatziki sauce recipe it is rarely, if ever, used! In Cyprus tzatziki is called Talatouri, and is made with fresh or dry mint, and lemon juice instead of vinegar.
Also if you are a vegan, we’ve got you covered! Take a look at my vegan tzatziki sauce recipe where I go through the best yogurts to use as well as how to make it so it tastes just like the original!
What does Greek Tzatziki sauce taste like?
Tzatziki is a very refreshing sauce, that is very popular during the summer. As you can see the ingredients used in this tzatziki recipe are Greek yogurt, cucumber, garlic, olive oil and vinegar. So you can imagine it tastes sour and creamy, with a crunchy bite. One can also taste a light background acidity from the vinegar and of course garlic flavor and aroma.
How to make the best Greek tzatziki sauce
Although this tzatziki recipe sounds very simple to make, in order to achieve the perfect texture, you have to pay attention to the details!
First of all it is important to use the garlic minced or grated. If you chop the garlic in pieces with a knife – even if you finely chop it! -your Tzatziki sauce will be lumpy. Making it possible to taste a less than pleasant piece of garlic..
Secondly, in order to achieve the perfect texture for the tzatziki sauce it is necessary to use strained Greek yogurt, as it is smoother and creamier than other yogurts. Also make sure to use the yogurt cold from the fridge.
Tip: Probably the most important part when making a Greek tzatziki sauce recipe is the preparation of the cucumber.
Preferably use some seedless cucumber or in case you use a seeded one, make sure you remove the seeds. Cucumber seeds give a little too much moisture which will make the Tzatziki sauce more watery. Furthermore their texture is not the desirable.
To grate the cucumber use the large holes of your box grater and make sure to drain the pulp really really well. The key is to remove as much of the moisture as possible, so that the tzatziki sauce can remain creamy. Removing the excess water of the cucumber also helps concentrating the flavor of the cucumber and makes it crispier.
To drain the cucumber use a cloth and squeeze it with your hands. I find this is the easier and more efficient way to remove the excess moisture, as the alternative of salting the cucumber and wait for the moisture to drip, takes a bit longer.
How long does homemade tzatziki last in the fridge?
Homemade tzatziki sauce is best consumed fresh. You can freeze it, if you have some leftover, but don’t expect the result to be perfect. The cucumbers will become a bit mushy and the sauce a bit more watery.
You can store your homemade tzatziki sauce in the fridge in an airtight container. It will last for about 3 days before it starts going bad. If it has gone bad you can tell by the smell. If it smells sour, like yogurt or milk gone bad, then it is time to get rid of it.
What to eat and serve with Greek tzatziki sauce?
Greek tzatziki sauce can be served as part of a meze platter. I meze platter is a combination of Greek starter dishes like dolmades, meatballs, pita breads and vegetables like plump tomatoes, cucumbers and black olives. Also, slices of Greek cheeses like graviera and feta cheese are a very nice addition to a meze platter.
Tzatziki is also perfect to accompany grilled meat of any kind, chicken, pork or lamb and of course if you serve with some juicy chicken and pork skewers you will have a match made in heaven!
If you are a vegetarian try pairing tzatziki sauce with grilled vegetables like carrots, corn, peppers and green beans or even a delicious Greek lentil salad!
How to Make Authentic Τzatziki sauce recipe (Video tutorial)
We love this tzatziki sauce recipe so much that we made a short video showing you how to make it to perfection. Check it out below and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more delicious quick recipes here: https://www.youtube.com/mygreekdishLooking for some more inspiration? Check out also my favorite taramasalata (Greek fish roe dip), Hummus, melitzanosalata and feta cheese dip recipes.
Oh and you can always read this delicious recipe in Greek here Τζατζίκι συνταγή (Εύκολο σπιτικό τζατζίκι με σκόρδο).Print
Authentic Tzatziki sauce Recipe (Greek Yogurt, Cucumber Dip)
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Cook Time: 0 min
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 3 cups 1x
- Category: Dips
- Cuisine: Greek
The authentic Greek tzatziki sauce recipe. Find out how to prepare this creamy Greek yogurt, cucumber and garlic dip as served in the very best taverns!
- 1 cucumber
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/4 of a cup extra virgin olive oil
- 500g strained Greek yogurt (18 ounces)
- 1–2 tbsps of red wine vinegar
- a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper
- To prepare this authentic Greek tzatziki sauce recipe, remove the skin and the seeds of the cucumber and grate it into a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and leave aside for 10 minutes.
- Afterwards, wrap the grated cucumber in a towel and squeeze, in order to get rid of the excess water.
- Assemble the tzatziki sauce. In a bowl, add the cucumber, the minced garlic and olive oil, the yogurt, 1-2 tbsps of red wine vinegar, a pinch of salt and blend, until the ingredients are combined. Store the tzatziki sauce in the fridge and always serve cold. (Alternatively, if you have a blender, pour in the olive oil and garlic and blend until combined. Then mix with the rest of the ingredients using a spoon. This will help the garlic to mix better with the rest of the ingredients).
- Prepare this traditional tzatziki sauce for your friends and family and serve as a delicious dip with some warm pita breads aside, or as a sauce for Greek-style souvlaki. Enjoy!
- Serving Size: 2 tbsps
- Calories: 85kcal
- Sugar: 2.1g
- Sodium: 209.1mg
- Fat: 6.8g
- Saturated Fat: 1.7g
- Unsaturated Fat: 4.9g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 2.7g
- Fiber: 0.1g
- Protein: 3.9g
- Cholesterol: 5.4mg
Keywords: Authentic Tzatziki recipe, Greek Yogurt and Cucumber sauce
finally an authentic greek recipe indeed to make tzaziki dip, you have no idea how many people have called me crazy for grinding the cucumber instead of chopping it up so i’m happy that once again i am proved right so thank you!!!!!
I just came back from Greece with a package of tzatziki mix. I followed the instructions and it doesn’t taste like the original! I muc their mic, used Greek yogurt, their olive oil… What do you think is missing!?
when you make tzaziki just grate your pealed cucumber, squize to get rid of reduntant fluid, add a bit of pepper, olive oil, grated garlic (you can use garlic powder or paste too), greek yogurt and mix it all, then finally add about a teaspoon of red wine vinegar, that is how my mom taught me how to make it and she is married to a greek person
do not buy the mix cos it ain’t the same and never will
Just returned from Creta, made this dish with Greek olive oil from my friends olive grove. Vinegar from my other friend in Erraklion , bought the strained Yogurt from Waitrose, grated and squeezed the cucumber in a cloth. Mixed it all up, just fantastic.
with regards to the garlic, I crush 2 cloves and leave them in the tzatziki to release their flavour
Recently, I came across your website while browsing, and having never tried any Greek recipes, I did try Chicken Souvlaki and Tzatziki dip and its was delicious. My family loved it. I guess now, will trying few more of your Greek recipes. Thanks for the easy, simple and delicious recipes.
Your welcome Rena, thank you for the amazing feedback 🙂 I’m sure you’ll find many more that you love!! 🙂
What is strained yogurt?
Its Greek yoghurt 🙂
For tzatziki, if you don’t have red wine vinegar, can you sub with another kind?
I just made mine but didn’t have red wine vinegar, so I used lemon juice. I think that works better.
Of you don’t have red wine vinegar the next best thing is a few drops of balsamico vinegar
How long do you strain the yogurt?
Just until water stops dripping. Alternatively if you get strained greek yoghurt you can skip that step 🙂
Love the sound of this recipe and lovely to have an actual Greek recipes. Can you please tell me how many persons one portion of the Tzatziki recipe serves and is that the same with the other dip recipes. Thanks and keep the recipes coming please.
I was always under the impression that fresh squeezed lemon juice was the acid that has been traditionally used for authentic tzatziki. I make basically the same recipe with lemon juice and that works better than vinegar for my pallet…