What Is Tzatziki?
Tzatziki is a rich, creamy, garlicky, slightly tangy, and refreshing Greek sauce. One taste of this tzatziki dip, and it will be your new go-to recipe!
Tzatziki goes great with almost all Greek food, particularly garlic butter pita bread, spanakopita, chicken or pork souvlakis, Greek salad, gyros, and Greek meatballs “keftedes”. Tzaziki is a staple in many homes and a popular delicious dip easily found in Greek restaurants for a reason!
Authentic tzatziki is made with full-fat Greek yogurt, dill, grated cucumber, garlic, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil.
Thanks to three key tips, this homemade tzatziki sauce recipe is super thick! Keep reading to find the secret tips to make this thick, creamy and delicious Greek tzatziki!
What Is the Difference Between Greek Yogurt and Regular Yogurt?
Regular and Greek yogurt are both fermented dairy products. However, Greek yogurt is strained to eliminate the whey and other liquids from regular yogurt. As a result, Greek yogurt is much thicker and tangier than regular yogurt.
The key for extra creamy tzatziki is to use plain Greek yogurt with at least 5% M.F. Using full-fat yogurt will make your tzatziki creamy and thick. If it’s the first time you’re making tzatziki, it’s a good idea to choose a Greek yogurt that you already use or like to eat.
My two favourites are Liberté Greek 5% M.F. and FAGE 5% Milkfat Greek yogurt.
How Do I Make Thick Tzatziki Sauce?
There are three important steps to ensure you end up with thick and delicious tzatziki sauce. The first is to allow the Greek yogurt to strain for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator using a cheesecloth and a strainer. The second is to remove the seeds from the centre of the cucumber.
And finally, strain the cucumber for at least 30 minutes and squeeze the moisture out of the shredded cucumber. Cucumbers hold a lot of water, so if this step is missed, you’ll end up with runny tzatziki.
How Do I Make The Best Tasting Tzatziki?
After you’ve mixed all of the ingredients with a spoon or spatula, cover the tzatziki with saran wrap or cling wrap and place it in the refrigerator.
For best results, let the tzatziki sit for at least 2 hours so that all of the ingredients can mix. Ideally, a few hours or overnight would be better. If you’re short on time, the tzatziki will still be thick, but it will taste even better since the flavours will have time to settle together!
How Long Does Tzatziki Sauce Last?
Any leftover tzatziki can last for up to four days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The flavours of the tzatziki will be more pronounced as the tzatziki sits in the fridge and the ingredients settle together.
HOW TO MAKE TZATZIKI: STEP BY STEP
STEP 1: Place a mesh strainer over a bowl and place 1 1/2 cups of Greek yogurt in a cheese cloth over the strainer. There should be enough space between the bottom of the strainer and the bowl so the liquid has enough room without touching the yogurt.
Wrap the Greek yogurt loosely in the cheese cloth over the strainer and place the yogurt in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Even though Greek yogurt is thick, it’s important to strain it to remove any excess moisture from the yogurt. This is a key step to making thick tzatziki sauce.
STEP 2: Slice the cucumber lengthwise to expose the middle of the cucumber. Use a spoon to scoop and remove the seeds from the centre of the cucumber. Discard the seeds.
English cucumber and Persian cucumber may have fewer seeds, but I still recommend doing this step so that the tzatziki isn’t watery.
STEP 3: Prep a bowl with a strainer and cheesecloth. Grate the cucumber using a grater. Place the shredded cucumber onto the cheesecloth. Sprinkle the shredded cucumber with about 1/2 a teaspoon of salt and strain the cucumber at room temperature for at least 30-45 minutes.
This step will release a lot of moisture from the cucumbers. Then, squeeze the shredded cucumber to remove excess water using the cheesecloth. If you don’t have a cheesecloth, you can use a strainer, your hands, or a thin clean kitchen towel to squeeze out the excess water.
STEP 4: Finely chop the fresh dill and set it aside. Peel and grate two cloves of garlic and set aside.
STEP 5: In a medium-sized bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, shredded cucumber, dill, garlic, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, olive oil, and salt. Mix the ingredients well together with a spoon or spatula.
Then cover the tzatziki with saran wrap or cling wrap and place the tzatziki dip in the refrigerator for at least two hours before serving. The longer, the better since all the flavours will mix and become more flavourful!
What To Eat With Tzatziki?
- Homemade pita bread or pita chips
- Pork souvlaki or chicken souvlaki
- Gyros wrap
- Meatballs “keftedes” with marinara sauce
- As a dipping sauce for fresh veggies
- Optional to top this creamy tzatziki sauce with crumbled feta cheese
- Tzatziki is an excellent choice as a healthy dip for grilled meats, greek chicken, and fries
- As a light sauce for pita wraps or a sandwich spread
- What To Serve With Tzatziki Dip (10 Best Greek Ideas!)
Easy Greek Tzatziki Sauce Recipe
- 1 ½ cups full fat plain Greek yogurt at least 5% M.F. or higher
- 1 English or Persian cucumber 3/4 cup shredded - leave the skin on
- 2 garlic cloves grated or finely diced
- 1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice remove the seeds
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh dill finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Place a mesh strainer over a bowl and spoon 1 ½ cups of Greek yogurt in a cheese cloth over the strainer. Wrap the Greek yogurt loosely in the cheese cloth and place the yogurt in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
- Slice the cucumber length-wise to expose the middle of the cucumber. Use a spoon to scoop and remove the seeds from the centre of the cucumber. Discard the seeds.
- Prep a bowl with a strainer and cheese cloth and place the shredded cucumber onto the cheese cloth. Sprinkle the shredded cucumber with about ½ a teaspoon of salt and strain the cucumber at room temperature for at least 30-45 minutes. This step will release a lot of moisture from the cucumbers. Then, squeeze the shredded cucumber to remove the excess water using the cheese cloth.
- Finely dice the fresh dill and set it aside. Peel and grate two cloves of garlic and set aside.
- In a medium-size bowl, combine the strained yogurt, shredded cucumber, dill, garlic, fresh lemon juice, white wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, and salt. Mix the ingredients together with a spoon or spatula. Then cover the tzatziki dip with saran wrap or cling wrap and place the tzatziki in the refrigerator for at least two hours before serving.
- When straining the Greek yogurt and shredded cucumber, make sure there's enough space for the liquid to gather at the bottom of the bowl so that it doesn't touch the yogurt or cucumbers.
- Even though Greek yogurt is thick, straining the yogurt for a few hours is an important step to make tzatziki sauce that is thick and not runny.
- If you don't have a cheese cloth, you can use a mesh strainer.
Date Published: February 20, 2022