This authentic tzatziki recipe makes a creamy cucumber dip to serve with gryos, lamb, chicken, or chips for dipping. Make this recipe easily in 10 minutes!
Tzatziki s a great multipurpose dip recipe. I love it because it can be thinned to create a tasty sauce for minted lamb burgers, gryos, or even cucumber salad dressing.
Authentic tzatziki recipe
INGREDIENT NOTES + SUBSTITUTIONS
- cucumber – Because you’ll be peeling them, the variety of cucumber you use in this recipe doesn’t matter too much. My preference is to use English cucumbers, which are firmer and have fewer seeds than traditional slicing cucumbers.
- plain Greek yogurt – The yogurt will add some tang and great flavor to the tzatziki sauce. To prevent the sauce from being runny, avoid using regular yogurt. If you need a substitute, sour cream is a good one.
- lemon juice (half a lemon)
- fresh mint leaves
- ground cumin
- cayenne pepper – I use cayenne pepper for a little zip of spicy heat to balance with the sweet cucumbers. If you don’t want to use it, the tzatziki sauce will be delicious without it.
- salt and black pepper
USES FOR TZATZIKI SAUCE
It’s fantastic on gyros, but there are plenty of other ways to use this flavorful sauce:
- Spread it onto a toasted bagel or pita
- Dip for chips or raw veggies
- Salad dressing
- Substitute it for mayo on your favorite sandwich
- Sauce for lamb chops, steak shish kababs, or chicken souvlaki
If you want to know how to make tzatziki sauce that disappears from the bowl as quickly as you make it, here are my tips:
- Grate the cucumbers. There are times when using larger pieces of cucumber is good, like in Cucumber and Shrimp Salad, or Creamy Cucumber Salad.
But this authentic tzatziki recipe creates a creamy sauce. Grating the cucumbers on the large holes of a vegetable grater helps to keep the sauce smooth and creamy.
- Squeeze out excess moisture. After you grate the cucumbers, place them into a double layer of paper toweling. Then, squeeze as much of the excess moisture out of the cucumbers as you possibly can. Otherwise, you will end up with runny tzatziki.
- Use fresh ingredients. The flavor of fresh lemon juice is one you will never get from a bottle of lemon juice concentrate. Same goes for the mint. Use fresh leaves with no blemishes or brown spots. If you grow it yourself, pick the leaves just before creating the sauce.
This recipe first appeared on Kevin Is Cooking March 2013 and has been updated with new photos and video.
Watch how to make tzatziki below!
Authentic Tzatziki Recipe
- 1 large cucumber grated
- 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice (half a lemon)
- 1/4 cup fresh mint packed, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Using a box cheese grater, grate the trimmed cucumber on the large holes. Place in a cloth or paper towels and squeeze excess water out. Set aside.
- Whisk the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, mint, kosher salt, pepper, cumin, and cayenne pepper in medium bowl to blend. Add grated cucumbers and toss to coat. Season the mixture to taste.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Serve with chips, pita bread or any grilled meat or burgers.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.