Learning how to make Tzatziki Sauce at home is easy and takes less than 10 minutes! Using grated cucumbers, Greek yogurt, and fresh herbs, you get the creamiest and most refreshing sauce that goes well with not only gyros, but also all kinds of meats and vegetables.
I never get tired of making sauces, dressings, and dips at home. Whether it’s pesto, ranch dressing, or Italian dressing, the sauces always come together in no time and taste incredibly fresh. Plus, they’re so versatile and always better than store-bought!
The same is true, of course, for this easy Tzatziki Sauce recipe. This popular Greek yogurt sauce has gorgeous layers of creamy, herbaceous, and refreshing flavors thanks to simple, yet flavor-packed ingredients, like cucumber, yogurt, lemon, and fresh herbs.
In less than 10 minutes, your Greek-inspired sauce is ready to serve with endless dishes. Serve it with homemade gyros, lamb lettuce wraps, stuffed zucchini boats, roasted chicken, or veggies and pita for dipping. There isn’t a bad way to use it!
What is tzatziki?
Tzatziki (pronounced sat-see-kee) is a creamy and refreshing sauce made from yogurt, grated cucumber, garlic, and fresh herbs. It’s often associated with Greek cuisine but is popular throughout the Mediterranean in Europe and the Middle East. The light creaminess makes it the perfect sauce to serve with grilled meats, falafel, fresh vegetables, gyros, and more.
- Cucumber – You’ll always find grated cucumber in tzatziki. It’s cooling, crisp, and super refreshing! Use a seedless English cucumber.
- Greek yogurt – Full-fat plain Greek yogurt is best in tzatziki! It’s rich, creamy, and thick enough to give the sauce a spreadable consistency. For a more authentic Greek experience, use sheep or goat yogurt as a substitute.
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Fresh herbs – Fresh dill and mint give the sauce another layer of refreshingly bright flavors. While I recommend using both, you can make the sauce with only dill or only mint if you prefer (the flavors in the sauce won’t be as balanced, though), or replace either one with fresh parsley.
- Lemon juice – Squeeze the lemon juice from fresh lemons if you can. It’s much fresher than the bottled stuff.
- Garlic clove
- Kosher salt
And if you end up with leftover Greek yogurt, put it to use in any of these 45+ Greek yogurt recipes!
How to make tzatziki sauce
Grate the cucumber in a mini food processor or with a box grater. Place the shreds in a metal strainer and sprinkle salt over top to help the excess water drain faster. You can also press them down with the back of a spoon to squeeze out more water.
Transfer the drained cucumber to a large bowl. Add the yogurt, olive oil, chopped herbs, lemon juice, garlic, and salt, then stir to combine.
Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes. Afterward, taste it and adjust the flavors by adding more fresh herbs, lemon juice, and/or salt as needed.
Use the sauce immediately or let it chill in the fridge before serving. Enjoy!
Tips and tricks
- Use a citrus zester to finely grate the garlic clove. You don’t want to bite into a large chunk of raw garlic here!
- You can leave the cucumber peel intact to make this in a hurry or peel the cucumber if you don’t like the crunchy texture. The only time you SHOULD peel the cucumber is if you’re using a waxy variety.
- Let the tzatziki chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour after it’s mixed together. This gives the flavors time to get to know each other, giving you much tastier tzatziki.
This sauce is the perfect match for your favorite Greek or Mediterranean-inspired dishes, like Lamb Lettuce Wraps, tabbouleh, Gyro Bowls or wraps, chicken souvlaki, couscous, Lamb Kebabs, Greek Lamb Bowls, and Greek-marinated chicken.
Its cooling nature also makes it a refreshing pairing with spicy dishes, like this Harissa Chicken, and a nice accompaniment to grilled meats and vegetables.
Not sure what to do with leftover tzatziki? Use it as a last-minute spread for Lamb Burgers or enjoy it with fresh crisp veggies for a simple snack.
Tzatziki has a little bit of everything; it’s perfectly creamy, rich, refreshing, savory, tangy, and bright. To ensure you don’t miss out on its amazing blend of flavors, I highly recommend using the freshest ingredients you can find. Freshly squeezed lemon juice and vibrant green herbs give it a distinguishable pop of flavor that’s similar to what you’d find in Greek restaurants!
Yes, I highly recommend draining the water from the shredded cucumber when making homemade tzatziki. Skipping this step will result in watery, loose tzatziki that isn’t as rich or flavorful as the version with drained cucumber.
You can make dairy free tzatziki using non-dairy yogurt, however, it might not be as rich and luxurious as the traditional version. To help with this, try to use a full-fat vegan yogurt, like coconut yogurt.
The leftover tzatziki will stay fresh for 3 to 4 days when it’s stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
I don’t recommend it. After thawing, the dairy tends to become gritty and the consistency of the sauce isn’t as smooth.
More ways to use tzatziki
- Easy Greek Nachos
- Greek Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- Easy Roasted Chicken
- Cherry Tomato Salad
- Marinated Lamb Chops
More homemade creamy sauces
- Tahini Sauce
- Raita Sauce
- Easy Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip
- Toum (Lebanese Garlic Sauce)
- Peruvian Green Sauce (Aji Verde)
Did you make this homemade tzatziki?
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Have leftover dill? Use it up with one of these 29+ fresh dill recipes!
- Scoop seeds out of the cucumber with a small spoon. Place cucumber in a mini food processor or grate with a box cheese grater. Drain the liquid from the cucumber in a metal strainer and sprinkle with a little salt (this helps release the liquid). You may want to use the back of a spoon to help squeeze out any excess liquid.
- Place the drained cucumber in a large bowl. Add the yogurt, olive oil, herbs, lemon juice, garlic, and salt to the bowl, and stir to blend. Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Taste and add additional chopped fresh herbs, lemon juice, and/or salt, as necessary.