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Authentic Tzatziki Recipe Greek Yogurt Cucumber Dip

Authentic Tzatziki Recipe (Greek Yogurt Cucumber Dip)

This homemade tzatziki recipe, the traditional Greek cucumber sauce, features fresh dill, creamy Greek yogurt, and garlic. Perfect for dipping pita!

We just returned from Greece and we’ve been working to recreate some of the fabulous eats we had there. If you’ve been to the country or are a fan of Greek food, you probably know about tzatziki, that famously creamy and garlicky Greek cucumber sauce. It’s commonly eaten as a dip on pita or veggies, or as a gyros sauce (one of our favorite sandwiches, when we flex our flexitarian muscle). So if you’re wondering how to make gyros sauce, you’re in the right place!

Want a quicker, easier spin? Try this Quick Cucumber Sauce.

What makes the best authentic tzatziki?

Eating tzatziki sauce in Greece tastes like heaven. So Alex and I took up the challenge to to create a homemade tzatziki sauce recipe. Turns out, just as with the best potato salad or tomato sauce, everyone and their grandmother has an opinion on the “right” way to make a tzatziki recipe. Fortunately we were prepared for this, since we posted a tzatziki recipe back in June 2012.

There was lots of debate in the comments about the perfect tzatziki recipe! Dill or mint (or both)? Lemon juice or vinegar? Olive oil or none?

Common tzatziki ingredients

We set about to try our hand at making authentic tzatziki sauce again. After lots of research and trial and error, we found our contender for the best tzatziki recipe. What’s in our tzatziki recipe?

  • Grated cucumber: Just a bit of it, which keeps a creamy consistency
  • Dill: It’s a little more traditional than mint, though some recipes we’ve seen even omit the dill.
  • Olive oil: important for taste and texture.
  • White wine vinegar: there’s just a bit of acid for some tang: typically white wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • Full fat Greek yogurt: using full-fat yogurt is key to get the desired creaminess

Want more with cucumbers? See Top Cool Cucumber Recipes.

How to make tzatziki

Making homemade tzatziki is incredibly easy! To make this Greek sauce, you’ll first need to peel and grate the cucumber, then squeeze out as much excess liquid as possible. Next, mix together the grated cucumber with minced garlic and dill, Greek yogurt, white wine vinegar, olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper.

For the best flavor, you’ll want to let the mixture refrigerate for a few hours before serving. If stored in an airtight container in the fridge, your homemade tzatziki should last up to a week.

Want more with cucumbers? See Top Cool Cucumber Recipes.

Tips for the best tzatziki sauce

Now, making this tzatziki recipe isn’t just a matter of mixing all the ingredients above together! There are a few tips for how to make gyros sauce / homemade tzatziki sauce at home:

  • Squeeze out as much liquid from the cucumber as possible. Too much water in the cucumber makes for a watery dip. After you grate the cucumber, place it in a fine mesh strainer and use your hands to squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
  • Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours to allow the flavors to marry. To really amp the flavors in this homemade tzatziki sauce recipe, let it sit in the fridge for a few hours before serving. This lets all the flavors meld together and makes for the most flavorful sauce.

While we’re not Greek ourselves, this is the culmination of our research, recipe testing, our best memories of Greece, and the consensus of our taste testers. One last tip: we noticed it was usually served in a shallow dish or plate (instead of a deep bowl, for easy dipping), garnished with a drizzle of olive oil and many times an olive.

What’s your best tzatziki recipe? We’d love to hear your tips!

Looking for more Greek recipes?

Our trip to Greece has inspired us to cook more Greek fare at home. Some of our favorite Greek foods to make are:

  • Mediterranean Bulgur Salad (Tabbouleh) 
  • Greek Salad
  • Baked Feta with Tomatoes
  • Easy Baklava Bites Recipe
  • Greek Pizza
  • Whole Grain Homemade Pita Bread
  • Greek Pita Sandwiches
  • Favorite Greek-Inspired Dishes

This tzatziki recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.