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Tzatziki Sauce Recipe

tzatziki sauce recipe

Tzatziki sauce is a nutrient-rich, traditional Greek dip or dressing. Made with fresh, probiotic yogurt, cucumbers, lemon juice, olive oil, and dill this tzatziki sauce recipe tastes cool, refreshing, and light. We enjoy dipping savory meatballs in it, using it as a dressing on any salad featuring olives or feta, and pairing it with freshly sliced veggies like red bell peppers, tomatoes, carrots, summer squash, cucumbers, or celery.

Tzatziki Sauce Recipe

Tzatziki Sauce: The Players

*Or, you can strain your own yogurt for a while to yield Greek yogurt and whey. (This can be anywhere from a half hour to two hours, depending on how thick your strainer/cheesecloth is. Be sure not to strain so long that you’ve made yogurt cheese!) Collect the whey and use it to ferment your own condiments, like this enzyme-rich mayonnaise.

Tzatziki Sauce: The How-To

1) Begin by slicing your cucumbers in half and removing the seeds from them, if you haven’t already. Once shredded, slightly salt your cucumbers and leave them in a bowl for about 30 minutes to draw out the water. After the half hour has passed, drain the water from your bowl and blot your cucumbers with an absorbent towel.

2) Whisk all the ingredients together by hand, or use a blender or food processor if you prefer.

3) Let refrigerate for at least 2 hours. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. It is essential to allow the flavors to fully blend.

4) Enjoy your tzatziki sauce!

(photo by st_gleam)

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I am a passionate advocate for REAL FOOD -- food that's sustainable, organic, local, and traditionally-prepared according to the wisdom of our ancestors. I'm also an author and a nutrition educator. I enjoy playing in the rain, a good bottle of Caol Ila scotch, curling up with a page-turning book, sunbathing on my hammock, and watching my three children explore their world.
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20 Responses to Tzatziki Sauce Recipe
  1. Amber Caudell via Facebook
    July 14, 2011 | 12:55 pm

    Thin it a bit, and add a little chopped parsley or cilantro and a sprinkle of cayenne and you have a really delicious cucumber soup

  2. Bobbi Sanchez via Facebook
    July 14, 2011 | 1:01 pm

    We made some the other night to go on our salad. It was delish! I have been using the “left over” for veggie dip as a snack! Good stuff!

  3. Vestpocket Farmer via Facebook
    July 14, 2011 | 1:02 pm

    I make mine with good yoghurt, lemon juice and rind, garlic, cracked pepper an unpeeled but finely grated cucumbers.
    I’d eat shredded newspapers if you put tzatziki sauce on ‘em! :-D

  4. Yvonne Constante via Facebook
    July 14, 2011 | 1:05 pm

    I made some tzaziki last night, and some home made pita chips. Just finished my snack before I saw this article! HAHA!

  5. Amy Deeds Barr via Facebook
    July 14, 2011 | 1:27 pm

    I’d skip the dill and never add lemon. Squeeze the grated cucumber until almost dry. Best taste after this dish sits in the fridge a while.

  6. Joanna Francisco via Facebook
    July 14, 2011 | 1:29 pm

    Great timing! I was just about to make a batch of yogurt and have extra cucumbers from the garden.

  7. Brittnee Turner Horting via Facebook
    July 14, 2011 | 1:35 pm

    My kids love veggies and they love dips…this sounds perfect!

  8. Lisa Crawford via Facebook
    July 14, 2011 | 1:40 pm

    I had a leftover anaheim chili after pickling and put it in the last bowl of tzatziki I made. Very yummy :)

  9. Food Renegade via Facebook
    July 14, 2011 | 2:50 pm

    @Lisa — Oh, that sounds like a fun twist!

  10. Rebekah
    July 14, 2011 | 3:31 pm

    Love tzatziki. I use white wine vinegar and a healthy heap of minced garlic in mine. :)

  11. Emma
    July 14, 2011 | 7:06 pm

    My mom used to make this for us and now I make it for my husband. But we add minced garlic and the cucumbers are usually kept in large chunks so that they are the salad and tzatziki sauce is the dressing.

    • KristenM
      July 14, 2011 | 8:22 pm

      I’ve had it that way, too. Very lovely on summer days!

  12. Nat
    July 14, 2011 | 7:16 pm

    I find fresh ground garlic an essetial element in Tzatziki. Also, you can substitute the lemon for red-wine vinegar if you want to double up and preserve longer. Can also skip the dill for variation and simplicity.

    • KristenM
      July 14, 2011 | 8:16 pm

      I’ve found that there are two camps of Tzatziki eaters: those who love the garlic, and those who love the dill. I don’t mind it with fresh garlic, but I actually prefer it without. And I certainly couldn’t have it without dill. I guess there’s a third camp out there that FIRMLY believes it should contain mint, but they are quite small.

      A good red-wine or apple cider vinegar is a good substitute for the lemon juice, but I wouldn’t use a heavy vinegar like balsamic.

  13. LeaG
    July 14, 2011 | 7:35 pm

    Does seeding and peeling cucumbers make them more digestible? This recipe sounds delish but I haven’t eaten raw cucumber in years since it gave me horrible tummy aches. I think I miss out on a lot of good stuff and I’m scared to even try it peeled and seeded.

    • KristenM
      July 14, 2011 | 8:22 pm

      Seeding and peeling cucumbers can help reduce the “cucumber burp” effect. In fact, seedless varieties of cucumbers with thin skins are often billed as “burpless cucumbers.” But tummy aches sound more severe than just general gassy-ness, so if I were you I’d either exercise extreme caution OR self-experiment.

  14. Elizabeth
    February 26, 2012 | 1:49 pm

    I love this stuff!!! I make it all the time. I prefer mine with TONS of garlic and I also like to add some chopped tomato and depending on my mood some curry spice/garam masala :) Along with the dill, cilantro or parsley are also a yummy addition :) You can use this as a marinade for your meat as well as all of the other good ideas: dips, salad dressing, etc. I also made lamb burgers on flat bread and used this as a topping , so freaking good.

  15. Danielle
    March 14, 2012 | 7:25 pm

    will definitely try this! although i’m surprised there is no garlic in this recipe, i know it can always be added

  16. marcia schildcrout
    April 21, 2013 | 3:39 pm

    what is the shelf life for tzatziki

  17. Melanie
    July 6, 2013 | 12:59 pm

    This goes very well served as a sauce on Oregano Roasted Pork Loin as well. It is also the sauce used in Gyros which are traditionally made with Lamb.

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Who Am I?

My name is Kristen Michaelis. I'm a nutrition educator, author, and mother of three. I adore hats, happy skirts, horizons full of storm clouds, the full-bodied feel of wind as I ride motorcylces, reading in my hammock, and a hearty shot of Caol Ila scotch. I'm also a rebel with a cause.
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