Tzatziki Recipe 

Few condiments capture the essence of the Mediterranean as well as tzatziki sauce. Hailing from the sunny shores of Greece, this delectable yogurt sauce has become a staple in kitchens around the world. Whether drizzled over savory gyros, complementing skewered kabobs, or serving as a creamy appetizer alongside warm pita bread or crunchy pita chips, tzatziki never fails to impress.

The blend of Greek yogurt, cool cucumber, and aromatic herbs creates a symphony of flavors that speaks to the heart of Mediterranean cuisine. Moreover, as we venture into the art of making this sauce, it’s enlightening to see the health benefits arising from its natural ingredients.

As with all of our favorite foods, tzatziki must be enjoyed in moderation to take advantage of its nutritious health benefits. Let’s embark on a journey to perfect this timeless classic and discover all the ways you can incorporate tzatziki into your meals.

How To Make Tzatziki Sauce

Every culinary masterpiece starts with thoughtful planning and preparation. In the world of Mediterranean cooking, the importance of prep time cannot be understated. This is especially true for making the perfect tzatziki sauce, where fresh ingredients are pivotal in delivering the signature taste and texture.

The joy of preparing tzatziki lies in its simplicity, and the total time required isn’t as daunting as some might believe. But remember, the magic of tzatziki isn’t just about tossing together Greek yogurt and grated cucumber.

It’s about letting these flavors meld and mature. So while the prep time for tzatziki might be brief, allowing time after you have combined the ingredients for them to blend ensures every bite of your homemade tzatziki sauce is as flavorful as those served in the heart of Greece.

Whether you’re a novice looking for easy recipes or a seasoned chef eager to dabble in authentic Mediterranean flavors, making tzatziki sauce is delightful and rewarding. So gather your ingredients, ensure your box grater is handy for that perfectly grated cucumber, and embark on a culinary journey to the heart of Greece with Luna Grill’s signature tzatziki sauce recipe.

What Ingredients Do You Need for Authentic Tzatziki Sauce?

Sourcing the right ingredients is paramount to craft a tzatziki sauce that transports you to a Mediterranean seaside taverna. Begin with full-fat Greek yogurt. Remember, there’s Greek yogurt, and then there’s full-fat Greek yogurt. The latter lends a richer, creamier consistency than its nonfat or milk yogurt counterparts.

Next, you’ll need grated or shredded cucumber. We recommend using approximately two Persian cucumbers to make about two cups of tzatziki.

You can also use the English cucumber, known for its minimal seeds and crisp texture. Given that they tend to be larger than Persian cucumbers, you’ll likely only need one English cucumber to make this dip.

The freshness in this dip continues with lemon juice — always choose fresh over bottled for that zesty punch. You’ll also need olive oil, fresh dill, fresh mint, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Each ingredient plays its part in this symphony of flavors, ensuring your tzatziki sauce is nothing short of perfection.

How To Prepare Tzatziki

Creating tzatziki is an art of blending and patience. Start by grating your cucumber using a box grater, ensuring a fine consistency. Some chefs recommend squeezing out excess water with paper towels to preserve the sauce’s thick texture.

In a medium bowl, combine the grated cucumber with the full-fat Greek yogurt. Stir in the freshly squeezed lemon juice and drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil.

As the mixture begins to take shape, fold in the finely chopped fresh dill and fresh mint. Mince the garlic cloves and integrate them into the mix, adjusting the quantity based on your preference.

Season with sea salt and black pepper. Once combined, let the tzatziki rest, allowing the flavors to meld. At least an hour in the refrigerator before serving is ideal for the best taste experience.

How To Store Tzatziki Sauce

Correctly storing your homemade tzatziki sauce ensures longevity and preserved flavors. Always use an airtight container to store your tzatziki. This keeps contaminants out and maintains the sauce’s freshness. It’s recommended to refrigerate tzatziki immediately, where it can last up to three days.

Remember, the fresher the ingredients, the longer your tzatziki will remain delicious. Over time, water might separate from the sauce, so give it a gentle stir before serving. Avoid freezing, as it can disrupt the yogurt’s consistency. By following these storage guidelines, every spoonful of tzatziki will taste as delightful as the moment you first made it.

Is Tzatziki Good for You?

Mediterranean cuisine is celebrated globally for its delectable flavors and health benefits, and tzatziki sauce stands as a testament to both. But what makes this creamy condiment a nutritional star?

For starters, tzatziki is relatively low in cholesterol and carbohydrates. The primary ingredient, Greek yogurt, is a natural source of calcium and potassium, essential minerals for bone health and heart function, respectively. Moreover, the fresh cucumber in tzatziki contributes doses of vitamin A and vitamin C, promoting skin health and boosting the immune system.

The addition of olive oil, especially when one opts for extra virgin olive oil, adds heart-healthy monounsaturated fats to this delicious dip. These fats can help reduce bad cholesterol levels, potentially decreasing the risk of heart disease. Furthermore, fresh herbs — like dill and mint — not only add flavor and fragrance but also carry their share of antioxidants.

Tips and Tricks for Making the Best Authentic Tzatziki Sauce

Making the perfect tzatziki requires more than just following a recipe — it’s about mastering the nuances of this dish that appear simple at first. One secret is straining the Greek yogurt with a cheesecloth, ensuring a thick, creamy base devoid of excess moisture.

Similarly, after grating the cucumber, you can use paper towels to press the cucumbers and remove any lingering water. This step guarantees a non-watery, rich consistency for your tzatziki.

Always prioritize fresh lemon juice over bottled variants; the difference in zest and flavor is unmistakable. And while it might be tempting to swap out plain Greek yogurt for sour cream or a flavored alternative, the plain Greek yogurt offers the traditional, authentic taste. Similarly, use fresh herbs to make your dip as refreshing as possible.

Don’t forget that our tzatziki sauce can be versatile! Use it as a dip with crunchy veggies and smooth hummus, drizzle it over a spicy falafel or a fresh Greek salad, or savor it with warm pita bread or crispy pita chips. Exploring and experimenting will make each tzatziki experience unique and delightful.

Our Recipe

Here’s a recap of our recipe to help you make tzatziki at home:

1 cup Persian Cucumber Grated (approximately 3 Persian cucumbers), you can use an English cucumber instead and would only need 1 as they are typically bigger than the Persian cucumber.

I use the small size grate on my box grater. To make it easier, cut 1 side off the cucumber and hold the other, it yields ~6-7 oz.

1 cup Greek Yogurt Full fat yogurt provides a better flavor and creamier texture
1 Tbsp Olive Oil I use California Olive Ranch EVOO
2 tsp Dill Fresh, minced (or 1 tsp dried)
2 tsp Mint Fresh, minced (or 1 tsp dried)
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
½ tsp Garlic Minced
½ tsp Salt

Summarized Instructions:

  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.
  2. Mix well.
  3. For best flavor, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. It can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Wrapping Things Up

Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge and secrets of tzatziki, it’s time to embark on your culinary journey. Dive into the rich tapestry of flavors that is the Mediterraneantzatziki sauce, and don’t hesitate to make the recipe your own. Whether adding a sprinkle of feta for a salty twist, introducing a hint of spice for some added kick, or swapping in a different herb to suit your palate, the world of tzatziki is vast and inviting.

As you refine your tzatziki-making skills, remember the joy of sharing. This creamy delight serves as the perfect appetizer or complement to many dishes, creating memorable moments with loved ones.

And as you continue to navigate the vibrant landscape of Mediterranean cuisine, remember that we at Luna Grill offer a plethora of dishes that celebrate and elevate these age-old flavors. Embrace the tradition, the taste, and the exciting possibilities that tzatziki and Mediterranean fare bring to the table. May your culinary explorations be filled with zest, joy, and countless delightful bites. Happy cooking!


Exploring the Effects of Greek Yogurt Supplementation and Exercise Training on Serum Lithium and Its Relationship With Musculoskeletal Outcomes in Men | NIH 

Are Cucumbers Good for You? | Cleveland Clinic

Effects of lifelong intake of lemon polyphenols on aging and intestinal microbiome in the senescence-accelerated mouse prone 1 (SAMP1) | NIH