Wednesday, August 19, 2009

World's Best Tzatziki Sauce Recipe - Greek Yogurt and Cucumber Sauce

World's Best Tzatziki Sauce
Tzatziki sauce is the white sauce often served on Gyros; it's delicious no matter what you serve it on!

(First posted in 2007, updated with step-by-step photos and printer-friendly recipe and added to Recipe Favorites August 2009) Tzatziki is one of the classic sauces in Greek cuisine, with as many versions as there are cooks who make it. I can get away with calling this the World's Best Tzatziki Sauce Recipe because it was made by my friend Georgette, who's not only 100% Greek, but also one of the best cooks I know. In the archives I also have Georgette's Really Lemony Greek Pilafi and Georgette's Greek Zucchini. I keep telling Georgette that someday she'll have her own page in the recipe archives, and when she does, this Tzatziki Sauce recipe will be at the top of the list.

Georgette brought this sauce to my house when I cooked some lamb. If you've had a Gyro (pronounced yeero), Tzatziki is the type of white sauce that's often served with it. I love Tzatziki on grilled meats like Salmon, Kubideh, Souvlaki, chicken, and of course lamb. I've never had a version of Tzatziki sauce I didn't like, but this was hands-down the best I've tasted. Try it if you've never made Tzatziki yourself!

The sauce is made with Greek Yogurt, and there are many good brands, some of which are fat free or low fat. If you can't find Greek yogurt, you can make something similar by straining regular plain yogurt for several hours to remove the liquid and thicken the yogurt. I use the yogurt strainer you see in this photo, but if you don't have one Georgette recommends using two coffee filters inside a colander, placed inside a bowl to catch the liquid. This photo shows the yogurt starting to drain.

Let the yogurt drain on the counter for 2 hours, or until it reaches the thickness you want. This photo shows how much liquid had drained out after 2 hours, when the yogurt was nice and thick.

Since Tzatziki contains finely-chopped cucumber, it's best to remove the seeds of the cucumber so the sauce doesn't get too watery. Use a sharp pointed spoon to scrape out seeds as shown in this photo.

Then cut cucumbers into thick slices and put in a colander placed in the sink. Sprinkle on salt and let cucumbers release water and drain for at least 30 minutes or more. (The water released rinses off most of the salt, but if you're limiting salt in your diet you can rinse them and pat dry with paper towels.)

Tzatziki traditionally contains fresh dill, which makes me glad I have this lovely dill from my garden. Use the fine dips of the dill leaves and discard the thick stems. Some versions of Tzatziki use mint, and I'm thinking dried dill weed would also work in a pinch.

Put the cucumbers, garlic, lemon juice, dill, and black pepper into food processor and process with the steel blade until cucumbers are finely chopped. When you see the liquid in this photo you can tell why it's important to drain the cucumbers first.

Then stir the pureed cucumber mixture into the Greek yogurt (or yogurt you've drained.) Let this refrigerate for at least 2 hours before using to give flavors a chance to develop.

Tzatziki (Greek Yogurt and Cucumber Sauce)
(Makes about 3 1/2 cups. You can cut the recipe in half, but it's so good, you really shouldn't. Recipe courtesy of Georgette.)

3 cups Greek Yogurt (or regular plain yogurt, strained as described above)
juice of one lemon (about 3 T)
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 medium cucumbers, seeded and diced
about 1 T kosher salt for salting cucumbers
1 T finely chopped fresh dill (can substitute mint leaves for a slightly different version)
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

If you don't have Greek yogurt, strain plain yogurt as described above. Peel cucumbers, then cut in half lengthwise and take a small spoon and scrape out seeds. Discard seeds. (If you use the small seedless or European cucumbers with few seeds, you can skip this step.) Slice cucumbers, then put in a colander, sprinkle on 1 T salt, and let stand for 30 minutes to draw out water. Drain well and wipe dry with paper towel.

In food processor with steel blade, add cucumbers, garlic, lemon juice, dill, and a few grinds of black pepper. Process until well blended, then stir this mixture into the yogurt. Taste before adding any extra salt, then salt if needed. Place in refrigerator for at least two hours before serving so flavors can blend. (This resting time is very important.)

This will keep for a few days or more in the refrigerator, but you will need to drain off any water and stir each time you use it.

Click Here for Printer Friendly Recipe

South Beach Suggestions:
Yogurt is one dairy product where the South Beach Diet recommends always choosing non-fat or low-fat and there is a huge variation in the amount of fat in various brands of yogurt. I would check the label and choose the lowest fat and lowest sugar brand I could find when choosing yogurt. That said, Tzatziki is a condiment, and you won't be eating enormous amounts of it.

More Yummy Versions of Tzatziki
(Recipes from other blogs may or may not be South Beach friendly, check ingredients.)
I write about Tzatziki Sauce at BlogHer.com
Cheap Healthy Good writes a poem about Georgette's Tzatziki recipe!
Tzatziki with Mint from The Kitchen Pantry
Avocado Tzatziki from Anne's Food
Beetroot Tzatziki from Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once
Vegetable Dolmades with Yogurt-Garlic Sauce from Well Fed
Olympics Tzatziki from Seattle Bon Vivant
Swiss Chard Tzatziki from Simply Recipes
Tzatziki with a Secret Ingredient from Kalofagas - In Pursuit of Delicious foods
Fava Beans with Garlicy Turkish Yogurt from Almost Turkish Recipes
Tzatziki Salad from Accidental Hedonist
counter customizable free hit

222 comments:

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Maria said...

Great recipe! I love making Tzatziki with falafel and grilled veggie kabobs.

Anonymous said...

Someone I know once said that she could eat an old sneaker if it had tzatziki sauce on it.
Now if only people knew how to pronounce gyro!
I hate ordering it in a restaurant and having the server look at me and say "huh?"
Thanks for writing my new favorite blog!

Peter M said...

Yep...it's a classic Tzatziki and I have no reservations that this dip was scooped up & eaten all up!

Kelly Mahoney said...

Yum, I love this stuff. I traveled with a Greek girl and then I learned the joy of their food. After seeing My Big Fat Greek Wedding, I'd love to be Greek. Good food, lots of family.

katiez said...

I use Greek yogurt in almost everything.... In any of my recipes where you see plain yogurt, I'm probably using Greek. I've just thought it was too difficult to get in the U.S. and/or people would be reluctant to use ewe's yogurt.
Of course, we can't get sour cream ;-) which I always sub. Greek yogurt for.
All that said, thanks for sharing the Tzatziki recipe!

Anne-Marie at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet said...

Gosh I love gyro meat. There's a great place in Denver, Pete's Kitchen, that has wonderful gyro salads - big enough to feed two.

You can also use cheesecloth to strain the yogurt. I used to make my own yogurt back in college and the "cheese" we made from it was tart and wonderful.

Charise said...

This is almost identical to the recipe I use, except I usually use oregano instead of dill. We love it!

Rev. Biggles said...

Bet bacon would be really good in there.

Biggles

Zoe said...

Kalyn, I'm curious whether the tzatziki Georgette made for you used low-fat yogurt or the full fat. I've heard that tzatziki is no good if you don't use the full fat yogurt, and since I do follow South Beach I've never made tzatziki (but do sometimes buy it in small quantities or eat it at restaurants -- I'm only human!).

Kalyn said...

Oh dear, another day where I'm way behind on responding. (See what happens when I go shopping all day?) Thanks everyone for all the nice thoughts.

Maria, good plan. I love falafel.

Anonymous, you're too kind.

Peter, I could have eaten it with a spoon just plain.

Kelly, isn't Greek culture great. I have two good friends who are Greek.

Katie, it did remind me a lot of sour cream (which I also love) but maybe a bit more tart.

AnneMarie, I've seen that trick with the cheesecloth too, but coffee filters sounded so easy! Ditto on the Gyro Meat Salad, that's what I get at Cafe Med in SLC all the time.

Charise, sounds interesting with oregano.

Biggles, you are very naughty to even suggest such a non-South Beach idea! (Just kidding. I'd eat it.)

Zoe, Georgette got two kinds of yogurt for us to make a taste test. One kind was plain low fat yogurt, but had more sugar, and the 3 Greek Gods kind was fat free and less sugar too. The low fat one was regular yogurt drained to thicken it. Both were good, but I definitely preferred the Fat Free Greek Yogurt. I'm sure this is "Americanized" Greek yogurt, not made with sheeps milk, but it tasted great to me. I can tell I'll have to start going to Wild Oats regularly just to get it.

chigiy said...

Oh, I love this stuff. I can't wait to try it. I think I might be Greek in a past life or something.

burcu said...

Excellent informative post for me; now I know the difference between Greek Tzatziki and Turkish Cacik, and can answer when asked. Thanks Kalyn, and please thank Georgette for me.

Lydia said...

Tzatziki is one of my very favorite summer dishes. I love filling pitas with tomato, cucumber, and leftover grilled lamb, with a big dollop of tzatziki sauce on top.

toni said...

I adore Tzatziki, and in fact just bought Greek yogurt and cucumbers. At Trader Joe's here in San Diego, they sell Fage (pronounced Fa-Yeh)Greek style yogurt. Love it!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I've only enjoyed this sauce when I've eaten it in restaruants. You are right, I need to try this.

Homesick Texan said...

I love Tzatziki, but had no idea it was so simple to make. It's such a refreshing summer condiment.

Kalyn said...

Chigiy, me too! Or if you saw my house you'd think I might have been African in a past life.

Burcu, I thought it was interesting how similar they were, but some definite differences.

Lydia, agreed, it's a great combo.

Toni, I went to Wild Oats myself (Georgette bought the other yogurt and realized they have three brands, and Fage is one of them! All three brands have a fat free type too.

Tanna and Lisa, I used to buy it all the time at Costco, but I'll be making my own now too. The homemade type was sooooo much better (no surprise right?)

Anonymous said...

call me crazy, but i think it is delicious on toasted pita with eggs over easy for breakfast.

GroovyGranny said...

If like me you don't like hot (chilli/spicy) food this recipe is great because should you eat some-thing over hot/spicy and your mouth is on fire the combination of cool yogurt, cucumber etc cools your mouth down quickly. Also I could eat this by the bucket-ful -well almost.As an insulin dependant diabetic it is a treat with no sugar -great substitute for snacks.

Landis & Alice said...

How do you pronounce it. I love it, but i don't know how to say it.

Kalyn said...

Landis and Alice, I'm not expert, but I think it's pronounced:
tats-zee-kee.

Any Greeks out there, feel free to chime in.

Maya said...

Great recipe. I made it for the first time. Here in Switzerland this sauce is in abundance, but none of them taste quite this good!

I used mine with salmon and stir fried vegetables ...

Awesome, Maya

Anonymous said...

This is a great recipe the sauce made my chicken kabobs complete.

Anonymous said...

My daughter loves tzatziki. Her favorite has always been the one at a local greek style restaurant - but finally !! This recipe beats any she has ever tasted. Thanks for posting it. I had to make another batch.

Kalyn said...

Thanks, anonymous. All credit goes to Georgette, but comments like this make my day.

~Madeline~ said...

You weren't kidding that this is the best Tzatziki in the world! I made it tonight with grilled lamb kebabs and it was outstanding. Please thank your friend for such a great recipe and thank you for posting it.

Frank Helmer said...

Thanks for the great Tzatziki recipe! I linked to it on my blog post about Fancy Themed Baked Potatoes. I like to do a Greek style baker with spinach, pine nuts, feta crumbles and a nice dollop of tzatziki! Check it out it you can!
Best,
Frank
http://frankfood.tumblr.com/

Gypsy Guru said...

Thanks a bunch to you and Georgette for this recipe. I'd tried others without success and this one FINALLY had the super-delish taste I was looking for! For me, it's the dill and Greek yogurt that make all the difference (I'm not a big fan of mint). I made only a tiny little batch because I was worried it would be another no-go, but I'll definitely be making more in the future. Thanks so much!!

Rayrena said...

Kalyn, I made this a couple weeks ago and it was great! At first my husband didn't like it because it tasted too "green" but he's used to the bland stuff we get a Greek chain. But after a while I commented on how he was just dipping his pita into it and eating quite a bit of it. He looked sheepish... I loved it!

Kalyn said...

Thanks to people who've taken the time to let me know they've enjoyed the recipe. I loved it when Georgette and I made it.

sarandi said...

Hey everyone. I just wrote a recipe for how I make tzatziki on my blog, which I've learned and modified from my yiayia and mom. The TZs are pronounced like the terminal ds in the word dads or like the dz in gadzooks. The Is are pronounced like you say the letter e. So, dza-DZEE-kee, with the emphasis on the middle syllable. Thanks for posting this! Its always good to see how other people make food - we could all learn a thing or two!

Kalyn said...

Sarandi, thanks for the pronunciation tip, very interesting.

um said...

I'm so excited to try this recipe. I made a disastrous batch of tzatziki a month or so back. I'm too embarrassed to tell anyone what I did wrong. Then a few weeks back, I made it a little better. I'll try this one soon. I went to Greece in 2006 and that's the first I had even heard of tzaziki let alone tasted it. I agree with the one who said they would eat an old shoe if it had tzatziki on it!

Paul Fitzgibbon said...

Here is my tip, drain yogurt if need be. Process cucumber and other ingredients then drain that through a heavy duty paper towel or wipe, then squeeze and wring if in a hurry...!! Will be thick..if too thick spritz with more lemon juice :-)

filbert said...

Tried it with mint and three cloves of garlic... excellent, but now I have garlic breath. I recommend sticking to one clove (like the recipe says). I used an Arabic yogurt (Labna) which is thick like Greek, but the ingredients include a little cream so it's a little bit fattier than a regular low-fat or even whole milk yogurt.

PFreeman said...

My son brought me a gift pack of Greek spices and olive oil when he visited Greece.
One packet was a "mix for Taztziki. I assume it is the basic spices that go into this particular dish made with yogurt.
The packet does not list the ingredients and I can not make out what they are. If any readers out there know the answer please send it to me at lilcowcampcook@hotmail.com
Thank You
PFreeman

Jessica said...

Quick technical question...I'm not a cook, so I follow your recipes to the letter. In the following excerpt, "Drain well and wipe dry with paper towel." did you mean "Rinse well" instead of "Drain well?"

Thank you so much for making me want to cook beautiful food!

Kalyn said...

Hi Jessica,
No I don't mean rinse well, but here is a better explanation. When you salt the cucumber, the natural water in it will start to ooze out. When I say "drain well" I mean let the cucumbers drain until a lot of water has been drawn out, then take a paper towel and blot (or press down on the diced cucumber) so most of the water is removed. Sometimes I put the cucumber between two layers of paper towels and press down so the towel absorbs a lot of water.

Fun hearing that I'm inspiring you to cook!

kath001 said...

I made this today, and we had it with grilled vegetable and chicken pitas. YUM! And I've never been a big fan of cucumbers before. I placed a link to your blog in my blog post. Thanks for widening my horizons!

Kalyn said...

Kath, so glad you liked it.

Jessica said...

Thanks for getting back to me, Kalyn. I wasn't sure if the salt was supposed to be part of the dish or not! Now, I'm going through your archives to find more fun dishes to eat with my giant bowl of leftover tzatziki...I could eat this stuff every day!

By the way, your blog is really pretty and user friendly.

Kalyn said...

Thanks Jessica. I think you could rinse the salt off if you need to restrict salt, but otherwise I think it adds to the flavor (and quite a bit of salt probably gets rinsed off when the water is oozing out.)

Glad you like the site. I do try hard to make it user friendly!

Cherie said...

Yum, ate this last night & again today at lunch time with lamb & grilled flatbreads. Cannot wait until the summer to serve tomato-olive-feta salad on the side.

I grated the cucumber, scooped it into a pile on a clean tea cloth, and squeezed it well to drain it. Worked for me!

Thanks for sharing the recipe. :)

Kalyn said...

Cherie, sounds to me like it would work just fine!

Fagan said...

Taste great, the family said this was the best I ever made. However, the second best thing was the idea to use coffee filters. When my ex left he didn't take his coffee filters with his coffeemaker, so I've had the filters in the back of the pantry (a lot of them). I have several different receipts that call for draining different items like yogurt. This has been a great all-over receipt in more ways than one.

Kalyn said...

Fagan, glad you liked it. Thanks for the nice feedback.

Back to Basics said...

This was the first time that I ever made or tasted Tzatziki! It was great with my sliced veggies. Thank U!

Cookin' Canuck said...

I have plenty of lamb left over from Easter dinner. I'll think I'll whip up some of this tzatziki sauce and make a gyro. I'm salivating! Thanks for the recipe.

Anonymous said...

I made this recipe last night for dinner and it was *fantastic*! I'm a terrible cook, so my husbnd and friends were a little surprised I was even trying my own tzatziki (esp. since one of the friends is a real foodie and tzatziki snob) but I just followed the directions to the letter and it came out GREAT. Thank you for posting!

Kalyn said...

Anonymous, so glad to hear it turned out for you!

Anonymous said...

great recipe! thanks! all the tricks!
one comment though: I don't remember using dill in greece too, but i understand it is preferred in the us.

Kalyn said...

Anonymous, that's interesting. I know some Greeks make a sauce with yogurt and mint, but my friend Georgette who gave me this recipe is 100% Greek. Of course she was born in the U.S. so maybe that's the difference!

Candace Jean July 16 said...

I was looking for a quick sauce recipe to dip some leftover falafel balls in for a power snack before my bike ride. Googled this up and so glad I did! Didn't want to clean my food processor for the third time today, so I just diced everything fine and threw it together with small container of Greek Gods yogurt - what a perfect snack! The flavor and textures were awesome! Perfect with falafel! Thank you!

Kalyn said...

Candace, glad you liked it! One of my favorite things in the world.

Denise from Ark said...

I just tried your recipe; I'd just bought some greek yogurt at Trader Joe's so the timing was perfect.

My tip is to forget dicing the cukes; you're going to be using the food processor anyway so just use the grater and grate them. Besides, they weep out faster.

I'm not on a diet and just ate a whole recipe as my dinner. I'm a baaaad girl (with a happy tummy!)

Denise from Ark

Kalyn said...

Denise, I think dicing the cucumbers is a great idea. Glad your tummy is happy!

MamaRae said...

i don't have greek or any other yogurt, but i *do* have kefir. one commenter above mentioned arabian yogurt, so it might be worth a try with my (already-made, no-extra-cost) plain kefir. here's hoping, anyway...if it doesn't taste like tzaziki, i'll toss in some curry and chickpeas, lol!

Kalyn said...

MamaRae, love to hear how it turns out. I've never had kefir, would love to try it!

MamaRae said...

the kefir worked GREAT! since it's got a much stronger taste than yogurt, i added extra mint (not a fan of dill) and 3 cloves garlic instead of the 1 in the recipe. i also added 2 tsp sugar at the end to tame some of the tart-ness of the kefir. tastes fabulous!! (i'm eating it for my supper, lol)

Kalyn said...

MamaRae, thanks, good to know. Now I have to get my hands on some Kefir so I can try it. Maybe Whole Foods would have it?

MamaRae said...

i'd imagine they would--i got some kefir grains from a friend of mine & make my own. *MUCH* cheaper! ;)

Anonymous said...

So sorry if this is a dumb question, but I made this and to say it was a huge hit would be an understatement. I would love to have it more often, especially in the summer when wraps are so fun and light, but with 2 children, it was a bit of a process. Is it possible to double the recipe, or more, and freeze it? Would it still have the same flavor? If not, I will continue to make it, was just hoping for an easy way out. :) thanks so much, I am new to your blog and will be visiting often!

Kalyn said...

Anonymous, so glad you liked it. Sorry to say, I don't think this will freeze well. I do think it will last in the fridge for quite a long time though, probably several weeks, so you could still make a big batch.

ElCelt said...

Thanks for the great tzatziki recipe. It tastes like the real thing!!! You have one of the best blogs I've seen in a while (and I'm an internet marketer). All the best.

Kalyn said...

ElCelt, thanks! Glad you liked the Tzatziki.

Cookin' Canuck said...

This is the wonderful recipe that first brought me to your site. I haven't looked back since. I love the photo updates!

My Sensei said...

I was just talking about tzatziki sauce today with one of my friends! MMM Greek and Mediterranean are my favorite types of food....this on some warm pita...thanks for sharing!

Tara said...

So funny that you posted this today, as I needed a recipe for Tzatziki Monday night and searched your site first... and of course, it was delicious! Thanks for being my favorite go-to source for healthy recipes - I've been sharing with all my friends and family!!

Kalyn said...

Dara (CC), thanks. I was glad I had my new full-of-light place to take photos to get a better shot of the Tzatziki!

My Sensei, you're welcome.

Tara, thanks so much for that nice feedback. I really appreciate it!

Elle said...

Just poached some salmon to serve cold. This would be the perfect sauce to go with it. Thanks!

Lynette said...

It's 11:30 p.m. MDT and after finishing my work for Back to School Night tomorrow, I'm just getting around to reading your post about Georgette's delicious Tzatziki sauce. I'm looking for a faculty luncheon pot luck dish! Suggestions?

Dagnabit, I'm jealous of your decision to retire. I could have been alseep for hours if I'd gone out, too!

Inmaculada (Adi) said...

There is a little trick I use so cucumbers does not release so much liquid: instead of cutting and sprinkling them with salt and let it drip, I process the cucumbers (and only the cucumbers) and then let it drain BEFORE I mix the rest of the ingredients. This way you obtain a very thick and nice cucumber purée...
Very good recipe and so yummy for dipping flat bread. I could also eat just this stuff and be happy the rest of the day.

Kitchen Wizard said...

This recipe sounds great. I normally just chop the cucumbers (too lazy to use FP), but I'll definitely try this w/ Armenian cukie I have. (wonder if smaller cukie like armenian or JP makes difference. Probably not as thin...)

I also make yogurt cheese from drained (overnight) yogurt, and use it as substitute for sour cream, creme fraiche, etc. It's especially great with banana nutella crepes! Yum!

Mahek said...

hi
great great recipe
In India we make something called "koshambir" or salad or its called a raita too.
we finely chop cucumber add a little bit of roasted peanut powder, coriander leaves , green chilies (finely chopped too) and off-course the main ingredient is the yoghurt can you tell me if it is possible to substitute dill with coriander.

Kalyn said...

Hi Mahek,
I'm familiar with Raita (at least the version I've had in America) and it is very similar to this. I can't see any reason you couldn't substitute coriander (cilantro) for the dill in this recipe.

Kevin said...

Tzatziki is definitely one of my favorites. I sometimes like to add feta for a salty kick.

Erin said...

Oh, I have a weakness for yummy Tzatziki sauce. I'll have to try this recipe. Thanks!

Meg said...

Didn't have time to read through all the comments so you made have answered this already, but do you know if this freezes well? Just made a batch but it is entirely too much for my husband and I to eat before it spoils. Thanks!

Kalyn said...

Meg, I don't think this will freeze well, although I haven't tried it. It does stay good in the fridge for several weeks though.

Meg said...

Thanks for the info and I absolutely love this recipe!! I have a feeling this will become a staple in my kitchen.

Kalyn said...

Meg, it's one of my favorites too! So many things you can eat it with!

Annie said...

Just made this for a hungry crew at work and it was devoured! Awesome recipe!

Anonymous said...

This really is excellent -- & easy, so it's a great way to use up a slew of cucumbers when that happens (as it does from time to time).

I just added this to a vegetable sandwich -- spread it on both slices of bread, with swiss cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, & onions. I made the tzatziki without dill because I didn't have any, so I used dill rye bread for the sandwich, which worked well.

Thanks very much (& to Georgette too) for such a lovely recipe.

ff

Kalyn said...

Annie, glad to hear it was a hit!

FF, love the sound of your sandwich, and using bread with dill was a great idea.

jbeach said...

Super fantastic recipe!!! Thanks so much.

My favorite meal this summer has been to grill eggplant, zucchini, squash, onions, and peppers and pile into thick pitas, topped with chopped tomatoes and tons of this amazing tzatziki--
I posted the recipe and linked to your site here.
Thanks, again!

Kalyn said...

Love seeing how you've used the Tzatziki, thanks!

extreme_barry said...

Hi, I'm saying what everyone else has said but this is absolutely delicious. My chicken souvlaki thanks you.

Kalyn said...

Extreme_barry, thanks! Of course I never get tired of hearing that.

Paul said...

I have the proper mix which I always bring back or get someone esle to bring back from Greece. I varies from Island to Island but very slightly. I grtae all the cucumber and wring it out in a tea towel in paper towel. The quality of the Olive Oil is essential and only using genuine Total Yoghurt gets the best and most rfespected results. Great tom eat with just about anything.

Anonymous said...

This is delicious! I used 1 tsp of dried dill and Moutain High full fat yogurt.

Kalyn said...

Anonymous, glad you liked it! Thanks for letting me know.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this awesome recipe. I live in Mexico for the winter and tzatziki has been impossible for me to find in the supermarkets. Now I will only use this recipe even when back in Canada. It is much better than commercially made tzatziki!

Kalyn said...

Anonymous, I'm overcome with jealous about the idea of living in Mexico for the winter! Glad you can have Tzatziki while you're there!

Big Dog said...

What a beautiful recipe. I only wish I had read it three hours ago so I could drain my yogurt! What a great read & photos.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Kalyn said...

Anonymous, I do shudder when I look at some of my old posts, but at least I'm getting better! (Thanks!)

vampmama said...

Now just a good greek recipe for falafel's and gyro meat that the average person at home can make... Got any good ones to pass on to us... and what a awesome tzatziki recipe you shared with us... Thank You...

Kalyn said...

Vampmama, if you use the search bar, there is a recipe for falafel. I don't have a recipe for gyros, but there are some good ones for Souvlaki. Glad you like the Tzatziki.

Anonymous said...

Uh.... What is the T for?? Tbsp or tsp?

Kalyn said...

T = tablespoon
tsp. = teaspoon

Happy cooking!

4EverLSU said...

Although I've never made tzatziki, I've eaten it, and quite enjoy it at restaurants, and I've got to agree with you, this by FAR was the *BEST* tzatziki sauce I have ever had! I splurged with the garlic a bit, but we made this with a lamb roast and it was outstanding! Thank you VERY much for the recipe.

CJ

Austin said...

I have been interested in trying to narrow down what the green is in most of the tzatziki sauces I've seen, thought it was either the skins left on english cucumbers or maybe some chopped parsley. I haven't tried dill yet in the sauces I've made. Sounds like it will be pretty good, I'm interested to see if the dill is overpowering (as it often can be). I just made gyros and chicken schwarma last night. Love taking the warmed pita bread and spreading one half with tzaziki, the other half with hummus, then layering on either gyro meat or chicken, thinly sliced sweet onion, and some finely shredded lettuce. I like feta and cayenne pepper on mine too!

Anonymous said...

This recipe was awesome, thanks for posting! I made it to go with my greek chicken pitas!

Jamie said...

I made this recipe last week for Lamb Gyros and I can't get enough of it! I'm making it again today to serve with Syrian Kibbe (bulgar and lamb). I used mint instead of dill but am curious about using coriander as I read in one of the blogs. Have you tried it with coriander? Thanks for the BEST Tzatziki sauce EVER!

Kalyn said...

Jamie, I haven't tried it with coriander, but I love it so I'm guessing I'd like it!

Scott said...

Me (and also my best friend Laura) have used this recipe so many times in the last year or so, that I finally decided that I should thank you for having posted this. This truly is great Tzatziki, and i'm having gyros again tonight...so again find myself at your blog. Thanks so much for posting this recipe.

Kalyn said...

Scott, I'm so glad you've enjoyed it so much. All the credit goes to Georgette, but I agree, it's a great recipe.

kms said...

Looks like a great recipe--I'm trying it right now! Cukes and yogurt are draining as I type. Thought I'd say thanks for sharing and point out that our blogs have ridiculously similar names--mine is called Kitt's Kittchen (http://kittskittchen.blogspot.com/)! Thanks again for the recipe and for doing what you do.

Kitt

Jesi said...

Amazing. I made all 3 1/2 cups thinking I could bring it to a family get together tomorrow night. It might not last that long. Thank so much!

Anonymous said...

I hate to be a troll but I can't help myself here. I can't believe with two people complaining about everyone mispronouncing "gyro" no one has mentioned that you are mistaken. There is no such thing as a gyro it's gyros. I realize in English s is typically to signify a plural but that is not the case with this word. Pronunciation is correct minus the s sound though. Great recipe btw!

Kalyn said...

Well I never claimed to speak Greek, so I guess I'm allowed a mistake with the language. Not something I am going to spend any time worrying about for sure.

Anonymous said...

lol @ Kalyn. I wouldn't either, was just surprised no one had pointed it out. Definitely didn't mean any disrespect by it! Anyway, I tried this recipe today and it was wonderful! Will definitely come back to your blog.

Betsy (zen-mama.com) said...

Thanks Kalyn! It turned out great!! We have faux gyros with thinly cut steak. Everyone loved the sauce.

Kalyn said...

Betsy, thanks. Glad to hear you liked it.

Iain said...

I made this once and it was the best I've ever tasted and I'm not very good at cooking, I've had to make a again tonight as it was demanded by my family. Thanks so much for such good recipe.

Kalyn said...

Lain, so glad it was a hit!

AnnieB said...

Thanks for a great recipe! One tip about straining the plain yogurt: make sure you buy a brand that has no thickening agents in it (such as carrageenan, pectin, xantham gum or other gums) or it won't drain like it's supposed to. I have found a brand in my area called Nancy's that works well.

mamamia said...

Thank you for this recipe. I made it after Easter this year. We had leftover lamb and we made this sauce for lamb gyros. It was delicious! I posted your recipe and our results on our recipe blog, www.mybiscuitsareburning.blogspot.com

Jeff Frane said...

I just put the tzatziki in the refrigerator to rest. This is much better than previous attempts, which did not use the proper yogurt or drain the cukes.

Geron said...

Thanks for the great recipe from the bottom of my wallet! Here in Albuquerque you can get a decent substitute but it's a bit on the runny side and at $5.99 a lb. + it's no bargain. Geron

Maribel said...

Just tried this with non-fat plain yogurt and strained with the coffee filters and colander. Worked like a charm and it tastes really good freshly mixed! I left the colander in a dish inside the fridge overnight and it reduced from 4c to 2c!!! Thanks for this great recipe!

Kalyn said...

Maribel, you're welcome; glad you liked it!

Anonymous said...

Hai. i have been interested in western food. Btw i am an asian & to have these kind of foods we must dine out which is very very expensive. after a while look online, i think i have taste a lot greek yugort, just that didn't know what was it, till today. and OMG, it is simple! can't wait to make it over the weekend. could you give me ideas what main dish best go with Tzatziki sauce, that might not require roast cooking? thanx a lot!

Kalyn said...

Tzatziki is traditionally served with grilled meat kabobs, especially Souvlakia. You can make it with pork, lamb, beef, or chicken. Hope you have fun trying it.

Anonymous said...

I made this tonight, using both the dill and fresh mint from my garden. It was really, really good! Thank you for posting the recipe!

Kalyn said...

So glad you liked it!

Anonymous said...

Oh, wow! I already had a recipe for tzatziki, but it wasn't quite right, and I found your recipe searching for a way to fix it. Now I have the perfect complement to my homemade gyros! Good thing the recipe makes a pretty large batch of tzatziki, because I keep eating it by the spoonful. Thank you!

Kalyn said...

Glad it's a big batch, and glad you like it!

Jen R. said...

Delicious! After finishing up his falafel and salad tonight, my husband headed to the kitchen to find other foods to dip in this tzatziki sauce!

Kalyn said...

Jen, glad to hear it was a hit!

Lauren said...

I usually use a tzatziki recipe that involves grating the cucumber (whole, unpeeled) and straining it through cheesecloth for several hours. This one sounded interesting, so I followed the recipe to the 'T' and ahh, SO salty! I was forced to dilute it with copious amounts of sour cream. Slightly disappointing.

Kalyn said...

Lsiren it should not have been too salty if you used kosher salt and wiped off the cucumbers.

Kalyn said...

Lsiren it should not have been too salty if you used kosher salt and wiped off the cucumbers.

LinzGorton said...

I just got back from Greece and ate Tzatziki twice a day the whole time i was there, i cant wait to try your recipe, thanks for posting it!

Kalyn said...

Linz, lucky you! I've only been to Greece once, but want to go there again!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much Kalyn for this easy, play-by-play recipe for Tzatziki! I accidentally purchased Greek yogurt the other day (was just looking for low-fat plain). I Googled "what to do with Greek yogurt" and here was your blog to save the day. I made my first batch ever this morning. It's delicious. And I finally got to use that new food processor. :o)

-Shannon, Upstate NY

Kalyn said...

Shannon, so glad you liked it (and yaay for the food processor!)

Anonymous said...

Is there a quick variation that can be used as a dip for pita bread? Looking for something besides chips/ veggies for Thanksgiving.

Kalyn said...

There are some other dip options that are quicker in the Appetizers section of the recipe archives or you could use purchased Tzatziki suuce.

LAUREN said...

MAN SHALL NOT LIVE BY BREAD ALONE, BUT BY EVERY SLICE DIPPED IN TSATZIKI DIP !!!!!!!!! I AM BONKERS OVER THIS DIP !!!! I REALLY LOVE YOUR TUTORIAL!!!!!!

Kalyn said...

Lauren, thanks! So glad you like it. This is the kind of food that makes me think about living in Greece!

Amy said...

I just made this today, but the lemon juice curdled the yogurt! Is it supposed to be this way? Anybody else have this problem? Any idea how to fix it? I don't want to just throw it away and start over (money!) but I'm having trouble getting past the grainy texture from the curdled yogurt...

Kalyn said...

Amy I've made this many times and the lemon juice has never curdled the yogurt for me. It is rather a lumpy texture from the cucumbers though.

Mama2LoLa said...

I just made this tonight for my family to have with pita bread and chicken souvlaki. We live in Astoria, New York which has a huge Greek population. We've eaten tzatziki many times in many places. However, this is, hands down, the best damn tzatziki I have ever had, and ditto for the other 5 members of our family! They were all raving about it - my husband said I could teach the Greeks a thing or two! So much flavor!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for this awesome recipe! I did prep things a bit differently than in the recipe but the ingredients were the same. Yum! Yum! Yum! THANKS!!

Kalyn said...

So glad to hear it was such a hit.

Anonymous said...

The wife and I LOVE to eat this stuff when we go out, so we came online to find a recipe and here we are. We just finished it about an hour ago and followed the recipe every step. We just couldn't wait to let it sit any longer in the fridge, so I tried it and it tastes way too much like the yogurt. Is this normal if we dont let it sit long enough or did I do something wrong? Please help!

Kalyn said...

It says in the recipe "This resting time is very important." If you didn't let it rest, I'd guess you don't have the flavor you would have had yet. Without being there cooking it with you there's no way for me to tell if you did something wrong.

Anonymous said...

So what you are saying is... you don't mind coming over and cooking for us, because that is what I heard! We are letting it sit over night, plus one thing I learned is that my wife picked up Greek-"style" yogurt. I'm not sure if that would have made the taste change? Also, I saw that other recipes add Olive Oil... any reason why? I would think it would lose its thickness.

Kalyn said...

I'm not sure what "Greek Style Yogurt" is, but the brand of yogurt could definitely make a difference. I'm guessing the flavor will be much better after it sits though. Haven't heard of adding olive oil to this. (You don't want me to come over and cook; I make a terrible mess in the kitchen!)

Admin said...

I love it! Greek yogurt is my go to food, especially when I'm training.

Debi said...

mmmmmmmm Very yummy. Im not a great cook but this fully passed inspection by my inherited Greek side of my family! They really enjoyed it. Thanks

Kalyn said...

Debi, that's great news! Thanks for letting me know they liked it.

KristinaLove said...

I used nonfat regular yogurt, and strained it as directed, for almost three hours. I also used two medium cucumbers, and drained the water from those as well. However, when I mixed everything together, the taste was great but the consistency was that of a melted milkshake. I'm assuming the yogurt made it not work? Also there was WAY too much cucumber, even for a cucumber lover like myself... Help please! :)

Kalyn said...

Kristina, I can only guess that the yogurt you used had a lot of water in it. I would try with *real* Greek yogurt, which is very thick. The amount of cucumber may be a matter of taate, but Tzatziki does have a lot of cucumber flavor. Definitely you can add less cucumber if you'd like.

AnnieB said...

Kristina, yogurt will only drain if it is free of thickeners & gelatin, such carrageenan, pectin or xantham gum. Try a brand like Nancy's that doesn't add any of these extra fillers. I use it and when I drain a cup of yogurt, it only takes an hour and I end up with 1/2 cup...it decreases by about half. Good luck!

AHMED said...

Hi , I'm a beginner in cooking . I love this sauce so so much . I have a question regarding the consistency : I followed your recipe word by word but I ended up with a semi-liquid sauce and I don't know what went wrong ... so Where do you think most people go wrong regarding the consistency ? . Again thank you very much for this Blog .

Kalyn said...

Ahmed, did you use Greek Yogurt or drain your own yogurt? If you drained it, some yogurts just don't thicken as well due to the way the yogurt is made. Other than that, I'm not sure without actually watching you make it!

Michelle M said...

So my husband LOVES gyros. So I knew I had to find a Tzatziki suce recipe. I didn't like the one in my cooke book, and the store bought tzatziki was jut blah. Hubby said he liked it well enough, I told him it's because he didn't know any better. LOL and since I'm making Gyros for our dinner guests tonight, I knew I needed a WOW recipe. I just finished making the sauce, and OH MY GOSH! It' tastes awesome already, without even having sat in the fridge yet. Just stuck it in. My husband and guests are going to love this. Thanks so much for posting the recipe, and please pass my thanks on to your friend for sharing the recipe with us via your blog!!!!

PS it's like nails on a chalkboard to me when I hear someoone pronounce gyro it with a hard G!!!! Like someone saying I-talian!!!!

Kalyn said...

Michelle, so glad you liked it. (And I do know what you mean about the pronunciation of Gyros!)

Leah said...

"That said, Tzatziki is a condiment, and you won't be eating enormous amounts of it." --- speak for yourself!!! :))))

Great recipe. I strain my greek yogurt too. Thank goodness for having multiple colanders :)

Kalyn said...

Leah, good point! Glad you're enjoying the recipe.

L {first came love} said...

Just came across your blog as I was finishing up my restaurant leftovers of gyro meat and tzatziki. We always have tons of Greek yogurt on hand I'm tempted to run out and buy cucumber so I can make this with some grilled chicken for dinner tonight. Here in Tarpon Springs (large Greek community) I never see dill in tzatziki but I have some in my garden so maybe I will throw some in.

spacedogfl said...

I made this recipe (adding more garlic because you can never have enough!) and it is fantastic. I used a Greek-style yogurt with no additives and 2 largish cucumbers which I let drain for over an hour (while cleaning the apartment) then squeezed dry and two days later it is still thick and creamy with no excess water. I love it! Thanks for posting this.

Kalyn said...

Glad people are still enjoying this!

Kristy said...

Best recipie I have found for this!! I just made it and I had to hide it in the back of the refrigerator so that I wouldn't eat the entire bowl. Thanks for sharing!

Kalyn said...

Kristy, so glad you liked it!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have any idea of the nutritional facts regarding this recipe?

Kalyn said...

I don't calculate nutritional information, but if you use non-fat greek yogurt, it's got to be a very healthful sauce.

christina thomas said...

I'm new to the scene a bit about this Greek yogurt wave; but now that I've tried Fage on everything from blueberry bagels - instead of sour cream - to rice pilaf, I aint never going back! Plus, maybe you've heard about the fat-fighting prowess of these strained yogurts (I love the honey Oikos)

Ms. Press said...

Just made your Tzatziki sauce! Your recipe was so great and easy to follow. It tastes SO wonderful, I just want to put it on everything!

Kalyn said...

So glad you liked it!

Anonymous said...

How much lemon juice do you use?

Kalyn said...

It says in the recipe "juice of one lemon - about 3 Tablespoons."

Anonymous said...

I wanted to thank you for such an amazing recipe collection, and particularly for this tzatziki recipe. I've had this with your baked falafel recipe (absolutely amazing - used chickpea flour), and I have been using it as a salad dressing all week. I also found it makes a great substitute for mayonnaise when I make egg salad.

Your recipes have really helped add variety to the South Beach for my husband and me. I'm down 20 pounds, and he is down 30, but I feel like we have been eating like kings, thanks to your recipes and ideas. It makes it so much easier to stick with it.

Kalyn said...

So glad you have been enjoying the recipes!

decorative said...

I love this stuff .. This is a great recipe thanks for the post !!

Kalyn said...

Glad you are enjoying it. I have a bunch of garden cucumbers so I'm making some soon!

Sue S said...

I don't have a food processor. Can I still make this tzatziki sauce ?

Kalyn said...

You could probably make a chunky version of it if you have the patience to finely chop the cucumbers and herbs by hand. I haven't tried it that way; let me know how it works if you try it.

Barb Klobucar said...

For several years I tried many recipes for Tzatziki sauce. None tasted like what I remembered while living in Europe. This is the real deal and so easy to make. If you can get the Greek yogurt buy it. Even my little rural town (pop. 1000) in PA finally sells it. Also Tzatziki sauce isn't just for gyros. Works for many things, just need a little imagination.

Kalyn said...

Barb, so glad you have enjoyed the recipe!

Luana said...

Kalyn, I've not heard of salting cucumbers to get excess water out; it's an excellent idea and I will try it next time I make tzatziki.

As for dill, I really prefer dried dill to fresh; it has more flavor. I think it's like oregano. We never use fresh oregano in cooking; it's always the dried, much more flavorful.

Ken said...

Hi Kalyn, made the tzatziki the other day and served with falafel; the way it came out my wife thought it was delicious, but too watery (I thought it was fine and matched consistency of commercially available tzatziki). Anyway, not important, but having the sauce that was arguably too thin, I did the cone/paper coffee filter thing on the finished product; after a couple hours it was rather thicker and a fair amount of juice had collected, which smelled a lot like pickles (cucumber and dill together???). Best of all, sauce still tasted great. Anyway, maybe a possible salvage for those whose sauce is thinner than desired for whatever reason.

Kalyn said...

Ken, thanks for sharing that. I'm curious about whether you strained the yogurt before you made it or used Greek yogurt. If so, you must have had cucumbers with a lot of water. Glad you still enjoyed it.

Ken said...

Hi Kalyn, I used a low-fat Greek yogurt. The fact mine turned out somewhat thin probably had something to do with me messing around with the recipe proportions and taking as many shortcuts as possible since I didn't have a chance to start on this until almost dinner time! I expect if I had followed the recipe it would've turned out just as expected, but it still tasted great, and we ate before 10 PM! Anyway, I think the "rescue" technique is a keeper.
Ken

Meagan said...

can you freeze the left overs?

Kalyn said...

Meagan, I have not tried it, but I don't think this would freeze well.

Jewbe said...

I just made this using your recipe and it came out fabulous! We are serving it for our Super Bowl party tomorrow. I think everyone will love it! Thanks

Brittany Cooks said...

Hi Kalyn! So I'm straining some regular yogurt to make some of this yummy looking tzatziki, and it's reducing A LOT. If you use three cups of Greek yogurt, I'm assuming that when I use plain yogurt I still need three cups of yogurt after straining? I looked through the previous comments and didn't see anything pertaining to this. Normally, I would've just bought Greek yogurt, but I'm living in Beijing and it is insanely expensive here ($4 a cup? no thanks!). Ah well. I think I'm just going to wing it for today, but I was just wondering. Thanks! :)

Kalyn said...

Yes you will still need 3 cups. You could make a smaller amount if needed. Fun hearing from someone in Beijing; I went on a great trip there.

james said...

Thank you so much! I wanted to make my wife something special. She is Greek, so I decided to make her gyros. I found your recipie, and not only did I have fun making it, she loved it! She thought it was the best she had tasted, and we have been to a lot of Greek festivals! I have one question, can fou freeze Tzatziki sauce? I don't need so much all at once. Thanks again!

Kalyn said...

James, glad you liked it. I don't think it will freeze well (the yogurt will separate and I bet the cucumber will get mushy.)

James H._Gimpy said...

Thank you so much for this recipe. It's fantastic! I've tried it on two separate occasions, and both were beyond amazing!! The first time I tried it I made the mistake of combining the cucumber-mix and the yogurt in my food processor; note to fellow readers: don't do that! I found that it makes the tzatziki very watery because it breaks down the yogurt. However, this was a wonderful learning experience because the second time it turned out nice and thick, which made it even better, of course. The only change I made to the actual recipe was to triple the garlic because, as "spacedogfl" said, you can never have enough!
Thank you again for posting this recpe. It will definitely be a permanent addition to my cooking repertoire. :D

Kalyn said...

James, so glad you have enjoyed the recipe so much!

Becky said...

I made this recipe and it was wonderful! Instead of pureeing the cucumbers though, I shredded them and then sprinkled the salt on the shreds to draw out the water. After I let it sit for 5-10 minutes, I poured off the water and then squeezed the shreds (with my bare hands :)) to get any additional liquid out. I repeated this about three times and then mixed it into the yogurt. My left overs never accumulated any additional liquid. It stayed the consistency of sour cream until we finished the sauce. I will make this over and over... Thanks, Kalyn, and I love your site!

Kalyn said...

Becky, thanks for that tip. I'll have to try your method. Glad you are enjoying the site!

Fahad Khan said...

Tzatziki - I love this stuff!I had Tzatziki for the first time when we made it at our Culinary School and absolutely loved it!We had also made Shawarma and Falafel along,and it was a wonderful dip for them.
Though we used mint,back then,I am game to try the dill version.I will bookmark/note this down!Thank you for sharing,thank you for taking me back down the memory lane!:-)

sbjenson said...

Made it here in New Zealand with a leg a lamb but with the mint version (we lived in St. Petersburg, Russian for two years and it put me off all things Dill) and as you say, it was the world's best Tzatziki sauce. Really kicking myself I never made it sooner! I am using it tonight to go with some broiled chicken thighs marinated in lime, garlic, and fresh NZ honey with ginger for a glaze effect. Thanks so much for the recipe!

Kalyn said...

So glad you enjoyed it, and fun hearing from someone in New Zealand!

NIcole said...

Definitely going to try this out. I'd been searching the web for the best sauce and I hope this it!

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