Authentic Greek Tzatziki
April 18, 2017
This recipe was generously gifted to me by a friend's Greek grandma. She told me that most Tzatziki recipes aren't traditional, as they have lemon and/or dill in them. Hers is the genuine recipe, the way it's served all over Greece, containing garlic & full fat Greek yogurt (10% or more preferably). If you're a garlic lover, you're going to adore this! You can add a little lemon juice and/or dill or other dry or fresh herb, if you like... but I suggest trying this, as is, before changing the recipe. If you do decide to add some dill or other herb, do so sparingly as your serving it... that way the taste of the herb doesn't overpower the Tzatziki.
Serve this, as a refreshing dip, with hunks of artisan whole grain crusty bread and/or bread sticks as a snack or appetizer. The Greeks also serve it with roasted lamb or any kind of grilled meat. I also love to serve this with an assorted vegetable platter & it's even good as a healthy sandwich spread. The uses for this sauce/dip is really limitless!
Serves: 3 to 4
1 cup plain Greek yogurt, full fat at least 10% (see Tip# 1)
1 small, thin organic cucumber (see Tip# 2)
1/2 to 3/4 of a large garlic clove, peeled (see Tip# 3)
1 Tblsp extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
2 Thoroughly wash & dry the cucumber, then cut off a 3" length (see Tip# 2).
3 Place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. Using the large holes on a grater, grate the 3" cucumber piece into the strainer & let sit 10 to 15 minutes, allowing it to release some of it's juices.
4 Add the yogurt to a 1 quart glass bowl. Finely grate desired amount of garlic clove into the yogurt.
5 Add the EVOO, vinegar, salt & pepper.
6 Using your fingers, firmly press the grated cucumber in the strainer to help it finish releasing it's liquids.
7 Add the strained cucumber to the yogurt mixture & discard the juice.
8 Briskly stir with a whisk, for about 1 minute, till the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Cover & refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight to allow the ingredients to marry.
9 Stir again & serve.
Tips & Suggestions
1 The flavor & texture of full fat yogurt is far superior to low or non-fat. If you feel you must use a lower fat, I suggest using Fage 2% yogurt.
2 If you're using the cucumber unpeeled you must use organic, as you don't want the pesticide residue & wax from the skin in your Tzatziki. Personally I prefer not to use the skin in mine, so I'll go ahead & use a non-organic cuke & peel it.
3 I use a large garlic clove and only grate 1/2 to 3/4 of it, that way I don't grate my fingers as well as the garlic! The amount you use depends on your individual taste.
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31 thoughts on “Authentic Greek Tzatziki”
I have made it before with Fage 2%.But would love it if I can find the whole fat yogurt. Delicious either way
Just made this for our evening meal tonight to go with Greek baked salon and orzo salad. It was very easy to make and taste delicious. Thank you for the re ipe.
So glad you enjoyed this June!
I made this recipe and used Faje 2% because that was what I had. It was absolutely perfect and delicious!
I would certainly make it this way again.
Oh yes, I’ve used Faje before too. So glad you enjoyed this recipe & will make it again Bev!
This sounds so good! I love Tzatziki! We actually had Greek food tonight because I’ve been craving it. I’m going to save this to try on my own sooN!
Great Amy, I hope you love it as much as we so at our house!
I never know how simple it was to make tzatziki sauce. I love using this on my cucumber salad.
Not only easy Fatima, but you can use Tzatziki on sooo many things!
I’m excited to try this one, it looks amazing. I bet it wouldn’t last long with my crew, it looks addictive!
Yup, addictive is putting it mildly Nicole… hope you enjoy it!
I absolutely LOOOOOVE tzatziki sauce! Ever since trying it in the restaurants I’ve always wanted to make it at home but it never comes out the same. I just figured out why thanks to you! I didn’t realize I should be straining my shredded cucumber! Mine always turns out too runny, I think this is why.
So glad to help Cendu, I’m sure your Tzatziki will turn out perfect once you start straining the cuke!
I love healthy and simple recipes like this. And greek food is one of my favorites!
I’m with you Rochelle… Greek food is one of my favorites too!
How long is the tzatziki sauce good for?
I usually go by the date on the tub of yogurt as a guideline Jay. However, my Tzatziki never lasts more than a few days before it’s all gone!
I LOVE tzatziki sauce! Seriously, it’s one of my favorites….ever! Have you ever tried adding just a little lemon juice to yours? I feel like it adds an additional depth of flavor that you wouldn’t expect but definitely appreciate 🙂
Yes, I have & it’s pretty good. This is the traditional, heirloom Greek recipe though… no lemons allowed lol.
I didn’t know that this greek dish is so easy to make and ingredients are so simple. Looks delicious
Thanks Lathiya! Hope you enjoy it when you try it.
I am a fond of Greek dips and this is something which I will definitely try at home . Thnanks for the recipe
I’m glad Anindya, I hope you enjoy it… and you’re welcome 🙂
Looks delicious! Do you think it’ll work with dairy free yogurt?
Oh yes Ai, you can use any kind of plain yogurt that you like. It’s just that the texture & flavor of the full fat is far superior to low, no fat or dairy free. If you’re used to the dairy free, then you’ll probably not notice any difference!
I love tzatziki. It brings back happy memories of feasting at Greek restaurants in Montreal with my friends in University.
Sounds like very fond memories!
Great tips, especially in regards to using full fat yogurt! Texture is very important to the foodie experience, and besides… healthy fat is good for you!
That’s exactly right Christy… the texture & flavor of full fat yogurt is far superior to the low-fat!
Yum! This would be great alongside chicken souvlaki! And I agree with you that using full-fat yogurt is key!
That sounds perfect Karen, thanks for the suggestion!