What Is Tzatziki?
Tzatziki is a dip made with yogurt, chopped or grated cucumber, and garlic. Greek tzatziki is typically flavored with fresh mint, while in Turkey, where it’s known as cacik, the preferred herb is fresh dill. Other common add-ins include red wine vinegar or lemon juice for acidity and black pepper, sumac, and coriander for spice.
6 Ways to Serve Tzatziki
This refreshing cucumber sauce is a staple of Mediterranean and Greek food, and there are a number of ways to enjoy it.
- With bread or chips: In Greece, tzatziki is often served simply flatbreads and extra virgin olive oil. You can also pair it with pita chips for an easy snack.
- With souvlaki: Serve tzatziki with souvlaki, Greek lamb kebabs marinated in fresh lemon juice, garlic, and herbs served over rice
- With vegetables: Tzatziki goes well with carrots, snap peas, celery, cucumber. Serve with fried eggplant or zucchini
- As a dressing: Turn authentic Greek tzatziki sauce into a creamy salad dressing by thinning it out with fresh lemon juice, red wine vinegar, and olive oil.
- On gyros: Use tzatziki as a condiment for gyros, Greek sandwiches made with marinated lamb or beef, lettuce, and tomato stuffed into pita bread. Tzatziki also goes well with meatballs, falafel, and chicken shawarma.
- On a mezze platter: A mezze (Turkish for "appetizer") platter can include tzatziki alongside hummus, marinated feta, baba ganoush, and olives.
Easy Tzatziki Recipe
Prep Time20 min
Total Time20 min
- 1 English cucumber
- 3 cloves garlic
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
- 2 cups plain Greek yogurt (or use regular plain yogurt for a more sauce-like consistency)
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh herbs such as mint, dill, cilantro, purslane, or parsley
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Coarsely grate the cucumber into a cheesecloth-lined colander or fine mesh strainer over the sink and let drain, 15 minutes. Use your hands to squeeze out excess water.
- Meanwhile, pound garlic cloves and salt together into a paste using a mortar and pestle. In a large bowl, combine yogurt with garlic paste, grated cucumber, and herbs.
- To serve, transfer to a medium bowl and drizzle with olive oil.
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