Spruce up your daily mealtime with this thick and creamy Tzatziki Sauce oozing with fresh and bright Mediterranean flavors! A dollop of this rich Greek sour cream sauce will instantly level up your everyday dishes into something fabulously delicious. It’s creamy with bits of crunch from the cucumber and a tangy-sweet flavor from the dill and lemon juice. It is one of those all-around sauces that you must always have chilling in your fridge.
What is Tzatziki
It is probably one of the most popular and versatile dips out there because of how delicious and easy to make it is. Classic Tzatziki is made from diluted yogurt and shredded cucumbers seasoned with fresh herbs. In Greece, it is traditionally served as part of a Meze, a platter of different appetizers or snacks, or as a sauce for Gyros, a pita bread wrap, and Souvlaki, a type of meat and veggies skewers.
Best Homemade Tzatziki Sauce
In our kitchen, however, I use it with almost anything I can get away with! It is divinely good as a dip for crackers and veggies or as a dressing for salads. I love serving it with leftover shredded chicken from my easy Oven-baked Chicken Thighs recipe!. And next time you are making a sandwich, use this instead of your usual mayonnaise! It is so good, you will never want your sandwiches any other way!
My recipe uses sour cream instead of the usual yogurt. It has the same tangy goodness as Greek yogurt but is thicker, which is how I like my sauce to be. However, if you don’t care for sour cream, you can easily swap it out for a creamy Greek yogurt.
Why this Recipe Works
- This homemade tzatziki sauce recipe is done in just 15 minutes, with no cooking required. Anything that I can eat without cooking is an instant winner for me!
- Despite its exotic name, you can make this Greek sauce with easy-to-find, simple ingredients.
- Tweak or swap the ingredients to your liking. After all, a sauce design to your taste will always be better than any you can buy at your favorite Greek restaurant!
- Sour cream
- Fresh dill
- Lemon juice
- Olive oil
Kitchen Supplies to Use
- Cheese grater
- Large bowl
How to Make the Best Tzatziki Sauce
- Prepare the cucumbers. Rinse them thoroughly as we will be using them with the peel on. Grate using the large holes to create coarser shreds, then transfer to a cheesecloth. Squeeze to drain all the excess liquid from the cucumber.
- Mix all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Let it sit for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to fuse.
- Serve with a sprinkling of olive oil if you desire.
Tips when Making Tzatziki Sauce
- Make sure that you thoroughly squeeze out the liquid from the cucumbers because if there is too much liquid, it will water down the sauce over time.
- If you like a smoother sauce, you can grate the cucumbers finely using the smaller holes in the grater. Or you can also pulse the mixture in a food processor.
- When using other types of cucumber with thicker skin, I recommend peeling it because it may add a bitter taste to the sauce.
- If you want it to be vegan, use dairy-free sour cream instead.
Ingredient Notes and Possible Substitutions
- Instead of using sour cream, you can substitute plain yogurt, full fat. (Full-fat Greek yogurt will give the best flavor.) This simple recipe will still work with fat-free yogurt, but keep in mind that the texture will be thinner. Or, for something different, use softened cream cheese.
- For the best results and fresh flavors in this homemade tzatziki sauce, you will use fresh herbs. But if you have to substitute dried dill for fresh, you will want to use 2 teaspoons of dried dill instead of the 2 Tablespoons of fresh dill. You may want to let it sit for at least ½ an hour to allow the flavors to blend.
- However, if you don’t care for dill, some people enjoy this with fresh mint (you could use 2 Tablespoons of chopped mint leaves) or fresh garlic (1 large or 2 small cloves of garlic will be plenty). Or you could add in a Tablespoon of lemon zest or white wine vinegar.
- In case you cannot find English cucumbers, regular garden cucumbers should work fine. Take note that regular cucumbers contain so much water that you will have to grate more to make 1 cup of cucumber. And make sure you squeeze it really well to get out the excess liquid. You may want to press the shredded cucumber through a fine-mesh strainer or fine mesh sieve before squeezing it with a kitchen towel. This is an effective way to remove as much moisture as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, I actually find it better the next day, after the flavors have blended even more.
Tzatziki is one of the most versatile sauces! This sauce is delicious with pita bread (fresh pitas), warm bread, fried eggplant or zucchini, feta, and olives, or as a side to a Greek dish, like gyros. It can be served as a sauce for a main course containing Greek meatballs or lamb kabobs. I love it with pita chips and raw veggies. Or it can even be used as a salad dressing!
Either will work in this recipe, but regular cucumbers contain so much water that you will have to grate more to make 1 cup of cucumber. And make sure you squeeze it really well to get out the excess liquid. You may want to press the shredded cucumber through a fine mesh strainer or fine mesh sieve before squeezing it with a kitchen towel. This is an effective way to remove as much moisture as possible.
Tzatziki is one of the most versatile sauces! This sauce is delicious with pita bread (fresh pitas), warm bread, fried eggplant or zucchini, feta, and olives,or as a side to a greek dish, like gyros. It can be served as a sauce for a main course containing greek meatballs, or lamb kabobs. I love it with pita chips and raw veggies. Or it can even be used as a salad dressing!
Yes, I actually find it is even better the next day, after the flavors have blended even more.
Storing Tzatziki Sauce
Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container or covered tightly with plastic wrap. They should last up to a week. Tzatziki sauce doesn’t freeze really well, as this changes the texture too much.
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Tzatziki Sauce Recipe
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup english cucumber grated and drained
- 2 Tablespoons fresh dill chopped
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil extra virgin olive oil if you have it
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Grate cucumber using the large holes of a box grater. There is no need to peel the cucumber. Place the grated cucumber into a cheese cloth or paper towels and squeeze to thoroughly drain all of the excess water from the cucumber. (This is important because if there is too much liquid, it will water down the sauce over time.)
- Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl: sour cream, grated and drained cucumber, fresh dill, fresh lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. (Or you could pulse all of this together in a food processor.) Let this sit for at least 5 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
- Top this delicious greek tzatziki with a drizzle of olive oil if you like.