It’s Greek week on Love & Lemons! On Monday, I posted my favorite Greek salad, and now I’m following it up with another Greek essential: tzatziki sauce!
One of the best parts of summer is that dinner suddenly becomes easy. My favorite ingredients – fresh fruits and veggies – are at their peak. Tomatoes are sweeter and juicier, berries are plumper, peppers are snappier, and our backyard herbs are at their most potent.
Sometimes, when I want to put these peak-season veggies front and center, making dinner just means prepping a sauce to dress them up. This tzatziki sauce is a great recipe for showcasing summer veggies – it’s rich & creamy, bright, and packed with fresh herbs. So mix it up, serve it with a big platter of pita and your favorite fresh veg, and call it dinner!
What is tzatziki?
Tzatziki is a salted yogurt and cucumber dip that’s made of strained yogurt, shredded cucumber, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and herbs. Authentic Greek tzatziki is most often made with sheep or goat yogurt, but my tzatziki recipe calls for regular full-fat Greek yogurt. It’s easier to find in the store, and it still has the creamy, thick consistency you want in tzatziki sauce. Along with the other traditional ingredients, I stir in fresh mint and dill for a bright, summery finish.
How to Make Tzatziki Sauce
I first started eating tzatziki sauce at Greek restaurants, but I’ve since learned that it’s incredibly easy to whip up at home. Now, along with pesto, it’s one of my must-make summer sauces. Here’s how you do it:
- Start by grating the cucumber. I use the largest holes on a box grater to give my final sauce texture and plenty of green flecks.
- Next, squeeze the water out of the grated cucumber. This step is essential for making a creamy tzatziki – if you skip it, the water from the cucumber will cause your sauce to separate. Squeeze the cucumber directly over the sink, or press it lightly between kitchen or paper towels.
- Then, stir everything together! Mix the squeezed cucumber with the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt, and herbs, and chill until you’re ready to use.
How to Use Tzatziki Sauce
Once you’ve mixed your tzatziki sauce together, there are endless ways to use it. Most simply, I enjoy it as a snack with fresh veggies and pita or crackers. Try it this way, or add it to your next crudité platter. Your guests will love it!
And last but not least, serve it with pita and lots of grilled veggies for a delicious, easy summer dinner.
If you love this tzatziki recipe…
Author: Jeanine Donofrio
Recipe type: Appetizer
- 1 cup thick Greek yogurt
- ½ cup finely grated cucumber
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- 1 tablespoon chopped dill
- 1 tablespoon chopped mint, optional
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
- freshly ground black pepper
- Place the cucumber on a towel and gently squeeze out a bit of the excess water.
- In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, cucumber, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, dill, and mint, if using, salt, and pepper. Chill until ready to use. Season to taste and serve.