How to Make the World’s Best Tzatziki Sauce (VIDEO)
Tzatziki Sauce is the white Greek yogurt and cucumber sauce often served on Gyros, and it’s delicious no matter what you serve it on. And Tzatziki is low-carb, Keto, gluten-free, low-glycemic, and South Beach Diet friendly; use the Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.
Tzatziki is one of the classic sauces in Greek cuisine, with as many versions as there are cooks who make it. Homemade Tzatziki is so much better than the kind you buy, and this recipe has a lot of fans! I can get away with calling it the World’s Best Tzatziki Sauce 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.
Georgette brought this delicious Greek yogurt and cucumber sauce 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 World’s Best Tzatziki Sauce is made with Greek Yogurt, and there are many good brands. 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 tips 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.
The World’s Best Tzatziki sauce will keep in the fridge for a day or two, and it’s good on any kind of grilled meat. Look after the recipe for more serving suggestions.
How to Make the World's Best Tzatziki Sauce
- 3 cups Greek Yogurt (or regular plain yogurt, strained through a filter for several hours)
- 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 for several hours until it thickens.
- 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.
Recipe from Georgette Kapos.All images and text ©
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This recipe would be suitable for any phase of the South Beach Diet and most other low-carb eating plans. Yogurt is a dairy product where the South Beach Diet recommends always choosing non-fat or low-fat, but Tzatziki is a condiment, and you won’t be eating enormous amounts of it so I would probably use full-fat yogurt for best flavor.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.
Dishes from Kalyn’s Kitchen that Work Well Served with Tzatziki:
Ottolenghi’s Turkey Meatballs with Tzatziki and Sumac
Kubideh: Grilled Ground Meat on Skewers
Grilled Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers
Ground Beef Meatball Gyro Lettuce Wraps with Tzatziki and Tomatoes
Baked Falafel Patties
Other Bloggers Use Tzatziki:
Greek Chicken Souvlaki Salad ~ Lemons for Lulu