Tzatziki is a creamy, yogurt-based sauce made from thick yogurt, grated cucumber, fresh dill, zesty lemon juice, and minced garlic. It’s a refreshing, cooling sauce you’ll love – just spread it onto grilled vegetables, grilled meat, or enjoy as a dip.

Tzatziki in a bowl surrounded by sliced cucumber and cherry tomatoes.

How to Pronounce Tzatziki?

First of all, you’re probably wondering how to pronounce this (if you don’t already know). A quick breakdown is tsahseekey. With an emphasis on tsah, which should sound like the z‘s in pizza. So now that we’ve got that figured out, let’s dive into what it is.

Tzatziki Recipe Video

While it’s easy to make this recipe, it always helps to watch a quick video. Give it a watch below!

What Is Tzatziki Sauce?

Tzatziki is a refreshing cucumber and yogurt sauce that has made its way through Mediterranean cuisines. While it’s strongly linked to Greece, places like Turkey, Cyprus and the Balkans all have their own twist on it. The common base is strained yogurt, cucumber, and dill, along with additional herbs such as parsley, cilantro, or mint.

It’s fresh and bright flavors make it perfect for pairing with grilled meats and gyros. Which is how it’s typically served. But I’d say it dresses up grilled veggies pretty nicely too. And of course, serving it as a dip on a mezze platter is a no brainer.

Tzatziki ingredients in a bowl and then stirred together.

Greek Tzatziki Ingredients

While it’s hard to pronounce, it’s easy to make (hooray). For the best authentic tzatziki, you need just a few ingredients:

  • Greek Yogurt: To mimic the thick and creamy consistency of goat’s milk (in traditional Greek versions), full-fat Greek yogurt is ideal. But you can certainly use low-fat greek yogurt as well.
  • Cucumber: The secret here is to grate the cucumber into shredded bits. It will give it that light but chunky texture.
  • Dill: Use freshly chopped dill to maximize the herb-like flavors.
  • Garlic: I’m using two garlic cloves here, but feel free to add one or two more if you’d like.
  • Olive Oil: A drizzle of this to add to its creaminess.
  • Lemon Juice: Squeeze some fresh lemon juice for added brightness.
  • Salt: Just a pinch of this to tie everything together.

Are you dairy-free? Check out my vegan tzatziki – it’s a tasty alternative!

How To Make Tzatziki Sauce

After you’ve peeled and grated your cucumber, drain it in a fine mesh sieve over a bowl. Make sure to press down to remove all the liquid. If you don’t have a sieve, you can also use a nut milk bag or cheesecloth to gently squeeze it until all the moisture is out. This is key to prevent watery tzatziki. Then just…

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a mixing bowl and stir together until it’s thick and creamy.
  2. Let the mixture rest to allow the flavors to meld together. Trust me, the wait will be worth it. You can also taste test here to see if you need extra lemon juice, herbs, or salt.
  3. Enjoy or let this chill in the fridge for later.

Tzatziki in a bowl with a sprinkle of dill on top and surrounded by cucumber slices and cherry tomatoes.

Ways to Dip, Drizzle, and Spread

Similar to hummus, tzatzki is great for using as a dip, sauce, or spread. Here’s a few ways to make the most of it.

Scooping tzatziki out of the bowl with a slice of cucumber.

Storing and Make Ahead Options

While you can serve this immediately, I suggest letting it chill in the fridge for about an hour. The flavor just gets better and better over time, which makes it perfect for making ahead of time.

You can store it in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge. Just know that it might get a little more watery the longer it sits. I also don’t recommend freezing, as cucumbers can turn a bit mushy in the freezer, and the lemon might curdle the yogurt.

Complete Your Mediterranean Meal

Want more Mediterranean meal ideas? Here are some appetizers, sides, and snacks that are light, refreshing, and filled with spices.

Tzatziki in a bowl topped with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of dill, next to sliced cucumber and cherry tomatoes.

Best Tzatziki Recipe (Easy & Authentic)

4.96 from 23 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan
Tzatziki is a creamy, yogurt-based sauce that will brighten up any summer meal. This easy, authentic recipe is perfect served alongside vegetables or grilled meats. Watch the quick video above to see how I make it!


  • 1 1/2 cups greek yogurt
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and grated
  • 2 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • Drain the grated cucumber by pressing down on it over fine mesh sieve over a bowl. Alternatively, you could use a nut milk bag or cheesecloth and gently squeeze until all the moisture is out.
  • Mix all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl until everything is well combined.
  • Let the mixture rest for a few minutes for the flavors to meld together. Taste test to see if you need to add any extra herbs, lemon juice, or salt.
  • Serve immediately or let it chill in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Lisa's Tips

  • This recipe yields about 2 cups of tzatziki. 


Calories: 59kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 2mg, Sodium: 160mg, Potassium: 110mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 36IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 48mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Appetizer, sauce
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: Tzatziki, Tzatziki Recipe
©Downshiftology. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram. Tag @downshiftology and hashtag it #downshiftology.

Leave a Comment

All comments are moderated before appearing on the site. Thank you for sharing your feedback!

Recipe Rating

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

58 comments on “Tzatziki”

  1. I know i will love this like i do all of Lisa’s recipes so far.. the bowl of freshness is intoxicating as I continue to remove the moisture from the cukes.. Any advice on tips on removing all this water? I’ve tried the sieve push, cheesecloth and now I’m on @ my 40th piece of paper towelling. Any secrets anyone can share? For me this is turning an easy recipe into quite a long one.. But I can’t wait to taste it!!5 stars

  2. This recipe is so easy to make and tastes so fresh! I made it tonight to serve with herbed chicken, cut veggies, roasted broccoli, and cantaloupe. A perfect combo for a warm evening. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  3. Super easy and delicious!! Thank you Lisa!5 stars

  4. Delicious! Really enjoyed this simple and tasty recipe as a dip and to accompany chicken.5 stars

  5. i just made this but swapped out the greek yogurt with whole fat regular organic yogurt since that’s all i had in hand.

    everyone needs to make this as it’s super duper easy and tastes phenomenal.

  6. Just made this and it is delicious!!!5 stars

  7. First of all (and this comes from a Greek), tzatziki is pronounced jajeekee with the stress on the second syllable. It is a common mistake that foreigners make that has us struggling not to laugh as a nation every time we hear it. (It just sounds so weird otherwise!)
    Second, I would recommend cutting the cucumber into tiny cubes and adding it at the last minute. It makes a huge difference. Also, I would swap the lemon juice with white wine vinegar and the dill with dried peppermint. Although, dill is traditionally used in tzatziki nothing can match the combination of yoghurt and peppermint.4 stars

  8. So, have you ever tried this recipe with plain coconut yogurt instead of dairy milk yogurt?

  9. Delicious! Super easy and pairs so well with the Greek Chicken Kabobs. I added a bit of honey and extra salt. Thank you for another great recipe from this site!5 stars

  10. This is an excellent dip! I used the extracted water from the cucumber in a glass of water with ice. 5 stars

  11. Um…uh.  This isn’t a dip…this isn’t a sauce… this is so good you just eat it out if the bowl.  I think you could put this on a shoe and it would taste good.  I think I’m in love with Lisa because of this.5 stars

  12. Looks great . I can’t eat garlic can I use something else or just omlt it

  13. I am not finding the video. It says it is below, but I cannot find the link. Can somebody help me? Thank you!

  14. My very first tzatziki ever and such a winner. So easy and spot-on flavorwise. Feels like being back in Greece. Thank you Lisa!5 stars

  15. Such a simple recipe, but the measurements are perfect! Make it often and enjoy with veggies. 5 stars

  16. I make this EVERY week without fail5 stars

  17. I made this as a lighter appetizer dish with veggies for Thanksgiving so everyone could have a snack, but so it was not too filling. It was the perfect blend of ingredients and so flavorful. Even though it seems like a summer dish, everyone loved it and it was gone in a flash. 5 stars

  18. Hola! Hola! :D Been meaning to make this recipe but I never have fresh dill on hand. Is it possible to use dried and how much?

  19. This is THE tzatziki! It tastes so much more fresh than store-bought. I purchased a nut milk bag specifically for this recipe and I’m glad I did because I’ll keep making this until the day I die5 stars

  20. Hi Lisa
    I am making your mayonnaise recipe.

    Can you substitute regular white vinegar in place of white wine vinegar?

  21. Hi Lisa!
    Which is lower calorie, your vegan tzatziki or this one?
    Is this one really just 36kcal?

    • Hi Kimberly- regular tzatziki will have lower calories as the vegan tzatziki is made from cashews, which are higher in calories compared to yogurt.

  22. Hi there, can grated zucchini be used instead of cucumber? The recipe looks great by the way!

  23. This is such a great recipe! It is so fresh and delicious. I are it with some Greek chicken I made, and created rice bowls with brown rice, chicken, red onion, and the tzatziki. It was delicious. I did make the mistake of not measuring the lemon juice, so I added a fit to much, but it still tasted great. Just a bit more tart.5 stars

    • Hi Caille- What a perfect Mediterranean meal! Happy to hear this Tzatziki sauce turned out great. But yes, the lemon can be a bit strong sometimes!

  24. Made this tonight with my kids and loved it with celery! So good!5 stars

  25. I just whipped this up really quickly to go with my Baked Tuna Meatballs (also from Lisa!). Seriously. Good. Easy. Quick. I can’t believe I have waited this long to make it! Thank you!!!5 stars

  26. So so good. Love a good tzatziki!! I learnt to make these from the chef when we visited Santorini.5 stars

  27. No idea why, but I only ever make tzatziki during summer. Thanks for reminding me to make another batch.5 stars

  28. Tzatziki is my favourite dip! I love this homemade version5 stars

  29. I’m preparing some cheese boards next week and I just love this recipe! I need to include it as another dip! 5 stars

  30. I love tzatziki so much ! this looks easy & delish5 stars

  31. My husband and I love this recipe! I will be definitely making this again. Thanks!5 stars

  32. Hi Lisa, I love Tzatziki and I am making it frequently. I use vinegar instead of lemon but I’ll try your version too. Another idea how to use it is as salad dressing, goes fantastic with potato salad or plain lettuce salad. Regarding the pronunciation it might help if you read it as jajeekey because ‘tz’ in greek sounds more like ‘g’ as in gymnastic. Anyway :) I love your blog and thank you for sharing your recipes.5 stars

    • Hi Sofi- Absolutely! It’s such a versatile recipe that can be used in so many ways which I’ve included in the blog post :)