English & Persian cucumbers are best for tzatziki sauce due to their flavor and lack of bitterness. Once you get the basic recipe, the variations are endless (like avocado or sun-dried tomato)
Servings: 8 ¼ cup servings
- 1 cucumber see note
- 1¼ cups plain greek yogurt two standard 5.3-oz containers, see note
- 1-2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or wine vinegar see note
- 1-2 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- ¼ teaspoon each: salt & pepper more to taste
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
If the cucumber has a waxy coating, peel it off. Otherwise you can leave the skin on. Grate cucumber over a tea towel or bamboo paper towel. Wrap up the towel and squeeze out as much liquid as you can (this prevents the tzatziki from being too watery).
Grate garlic with a microplane if possible. Otherwise, mince it with a knife. Place the garlic in a bowl with the 2 tbps of olive oil. (This melows the garlic bite out a little and flavors the oil at the same time).
Make the tzatziki, gradually adding flavor
Note: The cucumber-yogurt base allows for flavors to quickly take over. Because of this, add each of the flavors in gradually until you like how it tastes.
Open the 2 containers of greek yogurt and pour off any liquid sitting on top. Scoop yogurt into a bowl. Fold in the shredded cucumber.
Add in half (1 tbsp) of the lemon juice (or red/white wine vinegear), 1 tablespoon dill, and ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Stir and taste. Add more to taste.
Add in half of the garlic oil (1 tbsp). Stir and taste. Add more to taste.
Now it's ready to serve.
Make-ahead and storage
This will last 5-7 days in the fridge. The water and oils might seperate, that's natural. Stir to combine before serving. Note that the garlic flavor will get stronger as it sits in the fridge, so consider lowering the amount if making ahead.
Cucumbers: hot house (also known as english) cucumbers are the one of the best choices as they have fewers seeds and are rarely bitter. They usually come wrapped in plastic, so you don't have a waxy coating like you do with regular slicing cucumbers. Persian cucumbers often have a stronger cucumber flavor (no bitterness), but are more expensive. For more information on varieties, see the Cucumber guide.
Greek yogurt is thicker than other yogurts, removing the need to strain some liquid out of it. Any thicker style greek yogurt works well.
Lemon juice vs wine vinegar: both work well and the flavor difference is minimal. Choose what you like best or have on hand. If using vinegar, you can use red wine vinegar (which is traditional for an authentic Greek version), white wine vinegar, or even champagne vinegar.
Calories: 54kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 95mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 27IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1mg