Gluten-Free Sides Healthy Turkish Recipes Under $5 Recipe

Cacik – Turkish Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

Cacik is a Turkish cucumber yogurt side dish or sauce made from roughly chopped cucumbers, fresh lemon juice, and mint. It pairs well with kabobs, chicken, and bean dishes. Slather this condiment on buttery rice or even a hunk of juicy meat.

This recipe makes 3 cups of sauce which will serve about 12 people for about $3.37. That’s just $0.28 per serving. 

I recommend this Quinoa Kisir Salad, this Lahmacun Recipe, and this Instant Pot Turkish White Bean Stew for more Healthy Turkish recipes.

An overhead picture of cucumber yogurt sauce on a dark bowl garnished with mint and olive oil.

I probably make this cacik recipe once a week. It gets devoured immediately—followed by a nagging of when I will make some more again. The crisis!

In Turkish cuisine, plain yogurt is a staple. It is served cold and typically eaten before or during the meal instead of a salad. Serve it alongside some grilled meat for the perfect dinner!

Ingredients and Cost

  • 2 cups whole milk plain yogurt – $0.92
  • 4-5 Persian cucumbers – $2.00
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice – $0.08
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest – $0.04
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt – $0.02
  • ¼ cup fresh mint – $0.28
  • 1 teaspoon garlic – $0.03

NOTE: The recipe prices are calculated by using grocery store websites. The actual cost of the recipe will vary depending on what ingredients you already have.

Tips For Making Cacik – Cucumber Yogurt Sauce:

There is no cooking required—just a lil chopping and dolloping.

A knife cutting up cucumber.

1.) First, chop the cucumber(s). There is no need to shred the cucumbers with a cheese grater as we are not making tzatziki). Lastly, I like to use Persian or English cucumbers. If you can only find the American ones, remove the skin and the seeds.

A knife chopping up fresh mint.

2.) Secondly, finely chop the mint as small as you can.

3.) Thirdly, zest and juice the lemon.

Everything but the yogurt being mixed.

4.) Fourthly, I like to add the zest, lemon juice, mint, kosher salt, and pepper to the finely chopped cucumbers before adding the yogurt. This will help to really season those cucumbers well and help dissolve the salt.

Yogurt being poured into the cucumber.

Lastly, add the plain whole milk yogurt and mix very well.

Watch how to make cucumber yogurt sauce (cacik) in the recipe card below.

Storage Tips

SERVE: This is best served immediately. Or you can chill the Cacik until ready to serve.

STORE: Cover and chill for up to 24 hours. Pour off any excess liquid and stir before serving.

FREEZE: Because of the yogurt, this recipe does not freeze well so I do not recommend freezing it.

Cook’s Tools

  • Mixing bowls
  • Wooden mixing spoon
  • Measuring spoons
  • Chef’s knife
  • Cutting board
  • Zester
  • Liquid measuring cup

Recipe FAQs

Is Cacik and tzatziki the same?

Both have the same ingredients except for the yogurt. Tzatziki uses goat yogurt, while Turkish yogurt uses cow dairy for the yogurt.

More Turkish Recipes

5 from 6 votes
A closeup picture of the finished recipe.
Cacik – Turkish Cucumber Yogurt Sauce
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

Cacik is a Turkish cucumber yogurt sauce or side dish made from roughly chopped cucumbers, fresh lemon juice, and mint.

Course: Sides
Cuisine: Turkish
Keyword: cucumber, sauce, yogurt
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 31 kcal
Jillian: Jillian
Ingredients
  • 2 cups whole milk plain yogurt
  • 4-5 Persian cucumber finely diced (peeling skin, optional)
  • 1 lemon juiced about 2 tbsp
  • 1 lemon zested about 1 tbsp
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ cup freshly chopped mint
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
Instructions
  1. Add the chopped cucumber into a large bowl.
  2. Add the zest of the lemon, juice of the lemon, garlic, mint, and salt. Mix to combine.
  3. Add the yogurt,  stir, and fold until all of the ingredients are well incorporated.
  4. Enjoy right away.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes
  • This makes 3 cups of sauce. 
  • The smaller the cucumber is chopped, the better.
  • If you don’t like garlic, simply omit it.
  • Use lime if you don’t have a lemon.
  • Iodized salt is saltier than kosher, so adjust the seasonings accordingly.
Nutrition Facts
Cacik – Turkish Cucumber Yogurt Sauce
Serving Size
 
0.25 cup
Amount per Serving
Calories
31
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
1
g
2
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Cholesterol
 
5
mg
2
%
Sodium
 
213
mg
9
%
Potassium
 
110
mg
3
%
Carbohydrates
 
4
g
1
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
2
g
2
%
Protein
 
2
g
4
%
Vitamin A
 
102
IU
2
%
Vitamin C
 
6
mg
7
%
Calcium
 
58
mg
6
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

6 Comments

  1. Wao! That was so easy to make and packed with flavor! We love greek and Middle Eastern dishes and dips, so this is joining all our other spreads from now on! thank you!

  2. This is so good with the chicken skewers we made the other night!! The kids also like to dip their chips into it. Love that it’s healthier than other dips & sauces and so easy to make.

  3. The mint really adds a unique spin to this sauce. We love it!

  4. Beth says:

    Oh wow! This dip was fantastic and so flavorful! My hubby found so many new ways to add this to dishes and they were so delicious! Definitely going on our remake list!

  5. Suzy says:

    Turned out great! Delicate and so flavorful! We loved it!

  6. Elif says:

    I love cacik. It is my favorite side dish especially with spicy food as a quencher. Healthier than soda.

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