The Best Tzatziki Recipe with shredded cucumbers marinated in perfectly seasoned yogurt, that is easy-to-make and can be made ahead of time.
Drizzle tzatziki pronounced [zah-dzee-kee] over meats. Also, it taste amazing when crunchy veggies or rustic pieces of bread are doused and completely covered in tzatziki.
The options are endless–one thing is for sure, you will want to make homemade tzatziki over and over again.
One last thing to mention, tzatziki is similar to my Turkish cucumber-yogurt dip called Cacik. Both contain creamy yogurt and fresh ingredients like mint and or dill and cucumbers. Try them both and see which one is your favorite.
Ingredient you will need for the best Tzatziki sauce
Yogurt–use full-fat Greek or whole milk yogurt for optimal creaminess. If you are looking for more of a dip, use greek yogurt, if you are looking for more of a sauce-like consistency, use whole milk plain yogurt. It’s all about your #foodgoals.
Cucumbers–I prefer English cucumbers because they tend to be seedless, and the skin is really thin– which means no peeling for me (or you). Also, Persian cucumbers are a great choice as well.
Garlic–use 2 cloves of minced garlic or 1/4 tsp of garlic powder (garlic powder is what I used).
Dill–adds the perfect freshness.
Lemon Juice–promises the perfect twang.
Lemon Zest–actually adds the lemony flavor ( that I o’ so savor 🙂 )
Lastly, salt and pepper, of course.
Tips for making the best tzatziki every time.
My tips for making the best tzatziki every time are simple, remember these two tips.
2.) Put the shredded cucumber in cheesecloth over a bowl. Add a pinch of salt and let it rest for 5 minutes or so. When ready, squeeze all of the excess juice out. This step helps to get rid of all the excess liquid–creating a thicker greek(er) yogurt dip.
After making this delicious sauce, consider these different dipping vehicles to choose from:
Toasted pita wedges.
Toasted sliced baguette rounds.
Chicken, beef or fish.
The options are endless…
- 1 large English cucumber grated or processed into small pieces
- 2 cups plain whole milk yogurt can use greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried mint or 2 tbsp minced mint leaves
- ¼ tsp garlic powder or 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 tbsp cucumber liquid see notes
- 3 tbsp lemon juice about 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp lemon zest about 1 lemon
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper or to taste
PREP THE CUCUMBER
- Grate or process the cucumber into small uniformed pieces.
- Put the finely grated or processed cucumber over a strainer or cheesecloth. Sprinkle kosher salt over the cucumber to help release any excess liquids. Set aside for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, squeeze the cucumber to help release any liquid (you want to squeeze as much as you can out). Save 2 tbsp of the cucumber liquid.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
- In a medium-sized bowl, add the yogurt, cucumber, lemon juice, lemon zest, dill, mint, oregano, garlic powder, cucumber liquid (see notes), salt and pepper. Mix well (the more you mix, the thinner–but more concentrated the flavor will be).
- Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.
- Serve with warm pita bread, crunchy vegetables, or over juicy meat.