Classic Cucumber Dill Greek Tzatziki Sauce

Tzatziki in a bowl
Classic cucumber dill Greek tzatziki sauce.

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  • Total: 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Refrigeration Time: 2 hrs
  • Yield: 1 1/2 Cups (19 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
37 Calories
2g Fat
4g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 1/2 Cups (19 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 37
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 2%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 3mg 1%
Sodium 200mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 1g
Calcium 43mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Tzatziki is a traditional, Greek cucumber yogurt dill sauce that makes a refreshing dip or topper for gyros and pita sandwiches, but it can also be used as a dip for fresh vegetables or pita bread. Though fresh dill is the more common ingredient, tzatziki can also be made with fresh mint. The sauce can be served chilled or at room temperature, but be sure to plan ahead to account for required refrigeration time. Also, plan ahead to drain the yogurt overnight.

Though some tzatziki recipes call for blending the cucumber and yogurt for a smooth texture, this recipe leaves the cucumber finely chopped for a chunkier and more hearty texture.

This recipe appears in The All New Good Housekeeping Cookbook, edited by Susan Westmoreland, reprinted with permission.

Ingredients

  • 1 16-ounce container plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1/2 English (seedless) cucumber (not peeled, seeded, and finely chopped, plus a few thin slices for garnish)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (separated)
  • 1 to 2 fresh garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint or dill (plus additional sprigs for garnish)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. If using regular plain yogurt (not Greek-style yogurt), spoon yogurt into a sieve lined with cheesecloth or coffee filter set over a bowl; cover and refrigerate overnight. This process will drain excess moisture from the yogurt and produce a thicker, creamier texture.

  2. After the yogurt has been strained overnight, transfer drained yogurt to a medium bowl, and discard liquid.

  3. Meanwhile, in a colander set over a bowl, toss chopped cucumber with 1 teaspoon salt.

  4. Allow salted cucumber to drain for at least 1 hour at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.

  5. Once ready, wrap chopped cucumber in a kitchen towel in batches, and squeeze to remove as much liquid as possible. Pat dry with paper towels then add to bowl with yogurt.

  6. With the flat side of a chef's knife, mash garlic to a paste with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.

  7. Add garlic, chopped mint or dill, olive oil, wine vinegar, and pepper to yogurt and cucumbers, and stir to combine.

  8. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 or up to 4 hours before serving.

  9. Serve tzatziki sauce chilled or at room temperature, topped with cucumber slices and mint sprigs.

Tip

  • For a thicker, creamier texture, you can substitute your regular plain yogurt for low-fat plain Greek-style yogurt, which will help you avoid the first two steps of straining the yogurt and will also add to the protein content.