Recipe: Tzatziki is just so easy

Tzatziki is so hard to say but so delicious to taste. If you’ve ever been to a Greek restaurant or had a gyro, there’s a good chance that you’ve sample this creamy, tart white sauce that has a bit of crunch thanks to pieces of cucumber. Tzatziki sauce can now be found in markets, but it’s a cinch to make at home. If you have a bowl a grater and a whisk, you can make tzatziki sauce. Pronunciation, by the way? Try: “zaht-zee-kee.”

Aside from use on gyros, tzatziki can act as a dip for pita chips and veggies. One of my favorite ways to use it is as a spread on flat bread such as naan. When the warm bread and the chilled tzatziki meet, wonderful sensations ensue. I like to bolster my tzatziki with extra garlic and finely chopped black olives. If you’d like a little zing, try adding a few drops of hot pepper sauce such as Tabasco or Frank’s RedHot.

Because Tzatziki uses plain yogurt as its base instead of the oil, sour cream or mayo often used in dressings, this Greek sauce is less fattening than those other counterparts. Tradition calls for using strained yogurt like the Greek variety, but you can save time and money and still get great results with plain yogurt. Tzatziki is best served chilled and eaten the same day it’s made. Ready to try it yourself? Let’s make tzatziki.


  • 2 cups plain yogurt (use regular or Greek)
  • 3/4 cup washed, de-seeded and grated cucumber
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped black olives
  • 5 garlic cloves, run through garlic press or minced
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice, with more in reserve if desired
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill, with extra for garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper


Step 1: Combine everything in a bowl. Grate the cucumber as you would cheese after scrubbing the vegetable’s skin and de-seeding. Whisk everything together until well-blended.

Step 2:  Taste the tzatziki and add ingredients according to your preference, such as more lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper, etc.

Step 3: Cover and chill for an hour before serving. When ready to serve, whisk to recombine and garnish with extra dill.

Congratulations: You’ve just made tzatziki, a recipe that’s almost as fun to say as it is to eat.

1 Comment »

  1. Where to go, what to eat this weekend - Food Frenzy : The Orange County Register said,

    September 21, 2012 @ 4:13 pm

    [...] I Want to Cook is also keeping it simple, but with tzatziki. [...]

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