This Authentic Greek Tzatziki Dip is an easy, healthy dip that everyone will love! Super creamy and EXTRA THICK with a tangy bite and best of all, it’s ready in less than 5 minutes!
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How Do You Make “Greek” Tzatziki?
My yiayia makes THE BEST tzatziki in the world. What makes her tzatziki so delicious is the fact that she makes the yogurt from SCRATCH!
There is never a family gathering without her tzatziki!
It is so fresh and SIMPLE which is why I think it is so good. You know how they say, more is not always better? My yiayia believes this more than anyone so her sauce only has a few ingredients. She does not use any herbs, like dill, so you really taste the fresh, rich homemade yogurt! It is something special.
Now me? I did NOT make my own yogurt for this recipe (because it does take some time) BUT making your own is surprisingly easier than you’d think.
(If you want me to post a recipe about how to make your own Greek yogurt in, 3 easy steps, let me know below!!)
I have tried SO many different types of tzatziki dips so I have gained an understanding of what to look for. Besides my yiayia’s tzatziki, some of the best tzatziki I’ve had has been in Greece. The tzatziki served in Greece is always very thick and creamy. I haven’t always seen dill used but it is the most commonly used herb. Feel free to play around with other herbs if you want!
An authentic Greek tzatziki recipe is typically made with thick plain (Greek) yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, an acid like lemon or vinegar and dill. The olive oil is also optional. It is usually drizzled on top or mixed in. If you do use olive oil, choose a GOOD one!
I also like to use red wine vinegar in my dip rather than lemon but that is totally optional.
What Separates Great Tzatziki From Average Tzatziki?
1. Choose a plain Greek yogurt!
I think the ONE mistake people make when they make their own tzatziki is choosing the wrong yogurt!
I cannot emphasize enough how important using GREEK YOGURT is! It’s thick consistency, is a game changer!
It is about a dollar more but so worth it. You want to pay for yogurt not water.
If you don’t think there is a difference, try both and tell me which one you prefer. I’m betting you’ll choose the Greek one!
Fortunately, Greek yogurt is much easier to find these days! Oikos, Dannon, Chobani, FAGE, all have a Greek version of their plain yogurt.
Now if for some reason, you do not have Greek yogurt on hand or you can’t find it, you can always strain a regular brand of plain yogurt through a cheese cloth and it will thicken right up!
2. Strain your cucumbers!
You go through the cost and time of finding a good thick Greek yogurt and you go ahead and add watery cucumbers to it!
Don’t do it!! Instead, make sure you thoroughly squeeze as much of the liquid out as you can. If you don’t have cheesecloth, get some asap! It is perfect for squeezing the liquid out of certain foods like cucumbers. I’ve also used it to make yogurt but never cheese! Maybe one day! 🙂
3. Let it sit for a few hours!
Don’t get me wrong. It still tastes awesome right after you mix it up, but if you wait a few hours or even better, leave it over night, you allow the flavors of the garlic, dill and cucumber to extract and really come through. Surprisingly, the longer you allow the garlic to infuse, the more mild it will become so you wont get that sharp bite that raw garlic tends to give.
I think if these three mistakes are avoided, you can’t go wrong!
Some other things that can take your average tzatziki over the top is using freshly cracked black pepper AND a good olive oil!
OH! I almost forgot! Serve with freshly grilled pita bread if you have time.
If you’re looking for another great dip, try my Garlic Oil Cannelini Dip!
What Flavor Is Tzatziki?
I was surprised to see this question pop up all over the internet when I was doing some research. I guess I never really thought of tzatziki as having a “flavor”. That is like asking, “What flavor is ketchup?” Well it’s not one specific answer! Both are comprised of many different flavors combined together!
Those flavors in my opinion are tangy, sweet, pungent, bright and slightly salty.
The yogurt has a natural tang, the cucumbers give it a slight sweetness, the vinegar or lemon give a brightness, the garlic gives it a pungent kick and the salt gives it that needed saltiness to round it out.
The perfect year-round dip!
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Authentic Greek Tzatziki Dip
- 1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
- 1/2 Cup Grated Cucumber ((Persian is best))
- 1 Tsp. Chopped Dill
- 1 Tsp. Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 Minced Clove of Garlic
- 1/4 Tsp. Salt
- 1/8 Tsp. Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
- Good Olive Oil ((for drizzling))
- Grate your cucumber and use thick paper towels, a thin dish cloth or a cheese cloth to squeeze out as much of the juice as possible! *If you purchased the Persian cucumber, no need to peel the skin, otherwise you should.
- Mix all ingredients including cucumber to bowl and mix.
- Allow ingredients to meld for at least an hour or overnight for best flavor. Serve with warm pita bread or pita chips and vegetables!
- This dip can be served right away but is best a few hours or the following day so make the night ahead and store in fridge.
- The best cucumbers are the Persian (long ones) you can find in any produce section. They have fewer seeds and the skin is much more palatable.
- This dip can can be used as a sauce on top or along side of meats or fish (like salmon).