Tzatziki (cucumber yogurt dip)

Tzatziki, tzadziki, or tsatsiki (Greek: τζατζίκι) is a Greek meze or appetizer, also used as a sauce for souvlaki and gyros. Tzatziki is made of strained yogurt mixed with cucumbers, garlic, salt, usually olive oil, pepper, sometimes dill, sometimes lemon juice and parsley, and sometimes mint added. Tzatziki is always served cold. Whenever I go back to Greece to visit my husband's family, tzatziki is always served with any restaurant meal.  Tzatziki is served at the beginning of a meal with bread and horiatiki, "villager salad" which is tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, peppers, olives, topped with a giant slab of feta and a sprinkling of oregano. Since there are no gluten-free pitas to be had in Greece, I usually get french fries for dipping into the tzatziki. Yes, very indulgent but so delicious! When I make tzatziki back at home, I serve it with simple accompaniments such as sliced cucumbers, peppers, and my delicious grilled gluten-free pitas with lots of oregano and rubbed with olive oil.  It's perfect on a hot summer's day. Easy and so fresh.

  • 1 large cucumber
  • 1 pint Greek yogurt (strained)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 clove minced garlic or ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Peel the cucumber, seed, and grate very coarsely. The best tzatziki is very thick and creamy, so removing excess water is key. Salt the grated cucumber generously with kosher salt to draw out moisture and place in colander or on paper towels. Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes and then squeeze/wring out water.

Combine all ingredients in medium/large mixing bowl. Make sure to remove excess water from grated cucumber before adding. Taste for seasoning. Chill for at least 1 hour to blend flavors.
Serve as a dip. Garnish with a small drizzle of olive oil, olive, and/or dill. Great with pitas.

This is part of Food Network's Summer Fest. Check out The FN Dish. The seasonal produce we're focusing on here is cucumber! We all need to keep cool as a cucumber with the peak of hot summer upon us.  Here are other delicious features on cucumbers:

Pinch My Salt: Chilled Cucumber, Kefir and Avocado Soup
What’s Gaby Cooking: Cucumber-Basil Gimlet
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Radish-Cucumber Crostini
Big Girl Small Kitchen: Spicy Cucumber Salad with Shallot, Ginger and Mint
Grecian Kitchen: Summer Cucumber Salad
And Love It Too: Cucumber, Mint and Watermelon Salad
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Cucumbers Coolers with Agave Simple Syrup
Cooking With My Kid: Cucumber Limeade
FN Dish: Summer Fest: Cucumber Recipes
CIA Dropout: Relishing Cucumbers
Healthy Eats: Cool Cucumber Soup
Food for 7 Stages of Life: Cucumber Cherry Salsa
Cooking With Elise: Green Tea Cucumber Pops
Glory Foods: Cucumber and Shrimp Boat
Virtually Vegan Mama: Fire-Roasted Tomato and Cucumber Gazpacho
Food2: When Life Gives You Cucumbers, Make a Cucumber Cocktail
Cooking Channel: Cucumbers Stuffed with Crab-Mango Salad
Recipe Girl: Bread and Butter Pickles
Taste With the Eyes: Spicy Pickled Cucumbers with Wakame and Garlic Blossoms
Virtually Homemade: Cold Thai Cucumber-Mint Soup
Add a Pinch: Cucumber Tea Sandwiches
The Cultural Dish: Ahi Tuna with Cucumber Sauce and Salad
Daily*Dishin: Cool n’ Zesty Cukes: 7 Minute Summer in a Jar
Daydreamer Desserts: Cubanita Margarita
Purple Cook: Cucumber Gazpacho with Indian Flavored Shrimp Relish
Indian Simmer: Cucumber at its Best with Chaat Masala
Big Apple Nosh: Quick and Easy Homemade Pickles
Sweet Life Bake: Agua de Pepino
Zaika Zabardast: Cucumber Gazpacho
A Way to Garden: Cucumber-Growing Q&A and the Best Pickles
Cooking with Books: Summer Fest: Cucumbers

-Erin Swing
The Sensitive Epicure


Elise Johnson said…
Love Tzatziki! Can't wait to make this...thank you!
Anonymous said…
Mmm. Tzatziki! How could I have let half the summer go by without making some? Thanks so much for the reminder--and the new recipe.

I'd love to toss another recipe into the ring for cucumber week. It's a kid-friendly recipe from The Food Network Magazine: Chicken with Pickle Sauce.

Best, Charity