No need to visit Greek restaurants to enjoy easy Tzatziki Sauce! Made with simple ingredients this creamy Greek yogurt sauce is a delicious dip for raw veggies or grilled meats and on salads.
Cool creamy Tzatziki Sauce is a simple recipe full of fresh flavors in a creamy sauce. This light cucumber dip is ideal for a veggie tray. Perfectly paired with Mediterranean dishes but it's too good to stop there. We've slimmed down an authentic Greek Tzatziki Sauce recipe to retain the cooling fresh flavor just with fewer calories.
It's even better the next day after making it when the flavors have had a chance to blend. You'll love making your own Tzatziki especially in the hot summer months to eat with grilled dishes.
What is tzatziki sauce?
This delicious yogurt-based sauce or dip is made with fresh cucumber, garlic, lemon juice and fresh herbs which give its fresh signature flavors. Creamy plain yogurt makes it a thick, cooling, tangy sauce to perfect to serve in many ways.
Authentic Greek tzatziki sauce is from the Middle East, Turkey and Greece cuisine. It is commonly found as a dipping sauce partner with dishes from those regions. The yogurt base makes it particularly refreshing and cooling, taking the spiciness out of grilled or spicy foods.
How do you pronounce 'tzatziki'?
Most native English speakers would say it ‘tsuh-see-key‘ (that link to a pronunciation) with the s being more of a soft z sound.
It’s pronounced differently in Greek (that link to the Greek pronunciation). It sounds almost like ‘zah-zzee-key’ or ‘cha-cheeky’.
What makes this skinny?
The light fresh ingredients make traditional tzatziki sauce pretty calorie friendly. However swapping in non-fat plain Greek yogurt for full-fat Greek yogurt adds a calorie benefit even more while maintaining the natural consistency and flavors. Some recipe include sour cream which we do not use in this recipe.
Tzatziki is often served with an olive oil drizzle on top which we've left off in our version. Feel free to add a few teaspoons if desired.
Recipe Ingredients Notes
Non fat plain Greek yogurt. This is the swap that removes extra calories AND keeps the traditional tzatziki sauce flavor. We love Chobani brand non-fat plain Greek yogurt. It's thick, creamy with great flavor. Any brand will work as long as it's thick greek yogurt (do not use regular yogurt).
Cucumber. English cucumbers are preferred if possible. The skin is very thin and the cucumber does not need to be peeled. The seeds also do not need to be removed. Regular cucumbers also work. More details below.
Lemon juice. Use fresh lemon juice
Garlic cloves. Use three medium garlic cloves minced.
Straining Cucumbers: How to do it and why
Straining the cucumbers is an important part of making tzatziki sauce. Cucumbers have a lot of excess liquid and if not strained first the sauce will become very watery diluting the other ingredients.
English cucumbers. These cucumbers are longer and skinny, sometimes with ridged skin. They cucumbers tend to have less liquid, thin skin and soft seeds (they are really considered a seedless cucumber). They still need to be strained but the overall prep is less.
Regular cucumbers. These are the smooth skinned plumper garden cucumbers. These larger cucumbers need to have the skin peeled and the seeds removed. The seeds are larger than an English cucumber and can be bitter effecting the overall flavor of the sauce. If using them, peel then slice lengthwise and use a dining spoon or melon scooper to scoop out and discard the seeds.
Straining the cucumber
Grate the cucumber using a box grater or hand held grater. Line a bowl with a clean thin kitchen towel (a paper towel or two can also be used). Place the grated cucumber in the towel, and gather the sides of the towel to enclose the cucumber. Twist the towel to ring out the liquid into the bowl (and discard the liquid). Squeeze out as must liquid as possible before starting the recipe.
How to make Skinny Tzatziki Sauce - Step-by-Step
STEP 1. Strain the cucumber
Follow our instructions above to remove excess moisture from the grated cucumber (photo 1).
STEP 2. Make the sauce
In a medium bowl combine the Greek yogurt, grated drained cucumber, fresh garlic, lemon juice, kosher salt and dill (photo 2). Give it a good stir to fully combine (photo 3).
STEP 3. Chill
Place in an airtight container and chill until ready to serve (photo 4).
Add some chopped fresh mint. Tzatziki recipe can vary to include fresh dill, fresh mint or a combination. Feel free to try a variation with fresh mint included.
How to Eat
This easy Tzatzki recipe is delicious on so many things:
- As a dip: for fresh vegetables, chips or pita bread (or pita chips).
- Roasted or Grilled Meat: it’s delicious served on pork, beef, chicken.
- Grilled Vegetables
- Fish: it’s great with white fish.
- Falafels: it is a classic sauce on Falafels.
- Burgers: use it on meat or veggie burger for a cool creamy dressing.
- In Sandwiches and Wraps: try swapping out mayo for tzatziki – so good!
- As salad dressing: makes for a refreshing dressing on your greens (especially Greek salad)
How to Store
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
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Skinny Tzatziki Sauce
- 1 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt we love Chobani brand
- ¾ cup grated English cucumber will yield ½ cup after straining*
- 3 medium garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Line a clean mixing bowl with a clean thin kitchen towel. Place the grated cucumber in the towel and squeeze out excess moisture. After straining there should be ½ cup grated cucumber.
- Combine the non-fat plain Greek yogurt, strained cucumber, minced garlic, fresh dill, lemon juice and salt. Stir well to combine.
- Chill in the refrigerator before serving.