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4.79 from 33 votes

Tzatziki Sauce Recipe

Have you ever tried making a Greek Tzatziki sauce recipe? Creamy Greek yogurt is combined with cool cucumbers and spiced with garlic, dill, and lemon. It is simple, fresh, and healthy. I paired it with toasted pita bread to make a fabulous New Year's Eve appetizer! 
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time8 minutes
Total Time18 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Greek
Servings: 3 cups
Calories: 550kcal
Author: Karen


For the tzatziki

  • 2 cups plain Greek Yogurt
  • cheesecloth for draining yogurt, optional
  • 1 English cucumber diced small
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt for cucumbers
  • 1 clove garlic smashed and minced
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • juice from 1 small lemon about 2 tablespoons
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • black pepper to taste

For the Za'atar Pita bread

  • 6 slices pita bread
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil for brushing pita
  • za'atar spice blend to taste


  • If you would like to strain the yogurt to make a thicker tzatziki (which is more traditional), add 2 cups plain Greek yogurt to a large rectangle of cheesecloth. Strain the yogurt over a bowl for about a half hour to an hour. I placed the cheesecloth over a colander and then set the whole thing over a bowl, and left it in the fridge.
  • Meanwhile, slice the cucumber lengthwise, scrape out the center with a spoon, then dice. You can also grate it if that sounds easier to you, but I prefer to dice small. (see photos). Add the cucumber to a mesh strainer and set over a bowl. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and stir to combine. Let sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Use your hands to squeeze the salted cucumber over the sink. (don't rinse it ) Try to get out as much liquid as possible.
  • (If you are in a hurry, skip straining the yogurt and skip salting the cucumber. You should still squeeze the cucumber and get out as much of the liquid as you can. Stir the cucumber into the yogurt. Add a little more salt to the mixture, according to taste. Your tzatziki will not be as thick, but it will still be delicious.)
  • Add 1 clove minced garlic, zest from 1 lemon, and juice from 1 lemon (2 tablespoons, or up to 3 tablespoons to taste).
  • Add 2 tablespoons fresh dill, 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste), 1 tablespoon olive oil, and a few grinds of black pepper.
  • Stir it all together. Chill for about an hour before serving, if you have time. (It will still be good even if there's no time for this.) Store covered in the fridge. The bite of the garlic will decrease the longer you refrigerate it. It will keep in the fridge for up to a week.
  • Make the Za'atar Pita: while the completed tzatziki is chilling, prepare the pita. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with pita bread. Brush the top of each pita with a small amount of olive oil, just enough to coat. Sprinkle the top with a few shakes of Za'atar seasoning, to taste.
  • Bake at 350 for about 5-8 minutes, until the pita is slightly crisp on the edges but still tender in the middle.
  • Serve with the tzatziki sauce.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 550kcal | Carbohydrates: 79g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 1871mg | Potassium: 326mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 220IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 305mg | Iron: 2mg