This Greek Tzatziki is made with Greek yogurt, cucumber and fresh dill. It's a tangy dip that's great with veggies, pita, and meat.
A good dip is a valuable tool in any home cook's arsenal. A flavorful dip can turn basic veggies into a delicious and healthy snack, add flavor to chips, crackers, or bread, and add texture to and moisture to sandwiches. This fresh and herbaceous Tzatziki does all of those things while being completely healthy.
What is Tzatziki?
Tzatziki is a Greek dip that's made with Greek yogurt, dill, and cucumber. It can be served with most foods you would normally dip in Ranch dressing, including raw vegetable sticks. It's also particularly good with Greek and other Mediterranean foods like pita and other flatbreads, falafel, and grilled meats.
How do you make Tzatziki?
Tzatziki is very easy to make but does require some special steps to make sure you end up with the right texture and flavor.
- English cucumber: You can also use garden or field cucumbers, but make sure you remove all the peel to avoid any bitterness
- Plain Greek yogurt: Any fat percentage will work, with higher fat yogurts yielding a creamier dip. DO NOT substitute regular yogurt, as your dip will be runny
- Olive oil
- Fresh dill: Do not substitute dried dill as the flavor will not be the same
The only special equipment you will need is a box grater, which is used to shred the cucumber.
Tricks to getting the right texture:
Peeling the cucumber:
Cucumber peel can be very bitter. It can also be quite tough. That's why it should be completely or partially removed when making tzatziki. This is especially important if you're using field or garden cucumbers which typically have a thicker skin.
If you're using English cucumbers, it's ok to remove only part of the skin, in which case you would peel strips of peel, alternating with strips of peel that are left in place.
Seeding the cucumber:
Once you have your cucumber peeled and cut, scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard them. This helps to prevent your tzatziki from turning out watery.
Shredding the cucumber:
Shredding the cucumber using a box grater is faster and easier than mincing it. Once it's shredded, give it a quick chop with a chef's knife to make sure your tzatziki doesn't end up overly stringy.
Squeezing the cucumber:
Squeezing out the extra liquid from the shredded cucumber is very important to ensure that your dip doesn't become watery. To do this, place the shredded, chopped cucumber in a pile on the center of a clean dishtowel. Gather the edges of the towel, hold it above the sink and gently squeeze out the extra liquid from the cucumber.
Use only Greek yogurt:
Do not substitute regular yogurt in your Tzatziki, unless you plan to strain out the liquid. Use only Greek yogurt as it is much thicker. This will help ensure you don't end up with runny dip.
How long does homemade Tzatziki last in the fridge?
Tzatziki will last for up to 3 days in the fridge. Stir it with a clean spoon before serving.
What should you serve with Tzatziki?
Tzatziki Nutrition Notes:
The nutrition calculation in the recipe below uses low fat Greek yogurt. However type of Greek yogurt will work - if you use fat free Greek yogurt your tzatziki will be slightly lower in fat and calories. If you use higher fat Greek yogurt (whole, or extra creamy 5%), it will be slightly higher in fat and calories.
Greek Tzatziki Dip with Cucumber and Dill
- 1 medium English cucumber
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (any fat percentage will work)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons minced fresh dill
- 1 small clove garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Trim the ends of 1 medium English cucumber, peel most or all of the peel, and cut it in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard the seeds. Shred cucumber using the large holes of a box grater, then lightly chop the shredded cucumber. Place the shredded cucumber on a clean dishtowel, and squeeze out the excess liquid.
- Whisk 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, 2 Tablespoons olive oil, 2 Tablespoons minced fresh dill, 1 small clove garlic, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper together in a small bowl or large measuring cup. Stir in shredded cucumber. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.