How to Make Authentic Greek Tzatziki

Allow me to reveal my pedantic nagging self, just for a moment.

You know what tzatziki is. You’ve probably made it and enjoyed it many, many times. I still want to share this recipe with all you non-Greeks, because you need to review your tzatziki.

There are two basic things foreigners don’t get right when they make tzatziki.

First, stop calling it a sauce. It’s a heavy dip. It should not be runny like sauce. If it is, you’ve made the mistake of using the wrong yogurt. Please don’t do that in a dish that’s basically flavored yogurt. You need the good stuff. You want a tzatziki you can scoop onto your bread, not just soak it in.

So which yogurt should you use? Thick, velvety, full-fat, strained, Greek yogurt, of course.

Second, it’s thinking that you have to add dill. You don’t. You can, and it tastes good, but the most basic recipe which is served more often than the dill version at Greek taverns is dill-less.

I make mine without dill most of the time. Sometimes with. Sometimes I add mint or leave out the garlic, depending on what I’m serving the tzatziki with, but this recipe below is the one to go with for real, authentic, Greek tzatziki. Enjoy!

Traditional Tzatziki
Real, authentic, Greek tzatziki.
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Total Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
  1. 1 1/2 full fat Greek yogurt
  2. 1 1/2 cucumber
  3. a couple of pinches of salt
  4. 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  5. 1 1/2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  6. 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil + a drizzle to serve
  7. a pinch of pepper
  1. Grate your cucumber onto a clean kitchen towel placed over a bowl. Add the salt and mix. Let the cucumber sit for the salt to draw out some of the liquid for five minutes.
  2. Wrap the towel tight around the cucumber and press out as much liquid as you can.
  3. Mix all of the other ingredients in a serving bowl, adding garlic to taste.
  4. Add the cucumber.
  5. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and serve.
  1. The tzatziki lasts for several days in the fridge. Beware that the longer it sits, the more intense the flavor of the garlic.

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