Cool and creamy, tzatziki is a tangy cucumber dip flavored with garlic and dill and in Greek cuisine, frequently complements grilled meat and vegetables. When you aren’t making a quick and easy chicken souvlaki, this tzatziki recipe is also served as a dip alongside warm pita bread triangles for dipping.
There are lots of variations on tzatziki. In some recipes you grate the cucumbers, while others call for them chopped. Some recipes call for plain yogurt, which will be runny for a dip but might fit your purpose if you’re using it as a sauce to accompany dinner. We prefer tzatziki with chopped cucumbers for crunch and creamy, full-fat greek yogurt for a texture.
Because we feel entirely confident that this is one of the best tzatziki recipes to come from the kitchen of a non-Greek person, we have a few tips for you that will help you nail it, every time.
The first thing you should do is salt your cucumbers. After you scoop out the seeds, cut cucumbers into thick slices and put in a colander placed in the sink. Letting them drain for about half an hour before assembling the dip will give your cucumbers more flavor and relieve them of a lot of their water content…and no one wants a watery dip.
Be sure to use thick yogurt, like Fage yogurt, which is strained. Pick the full-fat variety, because while you certainly can use low- or no-fat yogurt and still achieve a creamy, tasty dip, the flavors won’t blend as well. Fat takes the edge off the lemon juice, while a richer yogurt accentuates garlic’s flavor while reducing its harsh raw bite.
- 1 pound of cucumbers, ends removed and sliced lengthwise (6 "baby" cucumbers)
- 2 cups of strained Greek yogurt
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced fine
- 1 large handful of dill, minced
- Juice of one lemon
- With a teaspoon, scoop out the seeds of the cucumbers. You should be left with a neat half-moon shape. Slice them thin, but not paper-thin—they should still have some crunch. If you prefer, you can dice them into medium bite sized cubes.
- Place them in a colander and sprinkle liberally with salt. Place colander in the sink and let them drain for about 30 minute before handling.
- Add the cucumbers to a mixing bowl along with the rest of the ingredients. Taste for acid and seasoning, then either serve, or (preferably) cover and let it sit in the refrigerator for a few hours.