Tzatziki (Greek yogurt and cucumber sauce)

A traditional Greek recipe for tzatziki, a sauce made with yogurt, cucumber, garlic and aromatic herbs. Perfect with Mediterranean dishes or as a refreshing dip.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Rest time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Aperitif
Cuisine Ελληνικά
Servings 4 people
Calories 90 kcal


  • 1 râpe à gros trous
  • 1 passoire
  • 1 bol to mix
  • 1 cuillère en bois
  • 1 récipient hermétique for storage


  • 400 gr Greek yogurt thick
  • 1 medium cucumber grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 2 T to s. olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 T to s. white vinegar or lemon juice
  • 2 T to s. dill or mint chopped
  • this
  • pepper


  • Prepare the cucumber: Grate the cucumber and place in a colander. Sprinkle with salt and leave for 10 minutes to extract excess water. Then press the grated cucumber into a clean cloth to remove any remaining moisture.
  • Mix ingredients: In a bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, grated cucumber, crushed garlic, olive oil, vinegar (or lemon juice), dill or mint, salt and pepper. Mix well until smooth.
  • Let stand: To allow the flavors to marry, cover the bowl and let stand in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. This will make the tzatziki even tastier.
  • Serving: Before serving, stir the tzatziki and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve fresh, with pita bread, raw vegetables, or as a sauce for grilled meats or fish.


Serving: 100grCalories: 90kcal
Keyword aperitif, cucumber, Greek cuisine, Greek yogurt, sauce, Tzatziki
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Discover the Delights of Greek Tzatziki

Tzatziki, this famous Greek sauce made from yogurt and cucumber, is a true icon of Mediterranean cuisine. Appreciated for its freshness and lightness, tzatziki is a must on Greek tables. Immerse yourself in the world of tzatziki and discover everything you need to know to savor every bite.

The History of Tzatziki

Tzatziki is deeply rooted in the culinary history of Greece and the Mediterranean. Its origin dates back to Antiquity, where the ancient Greeks already consumed mixtures of yogurt and cucumbers for their refreshing and digestive properties. This dish also has roots in the culinary traditions of the Balkans and the Middle East, reflecting the cross-cultural influence of this region. Throughout the centuries, tzatziki has become a symbol of the simplicity and purity of ingredients, representing the very essence of traditional Greek cuisine.

Essential Ingredients

Tzatziki is made from a few simple but carefully selected ingredients: thick Greek yogurt, fresh cucumbers, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice, and herbs like dill or mint. Each component plays a crucial role. Greek yogurt provides a creamy texture and rich protein, while grated cucumber adds a crunchy fresh note. Garlic provides a tangy depth of flavor, balanced by the sweetness of olive oil and the acidity of vinegar or lemon. The herbs, for their part, enhance everything with their delicate aroma.

Preparing Tzatziki

Preparing tzatziki is simple but requires careful attention to detail. First, the cucumber must be finely grated, then squeezed to extract excess water, to prevent the sauce from becoming too liquid. Then the Greek yogurt is mixed with the grated cucumber, crushed garlic, olive oil, vinegar (or lemon juice) and fresh herbs. The mixture should be very homogeneous, and it is recommended to let the tzatziki rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. This allows the flavors to blend together perfectly, providing a rich and balanced sauce.

Nutritional Contributions of Tzatziki

Tzatziki is not only delicious, but also very healthy. Rich in protein and calcium thanks to Greek yogurt, it promotes good bone and muscle health. Cucumber, low in calories and rich in fiber, helps with digestion and hydration. Garlic is known for its antibacterial and antioxidant properties, while olive oil provides heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. Fresh herbs add essential vitamins and minerals. In short, tzatziki is a nutritious and balanced option, ideal for those looking to combine pleasure and health.

Tasting and Accompaniment

Tzatziki is ideally enjoyed as a dip, accompanied by warm pita bread, raw vegetables or gyros. It is also perfect as an accompanying sauce for grilled meats, fish and salads. Its freshness and creaminess make it an excellent addition to a multitude of dishes, enhancing flavors while adding a touch of lightness. For an authentic experience, serve the tzatziki in a terracotta bowl, decorated with a few sprigs of dill or mint, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Regional Variants

Although tzatziki is widely known in this classic form, there are many regional variations across Greece and beyond. In some regions, tzatziki may include sheep’s yogurt, providing a stronger flavor. Other variations use red wine vinegar instead of lemon juice, or add lemon zest for a citrus twist. In Türkiye, a similar version called “cacık” is often thinner and served as a cold soup. These variations show the diversity and richness of this iconic sauce.

Conservation Tips

Tzatziki keeps well in the refrigerator for three to four days, although it is best eaten fresh to fully appreciate the flavors. To store it, place it in an airtight container to prevent absorption of refrigerator odors. It is not recommended to freeze it because the yogurt may separate and become grainy once thawed. Before serving leftover tzatziki, it is recommended to stir it to restore its creamy texture.

Culinary Experience in Greece

For an authentic experience, tasting tzatziki in Greece is a must. In Greek taverns, it is often served as a starter with other mezzes, such as dolmades, keftedes and feta cheese. Greeks particularly appreciate tzatziki during summer meals, where its freshness perfectly complements fish and grilled meat dishes. Eating tzatziki in Greece also means savoring the warm and friendly atmosphere of shared meals, often outdoors, with a view of the Aegean Sea.

Tzatziki and Greek Culture

Tzatziki is more than just a sauce; it embodies the hospitality and tradition of Greek cuisine. In Greece, each family has its own tzatziki recipe, passed down from generation to generation. Preparing and sharing tzatziki is one of the culinary rituals that strengthens family and community bonds. It also symbolizes the importance of fresh, seasonal ingredients, and the art of enhancing simplicity. Tzatziki, with its harmonious combination of flavors, is a true celebration of Greek culture and gastronomic heritage.

Tzatziki, with its freshness and creaminess, is a true celebration of Greek cuisine. Whether you prepare it at home or enjoy it in a tavern in Greece, this versatile sauce will bring a touch of authenticity and tradition to your table.

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