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Tzatziki (Greek Yogurt Sauce) Recipe

Updated on April 6, 2010

I love Greek and Mediterranean food. I often make falafel and when I do I compliment it with homemade tzatziki sauce. Some people refer to this sauce as “yogurt” sauce. As with anything else, there are a number of methods to make this sauce. This is simply how I prefer it. I also like it a little thicker, with more cucumbers and garlic, than traditionally served at restaurants. Also, I like to “kick things up a notch” and add spice to just about everything I make. This is why I have the cayenne pepper listed. If you don’t like spicy food, leave out the cayenne pepper.

Here are the ingredients you need:

  • 1 Quart Plain Yogurt (make sure this is plain…no vanilla, no fruit, etc. It’s often hard to find plain yogurt these days. I prefer Brown Cow brand). You can also use “Greek” yogurt, which is basically just thicker and creamier. This is sometimes hard to find though at a normal grocery store.
  • Bulb of Garlic
  • Fresh Dill
  • 1 or 2 Cucumbers, depending on size
  • Red Cayenne Pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Lemon

Cooking stuff you need:

  • Cutting Board
  • Sharp Knife
  • Garlic Press (optional)
  • Peeler (optional)
  • Large mixing bowl


I prepare things differently than some people. I don’t really measure everything out and then wait and mix it all later. I simply throw everything together and tweak the amount of various ingredients to my taste.

  1. Pour yogurt into mixing bowl.
  2. Set one cucumber aside, for possible use later. Peel or cut the skins off the other cucumber. Dice this cucumber, then toss it into the mixing bowl.
  3. Take two cloves of garlic from the bulb. You can use a garlic press here, if you like, but I actually prefer the garlic chopped in my tzatziki sauce.  I like the texture the chopped garlic adds to the sauce versus the pressed garlic.  So, de-skin the two cloves of garlic and finely chop them. Toss this into the mixing bowl.
  4. Take a very small amount of the fresh dill – like one leaf of it. Be careful with the dill – it can be very overpowering. Start small! Finely chop the very small quantity of dill. Just to be safe, toss about half of it in the mixing bowl. Save the rest for later, if you still need more.
  5. Pour about 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in the bowl.
  6. Cut the lemon in half. Squeeze the juice from one half into the bowl. Save the other half for later, if you want to add more.
  7. Add a teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the bowl. If you don’t like spicy stuff, you can substitute black pepper for the cayenne, but I prefer the cayenne.
  8. Mix everything in the bowl. I use a fork to stir everything up. When it is thoroughly mixed, taste it. If you feel like adding more cucumber, garlic, dill, cayenne pepper, olive oil, or lemon, go for it.
  9. Enjoy!

Serve with falafel in a pita!
Serve with falafel in a pita!


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    • kea profile image

      kea 8 years ago

      Thanks for the comment, Hugh Chism! I hope your next batch turns out well. Good luck!

    • Hugh Chism profile image

      Hugh Chism 8 years ago

      Thanks for this, I've tried making Tzatziki myself but it never came out right. I never tried putting olive oil in it, hopefully that will make the difference.