Tzatziki (Tzatziki)

It feels funny to write down a recipe for tzatziki, because it’s the sort of thing one makes by adding stuff and tasting it. Hmmm, more salt? Oil? Yes, a little more of each! At the same time, if you’ve never made tzatziki, then you have no idea where to start. So here’s a recipe to get you going on this delicious Greek classic.


1 pound of greek yogurt (or any strained yogurt, but the award-winning Fage is especially recommended)
1 cucumber, peeled and minced (remove seeds if cooking for delicate digestions)
2 TB chopped baby dill (approximately)
2-3 cloves of garlic, finely minced, or better yet, pressed in a garlic press
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 1/2 TB extra virgin olive oil (use the good stuff if you have it)
1 1/2 TB red wine vinegar

If you just want to follow the recipe and make a bowl of tzatziki, dump everything in a mixing bowl and stir it thoroughly. *See below if you’d rather develop a feel for making this so that you don’t need a recipe.
Mix the tsatsiki ingredients

Taste the tzatziki and adjust salt, pepper, oil and vinegar as needed to satisfy your taste. Stir again thoroughly if you add anything. Traditionally served garnished with a black olive (“Pointy side up, butt side down!” says Zoe adamantly) and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Tsatsiki garnished with an olive and some olive oil.

*If you want to do this using the traditional mix-and-taste method, put the yogurt, cucumber, dill and garlic in a bowl. You might want more garlic than I use, it’s up to you. Sprinkle in salt and pepper, just eye-balling the amounts. It’s okay to be generous with the salt, but be sparing with the pepper because the raw garlic also adds hotness. Mix thoroughly. Now add some oil and vinegar and mix well. Taste and add whatever you think it needs. Mix and taste again. Repeat as necessary.


  1. Comment by Laurie Constantino

    I like it thick so I always squeeze as much water as possible out of the cucumber. But thick or thin, tzatziki is always a welcome addition to the refrigerator. It never lasts long enough. (Cute s&p shakers!)

  2. Comment by Sam Sotiropoulos

    One can never have enough tzatziki in the fridge! :-)

  3. Comment by lulu

    Hi Laurie! Aren’t they cute? I just found them at my grocery store and I couldn’t resist!

  4. Comment by lulu

    Hi Sam! I like how tzatziki makes the whole fridge smell like garlic!

  5. Comment by maria verivaki

    wonderful job, lulu, i havent yet made this one this year – i’ll be doing so maybe in the summer

  6. Comment by lulu

    Hi Maria, tzatziki is so summer!

  7. Comment by melusina

    Mmm, I love tzatziki! (or tzat, as it is referred in our household) When I first moved to Greece my new brother-in-law sort of scoffed at my love for it calling it “tourist food”, but I see plenty of Greeks eating it. Even if it was tourist food I’d eat it because it is so delicious (it totally replaced ketchup for me). I haven’t made it myself yet because our local grocery has a brand I love, but I might have to try it!

  8. Comment by lulu

    Hi Mel! That’s super that you can buy a good ready-made tzatziki. If I make a special trip to Trader Joe’s I can find bad ready-made tzatziki…not worth it!

  9. Comment by Peter

    A fine Tzatziki…it’s good to post how it’s done correctly…strain yogurt, squueze liquid from cucumbers. Nothing worse than runny Tzatziki.

  10. Comment by Bellini Valli

    Tzatziki is my favourite dip I’d say. There is a local restaurant that makes tzatziki and hummus in mass quantities and it is just so good!!!!!!!!!!!!!…but I do on occasion make my own:D

  11. Comment by lulu

    Good point, Peter. I’m planning a follow-up recipe for people not using Greek yogurt, because like you said, nothing’s worse than runny tzatziki.

  12. Comment by lulu

    Val, so you’re another one that can get good tzatziki without having to make it! I’m jealous!

  13. Comment by lulu

    And also, Val, I guess you must be one of the 8 people so far who’ve voted for tzatziki as their favorite dip? I’m ashamed to admit that I voted for guacamole. What can I say, I’m fickle! :-)

  14. Comment by Cheryl

    We have tzatziki in the fridge all of the time. It’s great for getting the kids to eat their meat etc…
    It’s funny, in my post today I just mentioned that I made the most runny tzatziki in my life…and for a guest who owns a salad making business in Greece! I was mortified.
    Anyway, it’s great to see this recipe because there are so many variations of this too. Great recipe!

  15. Comment by Cheryl

    BTW-I’m with you …I like guacamole more than tzatziki. :)But they’re both fabulous.

  16. Comment by Kevin

    That Tzatziki looks really good!

    Kevin’s last blog post..Roasted Strawberry and Asparagus Quinoa Salad

  17. Comment by Lulu

    Thanks, Kevin!

  18. Comment by Greek chick

    If you don’t have strained Greek yogurt, make your own. Just dump a large container of yogurt into a sieve lined with cheesecloth or even a paper towel. This is good by itself, too, with a drizzle of honey.

  19. Comment by tracy b

    whats worse than runny tzatziki is none @ all!

  20. Comment by Denise

    I am so happy to have found your site! My BFF is Greek Australian–for the Australian Olympics, I did Haloumi and souvlaki. For Chrissie, I did a roasted goat! I ADORE Greek food. My claim to fame is introducing Haloumi to Alaska!

    The tzatziki is marvelous, and the keftas–OMG! FYI, we have a large Greek population here in Alaska–they own almost all the “Italian” restaurants.

  21. Comment by amy

    thaks for the recipe!!!!!!

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