My Recipe Box

Cucumber-Yogurt Dip (Tzatziki)


Serves eight to ten.

Yields about 2 cups.

  • Make the menu:
    A Greek Meze Party
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 93

Aside from being a great party dip, tzatziki is also delicious served with roasted or grilled meats, or with the lamb meatballs. Chopping the garlic in the salt is a Greek trick that brings out garlic’s punch. Raw garlic, however, becomes acrid rather quickly so to be at its best, tzatziki should be made the day of serving or no more than 24 hours ahead.

  • Kosher or sea salt
  • 2 medium cloves garlic
  • 1-1/2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt, preferably Greek
  • 3/4 cup peeled, seeded, and finely chopped cucumber
  • 1 Tbs. red-wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Fresh mint leaves for garnish (optional)

Spread 3/4 tsp. salt on a cutting board. Peel the garlic and finely chop it on top of the salt. Transfer the garlic and salt to a medium bowl and stir in the yogurt.

Put the cucumber in a colander and squeeze as much liquid out of it as you can. Add the cucumber, vinegar, mint, dill, and olive oil to the yogurt mixture. Stir to blend and season to taste with salt. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours before serving. Serve cool, garnished with the mint leaves (if using) and accompanied by fresh pita wedges or toasted pita chips.

Make Ahead Tips

The dip can be made up to a day ahead.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : per 1 Tbs., Calories (kcal): 15, Fat (kcal): 1.5, Fat Calories (g): 10, Saturated Fat (g): 1, Protein (g): 1, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 0, Carbohydrates (mg): 0, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 0, Sodium (g): 30, Cholesterol (g): 0, Fiber (g): 0,

Photo: Scott Phillips

Just made this with plain whole milk yogurt and wow it's SO good! I forgot to buy mint but it's still great as is. I'll never buy tzatziki again!

We love this Tzatziki recipe. This is our "go to" recipe whenever we have lamb.

Excellent. Made it to accompany lamb burgers but family also used it as a dip with crackers. Grated the cucumber with skin on and removed moisture by pressing grated cucumber in a sieve .

This is wonderful and so easy to make. Fabulous flavors. It has been a staple in my summer entertaining. I have seen guests that would never otherwise eat yogurt devour it. Everyone asks for the recipe!

Awesome! Super garlicky which gives it great flavor, but may not be the best party idea. The chopping the garlic on the salt was new to me, but may have been the reason for the strong garlic flavor. The dill was also just right.

Excellent with lamb meatballs in the article on meze. My tzatziki ended up looser than the photograph show, just FYI, but it was soooo good!

Cookbooks, DVDs & More