Tzatziki Sauce-- Greek Cucumber/Yogurt Sauce

Total Time
Prep 3 hrs
Cook 0 mins

This is the cool and creamy sauce that usually is served as a condiment on Greek Gyro sandwiches. The recipe calls for the thicker, Greek Yogurt, also called, "Greek Cheese". If you can't find this type of yogurt, you can use plain, regular yogurt from the grocery store. But in order to get the sauce to the desired thicker consistency, you need to suspend the yogurt in a cheesecloth for a couple of hours to drain some of the water off. If you don't mind it moderately runny, you can just make it as is and it is still delicious, just a little more messy. Make this with Recipezaar Gyros - an Authentic Recipe for Making Them at Home, Gyros- An Authentic Recipe For Making Them At Home Enjoy!

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 3 cups Greek yogurt (also called Yogurt Cheese, see below for alternative)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (or juice of one lemon)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 large English cucumber, diced (the long, skinny ones)
  • 1 tablespoon salt (for salting cucumbers)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill (or both, depending on preference) or 1 tablespoon of fresh mint, chopped (or both, depending on preference)
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper


  1. Peel cucumbers and dice. Put them in a colander and sprinkle with the tablespoon of salt (draws water out). Cover with a plate and sit something heavy on top. Let sit for 30 minute Drain well and wipe dry with a paper towel.
  2. In food processor or blender, add cucumbers, garlic, lemon juice, dill and/or mint, and a few grinds of black pepper. Process until well blended, then stir into yogurt. Taste before adding any extra salt, then salt if needed. Place in refrigerator for at least two hours before serving so flavors can blend.
  3. This will keep for a few days in the refrigerator, but you will need to drain off any water and stir each time you use it.
  4. ** If you can’t find the thicker Greek Yogurt Cheese, you can use regular, plain yogurt that is either full fat or low fat. To thicken, spoon yogurt into cheese cloth that has been quadrupled. Draw the corners of the cloth up and tie together. Suspend above a bowl for 2 hours so that water can drip out. The consistency of the yogurt should be like that of sour cream.
  5. You can skip this draining process, if you want, but you will have a moderately messier, runnier result.
Most Helpful

You can also use Icelandic Skyr which is a thicker kind of yoghurt which means you don't have to drain the cucumber as much.

Excellent!! Use lots of freshly cracked black pepper, fresh dill, and the best yogurt you can afford. I left the peel on the cucumber which made it healthier and a brighter green.

4 5

I've made this four times and loved it, but I started off using just 1/2 tsp, then 1 tsp salt on the cucumbers. Today I tried the full tablespoon and its no-where near as good. The salt on the cucumbers ABSOLUTELY needs to be reduced to 1 teaspoon, not 1 tablespoon, and I wonder if that was just a typo when the recipe was input? Others have complained of a watery result and I'll say: 1) you HAVE to use GREEK yogurt. It should be thick enough to stand a fork up in. 2) after salting and pressing for 30 minutes, ring out the cucumber. I'd suggest wrapping them in a smooth towel if you have one and squeezing with all your might. (The cucumber bits will get caught in the loops of a terry towel, and will be too wet for a paper towel probably.) I also leave the skin on the cucumber which works perfectly fine--just a bit more color and texture. I serve this with Greek pilaf rice and Iranian kubideh (basically, lamb meatball).