We love this thick and creamy tzatziki yogurt sauce (or dip) with fresh cucumber, lemon, dill and feta cheese. Jump to the Simple Tzatziki Sauce Recipe with Feta or read on to see our tips for making it.
It’s brightly flavored and is perfect to serve with veggies, pita chips, grilled meats and even on sandwiches.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Use this lemony, garlicky tahini sauce on anything — try it as a salad dressing, drizzled over vegetables and meats, spread it onto bread or toast, or simply serve as a dip. Jump to the Tahini Sauce Recipe.
How to Make the Best Tzatziki
Tzatziki is very simple to make. To make the best, remember this: too much moisture is tzatziki’s enemy. It makes things watery and stops all the flavors like lemon, garlic and dill from mingling.
We reduce the amount of moisture two ways: with the yogurt and by salting the cucumbers.
There are two options for the yogurt. The easiest is to use Greek yogurt. We like using the Fage brand (it seems to be a bit thicker than others). If you’re lucky and live near gourmet or specialty markets, you may also find Greek yogurt there.
The second option is to strain plain yogurt (not Greek yogurt). This removes extra moisture. To do this, place the yogurt in a fine mesh strainer that has been lined with cheesecloth or paper towels and rest it over a bowl. Place into the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours so the yogurt can drain. Then, discard the liquid.
We use a whole cucumber for this and prefer to use English or hothouse cucumbers. (They’re the ones sold in plastic wrap and have a thinner skin). Baby cucumbers work well, too.
It’s important to remove the seeds from the cucumber – that just removes unnecessary moisture. Then, grate it. Scatter the grated cucumber over a clean dishcloth and season with salt. The salt does two things. First, it seasons and makes the cucumber taste more like cucumber. Second, it helps draw moisture out. Finally, wrap the dishcloth up and squeeze all the liquid out – you’ll be shocked at how much actually comes out.
If you’re in a pinch, you can serve this straight away, but, if you have the time let it sit covered in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours. The flavors will become much more developed.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: This fresh and easy cucumber salad recipe with a sweet and tangy dressing made with vinegar, a little sugar, and Dijon mustard. Jump to the Cucumber Salad Recipe.
Recipe updated, originally posted January 2013. Since posting this in 2013, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne
Simple Tzatziki Sauce Recipe with Feta
We love this thick and creamy yogurt sauce with fresh cucumber, lemon, dill and feta cheese. It’s brightly flavored and is perfect to serve with veggies, pita chips, grilled meats and even on sandwiches. There are two options for the yogurt. The easiest is to use Greek yogurt. However, you can also use strain plain yogurt. This removes extra moisture. To do this, place the yogurt in a fine mesh strainer that has been lined with cheesecloth or paper towels and rest it over a bowl. Place into the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours so the yogurt can drain. Then, discard the liquid.
You Will Need
1 hothouse cucumber (also called English cucumbers)
2 (7-ounce) containers Greek yogurt (We use Fage)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, finely minced (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (can substitute white wine vinegar)
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
Cut cucumber in half, lengthwise. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds then discard them. Grate the cucumber. Scatter grated cucumber over a clean dishcloth (or paper towels). Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Let sit at least 10 minutes. Then gather up the corners of the dishcloth and squeeze as much liquid from grated cucumber as possible. Discard the liquid.
In a medium bowl, combine squeezed cucumber with yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, dill, apple cider vinegar, and the feta cheese. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt then taste and adjust as necessary with more salt.
Serve now or if you can spare the time, cover dip with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 to 4 hours to develop flavor.