Recipe: Yogurt Tzatziki Sauce

If you’ve never had tzatziki sauce then you are missing out on a Greek delicacy. In America, this yogurt sauce studded with cucumbers, garlic, and lemon; is most commonly eaten atop gyros.

Gyros are much like the familiar taco, but done Greek-style. The meat is often ground lamb, seasoned to perfection with onion, fresh herbs and lemon. This is placed in a flat pita-type bread and topped with onion, tomato, and tzatziki. The combination is more than the sum of its parts.

Some tzatziki is made thin enough to drizzle over kebobs or gyros, while others are made thick for dipping breads and vegetables in. Either way your main ingredient is yogurt and whether it is served thick or thin depends on whether you strain the liquid whey from the yogurt and the water from the cucumber. 

This tzatziki is a thicker variety. Serve tzatziki sauce with gyros, felafel, pita bread, vegetables, or salads.


  • 1 pint plain whole milk yogurt (preferably homemade)
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped finely
  • Sea salt
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 3 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh mint (optional)


  1. Place the yogurt in a cheesecloth-lined strainer over a bowl. Allow the whey to drip for several hours. For a thinner sauce do this for only one hour. At the same time, add chopped cucumber to a small bowl and sprinkle lightly with salt. Allow to cucumber to sit, salted, as long as the yogurt is straining.
  2. After several hours place salted cucumber in a clean tea towel and gently squeeze the liquid out over the sink. Add the cucumbers to a medium bowl. Add the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, and mint (if using) and stir well to combine.
  3. Taste and add salt if needed. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 days.


Shannon is a mama to four small children, homesteader, freelance writer, and picture-taker. She lives with her husband on their off-grid homestead where they make and eat kefir, kombucha, sourdough, and fermented vegetables.

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  1. Kara says

    I love this stuff. Though I always make too much and need more ideas for ways to use it. I use dill instead of mint.

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