Tzatziki is a sauce made primarily of salted and strained yogurt, cucumber, garlic, lemon juice, and herbs with origins in southeastern Europe and the Middle East. In Turkey, the same sauce is called Cacik; it’s called Tarator in Bulgaria, and similar etymology variations exist in surrounding areas. Herbs in the sauce may vary, and some versions call for tahini or use vinegar instead of lemon juice. This sauce is often served with a meze platter, alongside pita, baba ghanoush, tabouleh, and more.
Tzatziki is now popular all over the world. While it’s widely available in groceries in the U.S., the freshest, most delicious sauce is homemade — and it could not be easier to prepare. With just a handful of ingredients, this tzatziki recipe is ready to serve in 15 minutes. Everything simply gets combined together, no equipment required — so all the work is in prepping the fresh produce.
You’ll definitely want to remove the seeds from the cucumber here to avoid an unpleasant texture. Be sure to chop extra dill to garnish the finished sauce. If you’re used to doubling or tripling the garlic in any given recipe, we encourage you to stick to just the one clove called for here, especially if you’re making the tzatziki in advance. Raw garlic is more pungent than cooked, and its flavor will grow more pronounced in the refrigerator as the sauce sits.
For extra richness, you can drizzle the tzatziki with olive oil right before serving. The sauce pairs well with roasted lamb or kebabs. Try it with this gorgeous vegetable flatbread, to elevate simply roasted carrots, or serve alongside a crudité platter.