Classic Greek Tzatziki

Classic Greek Tzatziki

Let’s learn how to make this easy recipe, with ingredients you will easily find in every corner of the world. It takes no time and it will be the perfect garnish for any meat dish you’re planning on serving.

I don’t know about you, but tzatziki is one of those things I never want to be missing in my refrigerator.

This ancient middle eastern recipe which has become a staple in Greek cuisine is a perfect dip that you can pair well with an immense variety of dishes, ranging from grilled meats and fried calamari to vegetables cooked in ay form, pita bread, and more!

Basic Things you Need to Know about Tzatziki

Classic Greek tzatziki with pita bread and meatballs

There are several legends surrounding the origins of tzatziki. Creamy, garlicky, packed with flavors, fresh, uniquely distinctive… that’s Greek tzatziki.

The roots of tzatziki can be traced back all the way to India, when the Persians ruled on the country, they enjoyed the flavor of local dishes but often found them too spicy to their taste. The Persians managed balance out spiciness with a yogurt-based sauce known as raita, made with fresh, a great solution to the spicy traits of Indian food.

The sauce made its way to the Ottoman Empire and the rest of the Middle East, as many other culinary traditions did, since Persians and Ottomans held strong commercial relations.

Who can resist?

Among the different peoples living under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, the Greeks embraced the taste of the dish, experimenting and recreating the original recipe, until all Indian traces were almost gone. Those were the early days of our beloved tzatziki.

In fact, the word tzatziki comes from the Turkish word cacık, a local variation of tzatziki.

Other Variations of Classic Greek Tzatziki


As we just mentioned, the Turkish have their own version of the dip. Cacık is a similar sauce that also incorporates sumac and fresh mint. It has a more liquid consistency, because it also has water in it, and it is served as a soup.

Moving to the rest of the Balkans, you probably heard about tarator, a sauce similar to tzatziki which also includes walnuts and even chopped onions. In Croatia and Albania, it is a favorite sauce to have with grilled squid.

Want to read more about the origins and history of tzatziki? Check these details!

Great Tzatziki Pairings

Fresh and fragrant pita bread pairs perfectly well with Classic Greek tzatziki!

What are some of the best dishes that tzatziki pairs with…?

  • Pita bread, rustic bread, bruschetta, toasted bread, Cretan paximadia…
  • Boiled meat, grilled meat, baked meat, fried meat, meat sandwich, pulled pork, chicken dishes, pork dishes, beef dishes…
  • Baked potatoes, fried potatoes, grilled vegetables, mix salad, xorta
  • Gyro wrap, souvlakia, kalamakia… and the list goes on and on… Because tzatziki can be paired with almost everything!

Tzatziki is one of those greek dips that I love to have in my fridge all the time, it is perfect to put on the table when you want to add and extra twist to almost any dish!

REMEMBER: The best way to keep tzatziki is inside a glass or ceramic bowl with hermetic lid. Remember it has garlic inside, so smells tend to be strong and transfer to other things you might be storing in the refrigerator. It doesn’t last more than a week.

A bowl of tzatziki dip is a no brainer if you want to bring some Greek magic to your table! So, without any further ado, let’s jump into it.

Classic Greek Tzatziki Recipe

Authentic Greek Tzatziki

Authentic Greek Tzatziki

Tzatziki, one of the most popular dips in Greek cuisine!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Presentation 3 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes


  • 250-300 gr. of strained yogurt or Greek thick yogurt (10% fat)
  • 1 cucumber peeled, grated, and strained.
  • 1 clove of garlic (or more, if you like it)
  • finely chopped dill or parsley (optional)
  • 3 tbsp. of lemon or vinegar (replace with white wine for a more refined take on the sauce)
  • 2-3 tbsp. of Extra virgin Cretan olive oil
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper
  • black olives to decorate


  • You can either use the cucumber as is or you can peel it for a more delicate flavor. Once you've done so, grate and add some salt.
  • Put the cucumber in a fine strainer, even better with some clean cloth on it, and leave aside to loose some as much liquid as possible. Add a pinch of salt and a bit of vinegar for better results.
  • Carry on with the yogurt mixt, Put your yogurt in an ample bowl to better combine the ingredients, add the small garlic clove which you have already chopped,, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar and the olive oil.
  • Mix well until everything is combined.
  • Go back to your cucumber, squeeze it and make it lose all the remaining jiuces. get rid of the liquid and add it to the yogurt mix.
  • Add salt and pepper to season and, if you like it, some finely chopped dill, parsley, or even mint if you want.
  • Keep it in the fridge until it's sime to dive into it. Serve in a nice bowl with some parsley leaves or a couple ob lack olives on top.


Remember that the secret to a good, dense, tasty tzatziki is to drain the soul out of that cucumber.

Do you like tzatziki? Let me know!

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