Appetizers, Dips and Sauces, Mediterranean Diet Recipes, Sides, Vegetarian

Authentic Tzatziki – Greek Garlic Yogurt Dip

Tzatziki, the popular Greek yogurt garlic dip is a favorite at Greek tavernas and restaurants. Creamy, spicy with cool cucumber and garlic, this dip is delicious and addictive!

Tzatziki Recipe  #tzatziki #dip #recipe #Greek #appetizer #yogurt

Greeks usually eat tzatziki with bread,  it is also used for the famous souvlaki wrapped in a pita and ofcourse in gyros. Almost all Greeks love dipping bread and Greek fries in tzatziki that is served at every traditional restaurant.  Tzatziki is also the ideal accompaniment with fried (or baked) zucchini chips and any kind of patty or fritter, especially vegetable patties.

Nutritional Value of Tzatziki

While many people associate tzatziki with the unhealthy gyro sandwich or souvlaki, it is actually very healthy and an antioxidant powerhouse. The garlic and olive oil are great sources of antioxidants and the yogurt is a good source of protein, calcium and has some of that friendly bacteria for your belly.

The Authentic Recipe

Now I need to clarify that the original tzatziki should be somewhat strong. I’ve seen recipes with very little garlic, and while less garlic may be less potent for some people, it is not the authentic version. Also it does not contain sour cream as I’ve seen in several recipes, actually you can’t even find sour cream in Greece. Also, it is not tzatziki if it contains avocado or cayenne pepper, yes I’ve seen that as well. Finally, I should note that most Greeks use vinegar, not lemon in tzatziki.

tzatziki recipe

How to Serve Tzatziki

Traditionally, tzatziki is served as a dip along with bread for dipping. It is of course an important ingredient in souvlaki and gyros and it is fine to dip any kind of meat in it as well.  I find it makes a great dip for carrot sticks, celery sticks, raw zucchini strips, cucumber and cherry tomatoes.

How to Make the Best Tzatziki

My top tips for making that perfect tzatziki:

1. Yogurt. Ideally you want to use a full fat Greek yogurt not low-fat or fat-free. This will provide a creaminess, richness and flavor needed. Also we typically use cow’s milk yogurt, not goat or sheep’s milk yogurt.

2. Cucumber. You want to use a cucumber that does not have many seeds or large seeds. If it does have seeds, make sure you remove them. Also you want to make sure you strain the grated cucumber.

3. Garlic. Use the right amount of garlic. You should minimally use about one medium clove garlic for every 4 ounces of yogurt, otherwise it will just be some sort of generic yogurt dip.

4. Refrigeration. Let it sit for at least an hour, ideally overnight for the flavor to meld.

And now for the authentic Greek recipe for tzatziki.

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Authentic Tzatziki – Greek Garlic Yogurt Dip

Tzatziki Recipe #tzatziki #dip #recipe #Greek #appetizer #yogurt
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
The authentic Greek Tzatziki recipe for this seriously addictive Greek yogurt and garlic dip.
Course: Appetizer, dip
Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean
Keyword: Dip, Greek Yogurt, Tzatziki
Servings: 12
Calories: 50kcal
Author: Elena Paravantes RDN
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Ingredients

Instructions

  • Crush the garlic with a little bit of salt and pepper.
  • Peel the cucumber and grate. Squeeze well to get rid of water.
  • Whip the yogurt in a bowl and then add the garlic paste, mixing well and then add the cucumber and mix again.
  • Start adding small amounts of olive oil alternating with the vinegar while mixing.
  • Add about 2 teaspoons fresh dill and mix well.
  • Let it sit at least an hour in the refrigerator before serving.
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Greek Tzatziki Recipe The authentic Greek Tzatziki recipe for this seriously addictive Greek yogurt and garlic dip. #tzatziki #dip #greek #easy #appetizer #yogurt

Photos by Elena Paravantes All Rights Reserved

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14 Comments

  • Reply 23 Interesting and Easy Ways to Use Greek Yogurt | Olive Tomato February 20, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    […] 12. Use it to make any kind of dip: add some mint, lemon and pepper for a dip for veggies, crackers or bread sticks. Don’t forget tzatziki. […]

  • Reply Savory Greek Style Zucchini and Feta Muffins with Greek Yogurt Dip | Olive Tomato April 19, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    […] time favorite Greek taverna appetizers are fried zucchini patties called kolokithokeftethes, with tzatziki. These patties are not really unhealthy other than the fried part. That’s the beauty of Greek […]

  • Reply How to use fresh herbs in the Greek Mediterranean Diet | Olive Tomato April 30, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    […] is used usually in tzatziki, savory pies filled with greens- pites, spinach, artichokes, avgolemono (egg lemon sauce) dishes […]

  • Reply Top 9 Greek-Mediterranean Inspired Appetizer Recipes for the Holidays | Olive Tomato November 19, 2016 at 11:31 am

    […] Tzatziki-Greek Garlic and Yogurt Dip, Traditional and Light Version […]

  • Reply 3 Ingredient Baked Phyllo Chips | Olive Tomato March 16, 2017 at 9:50 am

    […] on their own or you can serve them as an appetizer with one of the many popular Greek dips such as tzatziki, taramosalata, […]

  • Reply Quick and Easy Authentic Chicken Souvlaki December 15, 2017 at 9:44 am

    […] it in a sandwich. Having said that, chicken is less flavorful than pork, so you could serve it with tzatziki or tirokafteri (spicy feta dip) or even plain Greek yogurt, but I avoid pita as I feel it is too […]

  • Reply 10 Mediterranean BBQ Sides and Salads | Olive Tomato July 2, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    […] Ok, this is the ultimate dip for meals with meat! Tzatziki is what makes a souvlaki so good. Nothing is better than dipping your meat in some cold, creamy tzatziki. Get the recipe here. […]

  • Reply Greek Lemon Caper Dip with Greek Yogurt | Olive Tomato September 18, 2018 at 11:54 am

    […] we were offered a different caper salad; this was made with Greek yogurt. This dip looks like tzatziki but it does not contain garlic, making it much lighter. We ordered it often along with a large […]

  • Reply Pam January 1, 2020 at 2:43 pm

    Thank you Elena! Simple and authentic just like at the taverna we had it in Crete5 stars

  • Reply Bob Gaughen March 30, 2020 at 1:23 am

    Love the Greek salad and yogurt dip5 stars

  • Reply Maria April 18, 2020 at 10:02 pm

    Its so hard to find a Greek who knows the authentic recipes that has their own site full of them. I made this with my 11 yr old daughter and it turned out perfectly Thank you! Kali Anastasi!5 stars

  • Reply Augusta May 15, 2020 at 1:52 pm

    I love the Greek diet and the Greek dishes, so thanks so much for this blog! I follow already for years. But there is a question that has been nagging at me for a long time: isn’t it true that iron (e.g. from the meat) prevents proper absorption of calcium (e.g. from the yoghurt)?
    Many thanks!

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