This easy Tzatziki Sauce without dill is a tangy, delicious yogurt dip with cucumber, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil. You can make this simple sauce in just 10-15 minutes and you can eat it in a bunch of different ways. Tzatziki sauce is perfect in a gyro, on a Greek burger, or on the side of loaded Greek fries.
Tzatziki sauce takes a little prep work but it's easy prep work. You need to remove water from the cucumber so it doesn't make your sauce watery.
Did you know cucumbers are 96% water? That's a lot! To drain out the water you can finely grate the cucumber in the small holes of a cheese grater and then salt it and let it sit for a few minutes - like 10. A lot of excess water will drip out and then you can squeeze out the rest!
What is Tzatziki Sauce?
Tzatziki sauce is a Greek dip or sauce made with thick Greek yogurt, cucumber, and garlic.
Does Tzatziki sauce contain dill?
Traditional Tzatziki sauce typically does not contain dill. Outside of Greece, it's common to add dill but I don't add it in mine.
- plain Greek yogurt: Use the thickest Greek yogurt available so your final sauce is thick.
- olive oil: I use Greek olive oil.
- lemon juice: I like fresh lemon juice when I have lemons on hand but I use the bottled stuff occasionally. Lemon juice gives a brighter flavor and helps bring out the rest of the flavors.
- garlic: you'll need a few cloves. Use 1-2 for a less garlicky dip and 3-4 for more garlic.
- cucumber: I use a regular English cucumber. I grate mine on the small holes of a cheese grater for a fine texture. I feel like this allows me to get more water out of the cucumber and the sauce is smoother in texture than using coarsely grated cucumbers. English cucumbers have a thin skin so I don't bother peeling them.
What can you substitute for dill? I don't add dill to my recipe. If you want to add fresh herbs, try finely chopped parsley or chives.
First, prepare the cucumber by finely grating it. Set it in a sieve over a bowl. Sprinkle kosher salt on top and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
Next, add the olive oil and lemon juice to the yogurt. Use a Microplane to finely grate the garlic in and season everything with salt and pepper.
After ten minutes a lot of water will have drained out of the cucumber.
Squeeze the remaining water out of the cucumber using your hands.
Add the drained cucumber to the yogurt mix and stir to combine.
You'll have a thick, creamy, and delicious sauce.
RECIPE TIP: Don't skip draining the cucumber - look at all of the water it's holding!
Tips for making Tzatziki sauce
- Microplane the garlic: finely grate or mince your garlic or use a Microplane. The garlic needs to be finely grated so that it isn't lumpy in your nice smooth sauce and so that you don't bite down on a large piece of raw garlic. Spicy!
- strain the cucumber: this is the most important step of making Tzatziki - preparing the cucumber. You must salt it and let it sit to drain after. If you don't do this step the cucumber will let out all of its water right into your sauce, leaving you with a watery mess.
- let it sit: this is another good tip - make the Tzatziki sauce a while before you need it. This sauce's flavors mingle together and soften into each other as it sits. You can eat it the same day but a few hours in the fridge does this sauce well.
- use thick yogurt: if you use a thin yogurt you'll have a thin sauce. Get the thickest Greek yogurt you can.
What to serve Tzatziki sauce with
Tzatziki sauce is a versatile dip and can be served in many ways. I use Tzatziki sauce on my Greek Burger recipe, on the side of my lemon potatoes, and for dipping my Greek fries recipe. Tzatziki sauce goes well with appetizers, from pita triangles to fresh sliced vegetables to breaded portobello fries.
Store Tzatziki sauce in the fridge in a container with a lid for about 3 days.
Frequently asked questions
Tzatziki sauce is tangy, garlicky, and refreshing.
Yes, Tzatziki sauce is typically made without dill so my recipe doesn't include it.
Tzatziki Sauce Without Dill
- Microplane for the garlic
- 1 ½ cups plain Greek yogurt
- ½ large english cucumber
- 1-2 large cloves garlic (microplaned)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- Finely grate the cucumber into a mesh sieve. Place the sieve over a bowl and sprinkle the cucumber with salt. Let sit for 10 minutes or so until a lot of water drains out. Squeeze any remaining water out by hand.
- In a small bowl, add the cucumber and the remaining ingredients and mix with a spoon. Refrigerate until needed.This dip is best if you let sit in the fridge for a few hours before serving.
Nutritional information is an estimate. Values vary based on products used.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you.
This post was originally posted on January 17, 2018, and updated on January 23 2023.
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A photo from the original blog post.