The stovetop is on and the oil is sizzling in the pan. It’s time to flip the falafel and rotate the gyro meat in the oven. You have the pita bread ready with vegetables and hummus, but it feels like you’re missing something. Herbs? Cucumber? Oh, wait … time to make tzatziki sauce!
What is Tzatziki?
Tzatziki sauce is a Greek and Turkish based dipping sauce usually consisting of goat or sheep yogurt, mixed with fresh herbs, cucumber, lemon juice and olive oil. The etymology of tzatziki, which is Greek, is derived from the Turkish word cacık found in an 1876 Ottoman dictionary literally meaning “an herb salad with yogurt”. (1) So this tasty nutrition-rich cucumber sauce has been around for a while and is the perfect sauce for your next Middle Eastern inspired dish.
Traditionally, in Mediterranean diet cuisine, tzatziki is served as a dip for grilled meat, like a gyro or falafel. You can use it as a sauce for dipping vegetables or slathering on a Mediterranean salad. This tzatziki recipe is extremely versatile, you’ll want to dip everything in it. Not only is it delicious, but your gut will thank you for it.
How to Make Tzatziki Sauce
This gyro sauce is so easy to make and kid-friendly. All you need is a blender and your tzatziki sauce will be ready to go! To keep this tzatziki sauce recipe traditional, I used goat yogurt as the base. I prefer goat yogurt to cow’s milk yogurt since it’s easier to digest and doesn’t contain any frightening hormones or corn-fed milk.
Goat kefir or sheep yogurt would also be an excellent replacement for cow’s yogurt. Fermented goat’s milk is an great source of probiotics, making it a gut-friendly food and anti-inflammatory ingredient. Add goat yogurt to a blender and set aside.
Peel and chop a cucumber and add to the blender. Cucumbers are great for detoxing, aiding in weight loss and are super hydrating. Perhaps you’ve tried my Detox Cucumber Soup?
I added extra virgin olive oil, which is an excellent source of healthy fat and anti-inflammatory as well. Just make sure to find real olive oil in a dark glass bottle and preferably organic. Add in lemon juice, fresh dill and garlic cloves as well as sea salt into the blender.
Not only are your taste buds going to thank you, but your body is receiving so many health benefits from all these fresh herbs and vegetables. Blend your yogurt dip on high until all is well combined.
Top the tzatziki sauce with some smoked paprika for extra flavor and eye appeal and dip (especially into falafel) to your heart’s content.
- 8 ounces goat yogurt
- ½ cucumber, peeled and chopped
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 3 garlic cloves
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- smoked paprika, to taste *(optional)
- In a blender, combine goat yogurt, cucumber, olive oil, lemon juice, fresh dill, garlic cloves and sea salt.
- Purée on high.
- Store in a serving bowl and top with smoked paprika, if desired.
- Serve alongside falafel or fresh cut vegetables.