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Anyone have a good recipe for tzatziki?

I'm absolutely in love with the tzatziki I can get from my local Greek diner, but I'd rather not pay for the restaurant version every single time I get a hankering. I've tried a few recipes, but they always seem to be thinner and just not as satisfying. Does anyone have a good recipe for a nice thick and flavorful tzatziki?

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  1. I don't follow a recipe but to get it thick, I squeeze the cut cucumber in a cheesecloth well. I also drain the whole milk yogurt over a strainer lined w/ cheesecloth overnight. I haven't done it w/ greek yogurt but think that might be a good way to go, too. I taste as I go along, but keep in mind the garlic will get more pungent over time.

    2 Replies
    1. re: chowser

      Those are the keys. If you are not using thick full Greek yogurt you should still use full fat regular yogurt. You will need to strain it as stated above. I don't think overnight is necessary, you can get it done in a few hours. I use shredded cucumber which I then salt and leave for a while to leach out some of the water. After this I squeeze as much liquid as I can out of them with a cheese cloth or paper towel.

      1. re: MVNYC

        bingo!

        i use stonyfield farm full fat yogurt, and strain with a coffee filter set in a mesh sieve. i let it drain for hours = super thick, like cream cheese. (this strained yogurt (cheese) is the base for "labneh" in lebanese cuisine).

        last time, i also added green onions to the tzatziki, in addition to the salted, squeezed cukes, pressed garlic, lemon juice and dill. man, that was addictive!

    2. I don't really follow a recipe either, but here's what I do loosely.

      Shred 1/2 english cuke, salt and place in a colander for 10-15 min to seep out the moisture, Grate or mince 1-2 cloves of garlic and let sit for 10 min in juice of 1/2 lemon and 1-2 tsp of white wine vinegar to soften the rawness. Mix together cukes, lemon-garlic mixture, and 1 cup of plain greek yogurt(full fat), salt and pepper to taste. I like to add some fresh dill as well if I have it.

      1. Recipe my MIL taught me when I was in Greece.
        1 pint thick greek yogurt. Supermarkets in USA call this yogurt spread, yogurt cheese or lebne.If you can;'t find, put 1 quart of plain yogurt in a strainer lined with cheese cloth over a bwol and let all liquid drain. Can do this overnight in refrigerator. Grat 1 med- large cucumber on large holes of a box grater. Squeeze all liquid out and add to the yogurt. Cruch in a garlic press 4-8 cloves of gralic, depending on how strong you want it. Add a few tbsp of good Greek evoo, salt and pepper. Stir well. Let sit for n hour or more.SAeve with crusty bread.

        1. Besides the traditional ingredients, I like to add some smoked paprika.

          1 Reply
          1. re: coll

            Forgot, I also like to use sesame oil for a little more flavor. Perhaps a little mint too, if on hand.

          2. In addition to the good advice above, if you are using standard American cucumbers, remove the seeds. Also, don't throw away the cucumber juice, as it has many delicious applications.