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Tzatziki Sauce with Dill and Lemon

Tzatziki sauce with dill and lemon is the ultimate, fresh dip for so many things. It is herby, zesty, and fantastic on grilled meats, pita bread, all the salads and much more. 


Close-up of tzatziki sauce with fresh dill and lemon zest on top.


I love to eat tzatziki with my grilled halloumi quinoa salad, or to dip crispy zucchini fries in, or even orange shawarma chicken


Tzatziki sauce is one of those condiments that help any dish become fresher and more vibrant, just like raita for Indian cuisine. My tzatziki is even on the fresher side with real lemon zest in it. 




  • Greek yogurt: The base of tzatziki, Greek yogurt provides a creamy and thick consistency. It adds a rich and tangy flavor to the sauce.
  • Cucumber: Adds a refreshing and crisp element to tzatziki. When grated, it brings a juicy and cool texture to the sauce. Additionally, cucumber provides a subtle sweetness that balances the tanginess of the yogurt
  • Lemon juice and lemon zest: Lemon juice adds a bright and citrusy acidity to tzatziki, enhancing the overall freshness of the sauce. Lemon zest, the outer peel of the lemon, contributes aromatic oils and an extra layer of citrus flavor, intensifying the taste without making it too sour.
  • Olive oil: Olive oil not only adds richness and a smooth texture and mouthfeel but also imparts a distinctive Mediterranean flavor to the tzatziki. Make sure you use a high quality extra virgin one!
  • Garlic powder or fresh garlic: Garlic is a crucial component that provides a robust and savory flavor. Whether used in powder form or fresh, garlic adds depth and complexity to the tzatziki. It contributes a slightly spicy and aromatic kick, making the sauce more flavorful. 
  • Fresh dill (or dried): Dill is a herb that adds a fresh and herbal flavor to tzatziki. For the best tzatziki, use fresh dill. Tzatziki sauce with dill will definitely taste more herbaceous and dill-y with fresh dill. And I think the dill flavor is super important to the best tzatziki!
  • Salt: Salt is an important seasoning that enhances the flavors of all the ingredients in tzatziki. It helps balance the sweetness of the cucumber, cut through the richness of the yogurt, and intensify the overall taste.


Ingredients with names to make tzatziki.




Grate the cucumber. Squish the cucumber to get rid of the excess water. This process  is easier to do close to the sink, to avoid getting cucumber water all of the place. 


Grating cucumber.


Mince the garlic or finely chop and then squeeze it under the knife with a sprinkle of sea salt. 


Add the grated cucumber, and the rest of the ingredients to a large bowl and mix well.


Taste and adjust accordingly. 


Ingredients for tzatziki in a bowl.


If you find it bland, add more salt and lemon juice. If it's too salty og sour, add a touch of sugar (max ½ teaspoon).


Remember that a sauce like this should be a little too salty and sour to balance out the meal it's eaten with, just like my guacamole recipe


Substitutions and variations


  • Other herbs: I know a lot of people don't fancy dill. You can use mint for a fresher mouthfeel. Or parsley is a neutral herb most people like. If mint sounds interesting to you - I'd recommend making a raita instead!
  • More spices: Tzatziki is a fresh and bright, blank canvas. However, if you want, there's nothing wrong with spicing it up with your favorite spices. For example Arabic 7 Spice or Mexican chili powder.
  • Turkish yogurt can substitute Greek yogurt without any alterations. Most other neutral yogurt is too thin, making it saucier. If that's your thing, then of course, go for it!


A wide bowl of tzatziki sauce on a wooden table.




A box grater and a knife and chopping board are all you really need here. And a bowl to put the dill-icious tzatziki sauce in. 




Store the tzatziki sauce covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. It will get a more pungent flavor over time, especially if you use fresh garlic. 


Expert tips


Grating the cucumber can get a little messy

I prefer to grate it next to the sink so that the cucumber water doesn't get everywhere. Squeeze the ball of grated cucumber right over the sink and have the bowl with the Greek yogurt close-by so you can quickly dump it in!


Close-up of tzatziki in a wide bowl.


Garlic tip

If you feel like being fancy, looking like a pro, or whatever, chop the garlic with a knife and use the side of the blade to crush the garlic until a fine paste. Continue to chop, crush, chop, crush - until it's a fine paste. 


If you're using the grated garlic in a recipe that calls for salt, you can sprinkle a small amount of salt on the garlic as you grate it. This can help break down the garlic further and enhance its flavor.


Serving tips

Tzatziki sauce is fabulous with Greek and Mediterranean food. I love it in pitas with gyros, grilled meats like the satay chicken or even a shawarma. Rack of lamb is another classic. It doesn't have to be Greek!



But as a snack I really love to simply dip a slice of rustic Greek bread or fresh zucchini fries in the sauce. Turmeric potatoes are also fantastic.


Dipping pita bread in tzatziki sauce.



It's also delicious as a dressing on salads, like this halloumi grilled vegetables salad, roasted cauliflower salad or maybe on this warm chicken salad. All great options.


Tzatziki sauce with dill is clearly a sauce that can be used in so many settings, so don't worry if you make too much for today!


Recipe FAQs


What type of yogurt should I use for tzatziki?

Greek or Turkish yogurt are best suited for a tzatziki because they have a thick consistency. However, if you prefer a thinner sauce, feel free to use regular, strained yogurt.

How healthy is tzatziki?

Tzatziki is relatively healthy. You usually don't eat so much, and in small doses I'd say it's very healthy. It's high in protein, calcium, and probiotics which are good for your gut.

If you want to make it even healthier, choose a low-fat yogurt and reduce the olive oil.

What do you eat tzatziki with?

Think of it like the guacamole of Greek and Mediterranean food. It's the dip for everything; for pitas and gyros, grilled meats, and much more. See specifics under Expert tips.


Bowl of tzatziki on a wooden table.

Did you like this recipe? Here are more dips I think you would like:

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📖 Recipe

Close-up of tzatziki sauce with fresh dill and lemon zest on top.

Tzatziki Sauce with Dill and Lemon

Yield: 2 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Tzatziki sauce with dill and lemon is the ultimate, fresh dip for grilled meats, fresh salads, pita breads and more!


  • 1 cup Greek yogurt (250 grams)
  • ½ cup grated English cucumber (about ½ cucumber)
  • ¼ cup chopped, fresh dill (1 pot, or 1 ½ teaspoons dried dill)
  • 1 clove garlic (grated)
  • 2 tablespoons high quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon salt (to taste)


  1. In a medium-sized bowl, add the Greek yogurt.
  2. For easy cleanup, prepare the cucumber next to the sink. Grate using a box grater and squeeze as much of the water out of it as possible. Discard the water.
  3. Add the grated cucumber as well as the other ingredients to the bowl of the Greek yogurt. Mix until combined.


Always taste and adjust seasoning. If you find it bland, add more salt and lemon juice, if it's too salty or sour, add a touch of sugar (max ½ teaspoon). But remember a dip like this should be on the salty and sour side to complement the food it's eaten with.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: ½ cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 99Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 288mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 6g

Nutrition information isn't always accurate, estimate for informational purposes only.

Did you make this recipe?

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