Tzatziki

Did you know that Greek tzatziki sauce is really easy to make homemade? It's perfect as a sauce, or even standing on its own as a tasty dip.

Tzatziki Sauce 1

Random fact about me:

I can accurately pronounce Spanish, Italian, French, German, Latin, and just about any other language if needed.

It’s one of the odd perks that comes from having been an opera major in college.  (Perhaps another random fact that you did not know about me.)  All vocal music majors are required to take a semester or two of a class called “Diction” where you learn how to pronounce just about any language imaginable with the help of the International Phonetic Alphabet.  The IPA doesn’t translate words for you.  It just tells you exactly how to pronounce them, which comes in helpful with singing songs and arias in various languages.  And nowadays, it comes in handy with learning how to pronounce foreign foodie words.

You know, like the Greek sauce we all love called tzatziki.

IPA: /tsaˈtsiːki/.

Many of you probably already know how to pronounce it.  But in case you don’t (which I know many don’t, based on all of the creative pronunciations I hear when people order at our local Greek restaurant), here’s a mini IPA lesson for the day.  Similar to the phonetic spellings in English dictionaries, each letter in the IPA alphabet represents a sound:

t = as in “ten”
s = as in “sell”
a = the vowel in “father”
i = the vowel in “beet”
k = as in “keel”

And the quote mark (‘) comes before the syllable that is stressed.

Put them all together, and you have…/tsaˈtsiːki/…tzatziki!  

Opa!  (Maybe you should become an opera major too.)  ;)

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Well at least now if you see an IPA pronunciation listed in the dictionary, you’ll know what that means.  Just imagine decoding a 400-page textbook of foreign aria lyrics over the course of a semester…  At least those skills can still come in handy every now and then in the kitchen too.

Like when it comes to making and saying tzatziki.

I assume most everyone is familiar with the delicious Greek yogurt sauce that’s famous on gyros, burgers, falafel, salads, and in the dip aisle at Trader Joe’s.  And in a new taco recipe coming on the blog tomorrow.  Everyone loves tzatziki!  But what I think everyone doesn’t necessarily know is how ridiculously easy it is to whip up a batch homemade.

All you need are the ingredients above.

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Basically all you do to make tzatziki is combine all of the ingredients in a bit bowl, and then stir to combine.

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You can either spoon it onto whatever entree you may be making.  Or tzatziki sauce also stands well on its own as a tasty dip.  I like to drizzle mine with olive oil, crack a little fresh pepper on top, and poke a sprig of dill in the middle to make it look extra pretty.  Then just serve it up with whatever dippers you’d like — soft pita, crunchy pita chips, fresh veggie sticks, etc. — and you’re good to go.

Opa!  Tzatziki!  Enjoy!!!

Tzatziki Sauce 3

Tzatziki

Greek tzatziki dip is easy to make homemade with fresh ingredients, and it can be used in a wide range of dishes!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups full-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 large cucumber, seeded and grated or finely diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (not dried dill)
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper

Directions:

Stir all ingredients together until combined. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

Serve immediately, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 2 days.

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Comments

  1. Suné Moolman — August 18, 2014 @ 6:06 am (#)

    An opera major? Gee whizz! :)
    This looks fantastic – I love my tzatziki with on a pita with roasted eggplant. I’ll be trying out your recipe soon, thanks.

  2. Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness — August 18, 2014 @ 6:46 am (#)

    Tzatziki is my husbands all time favorite thing to put on sandwiches! Usually I buy a massive jar at Costco…and it goes bad before he can eat it all. So, this recipe is perfect as I can make less at a time! Pinned :)

  3. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — August 18, 2014 @ 7:28 am (#)

    Tzatziki is my happy place. <3

  4. Cassie — August 18, 2014 @ 7:39 am (#)

    And now I’m craving falafel so that I have an excuse to make this. Sounds amazing!

  5. Sues — August 18, 2014 @ 7:41 am (#)

    Mmm homemade tzatziki is THE BEST. I would put this on everything :)

  6. Jenny Flake — August 18, 2014 @ 8:02 am (#)

    Tzatziki reminds me of my mom, she always made it for us as kids for a dipping sauce with french fries, haha! Love this!!

  7. Melanie @ Carmel Moments — August 18, 2014 @ 8:30 am (#)

    Looks delighftul Ali! I’ve gotta give this version a try.
    Mmm….

  8. DessertForTwo — August 18, 2014 @ 8:39 am (#)

    My favorite! I love anything with cucumbers in it, and this is another one.

  9. Megan {Country Cleaver} — August 18, 2014 @ 9:24 am (#)

    I could eat this with a SPOON, but you know, toasted pita would work too ;)

  10. Cookbook Queen — August 18, 2014 @ 10:04 am (#)

    Oh my gosh, this is stunning. I need it for lunch!!

  11. Kelsi J. — August 18, 2014 @ 10:20 am (#)

    I know exactly what you mean – growing up taking vocal lessons and taking linguistics in undergrad for fun has given me the same language talent. No idea what I’m saying, but It sounds pretty good.

    • Sadye — August 19, 2014 @ 11:34 am (#)

      The music major in the Italian 101 class I took at college was the same way … I don’t think she was actually conjugating the verbs half the time, but she sounded great doing it lol!

  12. Tiffany — August 18, 2014 @ 10:52 am (#)

    Okay, this looks so delicious and I’ve never even heard of it before. I love dips and pita bread and can’t wait to try it out. I even have everything I need to make it right now. WIN!

  13. Linda — August 18, 2014 @ 11:39 am (#)

    I will try this recipe. I usually make a version of this to cool down Indian food.

  14. Jill Silverman Hough — August 18, 2014 @ 12:21 pm (#)

    Reeeeally pretty, Ali! You are my new food photography hero. :)

  15. Meagan @ A Zesty Bite — August 18, 2014 @ 12:39 pm (#)

    You just made this tzatziki recipe ROCK!

  16. taylor @ greens & chocolate — August 18, 2014 @ 1:27 pm (#)

    Now not only can I eat it, but can pronounce it correctly too!

  17. kelley {mountain mama cooks} — August 18, 2014 @ 2:06 pm (#)

    Gorgeous, Ali! This is one of my favorite dips, spreads…whatever you want to call it!!

  18. Heather @ Shards of Lavender — August 18, 2014 @ 2:53 pm (#)

    Love tzatziki! Your recipe looks so fresh and easy to mix up. Thanks for sharing! I think I’ll pass on being an opera major though; trust me, everyone will appreciate my decision:)

  19. Peter — August 18, 2014 @ 5:41 pm (#)

    Your phonetics would have been complete if you had included what tzatziki “sounds like” in a plain english word(s).
    How did an opera singer wind up in cooking? I know that I occasionally break out in song when I’m cooking so I guess the two go together. I haven’t tried your recipe yet but it looks delicious.

  20. A Young Wife — August 18, 2014 @ 6:21 pm (#)

    I love tzatziki! This recipe looks simple and easy. And the photo is lovely! I have everything already, going to try it this week! Thanks for sharing.

  21. Danae @ Recipe Runner — August 18, 2014 @ 6:28 pm (#)

    Wow pretty sure I never would have passed that linguistics course in college! This tzatziki looks amazing! Thanks so much for sharing, it’s one of my favorite dips/sauces!

  22. Bellabee — August 18, 2014 @ 8:45 pm (#)

    Yum, just made this. Delicious. Waiting for some homeade pita
    bread to rise and I’m all set.

  23. Crystal | Apples & Sparkle — August 18, 2014 @ 9:52 pm (#)

    Your photos are always so beautiful! : ) Tzatziki is definitely one of my very favorites!

  24. Ohmydish — August 19, 2014 @ 2:43 am (#)

    I’m amazed by your photography skills! Looks amazing!

  25. jenna @ just j.faye — August 19, 2014 @ 7:43 am (#)

    I first discovered tzatziki in Berlin as a sauce on doner kabobs. It changed my world. I’ve never made it before, but I may need to start!

  26. Cara — August 19, 2014 @ 11:58 am (#)

    Recipe for the bread please??? (A)

    • Ali — August 19, 2014 @ 2:05 pm (#)

      Oooh, I actually don’t have a recipe for pita yet on the site. There a bunch around if you Google it. I bought mine from our neighborhood market.

  27. Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet — August 19, 2014 @ 12:13 pm (#)

    This is one of my favorite dips! Gorgeous! Pinned!

  28. Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking — August 19, 2014 @ 9:32 pm (#)

    You were an opera major? Wow #funfact! Your tzatziki looks amazing! I was just eating at a Greek place last weekend and feeling the need to make tzatzki myself. You have clearly done all the heavy lifting for me! It looks amazing! How did you get your cucumber that thin? Did you use the second smallest holes on a box grater?

  29. Stella — August 21, 2014 @ 11:09 am (#)

    Great photos and you get the recipe just right! I have seen many tzatziki recipies that miss one ingredient or another but your’s is just right! Try it with fried zuchinies! In Greece they go hand in hand. :)

  30. marianne — September 17, 2014 @ 8:54 pm (#)

    this cucumber looks grated..is it?

    • Ali — October 19, 2014 @ 1:25 pm (#)

      Oops! Yes, I meant to say grated not diced. (Although you can use either.) :)

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