Authentic Greek Tzatziki: A Healthy Greek Yogurt Dip Recipe

 Tzatziki is a Greek dip or sauce that is typically made with strained Greek yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, Greek olive oil, and fresh herbs such as dill or mint. You may also add vinegar or lemon juice. It is often served as a condiment with grilled meats, vegetables, or pita bread. The Greek yogurt used in tzatziki is usually thicker and tangier than regular yogurt. Tzatziki is a refreshing and cooling dip that is perfect for warm weather and pairs well with Mediterranean or Middle Eastern dishes. The Greek word for this is τζατζίκι. In English is pronounced "tsah-tsee-kee" with the stress on the first syllable "tsah".

Tzatziki is the most popular Greek yogurt dip. It combines the true virtues of traditional Greek food cuisine. It is delicious and healthy! Tzatziki can be a healthy food option, especially when made with wholesome ingredients and consumed in moderation. Here are some potential health benefits of tzatziki:

  • Rich in protein: Greek yogurt is a good source of protein. Protein is important for building and repairing tissues in the body, and it can also help keep you feeling full and satisfied.
  • Low in calories: Tzatziki is relatively low in calories, especially if you opt for a recipe that uses low-fat or non-fat yogurt. This can make it a good option for people who are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
  • Contains healthy fats: This dip contains Greek olive oil, which is a source of healthy fats that can help reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol levels, and support heart health.
  • Rich in vitamins and minerals: This sauce typically contains cucumbers, garlic, and herbs like dill or mint, all of which are rich in vitamins and minerals. Cucumber, a low-calorie vegetable, is a good source of vitamin K and potassium, while garlic has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Finally, there is research that indicates that vinegar aids in healthy weight management.

To make this authentic tzatziki recipe healthier, try using low-fat or non-fat yogurt, minimizing the amount of added salt, and using fresh, whole ingredients whenever possible. The number of calories in tzatziki can vary depending on the specific recipe and serving size. However, in general, tzatziki is relatively low in calories compared to other dips or sauces.

A typical 1/4 cup (60g) serving of tzatziki contains around 60-80 calories. This serving size typically contains around 5-7 grams of fat, 2-4 grams of carbohydrates, and 2-3 grams of protein, depending on the recipe and ingredients used.

Having that in mind, tzatziki can be a good option for those following a keto diet, as it is relatively low in carbohydrates and high in healthy fats and protein. However, it's important to note that the carbohydrate content of tzatziki can vary depending on the recipe and ingredients used. Here are some tips to make this a keto-friendly tzatziki recipe:

  • Use full-fat Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt is a key ingredient in tzatziki, and using full-fat yogurt will increase the fat content of the dip and keep the carbohydrates low.
  • Use cucumbers sparingly: While cucumbers are a main ingredient in tzatziki, they do contain some carbohydrates. To keep the carb count low, use cucumbers sparingly or consider using a lower-carb vegetable, such as zucchini.
  • Use healthy fats: Tzatziki typically contains olive oil, which is a healthy source of fat. However, be mindful of the amount of oil you use, as it can add up quickly in terms of calories.

By making a few adjustments to the recipe, you can make delicious and keto-friendly tzatziki that is high in healthy fats and low in carbs.

Tzatziki has a creamy texture and a tangy, refreshing flavor with a hint of garlic and herbs. It is a nutritious and flavorful addition to meals and can be a healthy snack option when consumed in moderation. It is a versatile condiment that can be paired with a variety of foods. Here are some mouth-watering suggestions for what to eat with tzatziki:

  • Grilled meats: Tzatziki pairs well with grilled meats such as lamb, chicken, or beef. It adds a cool and refreshing element to the dish and complements the smoky flavors of the grilled meat.
  • Vegetables: Tzatziki can be served as a dip for fresh vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, or cherry tomatoes. It adds flavor and nutrition to the veggies and makes for a healthy snack or appetizer.
  • Pita bread: Tzatziki can be served with warm pita bread for a tasty and filling snack or light meal. The cool and creamy texture of the tzatziki complements the soft and chewy texture of the bread.
  • Falafel: Tzatziki is a classic condiment for falafel, a popular Middle Eastern dish made from chickpeas or fava beans. The tzatziki adds a tangy and refreshing contrast to the crispy and savory falafel.
  • Gyros: Tzatziki is a key component of a gyro, a Greek dish made from meat (often lamb or chicken) that is cooked on a vertical spit and served in pita bread with tomatoes, onions, and tzatziki sauce. It adds a cool and refreshing element to the dish and balances the savory and spicy flavors of the meat.

These are just a few ideas for what to eat with tzatziki. No wonder tzatziki is the most popular Greek dip. Moreover, you can also use tzatziki as a condiment for sandwiches, wraps, or salads, or experiment with using it in different recipes. Just use your imagination! 

There are many delicious dips that are like tzatziki in terms of taste and texture. Here are some popular Mediterranean dips you might enjoy: hummus, baba ganoush, muhammara, labheh, and taramasalata. Many of these dips use tahini as their main ingredient and you might be wondering about the difference between tzatziki and tahini. Both are made from different ingredients and have distinct flavors and textures.

On the one hand, tzatziki has a creamy texture and a tangy, refreshing flavor with a hint of garlic and herbs. Tahini, on the other hand, is a paste made from ground sesame seeds. It has a smooth, thick texture and a rich, nutty flavor. It is often used in Middle Eastern cuisine as a dip or sauce for grilled meats and vegetables. While both sauces are delicious and versatile condiments, they are quite different in terms of flavor and texture. Tzatziki is creamy, tangy, and refreshing, while tahini is rich, nutty, and slightly bitter.

This healthy tzatziki sauce recipe will spice up your dish!

Authentic Greek Tzatzki

Authentic Greek Tzatziki – Ingredients

  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • ½ kg of zero-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 fresh, big cucumber
  • 4 tablespoons of Greek olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of vinegar
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Authentic Greek Tzatziki – How to Make

  1. Start this healthy tzatziki sauce recipe by washing the cucumber under fresh water. Remove its ends and peel it.
  2. Cut it in half lengthwise. Discard seeds. Rub cucumber on a coarse grater.
  3. Take a mortar and pestle. Mash garlic cloves. Season it with salt and pepper.
  4. Take another bowl. Add olive oil and vinegar. Blend it well. Add it to crushed garlic.
  5. Take a deep bowl. Add yogurt.
  6. Slowly add garlic, olive oil, and vinegar mixture.
  7. Add cucumber. Stir well.
  8. Taste to see if more salt and pepper are needed. Add to taste.
  9. Cover bowl. Refrigerate tzatziki dip for two to three hours.
  10. Serve.

Tzatziki should be stored properly to maintain its freshness and prevent spoilage. After making tzatziki, it should be refrigerated immediately to prevent the growth of bacteria. Store it in an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator. Tzatziki is best consumed within a few days of making it. After a few days, the texture and flavor may begin to deteriorate. Before serving tzatziki, give it a good stir to incorporate any liquid that may have separated. If you are transporting tzatziki or bringing it to a party, keep it in a cooler or insulated bag to keep it cool and prevent spoilage. In my opinion, tzatziki does not freeze well and should not be stored in the freezer. Enjoy!