This is a fairly quick and simple post that’s really just here to complement a few other dishes. More specifically this savory yogurt sauce goes extremely well with grilled lamb, chicken, grape leaves, and salads.
There are a lot of different ways to make this cucumber yogurt or Greek tzatziki-like sauce/dressing/dip. The few truths I’ve learned over the years when it comes to making this delicious food topping is that the keys are avoiding going too chunky with the cucumber and getting too heavy handed with the garlic. Chunky cucumber means the sauce doesn’t act like a topping, but instead acts like a salad. Too much garlic will overpower the subtle sauce and not only burn a bit, but leave a lasting garlic taste in your mouth long after you’re done eating it. Coincidentally, you can make this sauce using only yogurt, salt, and garlic, but the cucumber and herbs go a long way to making it that much more light and refreshing.
Enjoy this very simple recipe along with other wonderful Middle Eastern, Greek, and Mediterranean dishes.
Makes about 2 to 2.25 cups at 316 calories total or about 10 calories per tablespoon.
Tzatziki Cucumber Yogurt Sauce Recipe
Tzatziki sauce with yogurt, cucumber, mint, and garlic.
- 2 cups whole fat plain yogurt (about 300 calories) Note: You can also use Greek yogurt for authenticity or nonfat yogurt (about 200 cal.), but you won’t get as much rich flavor from nonfat yogurt. If you only have nonfat plain yogurt, you can also add a tablespoon of whole fat sour cream to enrich the sauce/dip.
- 3/4 cup finely diced cucumber without skin (about 10 cal)
- 1 or 2 cloves of crushed garlic (about 6 cal)
- 1/2 or 3/4 teaspoon of dried, crushed, mint or basil leaves Note: Mint is best, but basil will work in a pinch.
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt (add more to taste if needed)
- Bowl / container
- Cutting board
- Garlic press or food processor
- Cup and teaspoon measurements
- Measure out 2 cups of plain yogurt and dump it into a bowl or container.
- Cut an average size cucumber in half, peel, and finely dice it up. If you want to remove the seeds, then cut the half cucumber in half again lengthwise and run the edge of a spoon down along the seeds to scoop them out.
- Add the cucumber into the yogurt and mix thoroughly.
- Add the crushed garlic clove, mint (or basil), and salt to the yogurt and mix thoroughly. If you like it garlicky, use 2 cloves. If you prefer it a little milder, then just use one clove.
- Let the ingredients sit covered in the fridge for about 30 minutes to an hour so that all of the flavors incorporate.
- Serve the yogurt as a side, as a salad dressing, or as a sauce for: