This healthy homemade tzatziki is so fresh and delicious that you almost feel like you’ve been transported to Greece when you eat it… Almost… Creamy low-fat yoghurt and freshly grated cucumber combine with the flavours of mint, dill and garlic to make this dip completely delicious yet practically sin-free. Great for a healthy snack!
Where did it originate?
To me, tzatziki is synonymous with Greek food. However, it lays claim to many countries in what was the Ottoman Empire. Notice any resemblance to raita? Well, you’re on the mark if you do. Apparently it’s roots are actually imported from travellers to India returning to their homeland and bringing back this amazing recipe for a ‘mild and refreshing’ yogurt dip, which in turn evolved into the tzatziki we know and love today.
Can it be frozen?
Freezing yogurt can be hit and miss. In particular, low-fat varieties do not take well to a stint in the freezer. The higher water content will lead to separation as it freezes and thaws and therefore the texture suffers considerably.
Cucumber also declines when frozen. Again, the high water content makes it turn mushier when thawed. All in all, this is not a good contender for the freezer.
Can tzatziki be made with sour cream?
You can use sour cream instead of yogurt for this dip. Or you can use a mixture of yogurt and sour cream mixed together. Do note, however, since sour cream is far higher in fat (even low-fat varieties) then the dip won’t be as healthy. Also, as the name suggests, it will be sourer and less refreshing than if you make it with yogurt.
Can it be made in advance?
Tzatziki actually gets a little more flavoursome when left for a day or so. It’s a great dish to make in advance and you can store it in the fridge until you are ready to eat it.
You can make it up to 3 days in advance. However, make sure that you don’t exceed the use by date of the yogurt. Also make sure you use cucumbers that aren’t over-ripe to stop it going off sooner. If the dip separates a little when stored in the fridge you can stir it up to restore the texture.
You only need 6 ingredients for this recipe:
- Low-fat Greek yogurt
- Cucumber – make sure you get ripe, but not over-ripe (soft) pieces
- Fresh mint leaves – try and get deep green leaves with no imperfections, or brown bits which show that the herb might be going off. Finely chopped
- Fresh dill – you just need a small sprig, or you can leave it out if you don’t have any. Finely chopped
- Lemon juice – for adding that zest and flavour to the dip
- Garlic clove, minced
How to make it
First you want to prepare the cucumber. Grate the cucumber with a cheese grater and then place into a sieve. Shake over some salt (don’t worry about using too much – a lot will run off with the juices). After 10 minutes ‘wring’ out the cucumber by squeezing it really hard in your hands. You want it to be as dry as possible.
Next simply add to a large bowl with the rest of the ingredients and stir everything together until evenly combined. Season to taste.
Serve in a bowl. A drizzle of olive oil adds some extra smoothness and visual appeal (although note the extra calories). A pinch of some extra chopped mint and / or dill also makes it look super special.
- You can use full-fat Greek yogurt – and it does actually give a more superior creaminess and texture. However the trade-off is extra calories and fat – so it’s really down to your priorities.
- Natural yogurt also works – but this will be less creamy and thick than Greek yogurt.
- While the dill adds a great deal of flavour you can omit it if you want to or if you don’t have any in.
- Fresh or pre-prepared lemon juice will both work fine.
If you are looking for more great Greek recipes then try these Greek stuffed tomatoes or these Greek stuffed chicken breasts.
Products that work great for this recipe:
Bamboo Lotus Serving Board
Steel Herb Chopper
Refreshing, zesty and tasty, this healthy homemade tzatziki uses fat-free yogurt and natural ingredients for a sin-free snack or sauce.
The default recipe makes one portion (around 1/4 cup)
- 70g or 1/4 cup fat-free greek yoghurt
- 1/4 cucumber, halved and seeds removed (around 75 g)
- 5 large leaves fresh mint, finely chopped
- few sprigs fresh dill, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1/4 lemon, juice only
- First grate the cucumber and place into a colander. Salt generously and leave over the sink for 10 minutes.
- Use your hands to squeeze as much of the moisture from the cucumber out as possible and then place in a bowl.
- Mix the rest of the ingredients into the cucumber until well combined. Season to taste
- Serve with crudites if you are trying to be really healthy, or some warmed flatbread as an extra treat. This is also great spooned over meats or in a greek pita or gyro.
You can use natural yoghurt if that’s what you have in. Greek yoghurt will give you a thicker and creamier consistency and is a better option, but it’s still tasty when made with natural yoghurt.
This sauce is quite garlicky as it uses a whole clove per portion. It is also more potent as it’s not cooked. If you aren’t as big a fan of garlic as I am then don’t use the whole clove.
Recreate the look: I drizzled a little olive oil over the top and kept aside a pinch of the chopped mint and a small sprig of dill to garnish.
- Category: Snack
- Method: No Cook
- Cuisine: Greek
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 60
- Fat: 0.5g
- Carbohydrates: 8g
- Protein: 6.5g
Keywords: greek, yogurt, snack, healthy, low fat, dip, spread, sauce