I’m all for super flavorful dips and sauces, but sometimes you just want something mellow that can compliment the other food that you’re serving. A sauce should be a accent, after all – not the main attraction.
And whether you’re serving grilled chicken or sliced pita bread, a large bowl of tzatziki sauce is sure to do the trick.
What is tzatziki sauce?
This is a mild greek sauce that’s traditionally served cold and used as a dip for chilled veggies, grilled meats, or pita bread. The main ingredients tend to be yogurt, finely chopped cucumbers, garlic, salt, pepper, fresh dill, olive oil, and lemon juice.
How do you make tzatziki sauce?
Whipping up a large batch of this sauce is easy, as you only need to chop up the ingredients and the mix them together in a bowl.
However, there are two tips I have to make sure that your sauce stores well and keeps the right consistency:
1 – Before adding the cucumbers, gently squeeze them in your hands to release any excess water. This will keep the sauce from getting watery in the fridge or when left standing.
2 – If you’re adding olive oil, only add it to the dip just before serving. I’ve found the olive oil works best as a granish and it loses it’s appeal after it’s sat in the sauce for more than a few hours.
Is tzatziki sauce healthy?
For the most part, yes, this sauce is healthy – but like with any recipe, this will largely depend on the brand of ingredients that you use.
The key ingredients to keep track of here are likely the greek yogurt and the olive oil. For the greek yogurt, be sure to pick a brand (or a suitable alternative) that you trust and has the nutrition values you’re looking for. And if you really have your heart set on a healthy sauce, you can always omit the olive oil altogether.
What to make with tzatziki sauce?
Typically, this sauce is served as a dip. The mild flavor means it can go with a wide variety of foods, but some of the most popular options are:
- Fresh, chilled vegetables (carrots, broccoli, celery, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, etc)
- Grilled vegetables (peppers, zucchini, etc)
- Grilled chicken or other mild meats, especially when served on skewers (usually called souvlaki when served with tzatziki, to keep with the greek theme).
- Sliced pita bread.
Can you freeze Tzatziki Sauce?
Overall, I usually don’t recommend freezing dairy products. The ingredients sometimes separate while freezing and seem ruined when thawed. This is especially true when using dairy products as a dip or garnish.
So, because of this, I do not recommend freezing this dip. If making this dip in advance, it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
How long can you leave out a chilled dip?
Just like any appetizer, you should keep track of how long your dip has been sitting out at room temperature.
For most foods, the general guideline is that a perishable item should not be in the “danger zone” for more than two hours. And by “danger zone”, this means usually at or just above room temperature. Also, this dip will likely be served chilled, so this should give you more time (about one hour) before the dip reaches room temperature.
This means that the dip can be left out for “about” three hours, depending on the start temperature and the temperature of the room. However, be sure to still check the dip every now and then – yogurt can be tricky, so keep an eye on it.
More savory dips
With a mild yet flavorful taste, tzatziki sauce is the perfect compliment to grilled chicken skewers, sliced pita bread, grilled veggies, or your favorite Greek classics. Can be served as a party dip or a classy dinner garnish.
- Before mixing ingredients, use your hands to gently squeeze any excess moisture out of the chopped cucumber, then transfer them to a medium bowl
- Add greek yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, and fresh dill to bowl, then thoroughly mix. Taste test dip; season with salt and pepper, to taste, then mix again.
Before serving, drizzle a small amount of olive oil and extra dill (both optional) on top of the dip.
Serve dip immediately with veggies, grilled chicken, or pita bread.