One of the Best Greek Dishes Ever – Tzatziki – Perfect for Summer

Tzatziki in bowl

After a summer that felt more like early October, we in the Midwest are now experiencing a heat wave. I can’t think of a better recipe to beat the summer heat than my favorite Greek yogurt-cucumber dip (or sauce, depending on how you use it) – tzatziki! Difficult to spell and difficult to say — but simply delicious to eat.

Growing up with a family of northern European descendants, this was not a dish I encountered. It wasn’t until my now- husband brought me to Greektown in Chicago that I experienced this simple but delectable dish. I remember thinking “Ttzatziki — where have you been all my life?” Not to mention the guy, but that’s another story.

Composed of Greek yogurt, shredded cucumbers, garlic, dill and if you have it, a touch of mint, this sauce or dip is excellent with chicken, fish, lamb kabobs, pita bread, even veggies. I even mention this dish in my cozy mystery — I couldn’t resist.

tzatziki ingredients

Here is a version of my sister-in-law’s recipe for Tzatziki, aka Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce. Try it, you’ll like it!


I medium cucumber (or half of one of those giant-sized “English” seedless cucumbers)

2 cups plain Greek yogurt (I use Fage)

4 cloves garlic, minced (more or less garlic, to taste. The more garlic you use, the more tangy this is.)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp white vinegar

1 – 2 tsp. salt

1 tbsp fresh dill

1 tsp chopped fresh mint (optional)

Peel cucumber and grate it. (If it has seeds, quarter it lengthwise and remove seeds, then grate). Place grated cucumber in a strainer over a bowl and press down with a spoon to remove excess water from cucumber. Let drain for a few minutes.

Combine cucumber with remaining ingredients. You can serve immediately but I prefer to cover and chill for about an hour — it improves the flavor.

4 servings.

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