Deliciously Greek – Tzatziki: Smelly Greek Classic

Grab a delicious little piece of Greece today. However, be weary of who you will be kissing, because you will smell like a stinky rose.
Text And Photos By Pam Kanavos

One of Greece’s most famous dips is Tzatsiki. It is a simple dip that uses only few ingredients: creamy yogurt, crispy cucumbers, and a profound amount of garlic.

Cool and creamy, this tangy garlic dip is the perfect escort to grilled meats and vegetables. It’s commonly used as a condiment in souvlaki (a.k.a., shis-kabob) or gyro as well as a starter served with warm, toasted, pita bread triangles for dipping.

Preparation for Tzatsiki is easy, but as with all great dishes, it too has a dirty little secret. The secret for success lies in the type of yogurt used. Try to use a yogurt often labeled as “Greek Style.” You could use a regular yogurt but the consistency wouldn’t be right. “Greek Style” is a thick, creamy, tangy yogurt that will keep your dip from running; whereas a regular yogurt will not be as thick, and would require additional time for straining.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab the recipe and bring a little bit of Greece into your day! However, be weary of who you will be kissing, because you will be smelling like a stinky rose.

Prep Time
Total Time
A deliciously smelly greek classic
Recipe Type: Appetizer, Side Dish
Serves: 1½ cups
  • 16 ounces Greek Fage yogurt
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and shreded
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  1. Place the shreded cucumber in a tea towel and squeeze to remove the liquid; discard liquid.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the drained yogurt, cucumber, salt, garlic, olive oil, and vinegar.
  3. Serve as a sauce for souvlaki.
  4. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.


  1. I love this “sauce”! I tried it in several versions, but this original, with Greek style yogurt is definitely the best for me. Here in Croatia we have a habit of making a version ov tzatziki which uses sour cream instead of yogurt and onions instead of garlic.
    Great recipe!

  2. I made this yesterday to accompany our lunch and tzatziki was great! Didn’t have the time to take a picture, but promise I will next time. I will make it often, thanks for the perfect recipe!

  3. I prepare mine the same way. Lived in Thessa, Santorini and Crete in the early 1990s, and had learnt to prepare numerous Greek dishes. Though I am Italian & French, I love Meze.

    Happy Holidays,
    Margaux Cintrano.

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