Make your own homemade Greek tzatziki with sour cream. It tastes wonderful to put on warm pita bread for a quick snack or dip carrots into. Add it to a Mediterranean dip tray for a make ahead delicious appetizer. It’s a low-carb, gluten-free and vegetarian snack, dip or spread.
This recipe is great for those who prefer sour cream over yogurt. It’s a delicious treat to make any time of year but, perfect for summer when you have fresh garden cucumbers. Plus, it tastes great on a dip tray with olives and homemade Baba Ganoush (roasted eggplant dip.)
The first time I had tzatziki was when I visited a Greek isle one summer long ago. It was one of my favorite Greek foods.
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You’ll need a cheese grater or box grater to make this recipe because you’ll need to finely shred or grate the cucumber.
Homemade Greek Tzatziki Recipe with Sour Cream
*The full, printable recipe is in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- 2 mini cucumbers or 1/4 English cucumber for 1/4 cup grated/finely shredded cucumber
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 tbsp fresh dill weed
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 3 small cloves of garlic or 1 large clove
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice and 1/2 tsp of lemon zest
- 1/8 tsp salt and pepper to taste
Use a fresh English cucumber for this recipe or mini cucumbers work well too. Leave the skin on but, if you prefer, you can remove it before grating. These types of cucumbers work well because they don’t contain seeds.
First, you’ll grate or finely shred the cucumber using a cheese grater.
There will be much water or a good bit of cucumber juice in the bowl that you’ll need to remove so your tzatziki sauce is creamy and not watery. If it’s watery, it’ll dilute the flavor so, this is an important step.
Spoon some of the water out when you’re done and then move on to the next step of using a paper towel to squeeze out the rest of the water.
Use a paper towel to remove the excess liquid from the grated/finely shredded cucumber.
Wrap the grated or finely shredded cucumber in a paper towel and wring out the moisture as much as possible. It should not be wet when adding it to the other ingredients.
It will look like the image below when you’re done.
It’s always best to use fresh herbs in all your recipes for the best flavor and quality.
For this particular recipe, fresh dill weed is the best to use. If you can’t find fresh dill weed, you may use dried dill weed but, it won’t have as strong of a dill flavor, especially if it’s been in your spice rack for years.
Fresh Lemon Juice
Use fresh lemon juice and zest in this recipe to add a bit of zing to it.
After you’ve drained the grated cucumber, add it a medium sized mixing bowl along with the sour cream, fresh dill, lemon juice and zest.
Use three small garlic cloves (or one large garlic clove) to grate on the cheese grater (but be very careful not to cut your fingers) or use a garlic mincer to mince the garlic, which is safer on your fingers. I use my garlic mincer often. It’s one of my most used kitchen gadgets.
Then, add the minced garlic to the sour cream mixture.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Use a good quality extra virgin olive oil to put in this recipe. The color should be dark green. The oil will make the tzatziki sauce creamy and add flavor to it as well.
Then, add the salt and pepper to taste and stir it until it’s well combined.
Next, cover it or put it in an air tight container and refrigerate it for about 45 minutes so it can absorb the flavors, especially the fresh garlic!
Pita bread is my first choice for what to dip in tzatziki sauce but, then again being Italian, I’m a big fan of bread!
Homemade Tzatziki Sauce
It’s also a great addition to an Italian antipasto platter because you can dip breadsticks or fresh Italian bread into it too. Plus, it tastes great with kalamata olives or green olives.
- You may use light sour cream if you desire.
- Use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream in the same quantity but, drain the yogurt first with a cheesecloth for 15 minutes or so.
- Although it’s best to use mini cucumbers or an English cucumber, you may use a regular cucumber, but remove the seeds before shredding.
- Use dried dill if you don’t have access to fresh dill however, fresh dill is better.
You may also like:
- Avocado Tzatziki Cucumber Appetizer
- Lebanese Baba Ganoush Eggplant Dip
- Instant Pot Ricotta Cheese
- Mediterranean Tomato and Cucumber Salad
- Mediterranean Orzo Pasta Salad
See more APPETIZERS.
Homemade Greek Tzatziki with Sour Cream
- 1 cheese grater
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3 small cloves garlic, peeled or one large clove
- 1 tbsp fresh dill
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 lemon for 1/2 tsp of juice and 1/2 tsp of zest
- 1/4 cup shredded mini cucumber or English cucumber
- 1/8 tsp salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- First, rinse the cucumber and fresh dill. Wipe cucumber dry and pat the dill to remove excess water.
- Then, using a cheese grater, grate the cucumber with the skin on. (If you prefer, you can remove the skin first.)
- Next, wrap the grated cucumber in a paper towel and squeeze out the water as much as you can get out. The shredded cucumber should be nearly dry when you're done. Set aside.
- Then, in a medium sized mixing bowl add the sour cream (1 cup), fresh dill (1 tbsp), olive oil (2 tsp), shredded and drained cucumber, lemon juice (1/2 tsp) and lemon zest (1/2 tsp,) salt (1/8 tsp or to taste) and pepper to taste.
- Then, grate the garlic cloves using the cheese grater or use a garlic mincer and place in the sour cream mixture. Stir until well combined. Refrigerate, covered for about an hour for the flavors to meld.