How To Make Tzatziki Sauce

Don’t be the only one who eats this. If you’re on a date, or cooking for a significant other, make sure you both have some. Otherwise there’ll be no kissing going on. Your breath will reek.

Oh, it’s totally worth it, but no one will want to be around you for the rest of the day.


16 ounces plain yogurt
1 medium cucumber
4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
5 to 6 mint leaves
pinch kosher salt


It would be really easy to make this sauce too runny. So the first step is to drain the yogurt a bit. The traditional method is to put the yogurt in a piece of cheesecloth, pull the corners up, and suspend it over a bowl in the fridge.

I didn’t have any cheesecloth handy, and I have no idea what I’d use to suspend it anyway. So I put a colander in my pasta pot and lined it with two paper towels.

Pour the yogurt into the colander. You can see that there’s already liquid starting to separate before I opened the container.

Peel and mince the garlic. You can see right here where the stank-breath will be coming from.

If you’re measuring your pinches of salt, you’re more uptight than I am.

Pull the mint leaves off the stem.

Stack all the leaves up and roll them up tight.

Chop lengthwise down the roll of leaves, then crosswise to get a fine dice. Then keep going through the leaves until you’ve got a really fine mince.

Add the oil and vinegar and give it a stir. The garlic and mint will start infusing into the vinegar while you work on the cuke.

Peel the cucumber and dice it really small. Some people take the seeds out, I didn’t bother. To dice it, slice the cuke into thirds vertical and horizontal.

Don’t cut the pieces completely apart. If you leave them connected at one end it’s easier to hold everything together.

Put the diced cuke on a tea towel or a couple of paper towels. Press firmly to get most of the moisture out.

Once the cuke is drained, add it to the other ingredients and give it a mix.

Once the yogurt has been draining for an hour or two, add it to the cucumber mixture.

You can see how much moisture drained out of the yogurt.

And that doesn’t even include the paper towels that were completely soaked. If all that moisture were in the sauce it would be very watery.

Stir the yogurt in without crushing the cukes.

And that’s it.

Let’s see … yesterday was pita bread … today is tzatziki sauce … gosh, I wonder what I’m going to post tomorrow?

Okay, it’s up now. And — surprise! — it’s gyros.