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Tzatziki Cucumber Sauce | Vegan

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This healthier, lower-fat version of tzatziki sauce is super simple to make and delicious on everything from salads and grilled veggies to its traditional use as a dip for falafels and other Greek foods.

Tzatziki sauce in brown bowl with pita triangles

Tzatziki is a cucumber sauce usually made with yogurt and oil, but I’ve found a very quick and easy way to make it much lower in fat and vegan with silken tofu, garlic, lemon juice, fresh (or dry) herbs, and a few other seasonings.

bowl with tzatziki sauce and grated cucumbers

Tzatziki (Tsaht-ZEE-kee) Sauce

I’ve never been to Greece yet, but I have eaten in Greek restaurants and enjoyed tzatziki sauce on pita sandwiches and gyros. A few years ago, I even came up with a couple of versions of Vegan Gyros made with either mushrooms or seitan.

The most difficult thing about tzatziki, in my opinion, is how to pronounce the mouthful of letters. It’s actually pronounced tsaht-zee-kee, and you can hear it pronounced correctly here.

bright blue bowl with tzatziki sauce and pita bread

Uses for this cucumber dip

Some people only ever eat tzatziki with gyros and other meaty dishes, but it’s absolutely delicious with many other foods like these.

Sandwiches & spreads

Dip for vegetables

  • Grilled veggies and kabobs
  • Fresh cut raw vegetables
  • Crusty bread and pita triangles
  • Crackers
  • Salad dressing

Falafels & Greek foods

Close-up on chickpea woman holding falafel chickpea patties in pita

How to make tzatziki sauce from scratch

This is such a simple recipe to make, I’m sure you’ll find lots of new uses for it. Personally, I use a lot of homemade vegan mayo in dishes, and tzatziki could easily replace the mayonnaise in many of them.

Begin by preparing the cucumber by washing and drying it well. I like to leave the peeling on mine.

cucumbers being deseeded with spoon on cutting board

Slice the cucumber in half and use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. Some people leave the seeds, but I really prefer to make this recipe without them.

I am often asked what knives I use and recommend for cooking, and my favorite brand is Victorinox Swiss Army Cutlery. Yes, that’s the same company that makes the Swiss Army Knife. These knives come with a lifetime guarantee and are very reasonably priced. I absolutely love mine.

cucumber being grated into white bowl

Next, use a grater to grate the cucumbers being careful not to slice your fingers. There are plenty of different graters, but I prefer a larger grate cut for this cucumber dip.

Draining water from cucumbers

Cucumbers are full of water, so the next step of draining the water from the cucumber is arguably the most important. There are a number of methods for doing this.

  • Squeeze with hands over the sink
  • Place on a paper towel and allow to sit for 30+ minutes
  • Pour the cucumber into a fine sieve and allow to drain over a bowl
grated cucumers in sieve draining over white bowl

Personally, to speed things up, I like to place the cucumber in a sieve and use my fingers to press out the water over a bowl or the sink.

Next, place all of the other ingredients plus half of the grated cucumber into a blender or food processer and blend until nice and smooth.

vitamix with tofu, cucumber, lemon juice, and spices

Pour the tzatziki sauce into a bowl and stir in the other half of the prepared cucumber. This provides the dip with a little more texture and makes it fuller.

Serve immediately or place in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Chilling will help firm it up and gives time for the flavors to marry up. Keeps for about 4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

overhead of bowl full of tzatziki sauce

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More vegan sauces

Tzatziki sauce in brown bowl with pita triangles

Tzatziki Cucumber Sauce

Yield: 2 cups
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This healthier, lower-fat version of tzatziki sauce is super simple to make and delicious on everything from salads and grilled veggies to its traditional use as a dip for falafels and other Greek foods.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup grated cucumber
  • 12 oz package firm silken tofu
  • 1 med clove garlic
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh mint (or dry)
  • 1 tsp dry onion flakes
  • 1/4 tsp salt, to taste
  • pinch of pepper, to taste

Instructions

    1. Begin by preparing the cucumber by washing and drying it well. I like to leave the peeling on mine.
    2. Slice the cucumber in half and use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. Some people leave the seeds, but I really prefer to make this recipe without them.
    3. Next, use a grater to grate the cucumbers being careful not to slice your fingers. There are plenty of different graters, but I prefer a larger grate cut for this cucumber dip.
    4. Cucumbers are full of water, so the next step of draining the water from the cucumber is arguably the most important. There are a number of methods for doing this. I've included 3 methods above in the article. Personally, to speed things up, I like to place the cucumber in a sieve and use my fingers to press out the water over a bowl or the sink.
    5. Next, place all of the other ingredients plus half of the grated cucumber into a blender or food processer and blend until nice and smooth.
    6. Pour the tzatziki sauce into a bowl and stir in the other half of the prepared cucumber. This provides the dip with a little more texture and makes it fuller.
    7. Serve immediately or place in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Chilling will help firm it up and gives time for the flavors to marry up. Keeps for about 4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
    8. Delicious used as a dip for raw or grilled veggies, as a salad dressing, spread on sandwiches and wraps, and with falafels.

Notes

Detailed instructions, in-process photos, and my personal helpful tips can be found in the article above.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 2 Tbsp
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 15Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 39mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 2g

To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

Did you make this recipe?

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Mary

Wednesday 14th of April 2021

Can you use a raw onion or onion powder? Can’t find any onion flakes here! Thanks

Terri Edwards

Wednesday 14th of April 2021

Hi Mary- Sure, I think onion powder would be a great substitute for the flakes. Enjoy!

M T

Tuesday 13th of April 2021

I use a potato ricer to squeeze the shredded cucumber. I put a little salt and squeeze it twice.

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