Tzatziki sauce with sour cream is easy, delicious & refreshing, and pairs well with grilled meat, cheese, or vegetables. Try it with homemade chicken kabobs and gyro pitta bread. The recipe takes just 5 minutes and is perfect for dipping or as a separate course between meals (meze, appetizer).
Why To Love This Tzatziki Sauce with Sour Cream
This is a super simple recipe for one of the most popular Greek dishes: tzatziki. The original tzatziki recipe contains Greek yogurt, which has been substituted by sour cream so that you can make it even if you don’t have all of the traditional ingredients on hand. But there is more to it:
- No Greek yogurt? No problem! Soured cream has got similar texture to Greek yogurt (it is thick and creamy), and both have tangy flavour, so you almost won’t know the difference.
- No fresh dill? No worries!This recipe uses dried dill which is perfect for use in sauces and dips like this. This also means you can enjoy it all year round – most of the ingredients are available in shops all year.
- This Greek dipping sauce can be easily scaled up or down – hosting a party or having a dinner for one? Simply adjust the amount of ingredients in the recipe card!
- Make it in advance – in fact, the longer it sits in the fridge, the better it tastes!
Key Ingredients for Tzatziki Sauce with Sour Cream
The recipe contains only 6 basic ingredients, some of them are true pantry and fridge heroes:
- Sour cream makes the body of this dipping sauce and tastes great when paired with herbs such as dill or chives.
- A small amount of extra virgin olive oil is added to make the sauce thinner. Add as much or as little as you need - sour creams’ consistencies may vary. This oil also provides a delicate olive flavour and boosts this Greek dipping sauce with nutrients and antioxidants.
- Cucumber gives this creamy Greek dip a texture and crunch. Cucumbers are rich in vitamins (vit A, B, C, D, K), minerals and antioxidants. To make the most of this vegetable, keep the ski on. Cucumbers are very watery, and therefore most tzatziki recipes, including this one, recommend removing the excess water before mixing it with other ingredients.
- Dill adds a hint of fresh herbal aroma. Usedried, fresh or frozen dill.
- Raw garlic provides this delicious dipping sauce with its typical pungent taste and odour, and also its antibacterial and antiviral properties.
- A pinch of salt and black pepper is added at the very end.
- Optional: lemon juice – to neutralise the taste and smell of garlic.
Substitutes & Variations
In case you need to swap some of the ingredients, here are my suggestions:
- Greek or natural yogurt will make delicious tzatziki (the original recipe contains yogurt). You can also use crème fraiche – it tastes very similar to soured cream.
- Add sunflower or vegetable oil instead of olive oil.
- Use fresh or dried parsley instead of dill.
- For convenience, garlic flakes or granules (dried garlic), or garlic paste can replace fresh garlic.
- Swap lemon juice for white wine vinegar.
- Use plant-based sour cream for vegan-friendly tzatziki.
For measurements and method in detail, please find the recipe card at the bottom of this article.
You will find this recipe easy because it only take 3 steps to make:
- Mix the sour cream with olive oil, crushed garlic, and dried dill. Allow to set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Grate the cucumber and remove all excess juices.
- Combine all ingredients, season with salt and black pepper and serve.
For detailed instructions and measurements, please see the recipe card at the end of this post.
Here are handful of tips on how to make this delicious Greek tzatziki with sour cream even better:
- Allow some time for the cucumber to release most of the excess water. This will help prevent the sauce from splitting.
- If you can’t wait, remove the middle part (with seeds) of the cucumber with a teaspoon, and grate only the hard part.
- If you prefer to have your tzatziki without the garlic smell and taste, you can add some lemon juice or white vine vinegar to neutralise the garlic.
- If adding salt, only add it just before serving, as this will accelerate the release of water and could result in a watery sauce.
You can store fresh homemade tzatziki in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Serve it cold and stir it thoroughly before serving, ensuring all of the ingredients are combined, and the sauce is thick.
I wouldn’t recommend freezing tzatziki, however, if you have some left over, you can freeze it in a freezer safe container for up to 2 months. Allow to thaw slowly in the fridge (6-12 hours) and serve it chilled. Do not re-freeze again.
What to Eat with Tzatziki Sauce?
Greeks eat tzatziki as an appetizer and as a part of cold meze.
Tzatziki sauce is used as a dip for gyros (grilled meat wrapped in flatbread), pitta bread, French fries (chips), fresh vegetables (tomatoes, cucumber, celery, carrot, peppers).
More Recipes Like This
- Lentil salad with beetroot and feta
- Sundried tomato tapenade
- Shopska salad
- Pasta salad with sundried tomatoes
- Czech potato salad
Yes, you can freeze tzatziki sauce for up to 2 months. Ensure it is stored in an airtight food container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost it overnight in the fridge.
You can freeze grated cucumber. Remove all excess water and freeze the grated cucumber in a freezer bag or food container for up to 3 months. It can be later used for tzatziki sauce, cucumber salad, smoothies, and soups – just allow it to defrost gradually in the fridge (overnight).
Tzatziki sauce is made of ingredients that mostly contain water - this is the reason why the sauce appears to have split (water separates and remains on top), especially after it sits for a while. To prevent it from happening, you can remove any excess water from the cucumber used, or from the Greek yogurt. Add salt just before serving to help stop the cucumber from releasing even more juices. Avoid using low-fat dairy products in tzatziki, as they quickly become very watery.
You can thicken tzatziki by adding more dry ingredients such (strained cucumber, dried dill, black pepper), and/or by adding a spoonful of full fat (thick) Greek yogurt, or crème fraiche.
Tzatziki should taste refreshing, herby, zesty and indeed slightly sour, as it is made of sour ingredients like Greek yogurt and lemon juice. If you want, you can add ½-1 teaspoon of sugar to balance it out. If it tastes bitter, then the cucumbers and/or lemon may be past their best.
📖 The Recipe
Tzatziki with Sour Cream
- 150 ml sour cream
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cucumber
- 1 ½ teaspoon dried dill, or fresh dill
- 1 clove crushed garlic
- 1 pinch of salt and black pepper, to taste
- Mix sour cream with olive oil, dill, crushed garlic and stir until smooth.
- Wash and grate the cucumber, place on a sieve and remove all excess water.
- Add the cucumber to the creamy base of the tzatziki, season with salt and pepper and enjoy!
- Greek yogurt, natural yogurt or crème fraiche,
- Sunflower or vegetable oil,
- Fresh or dried parsley,
- ½ teaspoon dried garlic flakes, ¼ teaspoon garlic granules or ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder,
- White wine vinegar,
- Plant-based sour cream.