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Homemade Tzatziki for Gyros, Falafel, Pitas and More

By Ole & Shaina Olmanson |

I really like gyros. They are a guilty pleasure, and up until recently, we had never attempted making them. We had, however, attempted and succeeded at some tasty Greek burgers. Either way, a good Gyro, like a good Greek burger, isn’t complete with the finishing touches like a good, thick tzatziki yogurt sauce.

The key to a good tzatziki is to finely chop all the ingredients: the cucumber, the onion, the garlic, the mint. You want it to be as small as possible so that there’s a visible chunkiness to the sauce, but you don’t want to be chewing on any of those ingredients separately. It should be a homogeneous melding of all the flavors into one sauce.

Homemade Tzatziki

2 cups Greek yogurt
1 cucumber
pinch kosher salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
4 mint leaves, minced

Peel the cucumber and cut lengthwise into four spears. Remove the seeds. Mince the cucumber into small 2 cm or less pieces. Place the chopped cucumber in a cloth or paper towel and squeeze to remove excess liquid. Combine the drained yogurt, cucumber, salt, garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar and mint. Serve with lamb or chicken gyros, as a dipping sauce for falafel balls, with pitas and fresh vegetable spears or whatever else your heart desires.

Makes 2 cups.

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About Ole & Shaina Olmanson


Ole & Shaina Olmanson

Shaina Olmanson is the food writer and home cook behind Food for My Family. Shaina can usually be found in one of three places: cooking, at the computer or behind the camera. These three things occur in the kitchen simultaneously with her four children hanging from her apron strings as she teaches them to cook and the importance of eating locally, seasonally, organically and together. She is a former Babble Food blogger.

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2 thoughts on “Homemade Tzatziki for Gyros, Falafel, Pitas and More

  1. JulieVR says:

    Yum! I’m such a fan of tzatziki, and it’s so easy to make! I grate my cucumber on the coarse side of the box grater, which makes it small and easily uniform. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Anne says:

    I also use a course grater for the cucumber and a finer grater for the garlic. Cuz let’s face it, a 2cm chop is daunting.

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