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Tzatziki Sauce in a bowl with a glimpse of lemon squeezer and napkin in the background
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5 from 10 votes

Vegan Tzatziki Sauce (oil-free)

Course: condiment, dip, dressing, sauce
Cuisine: Greek


  • fine mesh strainer (or cheesecloth)


  • 1 large cucumber
  • 16 ounces plant-based unsweetened plain or Greek yogurt, such as Forager brand
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill, or 2 teaspoons dried dill weed
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, or 1 to 2 garlic cloves finely minced
  • Pinches freshly ground black pepper


To prepare the cucumber

  • Peel the cucumber, then cut it in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds using a grapefruit spoon or other spoon.
    Using the large holes of a box grater, shred the cucumber onto a cutting board. Rough chop the shreds so there are no long strands.
    Put the shredded cucumber into a fine mesh strainer and it set over a bowl. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and stir occasionally with a soft spatular or wooden spoon to encourage the cucumber juice to drain. Let it drain in this way for at least 15 minutes.

To prepare tzatziki sauce

  • In a medium-small bowl, stir together the yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice, dill, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. When the cucumber is finished draining, fold it into the sauce.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, preferably overnight, so the flavors have a chance to blossom and marry.


  • After draining the liquid from the cucumber you're left with cucumber juice. It's delicious and refreshing, so drink it instead of discarding :)
  • No fine mesh strainer? As an alternative, put the cucumber shreds into cheesecloth and gently squeeze the liquid out.
  • Tzatziki sauce is traditionally made with dill; however, you can substitute with an equal amount of finely chopped fresh parsley or a lesser amount of fresh mint.
  • Garnish with chopped scallions if desired.
  • For those not restricting oil, drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil on the surface of the tzatziki when serving.