Appetisers · Dips and Sides · Greek Cuisine · Vegan

Vegan Tzatziki

Authentic Greek tzatziki made dairy-free with vegan ingredients. Serve this light, fresh and creamy dip with pita bread/chips and your favourite mezze foods.

My traditional Greek tzatziki is a blog recipe I shared nearly 6 years ago in April 2016. Tzatziki reminds me of my travels to the Greek islands and Cyprus many years ago and one taste of this amazing dip just transports me back to those beautiful sunny destinations.

A taste of pure sunshine is exactly what we need on a wintery February day. I’m sure you agree?

I grew up in an English household, but as a child I travelled to some great places around Europe. Through travelling, I’ve been eating different cuisines and gaining new experiences from a young age. Throughout my childhood and even to this day, we eat traditional British food (delicious roast dinners, stews and pies), but also a mix of Italian, Spanish and Greek/Cypriot food.

Tzatziki originates in Greece. It’s very similar to the Turkish dip, cacik and raita, an Indian creamy cucumber dip.

I used my original tzatziki recipe and veganised it by swapping the Greek yoghurt for an oat-based alternative – I highly recommend Oatly Greek Style Oatgurt for the creamiest dairy-free Greek-style yoghurt.

Start by slicing the cucumber in half, then in half again, then scrap the seeds from the centre of each piece. Grate or finely chop the cucumber and then squeeze as much water from the cucumber as you can.

We don’t want the cucumber to add any extra water to our dip, this is not a runny sauce, it’s meant to be thick and super creamy – how it’s served in Greece! As it sits in the fridge it will thicken slightly and the flavour will intensify. I leave mine overnight, but 2-4 hours in the fridge is absolutely fine before serving.

I use freshly chopped dill in my tzatziki. You can use mint instead.

It’s great to use pita bread to scoop up the tzatziki. This time I bought my pita bread. I know I’ve said it before, that homemade pita bread is far superior, so I’d recommend making your own with my Greek Pita Bread recipe if you’re going to attempt this tzatziki.

This tzatziki is a tasty dip served just with pieces of pita bread, but it’s also incredible with either lemon herb rice or roasted vegetable couscous (both recipes I’ve featured below for you) and falafel or, if you’re vegetarian, some grilled/fried halloumi.

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Vegan Tzatziki

Authentic Greek tzatziki but made with vegan ingredients. Serve this light, fresh and creamy dip with fluffy pita bread/chips and your favourite mezze foods.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 8
Author What Jessica Baked Next

Ingredients

  • 1 large cucumber
  • 400 g dairy-free yoghurt I use oat-based Greek-style yoghurt
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dill or mint finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil I use extra virgin for best flavour
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Slice the cucumber lengthways and using a small spoon scoop out the watery centre and discard the seeds. Coarsely grate the cucumber or dice it. Place the cucumber in a sieve over a bowl and squeeze as much of the water out as you can. I always leave the peel on because it contains lots of flavour and texture, but this is just my personal preference.
  • In a medium mixing bowl combine the cucumber, yoghurt, garlic, dill, lemon juice, olive oil and seasoning. The dip can be served straight away but it is best left to chill in the fridge for at least 2-4 hours in order for the flavours to develop and marry together.
  • When ready to serve, place the tzatziki in a serving bowl or dish and drizzle with extra olive oil. It will keep fresh covered or stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Give the tzatziki a good mix prior to serving.

Recipes that go well with this Vegan Tzatziki!

Greek Pita Bread

Lemon Herb Rice

Roasted Vegetable Couscous

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Bread · Greek Cuisine · Vegan

Greek Pita Bread

Soft and fluffy homemade Greek pockless pita bread. Great served with mezze foods or brushed with garlic and parsley butter.  

Many of the recipes I bake for my blog are influenced by my travels. This Tomato Parmesan Focaccia is inspired by focaccia I ate on holiday in Tuscany and Puglia. This Lemon Herb Rice and Halloumi and Roasted Vegetable Couscous with Tzatziki is similar to a couple of dishes I first tried in Cyprus and the Greek Islands I’ve travelled to.

I’m very passionate about Italian cuisine, but I am equally obsessed with Cypriot and Greek food. The same as a lot of people, we all haven’t been able to get away abroad on holiday for quite some time now due to the ongoing situation. Though, that doesn’t mean we can’t experience the same food and bring our summer holiday home.

On the topic of bread and world cuisines: different countries all have their own bread recipes. France has the classic baguette greatly enjoyed with butter and French cheese, India has chapatis and naan bread used to scoop up flavourful curries, Italy has focaccia and pizza and Mexico has the tortilla. For Greece and Cyprus (and other destinations around the Mediterranean and Middle East), they have the pita.

This homemade flatbread is ultra soft and fluffy, it’s more bread-like and substantial than pita bread you can buy readymade. It’s so incredibly tasty torn into pieces and dunked into a bowl of hummus or tzatziki.

The pita bread is prepared the same way as the majority of breads are. Start by mixing warm milk (use dairy or plant milk depending on your dietary requirements) and warm water with yeast and sugar, then leave it for 5 minutes until it’s frothy. After that you’ll add the bread flour and salt to a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast mixture and mix until a dough forms. Knead the dough for 5-7 minutes, then pop the dough into a well oiled bowl and leave it until doubled in size.

The reason I prefer making my own pita is because the pita bread you get from the supermarket is rather dry and cardboard like quite frankly, nowhere near as fluffy and moreish as homemade.

The pita I’m sharing today is made is plain, I’ve made this recipe and added 1-2 tablespoons of nigella seeds to make naan bread to serve with this Chickpea Tikka Masala. The recipe is so versatile, you can also add herbs (dried or fresh) and other seasonings to the dough to flavour it. Pictured below is a batch of naan bread I made using this recipe.

Follow the recipe but swap the oil in the dough for melted vegan butter, then once cooked brush each naan bread with melted garlic and parsley butter. So delicious!

So here’s the most important part, below is this super easy recipe for making the best and FLUFFIEST Greek Pita Bread, by Akis Petretzikis.

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Greek Pita Bread

Fluffy homemade Greek pita bread recipe, worlds apart from the readymade pita you can buy. Delicious used to scoop up hummus, tzatziki and other dips.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Greek
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Rising Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 6
Author What Jessica Baked Next

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons dried yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 160 ml milk (or plant based alternative)
  • 80 ml water (lukewarm)
  • 320 g strong white bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  • In a small mixing bowl or jug, combine the yeast, sugar, milk and water. Stir well and then set aside for 5 minutes until the mixture starts to froth.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the flour and salt and give a quick mix together. Add the yeast mixture to the dry ingredients along with the olive oil. Mix again until a dough has formed.
  • Knead the dough for 5-7 minutes until you are left with a smooth dough - it will be quite sticky. If the dough is difficult to handle add a little extra flour.
  • Add a drizzle of oil to another bowl and transfer the dough to this bowl, coating it well with the oil. Cover and leave the dough to rise at room temperature for 40-60 minutes or until it's doubled in size.
  • Place a frying pan on medium heat. Divide the dough up into 6 equally sized pieces (I weigh mine to be accurate). Dust a work surface with some flour and roll each piece of dough out into an oval shape about 20cm long and 10cm wide. They don't have to exact, so don't worry if not every pita looks the same that's the beauty in these being homemade.
  • Cook each pita 1-2 minutes on each side until they puff up and are lightly golden. Serve the pita warm or at room temperature. Once cooled, they will keep for up to 2 days. They can be frozen, just keep in a ziplock bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature and eat within a day.

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Appetisers · Dips and Sides · Greek Cuisine · Vegetarian Recipes

Tzatziki (Greek Cucumber Dip)

My take on Greek tzaztiki dip – it’s fantastic served with pitta or crusty bread and all kinds of dishes like gyros, souvlaki or part of a mezze. To make the best tzatziki you need to use thick and creamy Greek yoghurt and add lots of garlic!

I’m finally sharing one of my favourite Greek recipes with you! I’ve been eating and making this dip for many years now and I decided this recipe deserved a place on the blog. If you were wondering, Tzatziki is a Greek cucumber and yoghurt dip and it’s traditionally served with grilled meats like beef, chicken or pork in Greece and Cyprus. I personally love it drizzled over fried halloumi cheese. Try it sometime, it’s delicious! 🙂

When we visited the beautiful Mediterranean island of Cyprus last summer we enjoyed some of the best tzatziki we’d ever had before. Most days lunch at our villa consisted of platefuls of Greek salad and Lebanese pitta bread to dip into bowls of tzatziki and hummus. Ever since tasting the tzatziki in Cyprus I knew when I got home I needed to recreate my own recipe so I could continue reminiscing about my holiday and the tasty Cypriot food.

I recently shared this roasted garlic hummus and sharing this family favourite tzatziki recipe was next on my list. It’s simply delicious and full of many light and beautiful flavours like tangy Greek yoghurt, fresh lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and dill. If you like Greek food or have had tzatziki at a Greek restaurant before, then I know you’ll enjoy this recipe a lot!

To make the tzatziki you will start by preparing the cucumber. I used a whole large cucumber for this recipe. You can choose whether you’d like to peel or leave the skin on the cucumber and whether you prefer it grated or finely diced. Next cut the cucumber lengthways and using a spoon scoop the watery centre out. You need to make sure you squeeze as much water out of the cucumber as you can as any excess water will alter the consistency of the tzatziki.

Also, I strongly recommend using full-fat Greek yoghurt. Don’t substitute with Greek-style or natural yoghurt because they won’t live up to quality of the proper Greek stuff! I always believe it’s better to spend a little extra on something like this once in a while rather than substituting with something that’s not quite up to the mark.

Tzatziki gets better with age so you will find after a day or so in the fridge it will taste even better than the day you made it. I don’t know about you but recipes that can be made in advance tick all the boxes for me!

Ingredients:

1 large cucumber

500g (2 cups) full-fat Greek yoghurt

2 large cloves of garlic, minced

1 tablespoon chopped dill (can be substituted with mint)

1-2 tablespoons lemon juice (approx. half a lemon) or white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Salt and black pepper, to taste

Method:

  1. Slice the cucumber lengthways and using a small spoon scoop out the watery centre and discard the seeds. Coarsely grate the cucumber or dice it. Place the cucumber in a sieve over a bowl and squeeze as much of the water out as you can. I always leave the peel on because it contains lots of flavour and texture, but this is just my personal preference.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl combine the cucumber, yoghurt, garlic, dill, lemon juice, olive oil and seasoning. The dip can be served straight away but it is best left to chill in the fridge for at least 2-4 hours in order for the flavours to develop and marry together.
  3. When ready to serve, place the tzatziki in a serving bowl or dish. It will keep fresh covered or stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Give the tzatziki a good mix prior to serving.

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