Tzatziki is more than just a tasty Greek masterpiece of a sauce you can put in your pita or on grilled meats. It’s truly versatile and can accompany many foods you like to eat. Traditionally, Tzatziki is made with Greek yogurt, but thankfully today, we have different vegan yogurt options available to use such as soy, almond or coconut.
Fun facts: Did you know that Tzatziki comes from the Turkish word “Cacik” and actually has roots in India, that then travelled through the Middle East and finally ended up in Greece? Pretty cool, hey?
Anyway, back to business! Let’s get going with the recipe so that you can enjoy it!
- 2 cups plain coconut yogurt (Silk brand)
- 1/2 cup grated cucumber (with liquid squeezed out)
- 1 TBSP fresh lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar)
- 3 cloves fresh garlic
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Pinch of black pepper (optional)
- 1/3 cup dill, parsley or mint (optional)
Version 1: (For a Thicker “Greek” Consistency)
Since there isn’t vegan Greek yogurt widely available, you will have to DIY your vegan yogurt to make it a thicker (Greek) consistency by removing the excess liquid. To do this, you will need to do the following:
Get a cheese cloth, spread it in a strainer over a bowl. Then open your yogurt, stir it very well and pour it onto the cheese cloth. Let it sit for 1 to 2 hours (the longer the yogurt sits to drain, the thicker the yogurt will become).
Note: If you don’t have a cheese cloth, you can use a clean, thin kitchen towel as a substitute (some kitchen towels are very thick, so avoid those).
After 2 hours has elapsed, you will see the excess liquid collected at the bottom of the bowl and that the yogurt has thickened. Now, put the thickened yogurt in a new bowl and set aside.
Fun Fact: The cheese cloth method of thickening yogurt has been used across various cultures for decades including such geographic locations as India and Serbia.
Now it’s cucumber time! Wash your cucumber and grate enough to give you half a cups worth. Squeeze out all the liquid from the cucumber. You should be left with an odd-shaped cucumber ball in your hand. Coarsely chop the cucumber ball to eliminate any potential long strings of cucumber.
For the garlic, peel it and ensure it’s finely chopped. Then take your knife and scrape the garlic across the cutting board in short strokes to basically turn it into garlic pulp (you and your potential guests don’t want to be eating chunks of raw garlic in your Tzatziki).
Now, bring back the yogurt you’d previously set aside. Add the cucumber, garlic, fresh lemon juice, salt and optional ingredients.
Mix well, cover the bowl and let it stand in the fridge for at least 2 hours, preferably 4 hours (overnight works well especially if it’s for a party the next day) to allow for all of the flavors to release and mesh together!
Serve with any of your favorite plant-based vegan foods, for example: A Greek style burger, grilled tofu, a pita or falafel!
Bon appetite! 🙂
Version 2: (Normal Yogurt Consistency)
If you are short on time, or simply lack the patience to do the cheese cloth process to thicken your vegan yogurt — no worries! Just proceed with the yogurt straight out of the container ensuring that you stir it very well before adding all the other ingredients.
Otherwise, follow all the other steps listed above in the ‘Version 1’ section.
Vegan Food Pairings:
- Grilled tofu
- Dipping sauce for veggies, fries, grilled veggies, etc
- Add in your sandwich
- Add in your wrap
- Add in your pita
Thank you for reading! I hope this vegan version of Tzatziki works for you. Leave a comment below, let me know how it goes!
Peace & love,