Tzatziki sauce is typically yogurt-based with flavors such as mint and cucumber. But in this recipe, you will not find any dairy. Instead, I use my four-ingredient homemade mayonnaise recipe as the base and add refreshing lemon, cool mint, and crisp cucumber. Dairy-Free Tzatziki Sauce is the perfect addition to any Greek meal.
How to make this recipe
- The first step to making Dairy-free Tzatziki Sauce is to make hommade mayonnaise. If you do not want to make it homemade, you can easily purchase your favorite mayo from the grocery store. Place the mayo in a small mixing bowl.
- Next, peel and remove the seeds from an English cucumber. Removing the seeds will help ensure a thick sauce. Finely chop the cucumber and place it in the small bowl with the mayo. Next, finely chop the fresh mint and dill and place in the bowl with the cucumber.
- Lastly, season to taste and mix thoroughly. Place the sauce in an airtight contianer and place in the friege for one hour to allow the flavors to marry. Use over your favorite meeeat or vegatables. Enjoy!
Adapting a dairy-free diet
When I went dairy-free in 2014, I was pretty devastated when I couldn't eat yogurt anymore. A lot of my weekday breakfasts are composed of Greek yogurt, granola, and fresh fruit. It took about two months for me to stop craving dairy once I cut it out of my diet. Although I still find myself saying, "this would be so good with real cheese, or this yogurt isn't as creamy as cows milk yogurt," I don't find myself having these crazy episodes where I need dairy and life won't go on without fulfilling my cheese craving. Trust me, life will go on and the cravings do subside.
If you are new to a dairy-free diet or if it's something you've considered but haven't made the leap, I won't lie and say it's easy. I will say that it will take some time to reduce cravings, but I promise you will get there. When you decide to remove dairy from your diet, you will learn pretty quickly how to cook without dairy products. I replace thick sauces like my tzatziki sauce with homemade mayonnaise and coconut milk. Substituting ingredients will take some getting used to, but eventually, it will become second nature.
Once you decide to give up the cow, the goat, and the sheep, having a good stack of go-to recipes will make the transition easier. I love this dairy-free tzatziki sauce with my Mediterranean lamb meatballs or rosemary lamb gyro meat. Our family also uses this sauce as a dip with carrots, cherry tomatoes, and slices of bell pepper. I typically need to double the recipe because my husband and my daughter will pour it all over their food. I hope it becomes a staple on your dinner table as well.
Using dried dill
I highly recommend using fresh dill in this recipe. Dried dill works great, but fresh dill is citrusy, vibrant, and aromatic.
If you do not like mayo, plain and unsweetened yogurt can be used. I recommend Cocojune plain yogurt.
How to store
Leftover dairy-free tzatziki sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
Dairy Free Tzatziki Sauce
- 1 cup homemade mayonnaise (or vegan mayo for a vegan option)
- ¼ cup fresh cucumber
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp fresh mint
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ tsp dill, dried or fresh (I prefer fresh dill)
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Peel and remove the seeds from the cucumber. The center of the cucumber tends to be watery and will thin down the sauce. After peeling and deseeding, finely chop the cucumber and place in a bowl.
- If using fresh dill, finely chop with the mint and place in the bowl with the cucumber.
- Place the remaining ingredients in the bowl and mix well. Taste and season with more salt to your liking.
- Cover and place in the refrigerator for one hour before serving to allow the flavors to marinate. Serve with chicken, fresh vegetables, or another favorite dish.