Some of the following links are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate and a member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, view my Affiliates Disclaimer.
Tzatziki (pronounced tuh-zee-kee) is bright and refreshing sauce hailing from Greece and commonly used in Eastern European and Middle Eastern cuisine. It’s typically the sauce found on Greek gyros, Turkish doner kebabs, or Lebanese shawarma but can also be eaten as a delicious dip for pita chips, crudités, and crackers, as a spread for grilled meats and burgers, or as a dressing for salads. Calling for just lactose-free plain Greek yogurt, shredded cucumber, garlic-infused olive oil, lemon juice, chopped dill, salt and pepper, this low FODMAP Tzatziki recipe makes a simple and easy low FODMAP appetizer, snack or condiment that’s perfect for spring and summer dishes.
Low FODMAP Tzatziki
I originally created this Tzatziki recipe to go with chicken shawarma (recipe coming soon!), which is similar to a gyro or doner but with Middle Eastern origins and different spices. During the testing, in addition to making a great shawarma spread/dressing, I found that tzatziki made a quick and tasty veggie dip that contains protein due to the Greek yogurt. As a hypoglycemic, I’m always on the look-out for healthy, protein rich snacks that can also be converted to low FODMAP, so this low FODMAP tzatziki recipe fits the bill quite nicely.
Traditional tzatziki contains garlic, so to make this tzatziki low FODMAP, we simply swap out the garlic for garlic-infused olive oil. Also, if you find that you are unable to tolerate the FODMAP lactose, you can easily swap out regular plain Greek yogurt for lactose-free plain Greek yogurt.
The equipment I use to make this low FODMAP Tzatziki recipe includes:
I’ve chosen English cucumber in this recipe as its skin is very thin and easy to shred and eat. Garden cucumbers can also be used but have a much thicker skin that you’ll probably want to remove before shredding. I prefer to leave the skin on as it contains healthy nutrients and also gives the tzatziki some colour.
1/2 of one large English cucumber, seeded but unpeeled, makes about 1 cup of shredded cucumber. To seed the cucumber, slice it in half lengthwise and gently scoop out the seeds with a spoon. This greatly reduces the amount of moisture in the tzatziki, which can otherwise get pretty watery from the cucumber.
To further reduce the cucumber’s moisture, I squeeze it out after shredding it and put it in a fine mesh sieve / strainer to drain. I add 3/4 tsp of sea salt to further draw out the moisture and allow it to drain in the sieve for about 10 minutes. While the cucumber is draining, I add the following ingredients to a large bowl:
Lactose-Free Plain Greek Yogurt
Up to this point on my blog, my recipes have been mostly dairy-free. Although it is possible to make tzatziki dairy-free using ingredients like coconut yogurt, coconut milk, and/or dairy-free mayo in lieu of Greek yogurt, I have chosen not to as I benefit from the protein that Greek yogurt contains. While not dairy-free, plain Greek yogurt is still on the clean-eating spectrum and has a plethora of healthy vitamins and minerals.
I have listed lactose-free plain Greek yogurt in the ingredients list, but if you are not lactose-intolerant, feel free to use regular plain Greek yogurt. You’ll get the best flavour if you use full-fat Greek yogurt (4% MF), but I think it’s still really yummy using 2% MF or even nonfat yogurt. I can’t always locate full-fat, especially in lactose-free.
Once the cucumber is done draining, stir it into the yogurt mixture.
Depending on the thickness of the Greek yogurt you use and what you’re actually making this tzatziki for, you will probably want to thin it out a bit. For this I use unsweetened almond milk, but any lactose-free milk should do the trick.
Adding 1 tablespoon at a time, I stir in the almond milk until the tzatziki is to my desired consistency. If I’m using the tzatziki for a veggie dip, for example, I’ll typically just add one tablespoon of almond milk. If using it for a salad dressing, I’ll add 3-4 tablespoons.
Garnish with fresh dill leaves (if you want it to look extra pretty) and serve.
Although it’s devour worthy, the downside to tzatziki is that it doesn’t keep for a long time. Store in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days. Stir well before reserving as water will separate from the yogurt over time (as is typical behavior for yogurt).
Other Sauce / Dip Recipes
If you’re looking for more low FODMAP dip/sauce/condiment recipes like this one, try these out:
1 tbsp fresh dill, minced, plus more for optional garnish
1 tsp sea salt, divided
¼ tsp ground black pepper (or to taste)
1–4 tbsp unsweetened almond milk (or lactose-free milk of choice)
Place a fine mesh sieve / strainer over the sink or an extra-large bowl. Coarsely shred cucumber until you have 1 cup. Using your hands, gently-squeeze cucumber over sieve to release water (doing this in a few small handfuls if needed) and then place in the sieve. Sprinkle ¾ tsp of sea salt over the cucumber and toss with your hands until it is evenly coated in salt. Allow to drain in the sieve for about 10 minutes.
While the cucumber is draining, in a large bowl, whisk together Greek yogurt, garlic-infused olive oil, dill, lemon juice, salt and pepper until well combined.
Once the cucumber is done draining, add it to the large bowl with the yogurt mixture and stir with a spoon until well combined.
Adding 1 tbsp at a time, stir in almond milk until you reach your desired consistency.
Serve as a sauce or spread for gyros, doner kebab, meatballs, burgers (like my Juicy Turkey Burgers) or other grilled meats, as a dip for chips, crudités, and crackers, or as a dressing for salads and bowls, such as my upcoming Chicken Shawarma Quinoa Bowl.
Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Stir well before reserving.
*If you’re not lactose-intolerant, regular (non-lactose free) plain Greek yogurt also works. Full fat (4% MF) obviously offers the best flavour, but I have also used 2% MF and 0% MF with delicious success.
Total yield: about 2 1/2 cups at a serving size of 1/4 cup.