Creamy, Tangy, Refreshing vegan tzatziki sauce is super quick and easy to make, healthy, and is great on wraps, salads, as a dip for oven baked potato wedges, and more! It only takes 5 minutes to make this super fresh and light sauce that’s packed with plant-based nutrition, but with only a few ingredients.
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Hey Internet, I don’t know about you but I can never get enough easy vegan sauces to throw on my salads, wraps, sandwiches, etc. Even use them as a dip for raw vegetables, oven baked or air fried potato wedges, etc!
Tzatziki sauce, a traditional dip or sauce from the Middle East and southeastern Europe, is generally made of strained yogurt, cucumber, olive oil, garlic, salt, and fresh herbs. It’s delightfully cool and refreshing--and perfect to serve with all kinds of Middle Eastern cuisine.
Today I’m sharing with you our take on a vegan tzatziki sauce with many of the same ingredients, omitting oil and using a vegan yogurt (check substitutions section if you can’t find plain vegan yogurt).
Tzatziki sauce is fun to say--if you’ve never heard it before, it’s kind of pronounced tzah-tzee-kee, making sure to enunciate the ‘t’ before each ‘z’, but it’s even more fun to eat!
You can use it as a delightful replacement for sour cream, or throw it on any kind of meal you like--it’s particularly delicious on my new vegan seitan gyros recipe!
Alright, so let’s now get into what ingredients you’ll need and how to make this simple and delicious sauce!
What You’ll Need
Let’s start with the vegan yogurt. There are many brands of vegan yogurt now, and it’s really up to personal preference which one you like.
For this recipe, you need one that’s somewhat thick. Many brands of vegan coconut yogurt are very thin, so I went with a vegan almond-based yogurt. Cashew yogurt also tends to be thick.
If the only yogurt you can find is too thin, you have the option of either straining your yogurt (which I would strain over a large bowl for about 2 hours in the fridge) or using another base, as described in the substitutions section below.
A big flavor component of vegan tzatziki sauce is definitely the cucumber, which is blended up, strained (or more accurately, the water is squeezed out of it which is easier than it sounds), and mixed through the yogurt.
I recommend using an English cucumber (sometimes called a seedless cucumber) or small Persian cucumbers, as their skin and seeds are quite soft and blendable. However, you can also use a traditional cucumber, but I’d peel it and seed it before blending.
This sauce is positively delightful with fresh herbs like mint and dill (or any you like), but I know they can be pricey. If you don’t have a neighbor with a garden you can ask for a handful of herbs from, you can use dried herbs in your tzatziki.
Finally, for flavor and tang, I recommend a squeeze of lemon (can also use a vinegar like white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar), a pinch of garlic powder, and a pinch of salt which is optional but I really think it enhances the flavor.
What Substitutions Can I Make?
It can be hard to find plain vegan yogurt (I don’t think vanilla would be very good in this…) so you can always blend up some soaked cashews or a block of tofu with a little water until you get a thick, yogurt-like consistency!
Since these options are less tangy than yogurt, though, I would recommend adding some extra lemon or some vinegar, to taste.
You could also try mashing some avocado with a little water and that might be pretty tasty!
I don’t think the flavor of this sauce would be the same if you didn’t use cucumber, however, if you are looking to experiment, I’d recommend trying it with fresh vegetables on the softer side, such as bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, and peas.
Tzatziki sauce generally features fresh herbs like dill, mint, parsley and thyme. You could use any combination (or just one) of these that you like and have access to--parsley is usually the cheapest.
I mentioned above that you could see if anyone you know has any of these herbs growing in their garden and would be willing to give you a handful of them, or dried herbs will be fine.
I particularly like the blend of mint and dill in this, so that’s what I used.
How To Make Vegan Tzatziki Sauce
This sauce is super easy to make!
At first it sounded annoying to me to have to strain cucumber? What?
But it’s actually super quick and easy!
So first, dump your plain vegan yogurt* in a bowl, or a large measuring cup like I did. I dunno, I always mix my sauces in a measuring cup, just like my momma and her momma. :)
*As previously mentioned, if your vegan yogurt is super runny, either strain it well (maybe over a bowl in the fridge for two hours) or blend up some soaked cashews or a block of tofu with some water and more lemon / vinegar.
Now, the cucumber. As mentioned above, English / seedless cucumbers or mini Persian cucumbers work the best for this because you get the most cucumber for your buck, but if you choose to use a regular cucumber, peel off the outer skin and seed the center (these are too thick to blend up nicely).
Cut up your cucumber into manageable chunks (manageable for a blender or food processor).
Add the chunks to your blender or food processor and pulse until they’re all evenly minced. You can leave it chunkier if you’d like, but don’t completely puree it.
Take a clean tea towel, kitchen towel, or paper towel and add the cucumber to the center.
Fold up the sides and squeeze out the extra water over the sink, like a sponge. If you’d like, save this liquid and add it to a glass of ice water for a very refreshing drink!
Now add the drained cucumber to your yogurt and add the lemon juice, fresh herbs, garlic powder, and salt if you wish. Give it a good stir and enjoy!
How Long Does Tzatziki Last in the Fridge?
This sauce keeps very well in the fridge for around 3-5 days.
How do you know if tzatziki has gone bad? Smell it!
It’s yogurt based, so if it smells a little sour, toss it. You can always make it again since it’s so fast and easy!
What to Eat with Tzatziki Sauce With?
I like to use it on all kinds of meals like salads and baked potatoes, but it’s also fantastic either on top of avocado toast (with a few cubes of my vegan feta cheese)!
Shameless plug, really, but I’m absolutely crazy about putting tzatziki on top of my homemade vegan seitan gyros!
Other Awesome Vegan Sauces!
Are you saucy like me? Well, I’ve got a whole BUNCH of delicious vegan sauce recipes to share if you like this vegan tzatziki sauce!
As always, I hope you love this sauce--I know I do, and Mr. Zardyplants does too.
This vegan tzatziki sauce is:
And delicious on any salad, wrap, on a baked potato or served on the side as a dipping sauce! Even better on vegan gyros!
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!