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How To Thicken Tzatziki Sauce ⋆ 5 Of The Best Solutions ⋆

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Have you noticed your Tzatziki sauce is a little runnier and thinner than you would have hoped? Fortunately, it can be fixed. But what can you use, and how do you effectively do so? Well, here are all of your options to help you achieve that perfect creamy consistency.

So, how do you thicken a tzatziki sauce? The best way to thicken a tzatziki sauce is by adding a thickening agent. Cream, cheese, strained yogurt, or Xanthan gum are some of the best options for this. Otherwise, you can make a second, thicker batch and mixing it in with the former, thinner sauce.

It is very important for you to understand how the ingredients in a tzatziki sauce interact when combined.

To make your tzatziki, use thicker yogurt, such as Greek yogurt. 

Otherwise, you will need to strain plain yogurt before adding the cucumber (which I also recommended that you prepare in advance too).

Cucumbers are extremely watery and naturally release liquid when cut or combined with yogurt.

So, it’s easy to end up with a liquidy, thin, flavorless sauce if you don’t salt, drain, and dry the cucumbers before making tzatziki.

When it comes to your thickening options, just consider that the method that is best for you will depend on the time and ingredients you have available.

Let’s now take a look at why your sauce may be too wet, to begin with. That way, you can ensure this does not happen again.

Then we will move on to the methods.

So keep reading to save your sauce!

Why Is My Tzatziki Sauce Thin?

Tzatziki sauce can be watery because too much olive oil, lemon juice, or vinegar was added to the sauce. Or it could be due to the type or consistency of the yogurt used or incorrectly preparing the cucumbers before adding them. Blending the sauce can also make it thin.

Greek yogurt will give you the best results. 

If you can’t find Greek yogurt, straining regular/plain yogurt for a few hours will suffice.

At the same time, it’s advised to find a good and reputable recipe. 

One thing to note is that measuring your ingredients accurately can prevent you from using them in excess.

How Thick Does A Tzatziki Sauce Be?

Tzatziki sauce should be rich, lusciously creamy, and flavorful! Relatively thick yet airy and light is best.

Tzatziki sauce that is thick enough to eat with a fork is considered excellent.

In fact, it clings to your pita, vegetables, or any other food nicely.

So, how will you know whether your tzatziki sauce is thick enough? There’s a simple test – just take a spoon to check the thickness.

When you dip the spoon into the sauce and lift it out, the sauce should coat the back of the spoon beautifully without easily falling off.

What Can You Use To Thicken Tzatziki Sauce?

If your tzatziki sauce is too thin, the simplest way to thicken it is to use the right ingredients and properly prepare them before making the sauce. The other option is to use thickeners.

First and foremost, because this is a no-cook sauce with only a few ingredients, it’s critical to focus on the ingredients and how to use them correctly.

For the second, you have the option to use ingredients that are typically not part of the original recipe – cream, cheese, and xanthan gum.

These are literally used to save the sauce.

You must also be mindful of thickening agents and other added ingredients.

You don’t want to completely change the delicate flavor of this yogurt-based sauce or alter the texture too much, for that matter.

So, let us move on to the methods.

How To Thicken Tzatziki Sauce – All Of The Options

I’ve got a few thickening options for your thin and runny tzatziki sauce. 

This sauce is more about the technique than anything else, but feel free to choose the method that best suits your needs.

Thickening With Strained Yogurt

Greek yogurt is a better option to use for Tzatziki sauce as it’s thicker than plain yogurt.

But even if using Greek yogurt, I suggest you strain it out.

There are a couple of ways to accomplish this.

Simply put the yogurt in the center of the cheesecloth. 

Then tie it with some cooking twine or even a rubber band and hang it from the top of the kitchen faucet, with a large bowl underneath to collect the liquid.

The other option is to place a paper coffee filter in a strainer, set it over a large bowl, and then pour the yogurt into the filter.

Refrigerate this, wrapped in plastic wrap, for at least two hours and up to overnight. 

The yogurt may be reduced by half, depending on how long you let it drain.

The longer you leave it, the thicker your tzatziki sauce will be.

If you want to use plain yogurt instead of Greek yogurt, strain it for 14-15 hours to get the right consistency.

If you are going to use plain yogurt, you must plan ahead of time to let the excess liquid drain.

Thickening With Strained Cucumbers

If the cucumber is incorporated in the recipe without straining, it can give you a runny sauce.

After you’ve peeled, seeded, and grated/ shredded the cucumber, season it with salt, then strain it through a fine sieve strainer for about an hour.

The cucumber will be drained of extra liquid with the salt.

Choose less watery cucumbers, such as Lebanese or English cucumbers, to reduce the amount of salting and draining required for the cucumbers. 

Remove the seeds from the seeded cucumbers and discard them before making the tzatziki, as they contain a lot of moisture.

You can scoop out the seeds with a spoon before grating or chopping only the cucumber flesh.

If you don’t do this, the cucumber juices will continue to seep and thin out the tzatziki after it’s made.

If you prefer a chunkier sauce, you can finely chop the cucumber instead of grating it.

Thickening With Cream

Sour cream or whipping cream can be added to the thin tzatziki sauce to improve its consistency.

To achieve the desired thickness, gradually add some cream to your sauce while constantly mixing.

This will make your sauce smoother and creamier.

Adding in heavy whipping cream and whipping the mixture should give you a thicker consistency while keeping the flavor intact.

Thickening With Soft Cheese

Adding cream cheese, ricotta or cottage cheese will help thicken your tzatziki sauce.

Start with adding only small amounts and adjust according to the consistency desired.

If you add a lot of cheese at once, it will turn into a spread.

Thickening With Xanthan Gum

Xanthan gum is a flavorless thickener, and it aids in thickening and stabilizing your sauce.

To use xanthan gum in your sauce, use roughly 1/8 teaspoon per cup of liquid and blend in a blender instead of stirring. 

If it is not constantly in motion while being incorporated into the sauce, it will “gum” almost rapidly and form clumps.

Just make sure to use very small amounts.

Other Suggestions To Avoid A Watery Tzatziki Sauce

If, after experimenting with a few approaches, you still find your sauce to be on the runnier side, use your discretion and see what works.

To find a solution that best matches your needs, you might also want to explore some of the additional recommendations listed below.

Follow The Recipe

When thickening your tzatziki sauce, it’s critical to stick to the recipe and directions; otherwise, you will end up with a watery sauce.

Salt Addition

Because salt tends to thin out sauces, it is essential to add it at the start to the cucumber and not directly into your sauce.

Do Not Use A Blender

If you are tempted to make your tzatziki sauce by mixing all the ingredients in a blender, don’t do it. 

The blender will only cause more liquid to come out of both the cucumber and the yogurt, resulting in an overly runny sauce.

Straining The Sauce

An already mixed-up Tzatziki sauce can be thickened further by straining the sauce. 

This method requires no additional ingredients but takes longer than adding dried cucumbers.

Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. The excess liquid will drain away, leaving a thicker, more condensed sauce.

Patience and Practice

Try to be patient. You might be having a hard time getting a perfect consistency but don’t worry if you fail the first time. With a little bit of practice, you can easily master the technique.


Tzatziki sauce is great.

It’s creamy, versatile, and can be created relatively quickly with few ingredients.  

The problem is that getting the right consistency can be tricky.

Thankfully, if you do get it a little wrong, you can resolve it.

What approach do you go with? Well, that will have a lot to do with your preference, time, and ingredients you have to hand.

Play around with the ingredients and proportions until you find a consistency you like.

Want to learn how to thicken any type of sauce? Then check out my definitive guide:

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