How Can I Thicken Up My Tzatziki?

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Tzatziki is a yogurt-based dip that is Greek in origin. It’s characterized by its cool, refreshing taste -- courtesy of the included cucumber -- and its thick texture. Homemade tzatziki is simple to do -- merely combine cucumber, onion and yogurt. However, to achieve the right texture, drain your cucumbers prior to using. If your tzatziki is already made and is too runny, thicken it with the addition of drained, dried cucumbers.

Already Runny Tzatziki

If your tzatziki is too runny, there are two ways of thickening up the dip.

Adding Cucumbers

Add drained, dried cucumbers to the dip to change the texture without greatly affecting the taste. Salt the cucumbers to rid them of excess water before adding them to the dip.

To salt the cucumbers:

Toss grated or chopped cucumbers with a large pinch of salt.

Toss grated or chopped cucumbers with a large pinch of salt.

Let rest for 10 to 20 minutes.

Drain the cucumbers of their excess liquid, rinse with cold water and squeeze-dry between pieces of paper towel.

Stir the dried cucumbers into the runny tzatziki and let sit for 15 minutes before serving.

Tip

  • To minimize the amount of salting and draining needed for the cucumbers, choose less watery cucumbers, such as Lebanese or English cucumbers. For seeded cucumbers, discard the seeds and do not use in the tzatziki. Remove the seeds by scooping them out with a spoon and grating or chopping only the cucumber flesh.

Straining the Dip

The tzatziki can also be thickened by straining the already mixed dip. This method does not require adding more ingredients, but takes longer than adding dried cucumbers.

To strain the tzatziki:

Line a metal strainer with a single layer of coffee filters.

Pour the runny tzatziki into the strainer. The filters will prevent the tzatziki from running through the mesh.

Place the strainer over top of a mixing bowl, and cover the tzatziki with plastic wrap.

Store in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight. The excess liquid from the tzatziki will drain out, leaving a thicker, more condensed dip.

Preventing Runny Tzatziki

The easiest way to prevent runny tzatziki is to select the right ingredients, and to treat them properly, before making tzatziki.

Choose a thicker yogurt, such as a Greek yogurt, to make your tzatziki. Otherwise, strain the yogurt using the coffee filter method prior to mixing in the cucumber.

Prepare the cucumber and onions -- if using -- before adding to the yogurt. Salt and drain your cucumbers, drying thoroughly with paper towels, then add the cucumber to the tzatziki.

Cucumbers are very watery and naturally release their liquid when they are cut or mixed with other ingredients. Not salting, draining and drying the cucumbers prior to using them for tzatziki will lead to a runny, thin, flavorless dip.

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