Tzatziki Cucumber Salad

IMG_0863.jpg

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!

Fresh, cool, crunchy, creamy, and delicious Tzatziki, which is basically a Greek cucumber salad made with thick, strained yogurt, and seasoned with dill and garlic. Uh, yum, right? If you’ve ever had tzatziki, you know what I’m talking about!

It’s funny because I’ve known about tzatziki for a long time, enjoying it at restaurants and such, that wonderful Greek yogurt sauce dip wonder. I’ve seen several cucumber salad recipes around this summer on some of my favorite recipe sites like foodgawker; German cucumber salads, normal cucumber salads, and others. It got me hungry, so I decided to make my own. And let me tell you, I got right on it because zero cooking or baking in a recipe is a wonderful thing when the summer here in Florence has been between 90-106°F / 32-41°C since June.

I noticed most of the recipes I came across used sour cream, but I used plain greek yogurt because it’s more nutritious. Once I found a nice balance between the flavors, I wrote down the recipe and decided to share it with you guys! Then I recalled that tzatziki has very similar flavors, and although I’ve never made it nor even looked up a recipe, my curiosity got the best of me to see just how similar they would be. What do you know, I basically made tzatziki and didn’t even know it! So much for making an original recipe, haha!

So what I’m sharing with you today is my accidental take on tzatziki, similarly enough to be called so, but not THE original. If you make the changes listed below, however, you can have yourself a delicious and authentic Greek tzatziki!

What are the differences from a traditional tzatziki and the one you see below?

  • The cucumber is usually grated and drained (either by squeezing or letting sit in cheese cloth over a bowl overnight) instead of sliced. I also use more cucumber to make a creamy salad rather than a dip that features cucumber. if you want to make real tzatziki, use a half of a large cucumber or a smallish one.

  • Traditional would have more yogurt so again, more of a sauce or dip rather than a salad. For real tzatziki, double the yogurt to 1 1/2 cups / 340g.

  • For the acidic element, I used lemon juice, but vinegar of some sort is usually called for. I’ve read in Greece they most often use red wine vinegar.

  • I added more fresh dill! Because I love dill. If you think about it, this is like a creamy dill pickle dip. It has the cucumbers, the garlic, the dill….no wonder I like it so well! For original tzatziki, use about 1 Tbsp chopped.

If you eliminate the cucumbers (or shred them like the traditional way), it makes an excellent and much healthier alternative to most veggie dips. I might even like it better than Ranch!


Tzatziki Cucumber Salad

Serves about 2

IMG_0852.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup / 170g plain greek yogurt or vegan yogurt

  • generous 2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill

  • 2 tsp / 10g lemon juice

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced, or 1/4 tsp garlic powder

  • salt and pepper, to taste

  • 1 large cucumber, chopped with skin/seeds removed as desired

  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling, optional

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl combine yogurt, dill, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

  2. If serving immediately, add cucumber and stir to coat; drizzle with olive oil. Otherwise, refrigerate until ready to serve, adding cucumber and drizzling with oil at the last minute.

Jenny’s Notes:

  • For optimal creaminess, I would use full fat greek yogurt. If you are vegan or dairy-free, use a thick/Greek dairy-free yogurt alternative!

  • In an ideal world the dressing would be made a day ahead of time and the cucumber added just before serving. This helps the flavors meld together and cuts the sharpness of the garlic a bit, without the cucumber sitting in the dressing for a day and losing its liquid. However, this makes a great last minute dish and it tastes just fine if eaten right away!

vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free, veggie dip, cucumber, garlic, fresh dill, Greek yogurt, Ranch substitute
Side dish, lunch, sauces and condiments
Greek
Yield: 2
Author:

Tzatziki Cucumber Salad

Creamy salad form of the classic Tzatziki sauce: Cucumbers, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, and fresh dill.
prep time: 10 Mcook time: total time: 10 M

ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup / 170g plain greek yogurt or vegan yogurt
  • generous 2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tsp / 10g lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced, or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 large cucumber, chopped with skin/seeds removed as desired
  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling, optional

instructions:

How to cook Tzatziki Cucumber Salad

  1. In a medium bowl combine yogurt, dill, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  2. If serving immediately, add cucumber and stir to coat; drizzle with olive oil. Otherwise, refrigerate until ready to serve, adding cucumber and drizzling with oil at the last minute.

NOTES:

For optimal creaminess, I would use full fat greek yogurt. If you are vegan or dairy-free, use a thick/Greek dairy-free yogurt alternative! In an ideal world the dressing would be made a day ahead of time and the cucumber added just before serving. This helps the flavors meld together and cuts the sharpness of the garlic a bit, without the cucumber sitting in the dressing for a day and losing its liquid. However, this makes a great last minute dish and it tastes just fine if eaten right away!

Calories

123.72

Fat (grams)

7.21

Sat. Fat (grams)

1.05

Carbs (grams)

5.89

Fiber (grams)

0.61

Net carbs

5.28

Sugar (grams)

3.78

Protein (grams)

9.30

Sodium (milligrams)

181.86

Cholesterol (grams)

4.25
Nutritional information is approximate.
Created using The Recipes Generator
IMG_0856.jpg

Pinwheels 3 Ways: Avocado Veggie, Buffalo Chicken, and Thanksgiving

From top to bottom: Thanksgiving, Veggie, Buffalo Chicken

From top to bottom: Thanksgiving, Veggie, Buffalo Chicken

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!

Or veggie rolls, veggie wraps, or veggie roll-ups, (but that just makes me think of fruit roll-ups, blech! No offense to my fruit roll-up loving friends.  Actually, every once in a blue moon I see a fruit roll up and think, hey, that sounds good right about now.  Then I walk on.  That's the end of the story.)  Or you could just call these tortilla/veggie/cream cheese concoctions for what they are; delicious.  That would be fine.  And the truth.  

They make for a great snack or appetizer, or lunch even if you forgot just how many pinwheels you popped in your mouth.  They're also very portable, quick, and simple to make, which make them ideal for parties, potlucks, lunch at the office, you name it.  

The formula is very easy to get the hang of, think tortillas, cream cheese, and condiments/spices!  The tortilla is your playground and the cream cheese is your best friend, so get creative!  Put all those flavor combinations you dreamt up while watching Food Network, The Great British Bake-Off, and Chef's Table to work in these tortillas.  Might be more manageable than that fried parmesan cheese bowl filled with pickled cabbage, grilled chicken, diced red peppers, fresh cilantro, lemon garlic aioli swiped across the plate and turmeric sprinkled over top.  But, hey, you could totally manage to put all that in a tortilla.  You might be on to something.  

To get you started, I give you three recipes: Fresh Veggie, Buffalo Chicken, and Turkey Cranberry a.k.a. Thanksgiving.  


Avocado Veggie Pinwheels

Makes about 18 pinwheels

Ingredients: 

Hmm, these photos could use improving upon…

Hmm, these photos could use improving upon…

  • 4 8-inch or 6 6-inch flour tortillas

  • 8 oz / 225g cream cheese, softened

  • 1/3 cup shredded carrots, or about 1-2 small carrots

  • 1/3 chopped spinach or broccoli

  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped

  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/4 tsp dill weed

  • salt and pepper, to taste

  • 1/2 cup guacamole

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, carrots, spinach, green onions, garlic powder, dill weed, and salt and pepper.  

  2. Distribute evenly over tortillas, spreading almost to the edges.  Spread a thick layer of guacamole over cream cheese mixture.  Roll up tightly.  

  3. Slice into approximately 1 inch slices.  Serve or chill until it's part-tay time.  

pinwheels, roll ups, veggie rolls, veggie wraps, avocado, buffalo chicken pinwheels, Thanksgiving pinwheels, vegetable wraps, cranberry sauce, appetizer, finger food, snack
American
Yield: 32
Author:

Avocado Veggie Pinwheels

Tortillas slathered with seasoned cream cheese, avocado, and veggies, rolled up and sliced.
prep time: 25 Mcook time: total time: 25 M

ingredients:

  • 4 8-inch or 6 6-inch flour tortillas
  • 8 oz / 225g cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup shredded carrots, or about 1-2 small carrots
  • 1/3 chopped spinach or broccoli
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp dill weed
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup guacamole

instructions:

How to cook Avocado Veggie Pinwheels

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, carrots, spinach, green onions, garlic powder, dill weed, and salt and pepper.
  2. Distribute evenly over tortillas, spreading almost to the edges. Spread a thick layer of guacamole over cream cheese mixture. Roll up tightly.
  3. Slice into approximately 1 inch slices. Serve or chill until it's part-tay time.

NOTES:

All quantities are very approximate. You could double basically any ingredient you want to have more filling, less filling, more flavor, less flavor. The tortilla is your playground.

Calories

54.07

Fat (grams)

3.37

Sat. Fat (grams)

1.62

Carbs (grams)

4.58

Fiber (grams)

0.50

Net carbs

4.17

Sugar (grams)

0.42

Protein (grams)

1.15

Sodium (milligrams)

79.99

Cholesterol (grams)

7.10
Nutritional information is approximate.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels

Makes about 18 pinwheels

Ingredients:

  • 4 8-inch or 6 6-inch flour tortillas

  • 8 oz / 225g cream cheese, softened

  • 1/3 cup / 80g Frank's hot sauce

  • 1/2 cup cooked chopped or shredded chicken

  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped

  • 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled, optional

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, hot sauce, chicken, green onion, and blue cheese.

  2. Distribute evenly over tortillas, spreading almost to the edges.  Roll up tightly.  

  3. Slice into approximately 1 inch slices.  Serve or chill until it's part-tay time.   

pinwheel, veggie roll up, veggie wrap, buffalo chicken, blue cheese, buffalo chicken wrap, buffalo chicken pinwheel, canned chicken
American
Yield: 32
Author:

Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels

Tortillas slathered in Frank's hot sauce and cream cheese with chicken, rolled, and sliced for bite size hot wing pinwheels.
prep time: 15 Mcook time: total time: 15 M

ingredients:

  • 4 8-inch or 6 6-inch flour tortillas
  • 8 oz / 225g cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup / 80g Frank's hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup cooked chopped or shredded chicken
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled, optional

instructions:

How to cook Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, hot sauce, chicken, green onion, and blue cheese.
  2. Distribute evenly over tortillas, spreading almost to the edges. Roll up tightly.
  3. Slice into approximately 1 inch slices. Serve or chill until it's part-tay time.

NOTES:

All quantities are very approximate. You could double basically any ingredient you want to have more filling, less filling, more flavor, less flavor. I often use canned chicken for the buffalo chicken. Pinwheels aren't exactly a showcase of your cooking/baking skills, anyway, so I like to keep things chop, chop. (Literally) Don't have Frank's hot sauce? Go get some. You will thank me as your life is changed forever.

Calories

57.68

Fat (grams)

3.45

Sat. Fat (grams)

1.82

Carbs (grams)

3.93

Fiber (grams)

0.21

Net carbs

3.91

Sugar (grams)

0.31

Protein (grams)

2.23

Sodium (milligrams)

133.17

Cholesterol (grams)

11.06
Nutritional information is approximate. Includes the blue cheese.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Thanksgiving Pinwheels

Makes about 18 Pinwheels

Ingredients:

  • 4 8-inch or 6 6-inch flour tortillas

  • 8 oz / 225g cream cheese, softened

  • 1/2 cup cranberry sauce

  • 8 oz sliced deli turkey (or leftover Turkey, hey!)

  • 1/3 cup chopped spinach, optional

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl mix together cream cheese, cranberry sauce, and spinach.  Distribute evenly over tortillas, spreading almost to the edges.  

  2. Layer turkey slices over cream cheese mixture.  Roll up tightly.  

  3. Slice into approximately 1 inch slices.  Serve or chill until it's part-tay time.  

pinwheels, veggie roll ups, Thanksgiving, cream cheese, Thanksgiving pinwheel, Thanksgiving wrap, turkey, cranberry sauce, spinach
American
Yield: 32
Author:

Thanksgiving Pinwheels

Tortilla spread with cream cheese, cranberry sauce, and turkey, rolled and sliced for a nostalgic bite-sized taste of Thanksgiving.
prep time: 15 Mcook time: total time: 15 M

ingredients:

  • 4 8-inch or 6 6-inch flour tortillas
  • 8 oz / 225g cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup cranberry sauce
  • 8 oz sliced deli turkey (or leftover Turkey, hey!)
  • 1/3 cup chopped spinach, optional

instructions:

How to cook Thanksgiving Pinwheels

  1. In a medium bowl mix together cream cheese, cranberry sauce, and spinach. Distribute evenly over tortillas, spreading almost to the edges.
  2. Layer turkey slices over cream cheese mixture. Roll up tightly.
  3. Slice into approximately 1 inch slices. Serve or chill until it's part-tay time.

NOTES:

All quantities are very approximate. You could double basically any ingredient you want to have more filling, less filling, more flavor, less flavor. Like I said, the tortilla is your playground. I like the spinach, it gives it a nice punch of color. It also makes the roll versatile for Christmas, beautiful red and green!

Calories

61.73

Fat (grams)

3.08

Sat. Fat (grams)

1.56

Carbs (grams)

6.19

Fiber (grams)

0.31

Net carbs

6.07

Sugar (grams)

1.93

Protein (grams)

1.98

Sodium (milligrams)

138.33

Cholesterol (grams)

11.00
Nutritional information is approximate. Includes spinach.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Jenny's Notes:

  • All quantities are very approximate.  You could double basically any ingredient you want to have more filling, less filling, more flavor, less flavor.  Like I said, the tortilla is your playground.  

  • I like the spinach in the Thanksgiving roll, it gives it a nice punch of color.  It also makes the roll versatile for Christmas, beautiful red and green! 

  • Speaking of the Thanksgiving roll, you could probably make a much more legitimate roll by using all Thanksgiving leftovers in a roll...gravy instead of cream cheese...nah that'd be gross.  

  • I usually use canned chicken for the buffalo chicken.  Pinwheels aren't exactly a showcase of your cooking/baking skills, anyway, so I like to keep things chop, chop.  (Literally) 

  • Don't have Frank's hot sauce?  Go get some.  You will thank me as your life is changed forever.  


Refrigerator Dill Pickles

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!

Summertime calls for watermelon, lemonade, ice cream, swimming, and cook outs.  And every quintessential cookout will have something to cook outside, usually meat and vegetables in some form.  (I know we're all thinking hamburgers, bratwursts, and hotdogs, but hey, there are some other weird traditions out there, too.)  And if you're cooking out, you're going to need buns and condiments.  And the best condiment award goes to....pickles!!

Not only does it have the best taste (opinion), but it stands alone.  As in, if you eat a pickle, no one will think twice.  But if we see you munching on a romaine lettuce leaf or slurping on a spoonful of ketchup, well, you might get some stares.  Of course, this is coming from someone who doesn't like hamburgers and once ate a romaine sandwich.  As in, onion, ketchup, mustard, and pickles sandwiched between to Romaine lettuce leaves.  Mmmmm.  Yeah, it was weird.  But I was so hungry, and hamburgers were the only option, I rather enjoyed it.  That's now on the worldwide webs.  Maybe I should change my heading to be: "Jenny, the girl who eats condiments like a main dish." Don't worry I won't, only you, my seven followers, are now privy to this information.  Haha.  

Back to pickles.  Now that we have remembered how great pickles are, did you know they are super easy to make at home?  Yes they are, and now you know that too.  Boil some water, throw some ingredients in a jar, chop up some cucumbers, stick them in the fridge, and voila!  Pickles.  

Recipe adapted from my mama


Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Makes about 24 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups / 830g water

  • 1 1/4 cups / 296g white vinegar

  • 1 Tbsp / 12g sugar

  • 1 Tbsp / 17g salt

  • 1 tsp / 2g turmeric, optional

  • 4 cups or about 2-3 large cucumbers, cut into slices, spears, or shape of choice

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 2 heads fresh dill

  • 1 tsp red chili flakes, mustard seeds, or celery seeds, optional

Directions:

  1. Stir together water, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a large saucepan.  Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. 

  2. In a large glass jar or container, 4-quart or larger, arrange garlic, dill, cucumbers, and any spices you choose to use.  Pour the cooled liquid over the cucumbers, discarding or saving any leftover for another use.  Top with lid, sealing well, and refrigerate.  

  3. They will start to taste pickley the next day, but for optimum flavor refrigerate at least 3 days before consuming.  

Jenny's Notes:

  • I recommend making this recipe once as is to get an idea of the flavor profile, then play around to make it your own!

    1) If you like more bread & butter or sweet style pickles, up the sugar

    2) If you love dill, use more dill

    3) Add sliced onions or bell peppers

    4) Add more red pepper flakes or other hot pepper for more spice

    5) Really, add whatever suits your fancy. The garden is your playground.

  • The turmeric is for color, not so much flavor, to get that idyllic yellow pickle.  However, if you could care less about having a yellow pickle or don’t enjoy turmeric, leave it out!  I for one don't think the turmeric is very obvious in this recipe, but it's detectable if you really think about it.  

dill pickles, refrigerator pickles
American
Yield: 24
Author:

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Classic dill pickles made in your refrigerator in just 3 days.
prep time: 15 Mcook time: 10 Mtotal time: 25 M

ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups / 830g water
  • 1 1/4 cups / 296g white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp / 12g sugar
  • 1 Tbsp / 17g salt
  • 1 tsp / 2g turmeric, optional
  • 4 cups or about 2-3 large cucumbers, cut into slices, spears, or shape of choice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 heads fresh dill

instructions:

How to cook Refrigerator Dill Pickles

  1. Stir together water, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a large saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
  2. In a large glass jar or container, 4-quart or larger, arrange garlic, dill, cucumbers, and any spices you choose to use. Pour the cooled liquid over the cucumbers, discarding or saving any leftover for another use. Top with lid, sealing well, and refrigerate.
  3. They will start to taste pickley the next day, but for optimum flavor refrigerate at least 3 days before consuming.

NOTES:

I recommend making this recipe once as is to get an idea of the flavor profile, then play around to make it your own! 1) If you like more bread & butter or sweet style pickles, up the sugar 2) If you love dill, use more dill 3) Add sliced onions or bell peppers 4) Add more red pepper flakes or other hot pepper for more spice 5) Really, add whatever suits your fancy. The garden is your playground. The turmeric is for color, not so much flavor, to get that idyllic yellow pickle. However, if you could care less about having a yellow pickle or don’t enjoy turmeric, leave it out! I for one don't think the turmeric is very obvious in this recipe, but it's detectable if you really think about it.

Calories

10.04

Fat (grams)

0.04

Sat. Fat (grams)

0.01

Carbs (grams)

1.91

Fiber (grams)

0.20

Net carbs

1.72

Sugar (grams)

1.09

Protein (grams)

0.25

Sodium (milligrams)

276.95

Cholesterol (grams)

0.00
Nutritional information is approximate.
Created using The Recipes Generator