Vegan tzatziki

Vegan tzatziki

vegan tzatziki

After Friday’s dessert bonanza, today I have a simple side dish recipe for you. It’s an iconic Greek mezze that is famous the world over and something that I really missed once I quit dairy.

In the unlikely event of you not being familiar with it, tzatziki is a traditional Greek dip based on the soothing combination of creamy Greek yoghurt, cooling cucumber and mint. It’s seasoned with liberal amount of lemon and garlic. It’s a staple of Greek cuisine and it goes well with so many things – grilled vegetables, souvlaki, gyros and it’s almost impossible to visit Greece without being served it at one point or another.

As I am a massive garlic fiend and really like tangy flavours, this dish is right up my street. With good vegan yogurts being almost impossible to find here, I had to think of an alternative. Silken tofu has too much of an aftertaste for me and I don’t think that the flavours of this dish are able to conceal it sufficiently. Cashews, on the other hand, are neutral in flavour and naturally creamy so they work really well here. A few hours of chilling in the fridge is essential to give this dip the correct consistency.

My initial idea was to team this recipe up with another dish that I’ve been working on as the two make a die-for combo, but in the interest of keeping things simple, I’ve decided to publish tzatzki as a standalone recipe, especially that it is such a versatile dish and can really be enjoyed on its own.

But don’t worry, you will not have to wait long, the sequel is coming this Friday and I cannot wait to share it with you.

vegan tzatziki ingredients

makes
1 cup
PREP
20 min
COOKING
5 min
makes
1 cup
PREPARATION
20 min
COOKING
5 min
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 Lebanese (short) cucumber
  • 2 tbsp chickpea flour
  • ½ cup cashews, soaked overnight
  • 2 small garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried mint, adjust to taste
  • a few pinches of salt, adjust to taste
  • ¼ tsp white (or black) pepper, adjust to taste
METHOD
  1. Wash the cucumber and grate it coarsely – there is no need to peel it!
  2. Squeeze the water out of the cucumber using a muslin cloth or a fine sieve and a spoon to press the grated cucumber down. Save the water as it will come in handy later.
  3. Place chickpea flour and 6 tablespoons of water in a small pot. Simmer it on a low-medium heat, stirring frequently, until it transforms into a thick roux. It takes about 5 minutes.
  4. Drain the cashews and chop them roughly. Divide into 4 rough potions. This step helps to blend the cashews without adding too much liquid.
  5. Place lemon juice, cucumber juice and olive oil at the bottom of your blender. Add a portion of chopped cashews and blend until smooth.
  6. Add another portion of cashews, blend until smooth. Follow in the same manner with the remaining two portions of cashews.
  7. Finally add chickpea roux and blend well.
  8. Season with raw garlic, salt, pepper, dry mint (or fresh dill if you don’t like mint) and some apple cider vinegar for extra acidity.
  9. Transfer to a container and mix in grated cucumber. Place in the fridge for about 3-4 hours to allow the dip to thicken.

NOTES
The idea to thicken tzatzki with chickpea roux has been adapted from this beautiful blog.

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NUTRITIONAL INFO
calories
151
8%
sugars
2 g
2%
fats
12 g
17%
saturates
2 g
11%
proteins
4 g
7%
carbs
10 g
4%
*per serving
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4.8
12 reviews, 20 comments
REVIEWS & QUESTIONS
Tony:
Sooooooooo good! It reminds me of yoghurt based tzatziki from years gone by. Great texture, awesome taste - just what I was looking (and hoping) for. Adding a bit more apple cider vinegar got it to just the right acidity for me. Thank you!!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much, Tony! I'm really happy to hear that this recipe worked out well for you and thanks so much for taking the time to leave this lovely review - much appreciated. x Ania
Tara:
Hi Ania, so excited to try this. Can I use regular flour or is chickpea flour best? Thanks
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Tara,
    I haven't tried but it should work the same, just be sure to cook it off to get rid of that raw flour taste. Hope this helps! Ania
Courtney:
This has been such a game changer! I’ve made this so many times and never met a person who didn’t love it! Even the few claim to not normally like tatziki love this. Strongly suggest doubling the recipe, it’s always the first dip to go. Thank you for this recipe!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks, Courtney! :) I'm really pleased to hear that you enjoyed this plant-based tzatziki recipe so much. And thanks for letting me and my other readers know that you did - much much appreciated. Ania
Cheryl:
Hey, I really want to make this recipe but was wondering what I can substitute for a Lebanese cucumber? A small regular cucumber? Or half of a regular one?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Cheryl,
    Regular (English they call it) cucumber is fine, but they tend to be more watery so it might be a good idea to core it first. As for the quantity, go by feel. Good luck! Ania
Rachel:
I made this yesterday to go with your gyros recipe - it's so simple and tastes incredible!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Great to hear, Rachel! Thanks for taking the time to let me know and stay safe! x Ania
Lucy Fring:
I doubled the recipe - it is so good! I could drink it. Thank you! I'm a vegan as of January so this is a revelation! <3
    Ania
    Ania:
    I'm so glad to hear that, Lucy. And how fantastic that you've decided to give veganism a try. Ania
Lois:
Delicious ! It will be my “go to”!!!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you, Lois! I'm delighted to hear that! Ania
Dee:
Hi! Do you use raw or roasted cashews? Thanks! :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Dee, I use raw cashews for all cashew based sauces and cakes as I don't want the finished product to taste of cashews and roasting intensifies the flavour. Hope that helps! Ania
Shann:
Wow! This recipe is delicious!! Thanks
    Ania
    Ania:
    Pleasure! I'm really glad you enjoyed it! Ania
Mira Woschek:
I have made your tzaziki a few times now and I really like it. It even convinced my greek friend :D
But it has a quite sweet taste to it, I suppose from the cashews. I try adding more lemon juice to cut the sweetness, but do you have any other recommendation?
Would appreciate it.
Apart from that, I have loved every single recipe of yours that I made so far :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Glad to hear that you've enjoyed my recipes, Mira! As for the tzatziki, I'm not sure where you get the sweetness as on their own (I assume you are using raw cashews), they have a very neutral taste, I would say. I guess the solution is more acid, like you say. Perhaps red wine vinegar might be better as it's more intense than lemon juice or a teaspoon of tamarind concentrate (if you have any), to add more sourness...although it may affect the colour of the dip so I would be careful with it. Hope that helps! Ania
debra:
Would love to try but have a tree nut allergy. Do you have any recommendations for the cashews? Sunflower seeds?
thanks
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Debra,
    Yes, sunflower seeds should work just as well! Ania
Ada:
Ania - jesteś geniuszem, moje wspomnienia z nie-wegańskiej Grecji powróciły! Teraz brakuje mi tylko słońca, portu i mieszkania zimnego nie do wytrzymania zimą 😂
    Ania
    Ania:
    ha ha, dokładnie, Ada! Zima jest ziiiimmna. Dzięki za miłe słowa!!! x Ania
Jay:
Hi Lisa,
How long does the tzatziki hold for in the fridge?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Jay,
    I reckon 3-4 days for sure, provided it's in a sealed contained. Hope that helps! Ania
Lisa:
Hi Ania - i'm just starting the WFPB way of eating and I have a lot of questions. For you, my question is the specificity of chickpea flour. Is there another acceptable substitution? Is there a specific reason why you use chickpea as opposed to flax meal or a whole wheat flour ? Thanks!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Lisa,
    Chickpea flour simply acts as a bit of a thickener here. Sure, you can use flax meal if you prefer although you will get small bits of ground flax it the dip. Hope that helps! Ania
The Student-turned-Doctor @ Food for Dissertating:
I was looking for an easy vegan tzatziki and I found one that also tastes AMAZING! Thank you so much for this recipe. I'm not used to tzatziki being so thick but that's an easy adjustment if it ends up being necessary to thin it out. I had the tzatziki with some carrot zucchini chickpea fritters and with some vegetarian kibbeh and it was great with both.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks for your feedback! I'm glad your enjoyed :) Ania
Isabelle:
This is wonderful !! I'm absolutely in love with this tzatziki... the taste, the texture, and how easy it is to prepare.... Wow !
Thank you !!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Isabelle, that's sooo lovely to hear :) Ania
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