Tzatziki is a popular Greek dip or sauce made with grated cucumber, yogurt, olive oil, and garlic.
Tzatziki may also be spelled “tzatziki(i)”.
Ever wonder if leftover tzatziki can be frozen or made ahead? The tzatziki sauce is more suitable for freezing than other dairy-based dips.
It has a lower water content than most other dairy-based dips.
There will be some texture changes, but this won’t alter the taste of the sauce as long as it is properly defrosted.
Continue reading for more information about this yogurt sauce, how to freeze it and how to defrost it properly.
What Exactly is Tzatziki?
Tzatziki is a traditional sauce made from yogurt, cucumber, lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil.
These are the basic ingredients for making tzatziki sauce. Some other more unusual spices, seasonings, or garnishes can be added to provide extra flavor.
Tzatziki tastes like a cross between mayonnaise and sour cream.
It is an indispensable part of taverna-style Greek cuisine, found on almost every table as a dip for crisp vegetables, meats, or pita bread points.
It’s also used as a sauce, dressing, and marinade for meat dishes such as chicken and lamb.
The sauce is not limited to Greek food dishes; however, it greatly adds sandwiches, burgers, potato salad, or coleslaw.
How to Store Tzatziki? Why Should You Freeze Tzatziki?
As previously mentioned, tzatziki sauce is more suitable for refrigerating than other dairy-based dips.
At least, that’s what most experts and chefs claim. Freezing can change the texture of yogurt or sour cream-based sauces such as tzatziki.
There’s a chance the texture may end up being too icy, even after defrosting to room temperature.
This will make the sauce lose its creamy consistency, which is part of what makes it so delicious and addictive, to begin with.
With that said, freezing tzatziki sauce is still an option if you plan to use the sauce later on in a dish that will be cooked first or if you’re OK with the altered texture.
Many people like having tzatziki available all year round. If this is your case, make sure you know how to store yogurt properly.
If you have leftover tzatziki, though, it means you haven’t used quite enough in a dish.
So don’t worry, there are plenty of other options for storing tzatziki after defrosting.
To refrigerate leftover tzatziki sauce, place it in an airtight container or plastic bag. The shelf life is about four days.
How to Freeze Tzatziki?
A great way to preserve leftover tzatziki is by freezing it. When freezing yogurt-based sauces, the best way to store them is in ice cube trays.
Once the cubes are frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container.
This will allow you to use just what you need without thawing the entire batch.
To freeze tzatziki properly, make sure you use a freezer-safe container with a locking lid.
The tzatziki must be completely cooled or even slightly chilled before it goes into the freezer.
This will help prevent ice crystals from forming in the sauce upon thawing.
Double wrapping the container will ensure that tzatziki remains fresh after it has been defrosted.
Make sure to mark the date on your bag, so you don’t eat expired sauces a few months later.
After the sauce has been frozen, it will last for about 2 to 3 months.
Does Freezing Affect Tzatziki’s Quality?
It’s important to know that freezing tzatziki will change its texture.
Freezing is the best way to store yogurt and sour cream-based sauces if you plan to use them in cooked dishes.
If you need the sauce with a creamy, smooth consistency for serving as a dip, it should only be served fresh.
Freezing also changes the sauce’s flavor, but to what extent depends on how long it has been stored.
The taste will be affected more in homemade sauces than in ones that might already contain some preservatives.
How to Defrost Frozen Tzatziki?
Keep in mind that defrosting can take hours, so make sure you plan.
Another thing to remember is not to leave the sauce at room temperature for a long period before using it since bacteria can easily grow at warm temperatures.
To defrost tzatziki, several methods can be used:
Thawing in the refrigerator: This is one of the best ways to ensure your sauce doesn’t get contaminated by bacteria during the thawing process.
Keep it refrigerated until you’re ready to use it; no need to let it sit out for long.
Thawing at room temperature: Since this is the fastest way to defrost tzatziki, it’s not recommended.
The reason has to do with bacteria and contamination risks.
However, if you’re in a hurry and you have no other choice than to leave your sauce out for a while before serving it, make sure to place it in a well-sealed container, so it doesn’t dry out.
To defrost in cold water: This method is ideal if you need your tzatziki sauce right away.
Fill a container with cold water and submerge the sealed container with tzatziki.
Change the water every 30 minutes. The sauce should be ready in about 2 hours.
How to Tell if Tzatziki is Bad?
You can tell if tzatziki is bad by smelling and tasting it. If the yogurt looks or smells strange, don’t use it for tzatziki.
Tzatziki is commonly made from strained yogurt, but a thicker variety may be used instead, which will also keep better in the fridge.
You can tell if tzatziki is bad by looking at its expiration date. If it is expired, don’t use the tzatziki even if it looks and smells OK.
The texture should be smooth with a bit of a sour taste to it. So throw it out if the yogurt smells sour or has any consistency like cottage cheese.
If you taste it and get a bitter taste in your mouth, throw it out. Finally, if any of the signs for expiration are found, throw it out.
Although, good tzatziki can be kept in the refrigerator for four days. If it develops any strange texture, color, or odor, it’s time to make a new batch.
In conclusion, tzatziki can be eaten as a dip or used in Greek salad, souvlaki, and pastries.
Freezing tzatziki may not be necessary if it is going to be used within four days.
However, freezing will extend the shelf life of tzatziki to 12 months.
It is important to ensure that the tzatziki is in a freezer-safe container that will protect it from freezer burn and ensure its safety for consumption when thawed.
- When freezing yogurt-based sauces, the best way to store them is in ice cube trays.
- Once the cubes are frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container.
- This will allow you to use just what you need without thawing the entire batch.
- To freeze tzatziki properly, make sure you use a freezer-safe container with a locking lid.
- The tzatziki must be completely cooled or even slightly chilled before it goes into the freezer.
- Double wrapping the container will ensure that tzatziki remains fresh after it has been defrosted.
- Make sure to mark the date on your bag, so you don’t eat expired sauces a few months later.
- After the sauce has been frozen, it will last for about 2 to 3 months.