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How To Fix Runny Tzatziki | The Best Way

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The best way to fix runny tzatziki is by draining the liquid from it with the help of cheesecloth. You can also improve runny tzatziki by adding salted and dried cucumbers to the dip, or try adding whipped cream or cream cheese. 

This article will explore some options you can try to fix your running tzatziki. I’ll also walk you through ways you can prevent runny tzatziki in the future.

A bowl of tzatziki with cucumbers nearby

There Are Three Ways To Prevent a Runny Tzatziki

Your tzatziki is runny because the dip has too much liquid. There are three ways you can solve this issue:

  • Draining the fluid from the dip
  • Adding dried cucumbers
  • Adding whipped cream or cream cheese

Drain the Excess Liquid Liquid From the Dip

You’ll need a cheesecloth or a coffee filter to drain the excess liquid from your tzatziki sauce. If you’re using a coffee filter, you’ll need to place it in a strainer. You will need to:

  1. Place the filter, sieve, or cheesecloth over the top of a bowl with a wide mouth.
  2. If you’re using a cheesecloth, hold it in place using rubber bands.
  3. Fill the cheesecloth/coffee filter with your tzatziki sauce.
  4. Cover the mouth with plastic wrap. Alternatively, remove the rubber bands and tie the cheesecloth in a small bundle if you’re using a cheesecloth.
  5. Place the jar/bowl with the tzatziki in the refrigerator overnight and allow the liquid to drain completely.
  6. When you remove it, your tzatziki should be thicker without the excess liquid.

Add Dried Cucumbers to Your Runny Tsatsiki

Adding cucumbers to the tzatziki can help thicken it up. However, cucumbers are 96% water, so you should drain them of all liquid, or they will make your sauce even more watery. To dry and drain your cucumbers, you should:

  1. Dice your cucumbers into small cubes
  2. Place the diced cucumbers into a strainer, and place it over a bowl.
  3. Salt the cucumbers with a salt of your choice—kosher salt is generally preferred because it is less refined.
  4. Cover the strainer and refrigerate it with the bowl. The cucumbers’ liquid will drain overnight and strain into the bowl.
  5. Once you have extracted the liquid completely, you can add the cucumbers to your tzatziki and mix it in.

Add Whipped Cream/Cream Cheese

Whipped cream and cream cheese can act as thickening agents for your tzatziki. Other soft cheese (like ricotta) will do if you have neither on hand. 

For this option, you should slowly add in your thickener of choice. Start by adding about two teaspoons, mixing it in, and then gradually more until you reach the desired consistency. Adding too much will transform your tzatziki from a dip/sauce consistency into a spread.

Additionally, remember that this method will alter the flavor of your tzatziki—possibly a lot, depending on how much of the thickener you’ll need to add. Before you explore this option, you should be confident you’ll enjoy the changed taste. The two options discussed above are better if you’d rather keep the original flavor

Whipped cream on a mixer

How To Avoid Runny Tzatziki

While fixing runny tzatziki is one thing, you’ll likely also want to avoid this from happening again. Luckily, it’s a simple matter of adapting two ways to solve runny tzatziki while making your next batch of tzatziki. 

One of the most important things to do to prevent runny tzatziki is to choose a thicker yogurt.

Greek yogurt is one of the traditional choices for tzatziki because of its thickness and lower water (whey) content than regular yogurt. (If you want to make genuinely traditional tzatziki, you’ll need strained goat’s or sheep’s yogurt, but that can be challenging to find.

Once you’ve chosen the right yogurt, you should strain the liquid out of it using the method described above for your tzatziki. While manufacturers generally drain Greek yogurt of its fluid during production, draining it again ensures you don’t have to worry about runny tzatziki. 

You can also watch this YouTube video if you’re looking for a reminder on how to hang yogurt:

Aside from hanging and draining your yogurt, you should also ensure that your cucumbers are properly salted, drained of water, and dried using the method described above.

Finally, ensure you only use as much olive oil and lemon juice as your recipe requires. Adding too much runs the risk of turning your tzatziki runny.

Final Thoughts

Solving the issue of runny tzatziki is relatively easy – you can either drain the sauce of the excess liquid, add dried cucumbers, or add a soft cheese or whipped cream to your runny tzatziki. 

If you want to avoid runny tzatziki in the future, make sure you use thick yogurt, drain the yogurt before using it in your dip, and salt and dry your cucumbers before adding them to your tzatziki. You should also ensure you only add as much lemon juice and olive oil as specified in the recipe.

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For more, don’t miss How to Make Whipped Cream Without Heavy Cream (Step-by-Step).

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