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This vegan tzatziki is great as a dairy-free and gluten-free sauce or dip! It is a cashew tzatziki that is creamy, tasty, and a great substitute for a traditional tzatziki.
What is tzatziki?
Tzatziki is a classic Greek recipe that is used as a dip or a sauce. It is traditionally made with yogurt, cucumber, garlic, lemon, and dill or other herbs. There are some variations as well, but these are the most common ingredients. It is often eaten with gyros, meats, salad, bread, vegetables, and more.
I enjoyed traditional Greek tzatziki so much when I was younger, so when I went vegan I just had to make some dairy-free tzatziki! Of course it contains some different ingredients, but it still has a taste that is very similar to that of traditional tzatziki.
How to veganize tzatziki
To make vegan tzatziki, we have to replace the yogurt. Some vegan tzatziki recipes use tofu or vegan coconut yogurt to replace the Greek yogurt in a traditional tzatziki. This recipe however is made without yogurt or tofu.
I chose to use blended cashews to replace the yogurt for this recipe because cashews add some nice whole-food protein and they have a fairly neutral flavour that allows the other more flavourful ingredients to shine.
This recipe is:
- Whole Foods Plant-Based
- Diverse (can be used in so many ways!)
Here is what you will need for this vegan tzatziki recipe (scroll down for quantities and full instructions):
- Lemon juice
Tips for making
This vegan cashew tzatziki is super easy to make, but here are some tips to make sure it turns out just the way you want it.
- If you do not have a high-powered blender or food processor, you should soak your cashews before blending them. You can leave them soaking at room temperature for several hours, or you can boil them for about 15 minutes if you don’t want to wait that long. Making them softer will ensure that they blend up nice and smooth without any leftover chunks.
- Adjust the amount of garlic as desired. I like using 2 cloves for this recipe, but if you want a really strong garlic taste for this tzatziki, add as many cloves as you’d like.
- For the cucumber, I suggest peeling it before adding it to the recipe. Traditional tzatziki is made with the cucumber grated or finely chopped and then it is simply mixed in. I personally prefer a smooth texture, so I chop the cucumber and then blend in with all the other ingredients in my blender. It’s really up to you which texture you prefer. You can even blend in some of the cucumber and then mix in the rest at the end.
How to serve this vegan tzatziki
This cashew tzatziki can be used in so many ways! Here are some ideas:
- Use it as a dip or sauce for raw or cooked vegetables
- Thin it out with more water and use it as a salad dressing
- Put it in a wrap
- Put it in a sandwich
- Spread it on bread
- Use it as a dip for tortilla chips
- Use it as a dip for crackers
Check out these other whole-foods plant-based dips:
If you are looking for some help to get started with a plant-based diet, check out this plant-based grocery list.
Vegan Tzatziki (Oil-Free)
- 1 cup cashews (+ water to soak)
- ⅓ cup water
- ½ cup cucumber (peeled and chopped)
- 2 garlic cloves (approx. 7 grams)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon dill
- If you don’t have a high-powered blender or food processor, start by soaking your cashews for several hours to soften them up. You can alternatively boil them in water on the stove for about 15 minutes.
- Once your cashews are soaked (if necessary), add the cashews to your blender or food processor with 1/3 cup of water. Blend until smooth.
- Next, prepare your cucumber by peeling it and chopping it up. If you want your tzatziki to be completely smooth, you can blend everything including the cucumber in your food processor or blender (I suggest leaving out the dill and just mixing it in with a spoon so that your tzatziki doesn’t turn green). If you want some texture to your tzatziki, grate or finely chop the cucumber and just mix it in with all ingredients.
- Add more garlic if desired.