Is tzatziki Keto friendly?

What is tzatziki?

Tzatziki is a Greek yogurt-based sauce or dip that is popular in Greek and Mediterranean cuisine. It is typically made by combining strained yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, dill, mint, salt and pepper. The yogurt gives tzatziki its tangy flavor and creamy texture, while the cucumber provides refreshing crispness. The garlic, herbs and lemon juice add delicious flavor accents. Tzatziki is served as a condiment or topping for gyros, souvlaki, grilled meats, vegetables and more. It can also be used as a sauce or dip for pita bread. Tzatziki is refreshing, cooling and quite versatile.

Is yogurt allowed on the keto diet?

Whether or not yogurt is allowed on the keto diet depends on the type of yogurt.

Plain, full-fat Greek yogurt or other full-fat yogurts are generally accepted on keto. Full-fat yogurts contain more fat and less carbohydrates than low-fat or nonfat varieties. The higher fat content allows full-fat yogurt to fit better into keto goals of consuming high amounts of fat and low amounts of carbs.

However, many lower fat yogurts contain added sugars and thickeners that boost the carb count. These varieties would need to be limited or avoided altogether when following a keto diet.

When selecting yogurt for keto, it’s important to read nutrition labels and choose plain, unsweetened full-fat yogurt with no added sugars. Pay attention to the carb count – yogurt with under 5g net carbs per serving would likely fit into keto macros.

Greek yogurt tends to be higher in protein and fat with less carbs than regular yogurt, making it an excellent keto choice. Other full-fat yogurts like whole milk yogurt can also work for keto as long as carb counts remain low.

Nutrition facts for tzatziki

The nutrition facts for tzatziki can vary somewhat depending on the specific ingredients and quantities used in the recipe. However, here are some general nutrition facts for tzatziki:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 75 per 1/4 cup serving
Total Fat 6g
Saturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 8mg
Sodium 172mg
Potassium 141mg
Total Carbs 4g
Fiber 1g
Sugar 2g
Protein 2g

As you can see, a 1/4 cup serving of tzatziki contains 6g of fat, 4g of carbs and 2g of protein. This nutritional profile can potentially fit within a keto diet if consumed in moderation.

Calculating net carbs in tzatziki

To determine if tzatziki fits into a keto diet, it’s important to look at the net carb count rather than just total carbs.

Net carbs are calculated by subtracting fiber from total carbs. Fiber does not impact blood sugar the way that digestible carbs do, so we don’t count it toward keto carb limits.

Let’s look again at the nutrition facts for a 1/4 cup of tzatziki:

Nutrient Amount
Total Carbs 4g
Fiber 1g

To find the net carbs, we take the total carbs (4g) and subtract the fiber (1g). This gives us 3g of net carbs per serving.

Ideally on keto, net carbs should be kept under 50g per day. Some aim for under 20-30g for optimal ketosis.

With only 3g net carbs per 1/4 cup, tzatziki can reasonably fit into a keto eating plan in moderation.

Tzatziki ingredients and keto

Now let’s take a closer look at the specific ingredients in tzatziki and see how they stack up against a keto diet:

Greek Yogurt
Plain full-fat Greek yogurt is keto approved due to its high fat content and low to moderate carb count. Be sure to avoid flavored yogurts with added sugars.

Cucumbers are very low carb at only 3g net carbs per cup. They are a great keto veggie choice.

Garlic is very low in carbs and provides great flavor with health benefits. It’s great for keto.

Olive Oil
Olive oil is a pillar of the keto diet. It provides monounsaturated fats and zero carbs.

Lemon Juice
Lemon juice contains minimal carbs and is a zesty, keto-friendly way to flavor foods.

Fresh or dried dill contains almost no carbs and provides fresh taste to tzatziki.

Mint is an aromatic herb that adds flavor without carbs – making it perfect for keto.

Looking at the ingredients, tzatziki is clearly comprised of mostly keto-approved foods. The combination of high fat yogurt, low carb vegetables, healthy fats, and fresh herbs allows tzatziki to fit into a keto eating pattern.

Tzatziki as part of a keto meal

While tzatziki on its own can fit into keto, it’s important to look at it in the context of your total daily macros and ingredients.

Some tips for integrating tzatziki into a keto meal:

– Use tzatziki to top keto-friendly proteins like grilled chicken, steak or salmon. This adds flavor and fat without significantly changing carb counts.

– Serve tzatziki as a dip for raw veggies like bell peppers, celery, cucumber and carrots. This makes for an easy keto snack.

– Use tzatziki as a condiment for wraps made with low-carb tortillas or lettuce leaves. It provides a moisture and flavor boost.

– Mix tzatziki with chopped cucumber, feta, olives, tomatoes and olive oil for a Greek salad.

– Enjoy tzatziki as a dip or dressing for salads containing keto-approved ingredients like spinach, avocado, cheese and nuts.

– Drizzle tzatziki over zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash as a lower carb “pasta” dish.

The key is balancing tzatziki’s carbs and fat with other keto foods throughout your day. Consumed occasionally in moderate portions, tzatziki can be included as part of a healthy keto diet.

Potential modifications to make tzatziki more keto-friendly

Standard tzatziki is generally already keto-compatible if eaten in moderation. However, there are a few potential modifications that can be made to reduce carbs even further:

– Use full-fat Greek yogurt for the base – this will have fewer carbs than regular yogurt.

– Limit the amount of cucumber or replace some of it with zucchini noodles or spiralized cucumbers which contain fewer carbs.

– Consider using lemon zest instead of lemon juice to reduce the liquid and carb content.

– Use additional herbs like parsley or basil in place of some of the mint which can have slightly more carbs.

– Add in extra healthy fats like avocado or a drizzle of olive oil to increase the fat ratio.

– Replace some of the yogurt with soft cheeses like cream cheese or goat cheese to reduce carbs.

– Use vinegar instead of lemon juice if you want a tangy flavor with zero carbs.

With just a few simple substitutions, tzatziki can be modified to make it work even better for a keto diet. But in most cases, standard tzatziki recipes already align well with keto goals.

Potential benefits of choosing tzatziki on keto

Enjoying tzatziki while following a keto diet can provide a few potential benefits:

More menu variety – Tzatziki gives you a delicious new flavor to enjoy without knocking you out of ketosis. This can help mix up your keto meals.

Healthy fats – The yogurt and olive oil in tzatziki provide a good dose of healthy unsaturated fats to help meet keto macros.

Low calorie – With only around 75 calories per serving, tzatziki is a lower calorie condiment that can help with weight management.

Nutritional boost – Tzatziki contains vitamin C, calcium, probiotics and other nutrients from ingredients like yogurt, cucumber and herbs.

Hydration – The high water content of tzatziki can help keep you hydrated on keto as hydration needs increase.

Convenience – Tzatziki is simple to make or buy ready-made, making it a convenient keto-friendly condiment and addition to meals.

By choosing tzatziki, you add flavor, versatility and nutritional value to your keto diet.

Potential downsides of eating tzatziki on keto

While tzatziki can be part of a keto diet, there are a few potential downsides to keep in mind:

Carb creep – Overdoing servings of tzatziki or eating it with other higher carb foods could push your daily carbs too high and knock you out of ketosis. Portion control is key.

Prep time – Making tzatziki from scratch takes time. If choosing a store-bought version, be sure to read labels carefully for added sugars.

Gut issues – Some people may experience digestive discomfort from the garlic or dairy in tzatziki, especially in large amounts. This may cause bloating or gas.

Water retention – Higher intakes of the cucumber and yogurt in tzatziki could potentially contribute to temporary water retention or weight gain for some people due to their salt and hydration content.

Allergies – Those with allergies to ingredients like garlic, dill, mint or dairy would need to avoid tzatziki due to risks of reactions.

While tzatziki can be enjoyed on keto for most people, it’s important to listen to your body and discontinue use if you experience unwanted side effects.

Tips for incorporating tzatziki into your keto diet

Here are some simple tips for adding tzatziki into your keto diet:

– Stick to 1-2 tablespoon servings and account for the carbs as part of your daily totals

– Eat tzatziki with lower carb foods like meats, vegetables and Greek salads

– Avoid pairing tzatziki with higher carb sides like pita breads or rice

– Look for tzatziki recipes with no added sugars or make your own

– Read labels carefully on store-bought varieties for accurate carb counts

– Consider diluting tzatziki with a bit of water if the yogurt texture is too thick

– Use tzatziki to add flavor to keto dishes without piling on extra carbs

– Only enjoy tzatziki a few times a week at most, not daily for best results

By being mindful of portions and ingredients, tzatziki can be incorporated into a keto eating pattern.

Keto-friendly tzatziki recipes

Here are some delicious keto-friendly tzatziki recipes:

Basic Tzatziki

Makes 2 cups

– 16 oz plain full-fat Greek yogurt
– 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and grated
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
– 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
– 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
– 2 tsp fresh mint, chopped
– 1⁄4 tsp salt
– 1⁄4 tsp pepper

1. Wrap grated cucumber in paper towels and squeeze out excess moisture.
2. In a bowl, combine squeezed cucumber with remaining ingredients and mix well.
3. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow flavors to blend.

Tzatziki Zoodle Salad

Makes 4 servings

– 3 medium zucchini, spiralized
– 1 cup tzatziki
– 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
– 1⁄2 red onion, thinly sliced
– 1⁄4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
– 2 oz feta cheese, crumbled

1. Place zucchini noodles in a bowl. Top with tzatziki and remaining ingredients.
2. Toss gently to combine.
3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Tzatziki Salmon

Makes 2 servings

– 2 (5 oz) salmon fillets
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 2 garlic cloves, minced
– 1⁄4 cup tzatziki
– 1 tsp dried oregano
– 1 lemon, sliced

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place salmon on prepared baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and top with garlic, tzatziki and oregano.
3. Bake 12-14 minutes until salmon flakes easily with a fork.
4. Serve salmon topped with tzatziki and lemon slices.

Get creative mixing tzatziki into keto recipes for delicious results!


Tzatziki can be part of a healthy keto diet when eaten in moderation. This classic yogurt-based sauce contains mostly keto-approved ingredients like Greek yogurt, cucumber, olive oil and fresh herbs. A 1/4 cup serving of tzatziki provides around 3g net carbs and 75 calories, allowing it to work within daily keto macros if portion sizes are kept in check.

Be mindful that overdoing tzatziki could increase carbs and stall ketosis. Pair tzatziki with other low carb foods like meats and vegetables, and incorporate it only a few times per week rather than daily. Make your own tzatziki or read labels closely on store-bought kinds, watching for added sugars.

With its cool, creamy flavor and nutritional benefits, tzatziki makes a great addition to spice up keto meals. By understanding proper serving sizes and how to balance tzatziki with other keto foods, you can enjoy this versatile Greek sauce without derailing your keto diet.

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