tzatziki-potato-salad Recipes

tzatziki potato salad

I don’t eat potato salad for lunch. That would be… unhealthy, irresponsible, gluttonous, and nutritionally unbalanced. However, I have found that when potato salad exists in the fridge, it has a way of becoming lunch, usually through a nibble that becomes a forkful which eventually leads to succumbing to the fact that potato salad, on occasion, make a fine carb-bomb of a warm weather lunch.

two pounds, ready to boil
quartered tiny potatoes

Fortunately, there are entries in the potato salad archives for times just like these. Three years ago, I made a pesto potato salad with green beans and, so you know, adding green beans to potatoes totally makes it a balanced lunch. Last year, I made a spring salad with new potatoes — see how tricky I was there? It’s mostly salad, with early vegetables like asparagus, radishes, and sugar snaps but it’s also got a few potatoes in there and a sharp Dijon vinaigrette. And today, I made a tzatziki potato salad heaped with a pound of shredded, cold cucumber, lemon and garlic yogurt, and oh, there are some potatoes in there too. It’s as lunchy as potatoes can be and considering that I was able to make it in the all-too-slim margin between preschool drop-off, grocery shopping, and the post-preschool I’m-huuuungry-mama meltdown, I think it will be my go-to potato salad this summer, should the rains ever stop long enough for us to put some lamb skewers on the grill.

feeding the cuke into the chute

shredded cucumber
making a small mess

This is also a friend to mayo-phobes, you know who you are. I confess to being fascinated by the level of revolt many people feel towards mayonnaise. “It’s a classic French sauce!” I try to tell people. “It’s a simple emulsion of egg yolk and oil!” but nobody listens to me. “Just try to make it from scratch once and see if it still seems so terrible!” Alas, today I won’t even have to get on my soapbox because it turns out that yogurt (and a slip of sour cream) make a phenomenal, non-contentious dressing from things you likely already have in your fridge, and I imagine will be as welcome at your weekend cookouts as, well, you.

tzatziki-clad potatoes

Potato Salad, Previously: Pesto Potato Salad with Green Beans, Spring Salad with New Potatoes, Roseanne Cash’s Potato Salad, Horseradish Potato Salad (also mayo-free, with sour cream), Dilled Potato and Pickled Cucumber Salad (my husband’s favorite, with refrigerator pickles and radishes), Potato Salad with Sherry Mustard Vinaigrette, Arugula, Potato and Green Bean Salad (more of a dinner salad, with potatoes), and Salad Olivier (Jacob’s favorite potato salad). Teaser: I’ll have another lunchtime potato salad favorite over here.

One year ago: Strawberry Summer Cake
Two years ago: Scrambled Egg Toast
Three years ago: Strawberry Shortcakes
Four years ago: 30 Ways To Be A Good Guest
Five years ago: Coconut Pinkcherry Yogurt

Tzatziki Potato Salad
Mostly adapted from Ina Garten

Please forgive me, if you can, for running a recipe so close to one from a few years ago.* I cannot help it. When you find the tzatziki you want to spend the rest of your life with, you don’t go auditioning new ones on the side just in case. You just make it as often as you can and sometimes cold, boiled potatoes find their way in and those days, you get to call it lunch.

* Three whole days before having a baby. Why was I cooking? Really, you should have had a talk with me about that.

Here’s what I love about this salad, aside from the fact that it’s a cinch to make: it’s cool and refreshing while so many potato salads are full of heft — the the cucumber-dill-yogurt-lemon-garlic thing is like an edible air-conditioner. Such things come in handy during especially sticky NYC days.

4 pounds potatoes (I like tiny Yukon golds, but you can use whatever boiling potatoes you like for salads)
1 3/4 cups Greek yogurt (I used full-fat but I think other fat levels would work)
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from half a big lemon)
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
1 medium garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons kosher salt (I use Diamond brand; use less if you use another, read why here)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 hothouse or English cucumber (1 pound), unpeeled but quartered lengthwise, seeds removed

More ideas for additions: Crumbled feta, chopped green olives, chopped fresh mint leaves or a minced hot chile

In a medium pot, cover your potatoes with cold water and bring them to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-high and let potatoes simmer until tender enough that they can be pierced easily with a skewer or slim knife. I find that small potatoes tend to be done in roughly 30 minutes from the time I put them on the stove cold, but it’s best to start checking 5 to 10 minutes sooner. Drain potatoes and let them cool completely. (This is a great step to do ahead, as it seems to take potatoes forever to cool. If you’re really in a rush, spread them on a tray and pop them in the freezer for 10 minutes.)

Meanwhile, in the bottom of a large bowl, stir together yogurt, sour cream, lemon juice, vinegar, dill, garlic, salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper.

Grate the cucumber on a box grater (or in your food processor’s shredding blade, if you like to get things done in one hundredth of the time) and try to remove some of the excess by squeezing out handfuls, pressing it in a mesh sieve with a spoon or wringing it in a square of cheesecloth or a lint-free dishtowel. Add to yogurt mixture.

Once potatoes are cool, cut tiny ones into quarters or larger ones into generous chunks. Add to cucumbers and yogurt and stir to coat. Add any extra ingredients desired. Adjust seasonings to taste. Either eat immediately or keep in the fridge for up to three days.

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207 comments on tzatziki potato salad

  1. There was just an article in Bon Appetit online about how yucky mayo is. (I think that’s a technical term.) I can’t be the only one more likely to have Greek yogurt in the fridge instead of mayo. Can I?

  2. Heidi

    I just made a lemon pound cake that called for “full-fat Greek yogurt.” I went to four stores looking for it, only to find low fat and no fat. Who makes full-fat Greek yogurt?

  3. I share your astonishment of all the people who are anti-mayonnaise. Judging from the way they screw up their faces when mayo is mentioned, it’s certain the brain washing has been deep and absolute. This might remain on of the world’s great mysteries.

    Thanks for sharing this unique version of classic potato salad. I’ll have seconds, please.

  4. amy

    I’m a reformed mayo-phobe, as in I finally realized how delicious it is. However, mayo in potato salad always seemed too heavy-handed to me, so I’ll happily go the tzatziki route! Sadly, our forecast calls for rain, and potentially snow, so this recipe probably won’t get an audition this weekend!!

  5. Amanda H.

    This sounds so good! I don’t happpen to have any white wine vinegar, but could I safely substitute apple cider vinegar and it would come out more or less the same?

    1. deb

      Hi Amanda — Yes, I think most mild vinegars would work.

      Heidi — I used Fage brand, which is readily available in NYC because it’s made upstate. Not sure what’s near you, sorry.

  6. Jess

    I love everything about this recipe. I have your Strawberry Summer Cake in the oven right now, and I promise you that I’ll have eaten the whole cake AND an entire batch of tzatziki potato salad by this time tomorrow!

  7. Jennifer

    Mayo-phobe here, so I’m glad to see this!

    I think it’s the smell that put me off mayo, that and the fact that my mom only bought Miracle Whip. I’d like to make my own at home to see if I can tolerate it any better.

  8. Marbarre`

    Deb, I cannot tell you how happy I am to have you “BACK” with regular postings. I know the cookbook will be worth the absence, but you have been woefully missed!
    And speaking of the cookbook, of course we pre-ordered, not one, but 5 copies!!!

  9. I am totally afraid of mayo. My husband lathers his sandwiches with it, but it terrifies me. It’s totally a texture thing -I can’t bite into a thick layer of cold, creamy, white – ness. [I’m this way with yogurt, too, although I can handle a thin layer of it, with granola. Or potatoes. Because these look awesome].

  10. I love a lightened potato salad in the summer. It is a comfort food for the warm days, a little goes a long way in the summer. I am a fan of the yogurt sauces, I find mayo and all its forms usually a bit to greasy for my taste…. well minus the whole french fry combo then I will dip away.

  11. My husband is a mayo-phobe, unjustifiably, so this is a recipe that I can definitely try for the family. I like the refreshing addition of shredded cucumber. A great salad for the summer.

  12. Shannon

    Is there any reason for cooking potatoes whole and then cutting after they cool? I usually cut them first and then boil. Maybe I should change my ways?

  13. So potato salad isn’t supposed to be a main course? Because it always ends up as one for me. It um has some protein from bacon and hard boiled eggs. And classic potato salad just begs me to dunk it in bbq sauce. Maybe I’m just weird. Great now I want to make BBQ sauce/ranch potato salad.

    I like that this potato salad is summer diet friendly. I bet some roasted red bell peppers would be a welcome addition as well.

  14. Would it be totally gilding the carbohydrate lily to serve this with warm pita wedges alongside? Cause that’s what I’m thinking I should do…

  15. Aura

    I had about five pounds of potato salad for lunch today (my excuse is pregnancy). If you had published this recipe yesterday I would have pigged out on a much healthier version of last night’s leftovers. Also my Greek boyfriend would have been much happier. Next time…

  16. I love making mayo from scratch (I know it’s nerdy to be amazed by such a transformation), but I am still really not interested in eating it. I know I should get over my phobia, but fortunately there are many good things to eat that don’t require it. This salad looks like one of them!

  17. Val

    Deb – have you used a diary product called Labne? It is Lebanese in origin and a cross between thick Greek yogurt and sour cream. It is tangy, spreads almost like cream cheese. When mixed with yogurt makes for this delicious, thick, tangy sauce.

    1. deb

      Hi Val — Yes! I like it. Not so much to eat as yogurt (it was once served to me with compote and granola, but I couldn’t get into it) but I had it the other day swirled with olive oil and sea salt and served with Middle Eastern-spiced crackers and it was astounding. Promise, I’ll be recreating that one at some point.

      Shelley — You’re right! I’ll add a full potato salad list at the bottom. Maybe slaws too? I might be here all evening. ;)

      Gale — Actually, I was really craving toasted pita wedges while I was eating it and then chided myself for being such a carbapalooza.

      Michelle — OMG, french fries and mayo. I hate that I ever ever learned how good they are together.

  18. JanetP

    Oh my! Why have I never thought of this?! It sounds amazing. (as was the rosemary flat bread from last night, btw.)

  19. I’m making a Greek Memorial Day feast and this looks SO PERFECT for it. It’s so funny how you are always so RIGHT ON with what I need. Thank you! Looks delicious.

  20. Totally link up the other potato salads to this one! Though if you bring slaws into it, you’re def going to be here all night. I made the recipe you adapted from Roseanne Cash’s potato salad and it was a huge hit.

    I just read this recipe out loud to my husband (an unparalleled tzatziki fan) and he practically yelled “OMG! You have to make that!”
    I should bring up all of the times he made fun of me when I was re-reading the whole site this winter (yes, really – and yes, it totally holds up!)

  21. Yasmin

    This looks fantastic! I’m eager to try it. And, as a mayo-phobe, I appreciate these yogurt-based riffs on delicious classics from which I deprive myself. But, alas, I have tried to apply the reason that you used above but to no avail. I like eggs (actually, I love eggs). I like oil. Why can’t I like mayo? I even tried making it at home. Once the ingredients turned into mayo goodness, it was game over for me. Sigh. So, I’ll continue to love the mayo-phobe recipes that kind souls like you publish.

  22. Christina

    Heidi – In my part of the country, Fage full-fat Greek Yogurt is not too terribly hard to find (as in, 1 in 3 stores carry it). Don’t know if that’s one of the many perks of living in the LA metro area though (along with the produce).
    And this recipe is making me second-guess my previous choice of what I was going to make for the Memorial Day BBQ this weekend. But, if Deb says it can also be lunch, that’s good enough for me. SOLD!

  23. Potato salad for lunch sounds just fine with me! Especially when you cram in lots of dill and cucumber. :) I like to do a potato salad a bit like this with yogurt and steamed geen beans–so good.

  24. Natalie

    This sounds like an awesome combination to try! Especially with a tonne of fresh dill added in, delicious! Here’s another twist on potato salad to try: with pesto! I roast the potatoes with garlic, s&p. I slightly blanch a bunch of green or yellow beans. Add in slivered red onion. And the dressing is basil pesto thinned with a bit of white wine vinegar. Yeah, it’s good!

  25. Pru

    Deb, I thought you should know that I was just on Amazon & the Smitten Kitchen cookbook is number #3 on the Top 100 Most Wished for Books on Amazon!!! (im assuming the list is based on how many people add it to their Wish List) YOU’RE THE THIRD MOST WISHED FOR COOKBOOK IN THE WORLD!! & it hasn’t even come out yet!!

  26. Veronica

    I make a version of this, like, ALL the time during summer. I still add about a spoonful of mayo because it plays so well with others. I also like deceive myself and throw in a whole bunch of Greek salad ingredients- slivers of red onion, halved cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, grilled chicken. Because then it’s not like eating potato salad, it’s like eating *salad* salad. With potatoes.

  27. Veronica

    @Heidi- you can make greek yogurt at home so easily! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZZAUqFqAnY is the method I use, though I omit the cream most of the time because I don’t need other vehicles for dairy fat into my diet. But it’s absolutely divine for good quality tzatziki, and tastes exactly like what I had in Greece.

  28. I think I would be a happier person if I ate potato salad for lunch every day. This sounds like a great addition to my potato salad repertoire.

  29. Nia

    This looks amazing. I come from a family of potato salad experts, and can’t wait to try it out on them. My mom sprinkles her potatoes with vinegar while they are still hot. I don’t know if this really improves the salad or not, but I can tell you it’s always delicious.

  30. Ariel

    I just made your yogurt-marinated lamb skewers the other night… when was the last time it wasn’t raining? I made it then! Last weekend? The lamb and tzatziki was fantastic :-)

    Where is that super cute kitchen towel from?

  31. DaveK

    This recipe sounds so good! However, I don’t always love dill in my potato salad (sacrilege, I know). Are there any other herbs you think would be good instead?

  32. carissa

    as a recovering mayo-phobe (i can tolerate it, in small amounts, in certain recipes—NEVER on a sandwich, though.), and a lover of all things yogurty, i love this!

    also, 2007 was FIVE (5!) years ago?!

    also also, your son is in preschool?! i started reading this blog right after he was born, i believe. i was a newlywed. now i have a baby, and your baby is in school. THE TIME, WHERE DOES IT GO.

  33. Kate

    This is very slavic of you and reminds me of a dish that my mom used to make, that my grams had made for my gramps who was from the former Yugoslavia. The potatoes were boiled and peeled, the cucumbers were sliced super thin and the dish was finished with green onions, some kind of vinegar and s&p.

  34. John Miley

    I am worse than any mayo-phobe, but actually have justification (highly allergic to eggs). This potato salad recipie looks great!

  35. jwg

    I am seriously yoghurt phobic. Just the smell of it makes me sick. Can I substitute all sour cream? I promise to make it low fat. As a matter of fact, can I substitute sour cream for yoghurt in things that require cooking?

  36. Kawa

    As someone with an egg allergy and a boyfriend who loves his potato salad (and his Greek food, though I don’t know if he’s ever tried to mix the two), I highly appreciate this yogurt-y alternative!

  37. Another tip for getting moisture out of cucumbers if you don’t have cheesecloth is to take a few coffee filters, layer them together, fill them with the shredded cucumber, and SQUEEZE. Works like a charm :)

  38. I think this would be elevated further (and bump up the satiety) by folding in some shards of hot-smoked salmon, or laying over slithers of cold-smoked salmon: balances out those carbs. That’s what I do with potato salad that I want as a meal. Love the tzatziki twist.

  39. Oh my, this looks delish. I love Yukon golds…so buttery. I have a bag of small red potatoes that I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with–I think I’ll try this.
    And the Greek yogurt from Trader Joe’s? Divine. It is very similar to sour cream. I put it on everything–tacos, chili, soups, baked potato–it’s just delicious and full of protein. And I get the nonfat! It’s fantastic.

    And mayo is YUMMY. It’s the fat content, but there’s an olive oil version in stores, or just make your own.

  40. Fiona

    The only time I ever make potato salad anymore is generally for a BIG crowd. I mean 100+ people. Here is my potato boiling tip: before cooking I grade my potatoes into piles according to size: small, medium and large. I start out my cooking with only the largest of potatoes, then after several minutes of cooking I add the mediums and finally I add the smalls a few minutes towards the end.

    There can be up to ten minutes in between, depending on the water temp & volume, vs. the amount of potatoes. By doing this, you assure that all potatoes will be done to the same consistency, and avoid having the small ones fall apart or the large ones be too hard in the center!

  41. Wait, huh? I am at a loss over the idea that there are so many mayo-phobes. Here in France, I have in my fridge right now four different kinds of mayo (normale, fine, citron, leger) and yet we’ll make it for anything “important” (which is usually the case). I know that some of the ladies mentioned texture but is it just that? Or fat content too? Very curious!

    And yes, I will definitely be making this. I haven’t had tzatziki for awhile since visiting a non-cooking friend who made a version that had the consistency and taste of…toothpaste! Of course, we all told her that we liked it so she made it all weekend long! :O

    1. deb

      Heather — I think it’s the tubs of mayo sold in the U.S. that are not made with good oils but sketchy salad oils and a ton of other ingredients. It’s also the usage. Many people grew up with picnics where salads were swimming, literally suspended, in cups of mayo (mayo pasta salads turn my stomach, admittedly) and from that, mayo has gotten a bad rap. I don’t remember seeing a lot of gloppy, heavy mayo salads growing up so it doesn’t bother me and I quite like it on a sandwich.

      Fiona — Great tip!

      jwg — Of course! The Horseradish Potato Salad in the archives uses all sour cream too.

  42. I unrepentantly love and adore mayonnaise, but I sometimes add a couple of spoons of Greek yogurt to lighten it up – the two combined make a delicious sauce for potato salad, although mostly it’s mayo OR a vinaigrette with lots of olive oil. Adding the tzatziki element in is a twist I hadn’t though of…

  43. Angela

    @Heidi–If you can’t find full fat Greek yogurt, use full fat, good quality, plain “American” yogurt and let it sit in a cheese cloth-covered sieve balanced over a bowl (in the refrigerator) for a few hours or even over night. Excess water will drip out and give your yogurt that thick Greek consistency.

  44. Laura B.

    Pssht. Add enough veggies and a hardboiled egg to your potato salad, and it is totally a healthy lunch. I am a fan of potato salad for lunch.

  45. Geri

    Tzatziki YUM! Back in the early 80’s tried this wonderful yogurt sauce for the first time. The Greek restaurant we visited became our favorite hangout. Nothing like this combination of flavors and textures etc. compares. I’m sure it would work as a facial too. :) Anxious to try the wonderful potato salad recipe. Thanks so much!

  46. Sue

    I’ve been using greek yogurt a lot lately, it’s also a great sub for sour cream. I happen to like mayo, but this is a nice change and you could totally lighten up any mayo potato salad recipe with greek yogurt. My absolute favorite greek yogurt is Wallaby organic, Whole Foods has it.

  47. I love the idea of the cucumbers! Almost a “raita” potato salad you could serve with tandoori skewers too! And you have to eat it for lunch, it’s your duty…eat it all asap…because the cucumbers will get soggy if you let it hang around for too long…:)

  48. Patricia Price

    Years ago I came across a potato salad recipe that used a vinegrette dressing made with freshly squeezed lemons, olive oil, a tsp. or two of a light mustard, a little oregano, a little chives and s&p mixed and poured over still hot boiled potatoes. It became my favorite and is the base for many variations. I’m going to try yours this evening along side a nice piece of fish. Yummmmm!

    1. deb

      Patricia — Sounds almost like a German potato salad! Though, I think in those the dressing is heated, too? Either way, it’s delicious and one of my favorite parts of ordering schnitzel is that it comes on the side.

      Carissa — Not preschool, not really. 2.5 hours a day. “Play group” “daycare” etc. I think they call it preschool so they can charge more. ;)

      DaveK — Mint would be great. Or a little tarragon.

      Pru — So cool! I hadn’t seen it. Thank you. No, seriously. You guys did this. I’ve been mostly sitting on my butt since I finished writing it. ;)

  49. Jyll

    ooh this is post is giving me all kinds of ideas…this recipe sounds awesome. i make the tatziki recipe with nonfat greek yogurt (fage) and nonfat sour cream all the time and it totally hits the spot! i try to watch the carbs and fat and have a lot of fun reworking recipes to that end. like for your recipe i might try substituting cauliflower for half of the potatoes in addition to swapping out the full fat for nonfat. i find that good seasoning (fresh herbs) often is the most important part for satisfying flavor anyway. i am salivating right now thinking about this recipe with bbq chicken…gonna make it this weekend! thanks for the inspiration. now, off to check out your pesto potato green bean salad…

  50. I started making this about a year ago, since I love potato salad, but the mayo-averse other half thought he didn’t. Turns out he still doesn’t love potato salad, but will eat it like this.

  51. Megan V

    This sound so awesome! I like the comparison of cucumbers and greek yogurt to edible air conditioning :) and the whole combination with fresh dill added just makes my mouth water. I think potato salad is a totally acceptable lunch! (especially for us gluten-free folks who have to avoid wraps and sandwiches)

  52. Hi, my name’s Sue and I’m a mayo-phobe. Homemade or jarred, mixed with relish or in a potato salad — it’s just not my thing. Bake it with artichoke hearts and parmesan, however, and that’s an entirely different story! Have made yogurt/sour cream potato salad before, but never though of using tzatziki — great idea!

  53. Can I emphasis the cooling the potatoes bit… I made something similar to (but not as nice as) this the other day and in my greed lashed everything together with -gah- still warm potatoes. Curdled potato salad is NOT a good look. And worse, it tasted a bit blugh too. I shall employ my renowned motherly patience next time. A well as dill and cucumber. And a side of Pimms.

  54. Susan

    I think I’d been eating an American version of tatziki all my life but knew it as a cucumber salad that we ate all summer long; it was so refreshing on a hot day. It didn’t contain yogurt but used sour cream instead. I also made the whole thing using chopped cucumbers as the sauce for my macaroni salad adding sliced scallions, chopped tomatoes and celery for crunch. Delicious. I’m not a mayo lover, but not a hater either..just hate it in excess and can’t stand getting it on my knuckles while fishing it out of the jar. ~shiver~ This was my only bad memory of making school lunches for my kids. I swear, I think it takes 2 hand washings to get whatever oil is in jarred mayo off your skin..at least, it did/does for me.

  55. This post is a bit of a milestone for me, because I started following you a year ago and made that strawberry cake you mentioned several times. Fun! And I adore tzatziki. This one will make an appearance on my summer table.

  56. Amy

    Made this last night to go with some fish pan-fried with lemon slices and a tomato salad — it was fantastic! (Eating leftovers for lunch now.) One question: why do you boil the potatoes and then cut them up? I cut them into chunks and then boiled them because it’s just too hot to have the stove on for long, and it seems to have turned out just fine.

    1. deb

      Amy — I find they get more watery/water-logged when boiled then cut, but if you don’t notice it, no reason to bother the other way around. You’ll save time, of course, on cooking and cooling.

  57. Robin Keller

    Potatoes are FULL of PROTEIN by them selves! No need to make excuses of making a meal of them. When my husband makes oven fries according to Cooks . Illustrated, we make them our supper. It may be deficient in veggies, but on a rare occasion that’s OK.

  58. Anne

    Perfect timing: my mom and I were just discussing potato salad last week! And I love the lamb kebab recipe, so I’m happy to see a new twist on the same ingredients :)

  59. deborah

    Ok – so this post required a comment – because as i read your blog, I JUST finished a potato salad sandwich for lunch. And as you had suggested, making potato salad more of ‘salad with some binder’ is much easier than i had thought as well. My potato salad consisted of celery, onions, asparagus, pickles, carrots, eggs, a very little bit of fingerling potatos and veganese, and a lot of mustard. To boot, I’ve been (succesfully) on a diet for months! After I made the potato salad this past week and ran the numbers I found it was VERY low in calories (120 per serving) and was an exceptional, very filling lunch between two slices of bread. So there you go! :)

  60. Jenna

    Made this tonight and it was delicious! I like my potato salads either hot or really cold, not in between, and this could have used some time in the fridge (my own fault), but it was still awesome. Can’t wait to eat the leftovers tomorrow. I doubled the tzatziki sauce to eat later with pita. I didn’t have a tzatziki recipe before, but I do now!

    And mayo…blech. I can do small amounts in salads but never on sandwiches. Growing up my mom never understood why I found the longest handled spoon and cringed when I still managed to get some on my hands. I think I need to try homemade though, because I want to like it.

  61. E’owyn

    Hey Deb! This looks great! In the second to last paragraph you say “remove some of the excess by squeezing” I’m assuming excess liquid because of the watery cukes? Thanks for another hunger inducing recipe!

    Heidi from post 6, if you have a Trader Joe’s near you, try the store brand. They have full fat, low fat, and non-fat greek yogurt. :-)

  62. Carolyn

    I’ve only recently gotten over my mayophobia which was brought on by a gross middle school joke. Hard to shake those; it took me 20 years! But I love Greek yogurt way more! I’ve recently seen Fage yogurt at Aldi at half the regular grocery store’s price, for those of you who live near an Aldi. Deb, I started reading your blog when you were pregnant, and I think the original tzatiki recipe was one of the first I read. But I had forgotten it and made Alton Brown’s recipe last week. It had too much garlic and my kids thought it was “hot.” I’m trying your version next week. If you and Ina love it it must be outstanding.

  63. PamelaD

    My mom, the mayophobe, used to pour garlic french salad dressing over the hot cut up potatoes and leave them in the frig overnight to soak up all that goodness. She would then build the potato salad with eggs, pickles, onions, etc. Made the most amazing orange potato salad and it was magnificent!! I’ve been looking for another terrific potato salad and this looks like it will fill the bill. I’m headed to the grocery store tomorrow and going to buy potatoes and cukes. Thanks for giving me such wonderful inspiration.

  64. p

    all you mayophobes here, i loved my mum’s homemade mayo as a kid. then grew up and discovered US commercial/store mayos, plus the piles of goopy salads at every summer gathering and found them to be… revolting.
    but, happy to say, i found one we love: spectrum organic mayo in the glass jar (not plastic squeezy things, ick). chill it before using (has a much milder taste that way). no major mayo smell like the other mystery ingredient ones. no super hefty after taste. as close to homemade as i’ve gotten. pretty awesome. they also have olive oil ones if you want to give that a go. but we like the classic organic one. conventional grocery stores carry it in the organic/natural aisle. WF and amazon both have it, too.

    also, re greek yogurt – fage used to be my fave years ago. but then we switched to all-organic dairy. and i have hunted and tried so many brands before i recently found one that i am happy to say i LOVE more than any other commercial greek yogurt: wallaby organic. made in california, started by 2 entrepreneurs, available nationwide at WF stores. they have a whole milk one and a lowfat one. it’s very, very thick and creamy with a nice, not overpowering tang.

    of course you can also make greek yogurt at home, very easily. all it is is strained yogurt (yogurt without that green liquid, aka whey). spoon your favorite brand plain yogurt (or homemade yogurt) into a clean cheesecloth. tie into a bundle. if you have a fridge with rack/grid shelves, just tie the bundle onto the shelf and leave a bowl under the suspended bundle. if not, put the bundle in a colander, put a plate on it, and a bowl under the colander. leave in fridge for 4 hours or so to let the whey drain. open the cheesecloth and spoon out homemade greek yogurt. done!

  65. Thank you so much, this is exactly what I needed on this hot Amsterdam day.

    Time to stop studying for finals, and start making lunch!

  66. CQ

    I am a confirmed mayo-phobe. Yes, I have made it from scratch. Yes, I understand that it is just an emulsion of egg yolks and oil, and I think that’s the problem. Egg yolks and oil? Blech. I think I can feel my mouth coating with grease and my arteries clogging. Just not a fan. Greek yogurt, however? I can eat it plain in huge quantities.

  67. Kim in MD

    Yum! I think this will be my go to potato salad this summer, too! I’m not a big fan of jarred mayo, but when I make it homemade I don’t mind it.

    Jacob is adorable, Deb! I can’t believe he is in pre-school already!

  68. P.R. Bain

    Yup, I’m a mayo-phobe…you see it’s the OIL. If it only it wasn’t so oily and therefore yucky…:-(. This sounds great…yoghurt, lemon, and so forth…a definite must-try!

  69. Marcia in NJ

    I want to make this with locally grown fingerlings for a family BBQ on Memorial Day. Dessert will be your strawberry summer cake, which I made several times last year, including to take to a friend’s house on July 4, to great acclaim, and for which I couldn’t wait to buy strawberries at a local farm today. (The barley flour really adds something. Thanks for that also.)

    First, two questions:

    1. Your comment #101 says: “Amy — I find they get more watery/water-logged when boiled then cut, but if you don’t notice it, no reason to bother the other way around. You’ll save time, of course, on cooking and cooling.” Don’t you mean the reverse–that potatoes tend to get more water logged when cut, then boiled?

    2. The cucumber shown before and after being food-processed is doing a fantastic imitation of zucchini. What’s up with that?

    Thanks! You are the best!

    1. deb

      E’owyn — Yes, it’s to remove some of the excess water.

      Marcia — You’re right. I did mean it the other way around. I need to stop responding to comments so quickly. And yes, it totally looks like zucchini. I think it’s because what other recipe do we ever grate cucumber for? But here, it works so well. I hope you enjoy the salad.

  70. Mel from NC

    I am shocked (shocked!) by the level of mayo-phobiness expressed in these comments. I LOVE mayo. I live in the South and can’t imagine a world without Hellman’s. I want to say “get over it” but that wouldn’t be polite. Have decided to make this ‘tater salad tomorrow and love the thought of adding bacon AND feta. I love this site and Jacob’s haircut (he did just get one, right?) and laugh at myself every week for finding his picture before reading the recipe.

  71. I want to thank you for sharing all of these recipes! (I’m new to your site!) I would have never thought to use Tzatziki in potato salad. I’ve always used mayo… even though I buy mayo and it usually has soy and/or canola and these make me a little sick. I just love potato salad so much that I couldn’t give it up. So I will be trying this recipe. I’m actually really excited. And yeah I guess I need to start making my own mayo.. I tried once and it came out horrible…

  72. I love potato salad and love mayo, I just lighten it a bit by mixing in some low fat yogurt into my mayo. Potato salad in the fridge is bad news as I will continually pick at it every time I open the fridge door.

  73. I am always happy to see potato salad recipes without mayo or eggs because people are always talking about how much they love potato salad and I have learned to make my own in self-defense. Mayo? I’ll start by saying “Ick.” It is bland. It is greasy. It is an unappetizing shade of pale. I like my fat calories to taste good (butter, hard cheese, whipped cream, nuts, natural peanut butter, sour cream). You can make it yourself — it makes no difference: mayo is mayo. You can call it aioli: mayo is mayo and contaminates anything it touches — even if you scrape it off the bread it leaves a lingering greasy patina. But potato salad with cucumber, yogurt and garlic, or potato salad with pesto and green beans, or potato salad with vinaigrette and new potatoes? That is potato salad.

  74. I can eat Tzatziki straight up with a spoon…I can’t wait to try it in potato salad form. How creative and a nice change of pace from the traditional Hellmann’s potato salad. Thank you for posting!

  75. BethB

    I just made this in an attempt to put off turning on the a/c on a hot day here in VA, and it did the trick. I roasted the potatoes first and also added some scallion. The raita/tzatziki is incredibly refreshing. Thanks so much forthis one!

  76. HanaS

    Tried it today for lunch and loved every bit of it, thank you ever so much for the inspiration. There was no way it could have gone wrong – I love tzatziki and I love potatoes, too. Never thought I could put both together. And thanks to you I did.

  77. Marcia in NJ

    Deb (#127), I sort of combined this with (the concept of) your spring potato salad, using 2 lb. fingerlings (cut up but not peeled), about 1.25 lb. asparagus (blanched, then cut into 1-inch pieces), and a handful of shelled-on-the-spot local peas (no pickled scallions). Now I will toss a cucumber through the Cuisinart, squeeze it dry, and fold it in. I bought both cucumber and zucchini at the farm in case you responded in time. You did!

    Oh–there’s the oven timer–the strawberry summer cake is done. I used a 9-inch springform this time. The house smells like a strawberry jam factory, and that is rather nice. Homemade creme fraiche will go on top.

  78. Wow, I like this so much. I used to make Tzatziki sauce and served it with chips, but I can’t remember when i prepared that the last time. But, i have to say that this one looks even more delicious, and it is a lot healthier. Thanks, this recipe is excellent.

  79. Reminded me of meals in Germany with my host mother. She would make potatoes and serve it with tzatziki. I didn’t like potatoes, so would smother them in the sauce!!

  80. Nia

    Made this today, bought a 1.5lb bag of tiny Yukon Golds, made half of a recipe of the tzaziki. IT WAS AMAZING. I used Greek Gods plain yogurt and I thought it was great. We scooped up the extra tzaziki with chips.

  81. John

    Deb, as usual your timing was impeccable. We were looking for a side dish to go with our Sockeye salmon for the Memorial Day weekend, and voila! you came through again. The potato salad was just as good on day two (and day three for that matter).

  82. Miriam

    I made this last night… Fantastic! And very forgiving. Even so, there were two issues…. My food processor creamed the cucumber… Maybe the box grater is the way to go? And it seemed very salty to me… Next time I’ll start with one tsp salt. I agree with you about cooking the potatoes whole… I think the texture is completely different. After you are finished cooking them, and drain them, put them back in the pan with a clean dishcloth bunched over them, under the lid; it will draw out even more moisture.

    1. deb

      Hi Miriam — Oops, I meant the shredding blade. Does your FP have one? I should clarify this, huh? I also forgot to add my standard disclosure about coarse and Kosher salt. Brands vary wildly in saltiness. I use Diamond brand, which is the lightest, so two teaspoons would be not terribly over-salty. Morton brand is much heavier, and if you used this, two teaspoons would have been too much. I feel bad that both your troubles were oversights on my part! I hope you got to enjoy it, just the same.

  83. Eliza

    I made this for Memorial Day BBQ on Saturday, then had to make it again for another BBQ on Sunday. Thank you SO MUCH for combining my two favorite things: tzatziki and potatoes.
    YUMMMMM.

  84. Bess

    I went on a Smitten Kitchen binger before going into labor, and I don’t even cook all that much. I used five of your recipes in a manner of three days, all after coming home from work. I brought the leftover salted brown butter Rice Krispie treats to the hospital (which is odd, since I have always thought that the people who bring things for the nurses are waaay too prepared and considerate of others). A little goes a long way though, we were treated like celebrities :)

  85. Judy Johnson

    I made this yesterday and it was wonderful!! Not at all heavy and a great combination of flavors. I was so tempted to eat the dressing by itself with some tortilla chips (didn’t have any Pita bread), but I resisted.

    I want to pass along a tip for pressing excess moisture out of the cucumber that I came across several months ago. Use a potato ricer. It works like a dream to press out excess water and doesn’t mush up the product. I’ve used it on spinach and shredded potatoes, too.

  86. edawg

    Southern Living Mag has a recipe for Tzatziki Pasta Salad in this month’s issue….looks equally tasty for all the tzatziki lovers out there….

  87. Megan

    I made it but forgot to buy sour cream, and used my own home made Greek yogurt which maybe was a bit dry. I also just chopped the cucumber up and put it right in and just used the one kind they had at the store (probably not the one called for in the recipe). I tried putting the dill through a garlic press to mince it but it wouldn’t all go through, so I just chopped it small (and now I have a TON of leftover dill, I had to buy a huge bunch). It makes a lot of potato salad (my husband and I ate it for dinner, but there is so much left that we’ll bring it to a potluck tomorrow).

  88. Ellen

    You had me at “friend to mayo-phobes” (my boyfriend is one) and “edible air-conditioner” (we live in a top/4th floor apartment in Brooklyn). So what I mean to say is, thank you for this post!

  89. Made this for my Memorial Day get-together yesterday and it was a huge hit! I love the tang of the greek yogurt paired with the creamy potatoes. The shredder blade on my food processor made me so happy (I just stuck the cuc in whole because I was feeling lazy). And I may or may not be eating it for dinner tonight…Thanks once again for the great inspiration. Have you ever tried beet tzatziki? It is one of my favorites. I’ve got a version up on my blog that I highly recommend if you’re interested in trying it out.

    ~C

  90. Susan Love

    Heidi Fage makes a full fat greek yogurt in addition to their 2% and fat free versions. Fat free yogurt-yuck!

  91. I just made this tonight! It was PHENOMENAL. The only thing I did differently was add more salt, more dill, and an extra garlic clove. Tzatziki and potoatoes… who knew!? My husband must have really liked it cuz he promply did the dishes right after he finished his meal :)

  92. Hi Deb.
    My first time commenting on here though I’ve been enjoying your many recipes for the past year…most recently made your Pink Lady cake for my girl’s 6th bday…yum! And I can surely make your crock pot black bean soup in my sleep…and many of your slaws, etc, etc.
    But here I am, preggo with my 4th, due in a month, and I find it’s dangerous to check your site these days…so many yummy things to see and crave but so little extra energy to actually make them myself. Buf THIS…this I had to try. Plus, full meals are really out of the question right now…buf a summery, light potato salad? Yes, please.
    It did not disappoint either. SO UNBELIEVABLY GOOD.
    THANK YOU. :)

  93. Jen

    How awesome this was! I roasted my potatoes instead of boiling them, so they had that little roasty crunch on the outside. Loved it – thank you for the recipe!

  94. Sandi

    I made it even easier – bought the tzatziki already made. Cooked the potatoes the night before, added the tzatziki in the early morning so it could chill together until dinner. Added in additional fresh dill, red pepper, red onion, salt, pepper. Huge hit over the weekend.

  95. Linda

    Another thought on cooking the potatoes…last week I was making asperagus soup with cilantro from The Occassional Vegetarian cookbook and they had me cut the potatoes into pieces and then steam for 8 minutes. The potatoes came out perfect after only 8 minutes and were a wonderful texture. They were cut into about 1/2″ cubes. I don’t think I will ever boil potatoes again! Ingredients for this salad are on my shopppping list for tomorrow. Thanks Deb!

  96. Irina

    Any grilled meat, ever, is just an excuse for me to make a ton of tzatziki and eat it with a spoon (if yogurt + fruit is breakfast, why must yogurt + vegetables be a condiment?)
    But now: potatoes.
    You’re a genius.
    This opens so many doors.

    I’m gonna try it on a pineapple.

  97. Just made these for lunch as a side along with a quiche. It’s by far the best potato salad we’ve had. My hubby normally doesn’t enjoy potato salads but his first comment was “This taste really fresh!”. This one will have a permanent home in my recipe box. Thanks!

  98. Heids

    YUM! Had this tonight with wild Sockeye Salmon and asparagus and it was DELICIOUS! Can’t wait to take it for lunch and not worry that I will contract salmonella…

  99. ElaineL

    Fage’s plain Fat-Free Greek Yogurt is one of my best friends. It is the best of the other “Greek” brands. I wouldn’t use it always as a sub for sour cream or full-fat yogurt (fat-free doesn’t always work in baking, for example) but in this recipe, I will definitely try it.

  100. Ariane

    Made this last night with mayo instead of sour cream and mint instead of dill and it’s delicious! Thank you for the recipe.

  101. Sarah

    This potato salad rocked my world!!! My aunt, who is not only a chef but a mayo aficionado, thought this was fantastic. Thank you for another amazing recipe!

  102. Llydia Llapwing

    A healthy alternative potato salad is – when the new pots are hot from the pan toss them in olive oil.

    When they’ve cooled down a bit dress them with chopped coriander and mint and lots of black pepper and some sea salt.

    Lovely eaten in tiède mode.

    I still prefer creamy potato salad but the English way, not with dill.

  103. Gloucester

    I made this yesterday – funny reading through the mayo-phobic comments, as my phobia is of Greek yogurt! Too thick, weird, even slightly chalky texture…like eating a bowl of curdled cream cheese…feel kinda grossed out even writing about it.

    But this recipe had me licking up the dressing by the spoonful and hoping the potatoes would cool in the freezer fast enough for me to actually assemble the salad! Looking forward to lunch today…

  104. Car Insurance Homer Glen

    I love a good tzatziki sauce… I feel it goes well with almost everything!!! And what’s better than a potato salad during a summer BBQ?
    I love all the recipes that are using greek yogurt now… such a healthier alternative to the thicker cream based mix-ins.

  105. Rebekah

    I can’t wait to try this. I’m not a mayo-a-phobe, but I do love a good tzatziki. One problem, I recently found out that I am allergic to garlic (Can you imagine? Just awful!). Any ideas on a tastes just as good substitute? Thanks in advance!

  106. Janice

    This is INCREDIBLE! I just finished making it and I am sad that I need to wait until dinner to have it.

    I used mint instead of dill and it is, if possible, even MORE refreshing. YUM!

  107. Judy

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe, so easy but so good. I made it for my Farmers’ Market stall and it was a huge hit so I now make it regularly. It lasts well too, last Wednesday we were rained off but it was still fine for Friday.

  108. Lisa

    Looks delicious, and I’m glad to hear it holds well. We do a lot of camping with friends, etc., and good food is always a part of it. In that vein, not like you aren’t already super-busy, but have you considered a “picnic/bbq” file for your site’s recipe index? Would love to get a heads up on which recipes hold well for the cooler.

  109. EG

    I, too, am a mayo-phobe. I know the ingredients. But it still scares me.

    I used FF greek yogurt and rf sour cream (it’s what we’re accustomed too!) and it’s delicious! I’m sure it’d be richer with the full fat stuff, but for us this is perfect!

  110. susan

    Thanks for another winner! A simple but delicious twist on an old favourite. I had to use all Greek yogurt as sour cream is expensive / difficult to find in Asia. The second time I made it I tossed in some crunchy veggies (celery, red onion and radish) and it was a great addition.

  111. ENS

    Thanks for sharing this genius twist on potato salad! Continuing with the Greek theme, but wanting more veggie, I added about 6 oz. Coarsely minced spinach to the batch. Delicious!

  112. Kristin G

    Deb, only you could post a recipe that made me crazy enough to boil potatoes in 95 degree weather at 8 months pregnant with no A/C… and I am SO glad I did. This was fantastic. I will be eating it today for lunch. And probably for dinner.

  113. Wow, I made this salad for dinner this week, and not only has it already lasted me through three lunches, but each time I’m so delighted at how healthy it feels to eat, instead of heavy and mayonnaisey. Such a perfect combination!

  114. Victoria

    OMG this was delicious! It took everything I had not to eat the entire bowl. Will you forgive me for licking the spoons.

  115. KTB

    MMMmm I think this is lunch sorted. I got an artichoke yesterday which I am really looking forward too for lunch and was debating what to have with it. Problem solved!

  116. I understand you are not a big fan of mayo but if you were to use mayo, which brand would you use? I am not sure what to use for your chicken salad. I usually buy spectrum from Whole Foods and it’s normally canola but lately I am finding it less and less impressive. I tried Spectrum regular and did not like that at all.

    1. deb

      Anna — Oh, I love mayo! Seriously and unapologetically. I just occasionally try to cater to people who hate it (i.e. most people I know). But I just use Hellmans. I’m sure there are better out there, but it’s what I grew up with.

  117. I just made this for my family tonight and it was a huge hit! I didn’t have dill so I used parsely and lemon thyme… I also chopped seedless cucumbers up and just added them into the mix. Definitely a recipe I’ll return to, thanks!

  118. Diana

    This is the kind of blend of comfort foods that will make summer eating seem like heaven. I am glad someone analyzed the whole process and wrote it all out. Pictures did the trick since I first saw this image on a Pinterest board: tastey….go figure. And for the lady who was cooking three days before having the baby, good job….carrying out your nesting instincts to the very end. I remember sewing on my daughter’s birth!

  119. Sarah

    This is a blessing because both the men in my life (my father and my boyfriend) hate mayonaise. I will try making this next time we have a summer picnic or some such thing. In the meantime for us mayo lovers do you have a homemade mayonaise recipe you’d be willing to share? I’ve always wanted to try making it but I haven’t found a suitable recipe.

  120. Anastasios

    Hi there. I live in Greece, I love tzatziki, but.. about mayo. I agree to something a friend told: Mayo is the food that God put his hand in.
    :)
    Have a nice day everyone.

  121. Jenn

    Great recipe! The first time I made it, I used the box grater and found the cukes didn’t drain much and the dressing was way too wet. This time I used a food processor, and saw that a lot of liquid came out immediately.Maybe salting the cukes and letting them drain, then rinsing them would help make the box grater work better.

  122. Audrey

    I love tzatziki and all things Greek. And I use Greek yogurt exclusively – not any other kind of yogurt – and have discovered that we like it enough to use it as a regular sub for sour cream.

    Thanks for another hit!

  123. Kay

    This is delicious! I discovered Greek yogurt about a year ago and it is now the only yogurt I’ll eat. I went ahead and quartered my potatoes before boiling, and they only took about 15 minutes to cook.

  124. Marta

    Just wondering what the amount of servings would be for this recipe. I’m making it for our annual rib fest and need it to feed about 12-15 people. Thanks

  125. deb

    It depends on how much else is being served. I’d estimate 8 servings, but it could be more if people will take smaller scoops since there’s so much else around. (Or, if they fear there’s mayo in there! :) )

  126. What a delightful, charming, well-written, well-photographed website this is! But this isn’t about Nicole Parton Favorite Recipes … Seriously, your site is gorgeous. It’s fun, too. Congratulations and Mazeltov to you! xox Nicole

  127. kari

    I love this potato salad recipe. Tried it for the first time tonight. I be making it again. It might be my favorite potato salad ever.

    Thanks!

  128. Michele

    This is good! My takeaways:
    1) I would use a higher sour cream to yogurt ratio. Personal preference. Sour cream lover, indifferent to Greek yogurt.
    2) I halved it but forgot to use less dill and garlic. Even so, I think it could use EVEN MORE dill and garlic. But I’m used to tzatikis that are garlic bombs.

  129. caleen

    omg! this is amazing…just made it for tonight’s dinner. I have dill, mint, and parsley growing in my garden. this is going to be a regular…. thanks!

  130. June

    Made this tonight to accompany the updated oven ribs recipe. Chopping, steaming, and briefly freezing the potatoes worked great, but I was underwhelmed by the yogurt sauce.. it just didn’t have enough flavor for my family. If I make this again I will definitely double the lemon, garlic, and dill, and add something like capers or olives.

  131. Maria

    I just LOVE this potato salad. I’ve made it several times now, and it’s always a hit, especially with the no-mayo crowd! I only like homemade mayo, which is forbidden for the moment, as I’m pregnant. So I came back to this salad today, and it turned out wonderfully, as usual!

  132. Heather

    I love tzatziki and can eat it with a spoon. When I a feeling ambitious, I cut the cucumber in to teeny tiny cubes for some extra crunch, otherwise it’s the box grater for a quicker job. GREAT TIP – Generously salt the cucumber and put in a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl for about 30 minutes. It will lose just the right amount of water and stay crisp! It ends up being salty enough that you don’t need to add any to the finished product.

  133. Tiffany

    Deb, sometimes I think you read my mind. I literally just bought the ingredients to make a tzatziki potato salad of my own (I’m adding green beans to mine). Now I’m going to have to try your recipe instead of my own. Thanks! you are seriously a mind reader!

  134. Jordyn

    I made this for people who claim not to like potato salad and they all loved this! Said they didn’t even think it was a potato salad. Definitely much lighter tasting than a traditional mayo-based salad. I halved the amount of potatoes (2lb rather than 4) but still used a whole cucumber and really enjoyed the proportions. Great for warm summer nights!

  135. I made this exactly as written and it was utterly divine. I confess to being part of the mayonnaise haters club, but I LOVE potatoes. I will bemaking this again and again! Your recipes are so reliably good it’s just amazing.