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My wonderful mom reminded me that when we first made this, we also grated in 2 pickling cucumbers. I completely forgot to put them in the recipe here! Correction appended.
Have you ever seen a recipe here at NDP that called for mayonnaise? No, I don’t think so. Definitely not. That’s because I hate hate hate mayo with, well, a passion. It makes my stomach turn just to think about it! Yuck. The grossness of mayo notwithstanding, at least 95.5% of all dip recipes list mayo as an ingredient — incomprehensible, if you ask me. Why not pass up the mayo for some yogurt? Or sour cream, if that’s your thing? Why ruin a perfectly good dip with mayo? Disagree if you must — I get that mayonnaise is one of America’s favorite condiments. Just not one of mine.

(end rant.)


Here’s a delightfully fresh and mayo-less dip that’s perfect for summer. It’s a spin on Mediterranean tzatziki, a dill-spiked yogurt and feta dip. When my mom and I made some for our fathers’ day dinner, we spruced it up with fresh chopped mint and parsley in addition to the dill, and added a bit of fresh lemon juice to finish it off. Just when I thought it couldn’t be better, I made round two, and grated a bit of lemon zest in as well — good call; a little zest goes a long way. I also experimented with some cumin, which was interesting though unnecessary. As usual, I can think of a hundred ways to tweak this so-called “recipe,” like adding other spices, vegetables, herbs, juices, or even bases (yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese, ricotta, etc) according to your taste. Don’t be afraid to play around with it.



  • 1 15-20ish oz. tub of yogurt, sour cream, or (ick) other something (I used Fage brand greek yogurt)
  • 1 8-oz. block feta cheese, crumbled
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • zest 1 lemon
  • 2 pickling cucumbers, grated
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (feel free to omit any herbs or add in any you like!)

Combine all ingredients; mix well to combine. Garnish with mint sprigs, dill, or lemon. Serve with crudites (chopped raw vegetables), pita chips, crackers, or anything else.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Katherine McKamey June 28, 2008,

    I have to agree with you about the Mayo. I absolutely refuse to use it in any recipes and to put it in Chocolate Cake is the ultimate offense (sorry, had to throw that in.) – That was the only thing my Grandmother ever made that I just couldn’t eat! Everyone else was grateful they didn’t have to share with me…I just couldn’t get past the Mayo and chocolate thing. Major Ick!

    I love this recipe – can’t wait to serve it w/veggies & pita chips at lunch tomorrow.
    Thanks so much for sharing it!

  • grace June 29, 2008,

    i abhor mayonnaise.
    i adore tzatziki.
    and now, i adore you. glorious! 🙂

  • andrea June 30, 2008,

    Oh! I adore tzatziki too. This sounds fantastic.

    I’m wondering, do you think it’s possible to make anything that tastes like tzatziki without feta? Any suggestions for substitutions? I love feta but I’m trying to stay away from it since I’m pregnant.

    Regardless I will definitely be trying this recipe in a few months!!

  • rivka June 30, 2008,

    andrea, maybe try substituting some farmer cheese and a bit of salt for the feta? It won’t give you the same exact texture but it could be similar — otherwise, perhaps some ricotta? Let us know if you try either of these, and enjoy!

  • Hillary June 30, 2008,

    I’m in complete agreement! Mayo is grossss. Love tzatziki though! 🙂 Great rant.

  • Alison July 17, 2008,

    Funny, I just discovered this goodness. I made it with mini lamb burgers and stuffed them both (and lettuce and tomato) into a pita. Sooo good.