Swiss Chard Tzatziki (Yogurt Dip)

Tzatziki is a Greek dip made with yogurt, olive oil, garlic, and cucumbers. This version (from Martha Stewart Living) replaces the cucumbers with Swiss chard and is delightful with toasted pita. Dad announced a couple weeks ago that he didn’t like chard (my response – huh? since when?) and then proceeded to eat most of the tzatziki.

Swiss Chard Tzatziki (Yogurt Dip) Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 4.


  • 1 cup finely chopped Swiss chard leaves (ribs removed)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • A dash of cayenne
  • 3 (9-inch diameter) pita breads, cut like a pie into triangles
  • Olive oil for drizzling on to the pita bread


1 Bring a 1 or 2 quart saucepan, half filled with water, to a boil. Add the chopped chard leaves. Cook until tender, about 3-5 minutes. While the chard is cooking, prepare a bowl with ice water for an ice bath. When the chard is cooked, strain through a fine mesh strainer and put into the ice bath to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.

2 Using mortar and pestle, grind the garlic and salt into a paste. In a medium-sized bowl, stir in the yogurt, chard, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper. Set aside.

3 Cut the pita bread into triangles and layout in one layer in a broiling pan (use a sturdy broiling pan, not a cookie sheet or your cookie sheet will warp). Drizzle olive oil on one side of the pita wedges. Use a pastry brush to spread the olive oil more evenly. Place in a broiler. Broil for 5 minutes or until the pita bread starts to toast. Remove and let cool for a minute.

Serve the tzatziki with the pita wedges.

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Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Living Magazine.

Wikipedia on tzatziki

View Comments / Leave a Comment


  1. James

    for way better results with the yogurt, prepare it the night before. place two paper towells in a collander or strainer, then pour all your yogurt in that. sit it atop a bowl to collect the water, and let it sit in your fridge overnight.

    the result is extremely creamy yogurt and closer to the type they use in the mediterranean. :)

  2. Jeff

    So..if we have access…could we use greek yogurt instead?

    Note from Elise: Sure, go for it!

  3. Anonymous

    Trader Joe’s or a Middle Eastern grocery would also have the thicker and creamier yogurt.

  4. Adrian Seltzer

    The stems are a great vegetable too. Cut into bite sized pieces. Blanche them in the same pot of boiling water after you remove the leaves for the tzatziki (to save energy & water). When ready to serve, saute them in olive oil with 2-4 minced garlic cloves. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Opt some hot pepper flakes. This is especially pretty if you use rainbow swiss chard.

  5. jen maiser

    This is great, Elise. With the chard/cucumber replacement, it can be an eat local recipe. And I have chard coming out of my ears. (Sent Jason to the farmers’ market this weekend with one instruction: Get greens. Not chard. He came back with only chard.)

  6. Anna

    You could try using red wine vinegar instead of lemon juice, also try adding some crushed dry mint leaves.

  7. kat

    I too have a garden full but it’s kale instead of chard. Think I’ll give it a go! And the Greek yogurt is definitely worth the cost for its extra creamy texture.


    you may make your own yogurt as we do as a Turkish expat living in Ukraine where it is really hard to find ‘real’ yoghurt…
    here is the simple recipe:

    1 liter of whole milk (>2% fat; mostly we prefer 1/2 cow + 1/2 goat or sheep)
    4-5 table spoon of yoghurt. (for the first time, you may use ‘bio’ yoghurts of any brand… and then your own yoghurt)

    Bring milk to boil.
    Keep stirring to avoid scalding.
    Pour the milk into a glass jar or an enamel pot, and put it in a sunny/warm location where it will be warm for 4 hours or so and will not be disturbed/moved..
    In order to make sure it is kept warm, wrap the jar with some scarves
    In a small bowl put 4-5 tbs of yogurt and 5 – 6 Tbs of warm milk and mix them well.
    Pour this over the warm milk, and stir well
    Cover the pot, and make sure the wrap around it is tightly sealed
    After about 4 – 5 hours (depending on the warmth of the environment), check on your yogurt; if it is firm, your yogurt is ready for its next stage; fridge…
    Be sure to refrigeriate the yogurt for at least overnigt. This will help it set and have firm yogurt.
    (I usually try not to touch my yogurt for a full 24 hrs at least)

  9. bhags

    Hi Elise,
    I liked this recipe of yours and also adopted this one to come up with a new version of this…thanks for sharing the recipe…
    You can see the same at

  10. shannan

    Easy way to derib chard: Grab stem w/ left hand. With right hand loosely grip leaf where it begins on the stem and then briskly pull left hand and right hand apart. You will be left with stem in left and deribbed leaf in right. Unbelievably fast and easy.

    I too put the yogurt in a cheese cloth lined colander.

  11. Shelley

    Made this today with some beet greens and it was delicious! Even my very picky husband loved it and was shocked when I told him it was made with the beet greens!

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