Haydari (Turkish Yogurt Sauce)

Haydari is a well-known Turkish yogurt sauce or dip. This vegan version is a delicious thick sauce and is ready in 10 minutes. This sauce is made with vegan feta cheese, soy yogurt mixed with fresh herbs, and a garlicky butter mixture. This Haydari sauce can be served as a Turkish meze with pita bread, but it is also delicious with a heavy main dish. 

Disclosure for affiliate links which are underlined and bold:
Read my full disclosure here.

This Turkish yogurt sauce may become your new go-to dip recipe. It’s easy to make, creamy and thick, refreshing, tangy, and made with fresh herbs. Serve it with extra virgin olive oil and pita bread, and you have the perfect meze.

Why you will love this recipe:

  • This vegan Haydari dip is easy to make and ready in 10 minutes.
  • It’s a thicker and delicious variation on traditional dips and sauces, such as hummus or Tzatziki.
  • The garlicky butter makes this dip a restaurant-quality dip.
  • This yogurt sauce is versatile as it can be served as a meze, dip, side dish, or main dish.
  • This sauce is as simple as preparing the butter mixture, mashing the feta, and combining it with herbs and yogurt. 

WHAT IS HAYDARI?

Haydari is a well-known Turkish meze dish or better known as a Turkish yogurt dip or sauce. It is a thick, refreshing dip made with feta cheese, yogurt, garlic, salt, fresh mint, and dill.

Traditional Haydari recipes also add garlic cooked in a dill butter mixture to the dip instead of raw garlic. This creates a delicious deep garlic flavor without making it sharp. And a traditional recipe will also call for a strained (Greek-like) yogurt called süzme to ensure the dip is as thick as possible.  

HAYDARI vs TZATZIKI

At first glance, this dip may look like Tzatziki, but the difference is significant. Tzatziki is made with grated or finely chopped cucumber, salt, and lemon juice combined with yogurt.
 
Haydari, on the other hand, is made with fresh herbs and contains no cucumber or lemon juice. The base is a feta cheese and yogurt mixture instead of yogurt. It’s, therefore, a thicker sauce. It also contains butter and garlic, so the flavor is rich, whereas Tzatziki is lighter and fresh. 

VEGAN HAYDARI

While this recipe may sound difficult to make vegan, it’s much easier than it looks. There are a few tips and tricks I will share with you to make this vegan Haydari just as delicious as traditional Haydari

HAYDARI INGREDIENTS

This recipe is simple and contains 8 ingredients. Only a few substitutions are necessary to make this traditional Haydari recipe vegan.

Unsweetened thick yogurt– many brands offer a thick vegan alternative to thick full-fat Greek dairy-based yogurt. This Greek-style plain yogurt by Alpro is an example. 

Feta cheese – to make this recipe vegan use vegan feta cheese. Traditionally used dairy-based Turkish feta cheese can be a bit saltier, so make sure to use salt in this recipe. 

Dill – both fresh and dried dill in this recipe add a strong flavor, a bit sweet and a bit like anise and parsley. Dill also enhances the flavors of the other ingredients.

Mint – will give this dip a subtly sweet and refreshing flavor. It’s a perfect match with the cool yogurt and feta cheese.

Sea salt – to bring out all flavors but also to create a typical Haydari saltiness.

Olive oil – is used to serve the Haydari. A good quality extra virgin olive oil will add an exciting flavor to the dip. 

Vegan butter – vegan butter is used to heat the garlic and take away the pungent taste of raw garlic. It creates a delicious garlic dill butter mixture to spice up the combination of feta and yogurt.

Garlic – garlic (not raw) adds a pungent flavor together with the butter and dill.

A light grey backdrop with several small bowls and a large white square marble cutting board with the ingredients for haydari dip and the name of the ingredients in bold next to it.

HOW TO MAKE HAYDARI (step-by-step with photos)

With 1 pan, 1 bowl, and 8 ingredients, you can make Haydari in 10 minutes. The below photos and steps are an outline of the recipe. For the exact recipe, please scroll down to the recipe card below. 

Step 1.
Heat a small pan over medium heat and add the butter, dried dill, and crushed garlic. Heat until the butter is melted and the garlic starts to change color. Set aside. 

Step 2.
To a bowl, add the feta cheese and mash with a fork until the feta is completely crumbled. 

Step 3.
Add the butter, dill garlic mixture, mint, dill, and salt to the feta cheese, and stir well to combine. 

Step 4. 
Add the yogurt as well and stir again to combine. The sauce is ready when it is thick and not runny.

Step 5.
Place in the refrigerator to cool and set.

Step 6.
Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and fresh mint. The result is a delicious, refreshing, and rich yogurt dip. It is often served with olive oil and pita bread. 

A bowl on a light grey backdrop with a thick dip in it garnished with olive oil, dill and mint leaves and a hand holding a piece of pita bread dipping it in the sauce.

SUBSTITUTIONS AND VARIATIONS

This recipe is made vegan by substituting dairy-based ingredients, such as butter, feta cheese, and yogurt, with a vegan alternative. But there are a few other substitutions possible. 

Yogurt

The traditional recipe is made with thick Turkish yogurt (süzme or labneh), so it may be tempting to go for a coconut-based yogurt as this is generally a thick yogurt. But it is essential to keep the yogurt plain and unsweetened; soy-based yogurt is best for that.

I made this recipe with plain regular soy yogurt and was also able to create a beautiful thick sauce because of the vegan feta cheese.

So if you can’t find Greek-style vegan soy yogurt, try regular unsweetened soy yogurt, but the dip might be a bit less thick.

Herbs

Fresh herbs work best for this recipe, but you can use the dried version of dill and mint. It will be different, though, and you may want to use more. Depending on the quality of the dried herbs, it is best to taste while making the dip and adjust it to your liking. Another herb often used in this dip is basil and paprika powder. 

A good substitution for dill is tarragon. It also has a similar anise flavor, but the anise flavor is a bit stronger. 

Consistency

The consistency should be thick and not runny. You can leave in some feta cheese clumps or use a small blender or immersion blender to make the feta cheese completely smooth. 

Add/reduce the pungent flavors

This recipe’s garlic taste is not overwhelming because it is baked in butter. But if you are sensitive to even small amounts of garlic, feel free to use 1 small clove instead of 2 cloves. 

Less herbs

This dip is full of fresh herbs (dill and mint), but you can play around with the amount and change the flavor profile slightly. A little less dill will make the dip taste fresh and less mint will make it stronger and more pungent.

Add a crunch

Some dips will add chipped walnuts to their Haydari to add a bit of crunch.

Add a zesty flavor

If you love this recipe but miss some zesty flavors like in Tzatziki, add a splash of fresh lemon juice to your dip.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

Haydari is typically served on a plate or in a shallow bowl, flattened with a good drizzle of olive oil and a few leaves of fresh herbs. 

Other serving suggestions are chopped walnuts, roasted pine nuts, or red pepper flakes. 
 
Haydari is a versatile Turkish dip that can be served with many other savory foods. Serving it with pita bread is an absolute must-try to start with. But also dip crunchy vegetables such as cucumber, carrots, celery, or paprika in this dip.

It also makes a great BBQ dip. Drizzled over a salad, it can be a great creamy salad dressing. 

And, of course, this dip is fantastic with a veggie burger, fries, sweet potato crackers, zucchini chips, or tempeh

A bowl on a light grey backdrop with a thick dip in it garnished with olive oil, dill and mint leaves.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I use dried herbs?
The herbs are the basis for the flavors in this dip. You can use dried herbs, but fresh herbs make a big difference. Especially fresh mint is so much better than dried mint.
 
Can I keep Haydari for later?
This Haydari Turkish yogurt sauce can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days in an airtight container. This dip is not suitable to keep in the freezer. 

What does Haydari taste like?
The dip should have a thick and creamy (not runny) texture with a salty, herby, and slightly tangy flavor. But the yogurt and mint also make this dip fresh and cooling. 

Does this taste like an authentic Haydari recipe?
There are many different Haydari recipes. Some recipes contain raw garlic and skip the butter-dill mixture. Other recipes are with basil and paprika. This vegan version is thick and very pleasant to serve for both vegans and non-vegans. All flavors are balanced well, and the herbs or garlic flavor is not overwhelming. 

Is Haydari with feta chunks ok?
 Small chunks of feta cheese in a Haydari dip are perfectly fine. Whether you like it super smooth or with small feta cheese chunks is a personal preference. 

A bowl on a light grey backdrop with a thick dip in it garnished with olive oil, dill and mint leaves in front of a stack of pita breads and a hand with a piece of pita bread dipping the sauce.

FINAL TIPS

Thick, salty, and herby are the main characteristics of this dip. Try to use good quality vegan feta cheese and thick vegan yogurt, and don’t skip the salt. And, of course, fresh herbs are essential for this Turkish dip.

Since this recipe is vegan, the cooling process is important to make this dip set and thicken. Even one hour in the fridge will thicken this dip to a desirable creamy consistency. 

If you miss a bit of a zesty flavor, add a splash of lemon juice.

You can add roughly chopped dill and mint, but finely chopped herbs release much more flavor. 

A good sauce or dip is an excellent addition to so many recipes. This recipe for baked falafel is completed with the tzatziki sauce. And a good beet hummus is a delicious dip for pita bread or raw veggies.

Are you going to make this Turkish yogurt sauce? I would love to know! Let me know in the comment section what you think of my recipe. And don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @thegreencreator.

A bowl on a light grey backdrop with a thick dip in it garnished with olive oil, dill and mint leaves and the text haydari Turkish Yogurt Sauce in bold on top.
Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
A bowl on a light grey backdrop with a thick dip in it garnished with olive oil, dill and mint leaves and a small bowl with fresh dill in the top right corner.

Haydari (Turkish Yogurt Sauce)

  • Author: Bianca
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Category:  dips, sauces, meze
  • Cuisine: Turkish
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

With 8 ingredients and 10 minutes, you can make Haydari, a thick Turkish yogurt dip. This dip is vegan and made with vegan feta cheese, a thick soy yogurt, fresh dill and mint, salt, and a butter garlic mixture for even more flavor.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 block (100 grams) vegan feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 200 grams (¾ cup and 1 tablespoon) vegan soy yogurt, unsweetened
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon (about 4 leaves) fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped
  • mint leaves to garnish
  • optional: pita bread to serve

Instructions

  1. Heat a small pan over medium heat and add the vegan butter, dried dill, and finely chopped garlic to the pan. Heat until the butter is melted and the garlic starts to change color. Set aside.
  2. To a bowl, add the feta cheese and mash with a fork until the feta is completely crumbled. You can also use an immersion blender or a small blender to break the feta cheese. Small feta chunks are good, but totally smooth feta cheese is also an option.
  3. Add the butter dill garlic mixture, fresh mint, fresh dill, and salt to the mashed feta cheese. Stir well to combine with a fork.
  4. Add the yogurt as well and stir again to combine. The sauce is ready when it is thick and not runny.
  5. Place in the refrigerator for about an hour to cool and set.
  6. Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and fresh mint leaves, and a few sprigs of dill. It is often served with olive oil and pita bread. 

Notes

Yogurt
You can make this recipe with plain unsweetened soy yogurt, but if possible, use unsweetened Greek-style soy yogurt.

Herbs
Fresh herbs are better than dried herbs for this recipe. 

Salty
This dip should be slightly salty, so don’t skip the salt. Vegan feta cheese tends to taste less intense (salty) than regular feta cheese, so that is another reason not to skip the salt.

Let it cool to thicken
This Turkish yogurt sauce becomes even more thick and creamy after being placed in the fridge for about an hour. 

Keep for later
Any leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days in an airtight container. This dip is not suitable to keep in the freezer. 

Keywords: haydari, dips, sauces, mezze, Turkish meze, yogurt dip