How Trader Joe's Pulls Off Its Fan-Favorite Vegan Tzatziki

When it comes to the challenge of providing vegan alternative products, Trader Joe's isn't one to shy away. In Sarah Klimek's ranking of the grocery chain's best vegan foods, 27 made it onto the list. The fan-favorite vegan items include their vegan mac n' cheese, cream cheese, butter, and sour cream — all foods that traditionally rely on dairy for their creaminess. But, sitting at number 19 is Trader Joe's Vegan Tzatziki, a product that takes the chain's vegan dip selection halfway across the world to Greece.

The Greek dip, made from a mix of lemon juice, herbs like dill and mint, cucumbers, garlic, and yogurt — an ingredient that's particularly tricky to emulate with plant-based ingredients – is a classic Mediterranean staple (per Trader Joe's). To pull it off vegan-style, Trader Joe's knew the challenge would lie in finding the impossible: the perfect plant-based yogurt substitute. However, after experimenting with different vegan options, they found that the best base wasn't a yogurt alternative at all. 

Vegan cream cheese is the perfect dairy-free base

Trader Joe's found that vegan cream cheese actually provided the best base for their dairy-free tzatziki. All the beloved food items found inside the aisles of this grocery store chain must undergo a rigorous approval process – and their vegan tzatziki is no exception. According to EatingWell, some products go through as many as five tasting panels before receiving the required minimum of 70% approval rating. 

As noted by Sarah Klimek, the texture turns out a tad thicker than typical tzatziki and is more comparable to a herby cream cheese, so it's a great addition to your bagel. However, this could quickly be adjusted with an extra squeeze of lemon juice and a good mix, should you ever want to drizzle it over your pita sandwich, wrap, or falafel bowl. But if the texture is no big deal, go ahead and dip your cucumbers or other veggies in it to enjoy its fresh and light flavor (via Sweet on Trader Joe's). 

Either way, Trader Joe's Vegan Tzatziki is a favorite among the masses, with all the cool, tangy, and herby goodness of the traditional kind — just minus the dairy.