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This lemon-tahini dressing is made with just 3 simple ingredients in 5 minutes. It’s the ultimate creamy sauce for just about everything. Gluten free, vegan, oil free.
Drizzle over this rich and nutty Tahini Dressing on anything that needs a boost of flavor and creaminess. It’s the perfect pair for fresh salads and nourishing bowls and is the definition of quick and easy homemade salad dressings.
- A versatile must-have for meal prep
- What You Need for Tahini Dressing
- How to Make Tahini Dressing
- Presentation suggestions
- How to Store Tahini Dressing
- Substitutions and variations
- Recipe FAQs
- Tahini Dressing Recipe
A versatile must-have for meal prep
This Easy Tahini Dressing has become a staple for me over the years. When I first developed it, I did it at less 2-3 times a week, so I thought it was only right that I share this amazing wardrobe on the blog. It’s so simple and something you’ll want to have on hand to drizzle over your favorite salad, roasted veggies, falafel burger patties and more.
Long story short, you’ll have no trouble understanding how to use every last drop.
What You Need for Tahini Dressing
You only need 3 simple ingredients to make this amazing salad dressing.
- Tahini: When purchasing a new tahini, I highly recommend looking for one that is high quality, runny, easy to pour, and has a light nutty flavor. If your tahini is too thick and tastes bitter, it won’t make a good salad dressing. I recommend the Soom Foods and Pepperwood Organics brands. If you’re looking for tahini or sesame seed paste at the grocery store, they’re usually found in the “ethnic foods” or nut butter aisles.
- Lemon juice: Fresh lemons add a bright acidity that balances the creamy tahini. I don’t recommend using pre-bottled lemon juice – the flavor isn’t the same.
- Salt: Every good salad dressing needs a pinch of salt. I use Himalayan pink salt, but you can use any sea salt you have on hand.
How to Make Tahini Dressing
- Whip tahini, lemon juice and salt together.
- Pour slowly 1/4 cup water into bowl, whisking vigorously. Continue to add of additional water until desired consistency is reached.
- Add additional seasonings and flavors as desired.
- Serve immediately as you wish, or keep until ready to enjoy.
Caitlin’s Cooking Tips
- Use the highest quality tahini possible. Honestly, I don’t recommend tahini at a traditional grocery store. These tahini dressings are typically made with low-quality sesame seeds that are often rancid or contain impurities that impact flavor and texture. Additionally, the seeds are often roasted at too high a temperature or processed with chemicals, giving them a bitter flavor. Good tahini, on the other hand, is made from quality ground sesame seeds and ground without heat to preserve their natural oils and flavor. When in doubt, make your own homemade tahini!
- Change the amount of water you add depending on the recipe. I almost never add the same amount of water each time I make this recipe because I always use it for different recipes. For example, if you plan to use this creamy tahini dressing as a dipping sauce, you will need to use less water than a tahini dressing. Don’t be afraid to adapt to your needs.
This creamy dressing makes a great salad dressing, dip or sauce to drizzle over dishes like grain bowls, Buddha bowls or pasta salad. The options are truly endless, but here are some of my favorite recipes from the blog to pair them with:
Drizzle tahini vinaigrette over za’atar chickpeas with sweet potatoes, millet tabbouleh, sweet potato and kale boats, or a warm lentil salad with roasted vegetables. Or use it as a dip for falafel, pita bread and fresh vegetables. Finally, spread it on a veggie burger like this delicious Falafel Burger made with Middle Eastern ingredients.
If you’re looking for more homemade dressings and sauces, you’ll also love this Easy Peanut Sauce, Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing, and 3-Ingredient Hummus Dressing!
How to Store Tahini Dressing
Leftover tahini dressing will keep in the refrigerator for up to 14 days. For best results, store it in an airtight container such as a glass mason jar. After refrigeration, the dressing may become much thicker and separate, so store it well before using it again.
It is not recommended to freeze this dressing. Once creamy salad dressings are frozen, the fats can separate and make the thawed dressing grainy.
Substitutions and variations
- Add sweetener: Adding a little sweetness will help balance the acidity of the lemon juice and counteract the bitterness of the tahini. If you prefer a sweeter dressing, make a maple tahini vinaigrette. Start with 1 teaspoon of maple syrup or agave syrup and adjust from there to taste.
- Fresh herbs: If you want to add an extra touch of flavor, add fresh parsley or finely chopped dill.
- Dried spices: If you’re short on fresh herbs, dried spices are the best solution. Try a touch of garlic powder, cumin, and/or red pepper flakes for a spicy kick.
- Prepare a single serving: Use 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons tahini, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and a pinch of salt and water to dilute.
Although both are creamy and commonly used as condiments, they have very different flavors and textures. Tahini is rich, nutty, and may have a slightly bitter taste. The mayonnaise is very smooth, light and creamy. If you are interested in a mayonnaise recipe, try my healthy mayonnaise recipe.
Most brands of quality tahini do not need to be refrigerated once opened, but it may be helpful to refrigerate tahini if you live in a humid climate or don’t plan to use it in a few weeks. Refrigeration also extends the life of tahini and will preserve its flavor.
Appreciate! If you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I would also love for you to leave a comment below with a recipe rating! Thanks for the support 😊
For the Tahini sauce:
- 1/2 cup high quality tahini*
- 3 soup spoons lemon juice about 1-2 lemons
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup water, divided; and more to taste
Optional add-ons: (choose your adventure!)
- 1 Clove fresh garlic chopped
- 1-2 coffee spoons Maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked or regular paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
- 1-2 soup spoons chopped fresh herbs like dill or parsley
Preparation (optional): If using fresh garlic, mix it with the lemon juice and let sit for 5 minutes for a milder flavor.
Tahini paste: Add the tahini, lemon juice, salt, and any additional add-ins to a medium bowl. Whisk together; the tahini will become very thick and lighter in color.
Decrease : Slowly pour 1/4 cup (60 ml) of water into the bowl while incorporating it into the mixture. Slowly add the remaining water to the bowl while you mix the dressing vigorously. If you would like your dressing to be thinner, continue to add water slowly and whisk until the dressing reaches your desired consistency.
Serve and store: Enjoy immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to a week. The dressing will thicken in the refrigerator, but you can thin it with a little water if necessary.
- Tahini: I find that most store brand tahini is very thick and bitter; a good tahini should be smooth and runny! I prefer to use Soom Foods tahini. If your tahini is thicker, you may need to add more water to dilute the dressing further.
Calories: 752kilocaloriesCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 22gFat: 64gSaturated fat: 9gPolyunsaturated fats: 28gMonounsaturated fat: 24gSodium: 1215mgPotassium: 679mgFiber: 6gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 828UIVitamin C: 24mgCalcium: 202mgIron: 6mg