Make a batch of this easy tahini dressing and drizzle it on everything from salads to roasted veggies to grilled chicken or fish. It’s a fantastic plant based option for flavoring your meals.
This easy tahini dressing recipe has been in my cooking arsenal for several years and I keep finding new ways to use it. It’s not only delicious and quick to make, but it also happens to be vegan, gluten free and oil free (no added oil).
I first fell in love with this lemon tahini dressing when I swapped out my usual hummus dressing and drizzled it over my go-to bowl of roasted veggies and chickpeas. One of my all-time favorite plant-based meals!
Now I make a batch of this tahini sauce at the beginning of the week and drizzle it on salads – and almost anything else that crosses my plate – all week long.
Not familiar with tahini or it's your first time using it? I promise that there’s no need to be intimidated. If you’ve ever used peanut butter to make a peanut sauce, you’ll find that this recipe is even easier.
What you need for this tahini dressing recipe:
These are the main components of this recipe (affiliate links included):
- Tahini: Tahini can be found in most grocery stores, either near the nut butters or in the international aisle.
- Lemon juice: Fresh lemon juice, please.😄 The taste is so much better. For one batch, you'll need 1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice, which can be squeezed from about ½ medium lemon. I swear by this citrus juicer.
- Agave nectar: If you don’t have agave nectar, use maple syrup or honey instead. Honey is not considered vegan, so avoid that option if you’re following a vegan diet.
- Garlic: One large garlic clove. Peel it and grate on a zester.
- Salt: Kosher salt, to taste.
- Water: Use cold water to thin out the dressing.
What is tahini?
Tahini is a sesame seed paste and is a staple in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines. If you’ve ever had hummus, you’ve had tahini. It’s a key ingredient in the popular spread.
Tahini is sold in many regular grocery stores, health food stores and specialty stores. I usually keep a jar of Trader Joe’s tahini on hand for easy dressing and sauces. And, of course, for making hummus.
It's both vegan and gluten free, which makes it a versatile option for many diets.
Some homemade tahini recipes include olive oil, but typically tahini is oil free, other than the natural oil from the ground sesame seeds.
How to make tahini dressing:
Before measuring out the tahini, be sure to stir it well so that the oil in the jar or container is thoroughly incorporated into the sesame paste.
Combine all of the ingredients, except for the water, into a medium-sized bowl. Tahini, fresh lemon juice, grated garlic, agave nectar and salt. Give it a good whisk until combined.
Add the water one tablespoon at a time, whisking between each addition, until the dressing reaches the desired consistency. Somewhere between 4 and 6 tablespoons usually works for me.
How to serve lemon tahini dressing:
This creamy tahini dressing is incredibly versatile. Here are some of my favorite ways to use it:
▪️ Drizzle it over a green salad. Mixed greens, kale or spinach are all good options.
▪️ Mix it into a chopped broccoli salad or a cauliflower salad (swap out the vinaigrette).
▪️ Make a roasted cauliflower salad with roasted peppers and tahini dressing.
▪️ Use it in place of the hummus dressing in this roasted vegetable bowl.
▪️ Serve alongside grilled or oven baked chicken breasts, grilled salmon or grilled Greek pork chops.
▪️ Serve chickpeas or grilled chicken or shredded chicken (Instant Pot) with pita bread, Mediterranean cucumber salad, Kalamata olives and the tahini sauce.
▪️ Use it to dress a whole grain salad, such as Farro Salad with Grilled Vegetables.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How long does tahini salad dressing last in the fridge?
When store properly in the refrigerator, the dressing should last up to a week. Store it in a glass bowl or carafe, covered with plastic wrap. Or store it in a lidded mason jar or resealable glass container.
The dressing is really thick after refrigerating it. What do I do?
This dressing thickens up very quickly, even when sitting on the counter at room temperature, and even more so when refrigerated.
Easy fix! Add a little cold water and whisk or stir it in. I find that a couple teaspoons usually does the trick to make the dressing pourable again.
Can I double the dressing?
Of course! There’s no trick to this – just double each ingredient amount.
Easy Tahini Dressing Recipe
- ¼ cup tahini well-stirred
- 1 ½ tablespoons agave nectar (See Note)
- 1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove grated on zester/microplane
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
- 4 to 6 tablespoons cold water
- Combine the tahini, agave nectar, lemon juice, garlic and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk well to combine.
- Add water a tablespoon at a time, whisking after each addition, until desired consistency is achieved.
- The dressing thickens as it rests, particularly when stored in the refrigerator. Add a little water and re-whisk to loosen it up to the desired consistency.
Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
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