Best Tahini Sauce

This tahini sauce is a vegan lemon tahini dressing that’s perfect on anything: a Buddha bowl, a sandwich or veggie burger, or as a dip!

Best Lemon Tahini Sauce | A Couple Cooks

Alex and I have been making this lemon tahini dressing for quite a while now, but decided we should share it as its own recipe. Because it’s that good. Yes, we put it on everything. As a Buddha bowl tahini dressing (or for bowl meals, whatever you call them!). On sweet potatoes. On sandwiches and veggie burgers. Really anything that tastes good tastes better with lemon tahini sauce. It’s so easy to make! And if you’re like me, you might be wondering how to use up the tahini that you bought to make homemade hummus. We’re so passionate about this sauce, we made a video for you and slathered it on our chickpea couscous bowls. Keep reading for the recipe and more info on tahini!

Watch the video:

Tahini FAQs

To get us started, here’s a few tahini FAQs to give you some background on what is tahini, where to buy tahini, and how it’s used.

What is tahini?

Tahini is a paste made of sesame seeds that’s used in Middle Eastern or Mediterranean dishes. See more at What is Tahini?

Is tahini vegan?

And yes, tahini is vegan. It’s purely sesame seeds and salt, according to the package in our refrigerator.

Where can I buy tahini sauce?

You can buy tahini at most major grocery stores. Sometimes it’s in the International Foods aisle, and sometimes it’s near the peanut butter. If we can find it, we like to buy organic tahini.

Do you have to refrigerate tahini?

Yes, to prolong the life of the tahini, you should refrigerate it!

What can you make with tahini?

The most common use for tahini is in hummus, like our homemade hummus recipe. But we also use it in all sorts of other things, from salad dressing to a spread for pita bread to cookies! Looking for more tahini recipes?  Outside of our Lemon Tahini Sauce recipe, here are a few other tahini recipes from A Couple Cooks:

*These recipes use this Lemon Tahini Sauce recipe as a dressing!

How to make lemon tahini sauce

Making lemon tahini sauce could not be simpler! Just whisk together equal parts tahini and fresh lemon juice, then add olive oil, kosher salt, and a bit of maple syrup. A few notes: do not substitute bottled lemon juice here: you’ve got to have the real thing from fresh lemons! We like to add maple syrup to balance the acidity a bit, but you could omit it if you’re on a sugar free diet.

Once you’ve whisked together these components, the dressing will be very thick. Then whisk in water until it comes to the desired consistency that’s easy to drizzle. For our recipe, we’ve used 2 tablespoons of water, but this can vary based on the tahini brand. Brands of tahini can vary widely from very creamy to chunky and thick, so make sure to eyeball it and adjust as needed. Also, some tahini brands will need to be stirred for several minutes to make sure the desired consistency is reached, like with peanut butter.

Best Lemon Tahini Sauce | A Couple Cooks

Looking for salad dressing recipes?

Since it has a lovely creamy consistency, you can use this lemon tahini dressing as a salad dressing. It’s not just a drizzling sauce! It’s a natural fit for salads like our Baked Falafel SaladStress Relieving Avocado Quinoa Salad, or our California Salad.

If you’re looking for other salad dressing recipes, our favorites are:

This recipe is…

This Best Lemon Tahini Sauce recipe is vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, naturally sweet, and refined sugar-free.

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Tahini Recipes to Make Healthy Eating Delicious | What is tahini sauce

Best Tahini Sauce

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (71 votes, average: 4.01 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: About 2/3 cup (~10 tablespoons) 1x


This tahini sauce is a vegan lemon tahini dressing that’s perfect on anything: a Buddha bowl, a sandwich or veggie burger, or as a dip!



  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (2 small or 1 1/2 large lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons water


  1. In a small bowl, combine the tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, maple syrup, and kosher salt and whisk to combine. Add the water and whisk until a creamy dressing forms; you may need to add a bit more depending on the consistency of your tahini.
  2. Serve immediately or refrigerate and bring to room temperature before serving. Extra dressing keeps for about 1 month in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Whisked
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: How to Make Tahini Dressing, Homemade Salad Dressing, tahini Sauce, Lemon Tahini Dressing

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    Brittany Audra @ Audra's Appetite
    August 7, 2018 at 9:36 pm

    I have some tahini in my fridge…I’ve nearly forgotten about it so I can’t wait to make this sauce in my meal-prep rotation! So versatile.

  • Reply
    Alyson Goroski
    May 15, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    I made the sauce last night and found that it tasted really good but was way too thick. I also like mine spicy so I added in hot sauce and additional water.

  • Reply
    June 27, 2019 at 4:22 pm

    I added a bit more water and lemon juice to thin the sauce, but deleted the maple syrup. Plus I added a 1/2-1tsp chickpea miso for flavor and salt. It’s good. I love and use tahini all the time.

  • Reply
    January 28, 2020 at 8:29 pm

    I thought my sauce looked a little watery, but the flavor was perfectly tart. So yummy! First time ever working with tahini. Love learning something new :)

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