This tahini sauce is rich, creamy and zingy! It’s perfect for drizzling on bowl meals and veggies, using as a salad dressing, or as a dip.

Tahini sauce

Here’s a key sauce every home cook should have in their repertoire…because it’s just that good. Meet this Tahini Sauce! It’s rich, creamy, zingy and ideal for drizzling on just about anything. Try it on a falafel bowl or a grain bowl, on roasted sweet potatoes, on a sandwich, even as a French fry dip! Really anything tastes better with tahini sauce: and it takes just minutes to make. Here’s how to make essential sauce you need in your life!

How to make tahini sauce

This tahini sauce could not be simpler! Just whisk together equal parts tahini and fresh lemon juice, then add olive oil, salt, and a bit of maple syrup or honey. Here are a few important notes on the process:

  • Do not substitute bottled lemon juice. You’ve got to have the real thing: fresh lemons!
  • Sweetener balances the sauce. We like to add maple syrup or honey to balance the acidity from the lemon. You can omit it if you’re on a sugar free diet.
  • Add water until it comes to a drizzle-able consistency. The dressing will be very thick, then you’ll 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 adjust as needed. Keep in mind, some tahini brands may need to be stirred for several minutes before using to integrate the oil (much like peanut butter).
Tahini sauce

Ways to use tahini sauce

There are infinite ways to use a tahini sauce! From grain bowls to roasted vegetables to French fries, it adds a creamy zing to just about anything. Here are a few ideas:

Falafel salad
Tahini sauce is perfect on this Baked Falafel Sandwich

Tahini FAQs

What is tahini, anyway? Here’s a few tahini FAQs to give you some background on what it is, where to buy tahini, and how it’s used.

What is tahini?

Tahini is a paste made of sesame seeds that’s common in Middle Eastern or Mediterranean dishes. Made of just sesame seeds and salt, tahini is vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, Paleo, keto, and Whole 30 friendly. It’s ideal for making creamy sauces, desserts like cookies and cakes, or as a replacement for peanut butter for peanut allergies. Tahini has a bitter finish to the flavor, so, it’s best when mixed with other flavors like lemon or sweeteners when used in desserts. See more at What is Tahini?

Where can I buy tahini sauce?

You can buy tahini at most major grocery stores. Look for it in the international foods aisle or in the section with nut butters. If we can find it, we like to buy organic tahini.

Do you have to refrigerate tahini?

Once you open a jar of tahini, you should refrigerate it! Opened tahini lasts for at least 6 months refrigerated.

What can you make with tahini?

The most common use for tahini is in homemade hummus! But you can use it in many different ways, from salad dressing to a spread for pita bread to cookies. Head to our Top Tahini Recipes for more, or see below.

More tahini recipes

Looking for more ways to use tahini? This ingredient is ultra versatile. Here are some of our favorite tahini recipes:

This tahini sauce recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, naturally sweet, and refined sugar-free.

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Tahini sauce

Easy Tahini Sauce


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

Description

This tahini sauce is rich, creamy and zingy! It’s perfect for drizzling on bowl meals and veggies, using as a salad dressing, or as a dip.


Ingredients

Scale
  • ⅓ cup tahini
  • ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice (2 small or 1 ½ large lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons water

Instructions

  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 light and creamy dressing forms; add a little more water as necessary 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

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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5 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 :)

  4. I have replaced 1 TBSP of white vinegar to the water for a more assertive sauce. The other option is to replace half of the lemon juice with white vinegar. I did not have enough lemon juice so I topped off the 1/3 cup per the directions with vinegar and it was zippier.