Homemade Lemon Tahini Dressing is my go-to salad dressing. This recipe is so much more than a salad dressing, though! I pour it over vegetables, spread it on sandwiches, and I’ve even been known drizzle it as a sauce in on pizza. It’s a terrific dip for cut veggies, too. There’s really nothing that won’t taste a little better with a bit of tahini dressing.
Tahini is a paste that’s made from ground hulled sesame seeds. It’s what peanut butter is to peanuts. Tahini is used a lot in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking and can usually be found in hummus, baba ghanoush, and halva.
On its own, tahini can taste a little bitter. Something magical happens when it’s mixed with lemon and garlic though. (It’s also really incredible when mixed with chocolate, too!) When tahini is mixed with water, it actually thickens, and tahini dressing will thicken as it sits in the fridge, so more water might be needed if you’re not using it right away.
Store any open unused tahini in your refrigerator, as it can spoil quickly when left out at room temperature. It will last for months in the fridge, though.
People often ask me where they buy tahini. There are many different brands of tahini available. If your grocery store has an aisle with ethnic foods, it’s best to check there first. It tends to be less expensive in that aisle for some reason! If not, it’s usually in the same area as the peanut butter.
Not all tahini pastes are created equally, and some taste better than others. My favorite is from Seed + Mill, which I pick up from their stall in Chelsea Market whenever I’m in the area. Soom Foods and Mighty Sesame are really good, too. Both Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s have their own store brands that I also enjoy.
I always have jars of tahini on hand in the pantry, and I like to keep pre-mixed tahini dressing in the fridge so it’s ready to go when I need it. It’s very versatile. If you don’t have lemon juice on hand, you can use apple cider vinegar. Prefer spicy tahini? add a pinch of red pepper flakes!
It couldn’t be easy to make this dressing! You just throw everything into a food processor or blender and mix it up! And just like that, your dressing is ready to go. I like to use my Blendtec’s twister jar.
This recipe will make a lot of Lemony Tahini Dressing, but it will disappear quickly. Feel free to cut the recipe in half if you think it’ll be too much for you. (But I doubt it will be.) Some brands of tahini are thicker than others, so the amount of water you use in the recipe will vary. Start with half a cup and then add a little more if the dressing seems too thick. Keep in mind that it will thicken a little after sitting in the fridge.
Lemon Tahini Dressing
- 1 cup tahini
- ½ - ¾ cup water
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped
- Mix together the tahini, ½ cup of water, lemon juice, mustard, garlic powder, and sea salt in a food processor or high speed blender. If it’s too thick, add a little more water, a tablespoon at a time. Pulse in the parsley
- Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Vegan Tahini Truffles
- Festive Garlicky Roasted Vegetables with Lemon Tahini Drizzle
- Eggplant Wraps with Spicy Tahini Slaw
- Tahini Chickpea Salad