How to Make Tahini Dressing

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Cutting board with ingredients for our tutorial on How to Make Tahini Dressing Ready to learn my go-to dressing that’s perfect for salads, bowls, falafel, and more? Allow me to introduce my 3-ingredient tahini dressing that’s so delicious it’s like liquid gold. I always have some on hand! Whisking together ingredients for homemade Tahini Dressing

What is Tahini?

Tahini is made by grinding sesame seeds into a smooth paste. Sometimes the sesame seeds are hulled, sometimes they’re left unhulled; sometimes roasted, sometimes raw. Our favorite way to use tahini? THIS tahini dressing!

Origin of Tahini

Tahini is an Arabic name for ground sesame seeds. However, its origins are thought to have been in Persia, where it was called “ardeh.” Tahini later found its way to Israel and was held as a delicacy as sesame seeds were rather expensive to procure. In some cultures, tahini was even used as currency. (source) We hope you LOVE this easy dressing that’s perfect for salads, falafel, roasted veggies, and more! Homemade Tahini Dressing dripping from a whisk into a mixing bowl

How to Make Tahini Dressing

A creamy, rich sauce of tahini (sesame paste), lemon juice, and maple syrup! Add garlic or salt for extra flavor. The perfect dressing or sauce for salads, falafel, sandwiches, and more!
Author Minimalist Baker
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How to Make Tahini Dressing #minimalistbaker #recipes #dressing #healthy #glutenfree #recipe
4.91 from 43 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 4 (3-Tbsp servings)
Course Dressing, Sauce
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Middle Eastern-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 5 Days

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup tahini (ground sesame seeds - I love Alexis brand!)
  • 1 medium lemon, juiced (~3 Tbsp or 45 ml as original recipe is written)
  • 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup (or sub agave - or honey if not vegan)
  • 1 pinch sea salt (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced // optional)
  • Water (to thin // ~3-6 Tbsp or 45-90 ml as original recipe is written)

Instructions

  • To a medium mixing bowl, add tahini, lemon juice, and maple syrup. If adding salt and garlic, add now (optional).
  • Whisk to combine. Then slowly add water until creamy and pourable. The mixture may seize up and thicken at first, but continue adding water a little at a time and whisking until creamy and smooth.
  • Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more lemon juice for acidity, salt for saltiness, or maple syrup for sweetness.
  • Enjoy fresh, or store leftovers in the refrigerator up to 5 days (sometimes longer). This is delicious on things like Salads, Falafel, Fritters, Buddha Bowls, and more!

Notes

*Recipe makes ~3/4 cup dressing.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without salt or garlic.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 three-tablespoon servings Calories: 133 Carbohydrates: 8.1 g Protein: 3.6 g Fat: 10.8 g Saturated Fat: 1.5 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 24 mg Fiber: 2.3 g Sugar: 2.7 g

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Lisa says

    This was amazing! I made it with the optional garlic and sea salt; served over a salad. Thank you!

  2. Skye says

    Made Tahini sauce for the first time and this was my first go at making dressing also. Really quick and easy to make. Poured it over some roasted kale, root veggies and tempeh and it was slammin!

  3. Stacy Owens says

    Could you sub unsweetened natural almond butter for the tahini?

    Also has anyone tried this as a dressing for a beet salad?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Stacy, we haven’t tried that and aren’t sure how it would taste. Let us know if you try it!

  4. Jay Jay says

    I have tried to make tahini before with not good results. This recipe is terrific! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Linda says

      This is absolutely delicious. To make it simple I just peeled half a lemon and put it in there no bother juicing. I also added a little bit of an orange as well. It’s so good. A little bit of cilantro to spice it Up. Mixed it in a little mini chopper Walla

    • Nancy Carlson says

      This is excellent. Perfect for spinach salad. I added some tamari sauce and rice wine vinegar to add more of an Asian flavor. Love it! The first time I had lemon tahini dressing was in the 80’s at the Treaty Oak Cafe in Austin, TX. This brought back great memories. Thanks Dana!!

  5. Jackie Merrick says

    Made this during quarantine 2020. Had half a lemon and a jar of tahini so I whipped this up, attempting half it. HOLY SH*T this is delicious! Put it on a salad/quinoa bowl. 10/10 will make agai

    • Christa says

      Same here! I used tahini, olive oil, sea salt & a squeeze of lemon. Absolute heaven! I follow a ketogenic lifestyle & had a coronavirus setback. This brought it back ;)

  6. Brandy says

    This is delicious! So good for salads or Buddha bowls and it’s nice to have a dressing without lots of preservatives and ingredients I can’t pronounce. I’ll be making this regularly! Thanks!

  7. Netboy says

    I used frozen apple juice concentrate instead of maple syrup. It was pretty good! Next time I’ll try frozen white grape or perhaps even orange juice. I’m sure maple syrup is most excellent too.

  8. Jan says

    I made this salad dressing last night over a roasted veggie, farro and arugula bowl. Would not change one thing about it! Fabulous! Thank you for posting!!!!

  9. Tom Oyston says

    Made this tonight. Very delightful would add Maple Syrup according to personal taste.One tablespoon was enough.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for sharing, Tom. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  10. Cheryl says

    I love this!! I’ve been looking for a good dressing for years. Most of the recipes have cashews and they were horrible. I just made this for my salad today and after I tasted it, I wanted to just drink it! I used my stick blender at the end of mixing it and it emulsified beautifully! Dana, your site is the first I’ve ran into (I’ve checked out many, many over the years) that has AWESOME recipes! :)

    Cheryl

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the sweet note and lovely review, Cheryl. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  11. Josie says

    So quick to make and so tasty! I had some kale to use up and I decided to try this dressing out. I really love the flavours. I used 2 tbsp of maple syrup but will probably cut that in half that next time.

    Thanks for another great recipe! I have a feeling I’ll be coming back to this one a lot.

  12. Maddy says

    Yummy! I was skeptical about adding the maple syrup since it seemed like an odd combo but it was delicious. I only used 1 tablespoon though. I was recreating the Mediterranean grain bowl from Panera and it turned out almost identical. Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Maddy. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  13. Lucy says

    I added two full tablespoons of maple syrup and it was a bit too sweet. However, it was easy to fix by adding more tahini and salt. Fabulous taste and it goes well with virtually anything (I used it as a salad dressing and a baked potato topping). Can’t wait to put it on more things tomorrow!!!

  14. Keith Wright says

    This is linked from a 3 ingredient Tahini dressing recipe that has 4 ingredients (including water).
    This is a 6 ingredient recipe.
    Could you please clarify?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Keith, sea salt and garlic are listed as optional. So there are only 3 essential ingredients: tahini, lemon, and maple syrup. Water is then added to thin but we don’t include it in the ingredient count as it doesn’t need to be purchased from the store.

  15. Peggy says

    I find many homemade dressing recipes that I would love to try, however, many say they must be used in 3-4 days. That’s a lot of dressing to have to eat if you are the only one eating it. How long would this one last in the fridge?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Peggy, 3-4 days is a conservative estimate. A conservative estimate on this one would be 5 days, perhaps longer. Enjoy!

  16. Giselle says

    Hi, I made a copycat Panera Bread Mediterranean Warm Bowl and the recipe called for tahini dressing. The recipe also said that tahini dressing was “hard to find, and expensive”. So I looked for a tahini dressing recipe, and found yours! I whipped some up in a jiffy, since I had all of the ingredients on hand – the basic 3-ingredient version made with maple syrup plus a bit of Baja Gold sea salt. It was super fast, easy, and delicious! Can’t wait to put some on my Mediterranean warm bowl tomorrow for lunch! Thank you for sharing your recipes.

  17. Laura says

    I have made 2 or 3 of your recipes. I am not a vegan, but I could eat this food on a regular basis.

    Thank you, Dana!

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Dusk, sea salt and garlic are listed as optional. So there are only 3 essential ingredients: tahini, lemon, and maple syrup. Water is then added to thin but we don’t include it in the ingredient count as it doesn’t need to be purchased from the store.

        • Janell Buchmann says

          Gosh. I made this with the 3 ingredients only (no salt or garlic) and it was eating by the spoonful delicious. To rate this without making it is your loss.

        • Flick says

          So, 2/3 of the extra ingredients are optional. One of those is considered a pantry staple and never included in an ingredient count. And I don’t think you can consider water an ingredient.

  18. Grant Brown says

    It was quick and easy. I think more than 1 T of syrup or honey would be way too much. I know people love their sugar though. But next time i will decrease down from even 1 T. For the Admin: Also, i wish the font for the recipe was to so small. Why is this? Honestly, i am only here for the recipe and not all the writing i have to skim through before the recipe. Not sure why it has to be that way. The article font is actually much larger than the recipe font. I never read the article fyi. Don’t you realize people are reading from their iPads in the kitchen?! We’re just trying to cook! Otherwise, i like the site, although many little things are annoying. I wish it were possible to do a check of ingredients in the recipe too.

  19. Carol K says

    My family gave this dressing their OMG! rating tonight. It was perfect over a cold refreshing quinoa salad bowl loaded with summer produce on this hot August evening. I substituted fresh orange juice for the water to thin and added a full bunch of parsley to the blender. Fabulous!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, we haven’t tried that, but it might work! Let us know if you give it a try!

  20. Sophie says

    OMG!!! So delish. I eat it with my fav salad-cruciferous crunch from Trader Joe’s! Thank you:)

  21. Erin says

    I’ve been trying to make my own salad dressing lately so I can control what’s in it. Was looking for a good recipe with tahini and I saw your recipe. Wow, so good and easy, I used my bullet blender instead of a bowl and whisk but it came out great, will definitely make it again soon.

    • Julie says

      Made this according to the recipe, but omitted the garlic. It was my first time trying tahini in a dressing. (I only ever used it to make hummus.) This dressing was delicious, and super quick to whisk together. Tahini by itself has a strong, almost bitter flavor to me, and the lemon juice and maple syrup really lightened it up without covering it up. Well done. Thank you!

  22. Heather says

    This is delicious as written but I like to add a flight of olive oil and a couple squirts of Bragg’s instead of salt. I could drink it!! Love your site.

  23. Judith says

    Just made this and it was so simple and quick. Made a quick watercress salad with oranges and walnuts. This dressing is perfect and I don’t eat salads often. Thanks so much.

  24. Mandy Richard says

    This is my go to recipe for Tahini dressing! I love it so much and use it with many things…sandwich spreads, dips, salad dressing, and whatever I can think of. Highly reccomend!!

  25. Dolly says

    This my favorite dressing on everything. I looked for 1&1/2 years after I began eating wholefooodplantbased foods and this is the first dressing I have made that I really love , so many were barely tolerable to me.

  26. Dolly says

    This is my favorite dressing for quinoa bowls with steamed vegetables , fresh kale,shredded cabbage, with nuts and seeds. It is so good as a dressing for potatoe salad and pasta salads.and It’s delicious in hummus

  27. Eve says

    I made this and it took about 5 minutes. Its delicious and I used it to dress a quinoa salad with butternut squash, red cabbage and green onions in it. Then I put a scoop of tgis quinia salad on top of a bed of mixed greens and voila! Lunch. Tgough this plain version is versatile enough itself, you can add fresh herbs or spices to flavor this differentky for whatever you wabt to use it for.

  28. Jill Trufant says

    I make this dressing often! So simple and easy to make, but with a big flavor punch. I love putting it on a big bowl of roasted veggies and quinoa. The perfect fall dinner!

  29. Fatima White says

    I made this dressing for my family and they loved it! My daughter asked for a gallon for her. Thank you for making this a huge success!!

  30. Hannah says

    Hi, I absolutely love this dressing and it keeps so well in the fridge during the week. Do you think it would also work if I used a nut butter like peanut instead of the tahini?

  31. Wayne says

    My wife left for work, but not before requesting falafels on rice, chopped romaine lettuce and a nice tahini dressing chocked into a large whole wheat pita pocket. I’ll pick up some tahini dressing while I’m out I said! She replied, look it up and make your own!
    Thanks so much Dana your tahini dressing tastes fantastic, Love it
    Wayne
    Your star rating system isn’t working well on a windows ten, I would it at 4 stars

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      You can, but tahini made from unhulled sesame seeds tends to taste more bitter and does’t get quite a smooth as when it is made from hulled sesame seeds, so this will affect the flavor in the final product. Hope this helps!

    • Catherine says

      Mine turned out fine – not bitter. I always use unhulled sesame seeds when making tahini. The generous amount of maple syrup in the recipe would hide any bitterness if you think the tahini is bitter… I don’t.

  32. Britany says

    I found a recipe similar to this from minimalist baker a couple of years ago and I make it all the time! It’s delicious and super versatile. Love it on a big kale salad! Quick, easy, simple, and good for you!

    • Cheryl says

      This dressing is a crowd pleaser, hard not to just dip a spoon! I made a napa cabbage, peanut, pineapple, scallion, and shredded chicken salad for my book club. Huge hit! Thank you!

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