Have you ever tried tahini dressing? It’s genius – creamy, nutty, lemony, and garlic-y. It’s versatile – delicious drizzled over roasted vegetables, all kinds of salads, and of course falafel. It also happens to be vegan, dairy free, and gluten free, and takes just FIVE MINUTES to make.
It’s quick and easy, versatile, and delicious!
If you’ve never tried tahini dressing, you could be seriously missing out on a very easy way to take your food from good to incredible.
If you don’t like it – no worries. If you do, you’ve then got an amazingly quick and delicious ‘alternative’ dressing trick up your sleeve that’s perfect for vegetables, salads, bowls, and more!
Over the years I’ve eaten tahini sauce mostly with traditional falafel wraps. I’ve always loved it, so it was a very pleasant surprise to discover that it also makes a truly delicious dressing for:
- Roasted vegetables. Like mind blowingly delicious roasted brussel sprouts with almonds and tahini sauce. I first tried these at a casual restaurant in Western Australia and was hooked from the first bite. And this is just as delicious with roasted cauliflower, carrots, pumpkin or sweet potato, and more.
- Salads. Any really, but I think a tahini dressing would go especially well with this easy quinoa salad with crispy chickpeas.
- Bowls. You know… a bowl filled with cute little piles of salad-y things like quinoa, beetroot, roasted veggies, nuts, seeds, cheese etc. This easy tuna salad bowl is great with just olive oil and balsamic vinegar, but why not try it with a tahini dressing instead?
- Unique kinds of falafel, such as this sweet potato falafel.
So, erm… what is tahini sauce, anyway?
It’s made from… tahini! No surprises there, but what’s it made of? Well, all it is is blended sesame seeds. So you could say it’s just the sesame seed equivalent of peanut butter.
When I lived in Greece I used to spread tahini on toast sometimes, just like I would peanut butter. For some people it can be an acquired taste because it tastes more bitter than nut butter. But it’s delicious with something sweet like jam (UK)/jelly (US) on top. Think of it as a posh PB&J!
Or made into a dressing with water and lemon!
So tahini sauce (or dressing – whatever you want to call it) is just a very simple dressing made from:
- tahini paste
- a small clove of crushed garlic
- lemon juice
- cumin (which is optional but highly recommended)
And how do you make it?
It’s so simple. It literally takes 5 minutes, or even less if you have all the ingredients to hand.
The creamy dressing is so delicious that you’d think you’d spent ages making it. Nope. Just whisk all the ingredients together for the most delicious and easy vegan and dairy free dressing ever.
Do you need a food processor? No again, which is good news (who else thinks they are sometimes more trouble than they’re worth because they take so long to clean?).
Just use a mini wire whisk, or even a tea spoon. It takes just seconds, and you hardly have any washing up.
How to make it step-by-step
If truth be told, you hardly need a recipe for this dressing because as I said all you do is whisk the few ingredients together!
Just one trick…
Whisk the lemon juice in first. The tahini paste might go a bit grainy, almost as if it’s curdling, but that’s fine. Just blend the water in slowly until you have a smooth dressing.
The result should be a creamy dressing that’s a little thinner than mayonnaise. Of course, you can easily adjust it slightly if it seems too thick by adding a drizzle more water.
When you’re happy with the consistency of your dressing, add the crushed garlic, the pinch of cumin (if you like), and the pinch of salt and whisk again.
Drizzle generously all over your vegetables, salad, or falafel and enjoy!
How long does it last?
Ages! You can keep tahini sauce in the fridge for about a week. Just make sure you cover it.
You might find that it thickens slightly, but just thin it out again with some water and it’ll be as good as new.
My recipe makes enough to drizzle over a roasted vegetable side dish, and then to keep in the fridge to drizzle over salads during the week!
Where can I buy tahini?
Obviously this depends a lot on where you live. When I lived in Greece tahini was available from any supermarket.
In the UK and Australia (where I’ve lived since leaving Greece) it’s usually available in the health food section of big supermarkets. Trader Joe’s sells it in the USA.
Alternatively, you can usually find it in a health food shop.
So now I have a big jar of tahini in the cupboard. What else can I make with it?
- Tahini is a main ingredient in hummus. This is my go-to hummus recipe. You just have to make the 2-ingredient flatbread to go with it!
- Tahini brownies! As tahini is quite like nut butter, it’s delicious swirled into brownie batter. Just swirl a few tablespoons of tahini into the top of the batter before you put it in the oven.
- Why not make some tahini chocolate snack balls? Just throw 2 cups of rolled oats and 2 cups of coconut into a food processor with half a cup of tahini, a little honey and some dark chocolate chips. Pulse then roll into balls and keep in the freezer until a snack attack hits. They don’t freeze exactly, but I think the texture and taste is somehow better straight from the freezer.
Pro tip: You may find that your tahini separates in the jar after a while, with the sesame paste on the bottom and the oil on the top. If this happens just stir it vigorously with a knife. Or if it’s hard to stir, scrape it into a food processor and pulse for a few seconds, then pour back into the jar.
More amazing Mediterranean recipes that you must try!
- Our favourite Greek baked eggplant with tomato and feta (just delicious with meatballs or sausages, or by itself with good quality fresh toasted bread)
- These life-changing fried halloumi bites (perfect appetizers for guests!)
- Crispy fried chickpeas (an interesting twist on croutons for salads or soups)
- Ever made a proper Spanish omelette, otherwise known as a tortilla de patatas? Prepare to have your mind blown!
- Another Spanish one… try this traditional ‘pan con tomate’ or Spanish bruschetta. It’s incredible, and unbelievably easy to make!
- Did you know you can stuff and fry olives, and that they’re delicious? You do now!
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Incredible 5-minute tahini dressing
Ingredients (UK/Australia? Click below for grams/ml)
- Whisk the lemon juice into the tahini in a small bowl or jug (I use a small whisk or a tea spoon).
- Slowly whisk in the water until you have a smooth paste that's a little thinner than mayonnaise.
- Whisk in the crushed garlic, cumin (if using) and salt.
- Drizzle over roasted vegetables, a salad or falafel immediately, or cover and keep in the fridge for up to a week.