How to make the best Tahini Sauce– a Middle Eastern sauce that is rich, creamy, smooth, tangy and flavorful- used to drizzle over salads, buddha bowls and falafels made with sesame paste, garlic and lemon juice. Vegan and gluten-free.
There are a million recipes for Tahini Sauce out there… and I make several versions here on the blog but this basic recipe is the one I make the most, purely out of convenience.
What I love about this Tahini Sauce
This Tahini Sauce has the perfect consistency; smooth and creamy and thick enough to use as a “sauce” and thin enough to use as a “dressing”, perfect for salads, falafels, wraps, buddha bowls or even roasted veggies.
Growing up with an Egyptian father, tahini sauce was always on hand. It was our “go-to” dressing and sauce for practically everything.
Oil-free, vegan and gluten-free – this recipe for Tahini Sauce adds richness without any dairy, or added oil! A true godsend! I like to make a big batch on Sunday for meal prep and use it throughout the week.
How to make the Best Tahini Sauce!
- Making tahini sauce is incredibly easy -simply mix tahini paste, water, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a mason jar and whisk until creamy and smooth.
- For a boost of flavor, add zaatar, dukkha, zhoug, fresh herbs, hot sauce or sriracha!
The difference between Tahini Paste and Tahini Sauce:
Tahini Paste is simply ground up sesame seeds, thick and creamy, similar to peanut butter or almond butter. You can actually make tahini paste from scratch, by blending up sesame seeds in a powerful blender!
Great for Meal Prep
If you haven’t noticed…. I’m trying to give you an arsenal of easy flavorful sauces for you to draw from when you do your meal prep on Sundays. That way you can spice up even the most basic meals. A flavorful sauce can do wonders….turning boring meals into fantastical delicious creations!
For example,during busy weeks I batch cook rice and lentils and this sauce. Then, during the week, I’ll create healthy bowls, topping with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, olives and a drizzle of this sauce over top. Easy healthy delicious!
Here are all the things you serve Tahini Sauce with!
- Pita Bread
- Farro Tabbouli
- Lentil Cakes
- Israeli salad
- Zaatar Eggplant
- Sheet Pan Shawarma Bowls
- Lentil Tabouli
- Middle Eastern Eggplant wrap
- Middle eastern Salad Tacos
- Balela Salad!
Have fun, get creative, enjoy!
- ½ cup tahini paste (liquids and solids both– not just the “oil”. )
- ¼ –⅓ cup warm tap water, more to desired consistency.
- 1 –2 tablespoons lemon juice ( more to taste)
- 1–2 tablespoon olive oil (optional)
- 2 garlic cloves (finely minced – use a garlic press)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt (see notes)
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
Optional additions ( To spice things up a bit! Don’t use all, just one or two! )
- chili flakes or chili paste (like sambal olek or sriracha) for a spicy kick
- a dash of soy sauce or liquid aminos, for more depth
- a dash of toasted sesame oil ( for extra sesame flavor)
- a teaspoon or two of zhoug for a burst of flavor
- a teaspoon or two of zaatar spice
- fresh chopped chives, Italian parsley, mint or basil
- a few tablespoons of plain yogurt, for extra creamy richness. This is tasty!
Note: If your tahini paste has separated try to mix it in the jar with a fork before measuring. If it’s very cold, bring to room temp, so you can use both the solids and the oil.
Place tahini paste and warm water in a 2-cup mason jar or medium bowl and whisk until smooth. Once you start whisking, it will actually thicken, so feel free to thin it out with more water if using as a dressing.
Add the remaining ingredients to the jar – lemon juice, minced garlic, salt, pepper and whisk until creamy and smooth. It will thicken as it cools in the fridge.
Taste and adjust salt and lemon to your liking.
Feel free to add any of the optional additions, to make this your own!
For example, I like adding aleppo chili flakes, fresh chopped parsley and a pinch of zaatar to bump up the flavor. My mom used to add a little yogurt, for both tanginess and creaminess- so good! Up to you!
Consistancey: start with ¼ cup warm water, and add more to desired consistency. For a tahini “dressing” add more water or a couple of tablespoons olive oil. Or feel free to keep it thick like a spread. Also, keep in mind, different brands of tahini paste are thicker than others.
You want the Everyday Tahini Sauce to be flavorful and slightly on the salty side. If there is not enough salt, it may taste “anemic” or bland. Remember it’s a flavor-boosting condiment! 🙂
I prefer mine a little spicy and tangy, so I’ll add more lemon, aleppo chili flakes and either zhoug or zaatar…..but totally up to you. Make this your own! Have fun with it. Leave your adaptions below!
This will keep for up to 7 days in the fridge.
- Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
- Calories: 89
- Sugar: 0.2 g
- Sodium: 157.1 mg
- Fat: 7.2 g
- Saturated Fat: 1 g
- Carbohydrates: 4.8 g
- Fiber: 1.5 g
- Protein: 2.8 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
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