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.

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!

  1. 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.
  2. For a boost of flavor, add zaatar, dukkha, zhoug, fresh herbs,  hot sauce or sriracha!

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.

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!

Tahini Sauce is when you take the tahini paste and add other ingredients to it to make a sauce or dressing- in this case lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.

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!

Have fun, get creative, enjoy!




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Tahini Sauce Recipe

The Best Tahini Sauce

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 19 reviews
  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x
  • Category: sauce / condiment / dressing
  • Method: stir
  • Cuisine: middle eastern
  • Diet: Vegan


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.


Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup tahini paste (liquids and solids bothnot just the “oil”. )
  • 1/41/3 cup warm tap water, more to desired consistency.
  • 12 tablespoons lemon juice ( more to taste)
  • 12 tablespoon olive oil (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely minced – use a garlic press)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (see notes)
  • 1/4 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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  1. This really is the BEST tahini sauce. I first made this a year ago and have tried others’ recipes since (just because it was printed in the book I was following) but this tahini sauce has perfected the taste and texture and it’s so quick to make. I don’t want to wash the blender if I don’t have to.

  2. I LOVE this tahini sauce! I have made it a number of times and always leave out the optional oil and typically use 4 Tbl lemon juice and a pinch of red pepper flakes. I am always on the lookout for dressings without oil. Cabbage slaw is a real problem……until today! I know it sounds crazy ; but I dressed shredded cabbage, chopped celery and halved cherry tomatoes with your tahini sauce/dressing and put in a can of rinsed garbanzo beans. It was very good until I sprinkled your dukkah recipe on each serving & that’s when it became OUTSTANDING. You MUST try this! I was just cleaning up vegetables that needed using but hopefully, Sylvia, you can make a REAL recipe one day. Tahini sauce & dukkah save the day!

  3. I made this tahini sauce for the first time a few nights ago with the optional olive oil and Allepo chili flakes. I wasn’t sure which brands of tahini paste were high quality, but your recommendation saved me from having to do my own research. I really appreciate you making it so easy for us!
    Your recipe tastes incredible. My S.O. said it was so good, he could “eat it with a spoon!” – I guess no meat or veggies were necessary. Ha!
    I’m looking forward to making it again soon.

  4. I used natural peanut butter instead of tahini paste as we can’t find a good brand in our rural part of Canada. I also added the Greek yogurt and Italian seasoning and made sure to use fresh lemon juice. I served over your whole roasted cauliflower recipe. (No hope of finding zaatar so I stuck with smoked paprika) but Wow this is one of our favourite go to meals now. Thank you for another fantastic flavour profile!

    1. Amazing! That sounds intriguing, so glad you enjoyed! And just fyi we have a Zaatar recipe- you can just enter it into the search bar.

  5. First time I have liked tihini sauce. This makes a creamy, savory dressing. Great ideas for additions.( I did add yogurt and zaatar) Goes well with the Tandori bowls or Shwarma etc. Used a tahini called Soom and it was good without a bitter taste so many I have tried have had.

    1. So glad it worked out! I agree, a good tahini totally makes it. Good to know about that brand- haven’t heard of it before.

  6. Wow this stuff is amazing! I used Krinos brand tahini, only 1 clove garlic (hubby not a fan), and added a dollop of plain Greek yogurt. Put it all in the blender. Delish! Will drizzle it over chicken shawarma for dinner tonight.

    1. I love the Tahini we sell at Bowl and Pitcher Store – by Villa Jerada! Creamy, sweet, fresh, not bitter!

  7. So excited to try this with falafel tomorrow. . (Yahoo! 😊) The notes below the recipe say 1 or 2 tsp of zaatar but the recipe itself says a pinch. I’m not experienced enough to know which seems righter. SOS! 😊

  8. The first time I had is sauce was at Haig’s delicatessen in San Francisco. It was on falafel and was wildly garlicky, which is what I adore. I was in love. Anyway, thanks for your recipe and for all the variation and use with suggestions, too!

  9. This turned out amazing!! I substituted arugula and beets for the kale and cabbage (some picky eaters here) and it worked so well! The tahini dressing was also wonderful! This will definitely be made again and again! Thank you!

  10. I’ve been making a fair number of falafel salads of late and have tried a couple of tahini dressing/sauce recipes before finding this one. I’m done searching. This is it for me. Loved the flavor and simplicity. I am partial to Har Bracha tahini and it works very well in this recipe. I’ve shared this recipe with multiple friends who all agree that it is perfect. Thank you!

  11. I use this tahini sauce on Buddha bowls a the time. I enjoy adding sriracha, berbere, and soy sauce for a spicier, more complex flavor. My go to condiment!

  12. I use a lot of tahini and get it in large jars from my local middle eastern grocery. The best way to mix the thick layer of bottom solids is to take your two tined cooking fork, ideally with a thick wooden handle, and reach down into the jar slowly breaking up the solids at the bottom, Carefully stir until you have broken up the bed of solids and can mix them into the rest of the mix.

    I’ve also considered but have not yet tried to use a drill and chuck a square ended chop stick in and then slowly try to use that to mix the paste solids into the oils and liquids.

    1. Love it- thanks! helpful. I like to turn the jar over for 24 hours, sometimes that works too!

    2. I empty the entire jar, including the thick part on the bottom, into a mixing bow. Then I use a electric mixer which makes it really smooth. I then return to jar. Will always require some mixing after
      sitting, but no more solid bottom.

  13. This is the best and easiest tahini sauce I’ve made to date. I prepped it for the week along with your Everyday Quinoa, Baked Falafel and Chicken Shawarma. Yum!

  14. Delicious! Takes some planning with multiple stages so definitely worth making extra to freeze, but excellent flavor and worth taking the time.

  15. I agree—lots of lemon juice. Thanks for the note about keeping up to 2 weeks in the fridge. I predict it will be gone sooner.

  16. Sylvia,
    You make it look so easy. After I read this article I’m thinking your a genius. This is so simple and so versatile. I made a pint jar and put into the refrigerator. I took out half a cup, added half a teaspoon of baharat spice and used it on top of a baked pork chop. Another time I added a teaspoon of herbes de provence and put it on top of some baked sweet potato. I’ve also added a little more garlic and used it as a dip for some flatbread. And it only takes a few minutes to make. Thanks

      1. Hi Sylvia,
        I hope you have had a good winter. The snow has finally melted and I have had time to get outside and start preparing the raised beds for spring. I’ve started seedlings in the house and have some bok choy growing in a cold frame. This is one of my favorite times of the year. I bought some fresh wasabi from Oregon Coast Wasabi. I’ve used powdered wasabi before and some imitation wasabi (horseradish). They don’t compare to fresh wasabi. I grated some wasabi and added it to your tahini sauce. I put it on top of some steamed asparagus. It was fantastic. I’m looking forward to trying it with some of your other recipes.

        1. Such a marvelous idea Terry. I love the way you create, and how you go to the source. Fresh wasabi sounds divine. Yes, an exciting time of year, especially for those who find joy in gardening. So many possibilities! Enjoy spring, soak it up. xo

          1. You can use either. I personally usually use hulled tahini- it’s a little less bitter, but unhulled, though bitter, is thought to have more nutrients.


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