If you want a creamy, delicious, and ridiculously easy dressing, this tahini salad dressing is what you’re looking for. The flavor is unlike any commercially prepared dressing you’ve ever had. It’s fresh, earthy, nutty, and has a subtle hint of sweetness that will leave your taste buds wanting to make this over and over.
You can drizzle it over more than just salad too! What are you waiting for? Trust me, this salad dressing with tahini will be your new favorite.
Related article: Mediterranean Diet For Beginners (Get Started Today!)
Table of Contents
What is Tahini?
Tahini is basically sesame seeds that have been ground into a paste. The same way you’d grind peanuts into peanut butter if that makes more sense.
It is a popular ingredient in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, particularly in countries like Lebanon, Israel, and Greece.
Tahini can be used as a condiment or a sauce. It is often mixed with other ingredients like lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil to create delicious dressings and dips. It can also be used as a spread on bread or used in baking to add flavor and richness to desserts.
But one thing is certain. A good tahini will have only one ingredient: sesame seeds! Visually, the color can range anywhere from light tan to dark brown, depending on how much the sesame seeds have been toasted. You may also notice that there is some oil separation at the top of the container. This is completely normal.
What Does Tahini Taste Like?
Tahini has a slightly nutty and earthy flavor with a mild bitter taste. I will say it’s not sweet like most nut butters are. Although you can eat it alone, it almost always tastes better when paired with other ingredients; at least in my opinion.
The taste can vary depending on the brand and the degree of toasting of the sesame seeds, but overall, tahini offers a savory and creamy taste experience.
Is Tahini Salad Dressing Good For You?
Yes! The main ingredient in this dressing is tahini, which has nutritional benefits.
Since it’s made only from sesame seeds, you can imagine that like all other nuts and seeds, this is a calorie-dense food. However, the fat content in tahini is in the form of heart-healthy poly- and mono-unsaturated fats.
Tahini is also a good source of protein like many other seeds. Additionally, it also contains a variety of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, and magnesium which may help reduce blood pressure.
One study on 20 healthy men who consumed 50 gm of tahini daily, concluded that tahini was successful at lowering blood pressure and pulse rate, and improved endothelial function (1).
And while more research is needed to see if tahini has the same effect on those with high blood pressure or heart disease, one thing we are certain of is that following a Mediterranean diet has various health benefits.
For more info on how to live a heart-healthy lifestyle check out my article: 5 Things You Can Do to Support Heart Health NOW.
Just six simple ingredients and you’ve got yourself the best salad dressing with tahini that you’ve ever tasted.
Tahini– this is the star ingredient of your lemon tahini salad dressing. And depending on where you shop, you’re options may be limited. I used an organic, squeezable tahini made by the Mighty Sesame Company. The only ingredient is roasted, peeled, organic sesame seeds.
Olive oil– a little bit of extra virgin olive oil is all you need to help emulsify this gorgeous and creamy tahini dressing.
Lemon juice– the lemon juice adds a little citrusy zing, without being overpowering.
Garlic– of course, I have to add some garlic! I always keep a jar of minced garlic in my fridge for these very moments. You can also use fresh garlic that’s been peeled or maybe even roasted. Note to self: definitely try roasted garlic next time.
Maple syrup– using maple syrup keeps this recipe vegan. And it gives this lemon tahini salad dressing a subtle hint of sweetness that brings this dressing full circle. See ‘Variations and Substitutions’ below for alternative sweeteners.
Black pepper– and finally, add some black pepper for seasoning. Notice I do not add any salt. It’s honestly because this tahini dressing recipe doesn’t need it.
How To Make Tahini Salad Dressing
Time needed: 3 minutes
How To Make the Best Tahini Dressing.
- Gather your ingredients.
First, gather and prep all your ingredients.
- Combine your ingredients.
Place all the ingredients into a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously for about 30 seconds.
Yes, it’s truly that easy. You can also place all the tahini salad ingredients into a small bowl and whisk it until the dressing is combined or use a small blender or food processor.
Variations and Substitutions
There are many different variations of this dressing. You can play around with the amounts of the ingredients to adjust it to your liking. However, if you’re in a bind or having a major hankering for this dressing right this second, but don’t have all the ingredients, you can make some substitutions. Here are a few you can try:
No sesame seeds?– That’s okay. Even though it is the main ingredient, some people may be allergic, or maybe you simply can’t find any near you. If this is the case, you can substitute sunflower butter. Just know that it’s going to alter the flavor of the dressing.
Alternatively, if you can’t find tahini, but DO have sesame seeds, you can always make your own tahini! This easy homemade tahini recipe from Simple Veganista is perfect. Just make sure you have a really good blender or food processor.
Vary the citrus- You can also switch up the lemon for other citrus fruits. Limes will also work beautifully in this tahini salad dressing.
Not a fan of maple?– You can substitute honey or agave nectar to add a touch of sweetness instead.
Add some avocado– Yes, adding avocado is a wonderful addition to this salad dressing with tahini. It will add more heart-healthy fats along with fiber, potassium, and vitamins C, E, K, and multiple B vitamins.
How To Use Tahini Salad Dressing
There are numerous ways to use this lemon tahini salad dressing. You know how some people put ranch dressing on literally EVERYTHING? Well, this dressing can be just as versatile, but unlike ranch dressing, it’s much healthier! It’s not just a dressing, it’s a tahini sauce!
Here are a few wonderful ways to put this tahini dressing/sauce to use:
- Drizzle it over a green salad.
- Use as a dip for raw veggies.
- Drizzle it over roasted or grilled vegetables- I suggest trying it with roasted cauliflower.
- Mix with cherry tomatoes and cucumbers for a simple and refreshing option.
- Combined with roasted garbanzo beans for a satisfying, high-protein side dish.
How Long Does Tahini Salad Dressing Last?
If you make tahini salad dressing from scratch, its shelf life will depend on the freshness and quality of the ingredients used. Generally, homemade tahini salad dressing can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 5 to 7 days.
However, it’s important to note that the dressing may thicken and separate slightly when refrigerated. To restore its consistency, you can simply whisk or stir the dressing before using it. Or if the salad dressing has become too thick, you can add a small amount of water or lemon juice and mix it well to achieve the desired consistency.
It’s always a good idea to use your senses and inspect the dressing before consuming it. If you notice any signs of spoilage, such as an off odor, mold, or an unusual texture, it’s best to discard it to ensure food safety.
100% yes. Tahini is vegan because it contains nothing but sesame seeds. No animal products here! It’s also gluten-free.
No. Even after opening your jar or bottle of tahini, refrigeration is not required. However, follow the instructions on your container of tahini or store in the fridge to make it last even longer.
After preparing this lemon tahini salad dressing, it will stay fresh for up to 7 days in the refrigerator when stored in an airtight container.
There are specific sections of the grocery store where you may find tahini. One is in the ethnic foods section. Or if you cannot find any there, try looking in the condiment aisle where all the nut butters are located. This is where I found my tahini on the top shelf.
Velvety Smooth Tahini Salad Dressing
- 5 Tbsp tahini
- 3 Tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice (juice from ~1 lemon)
- 1 Tbsp garlic minced
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Add all ingredients to a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Alternatively, you can place all ingredients into a small bowl or blender.
- If using a glass jar, secure lid and shake it vigorously for about 30 seconds. If using a bowl, whisk until mixture is combined and smooth. And if using a blender, blend for about 10 seconds.
- Enjoy this dressing on salads, drizzled over raw or cooked vegetables, or as a sandwich spread.
- Although it says “salad dressing”, this creamy, beige-colored, concoction is perfect to “dress” other foods such as roasted or grilled vegetables, meat, fish, or use as a dip or spread.
- For a different taste, try using honey in place of maple syrup.
Share with me: If you try this recipe for tahini salad dressing I’d LOVE to know if you liked it. I was truly impressed and will be making this again and again. Leave me a comment below!
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Kiran Campbell is a registered dietitian and entrepreneur with 13 years of experience. She has a degree in psychology as well as dietetics. She is also a proud member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ and its Cardiovascular Health and Well-being Dietetics Practice Group among others. Kiran proudly presents and promotes the most up-to-date, science-based nutrition information on all things heart-related. She aims to serve not only individuals with heart disease, but also those wanting to protect against it. Learn more about Kiran by visiting her About Page.