I use this garlic tahini sauce on everything! Use this quick and easy sauce as a dip or salad dressing, drizzle it over vegetables and meats, and serve with pita and wraps.
Watch the video
Since sharing our recipe for making homemade tahini, we’ve been experimenting with more ways to use tahini. Tahini is a staple when making hummus, but there are many more ways to use it. This easy dairy-free tahini sauce is one of them. I keep a jar in my fridge at all times!
I love serving this creamy sauce over salad and roasted veggies, like these honey-roasted carrots. And always serve it next to crispy falafel and pita bread. For a different spin, try this tahini salad dressing with maple syrup and toasted sesame oil (so delicious).
Tahini sauce ingredients
We’ve made a few different tahini sauce recipes over the years. Still, this Middle Eastern inspired lemon garlic version is the recipe I go back to over and over again.
- Tahini — The base of our dressing. Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds. Before measuring your tahini, give it a good stir so that it’s runny and smooth. Buy it or make it yourself. Here’s how we make tahini.
- Fresh garlic — A must for me when making tahini sauce. I like to grate it using a microplane or use my knife to turn it into a paste (I’ve shared a photo below).
- Fresh lemon juice — Keeps our sauce fresh and bright.
- Olive oil — Makes the sauce smooth and luxurious.
- Cumin, cayenne, fresh parsley, and salt — Season and add flavor.
- Warm water — The secret ingredient for making the smoothest, creamiest tahini sauce.
Tahini sauce is much more than the sum of its parts. The tahini, lemon, and water combine to make the dreamiest, most delicious sauce. It also happens to be dairy-free and vegan. Not to mention, easy to make.
How to make tahini sauce
We’ll start by stirring tahini, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and a pinch of salt in a bowl. It starts creamy and then might seize up on you — see the photo below. Don’t worry if it looks lumpy. We will fix that when we add the water.
As you whisk in the warm water, the tahini sauce turns into a creamy sauce. You can add as much or as little water as you like — it all depends on what you plan to use it for. For spreads, add less. Add a bit more if you want to use the sauce as a dressing or for drizzling.
To finish the sauce, add extra flavor with spices and fresh parsley. I love a slight smokiness from ground cumin, some spice from cayenne, and a fresh pop of color and flavor from parsley.
Keep homemade tahini sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Still, we’d be shocked if you didn’t find ways to enjoy it by then!
Recipes with tahini sauce
We use tahini sauce as the salad dressing for our kale and bean salad and love serving it with roasted veggies. Look at these honey-roasted carrots and this roasted asparagus with tahini sauce. I’m also partial to this chicken hummus lettuce wrap recipe with a tahini sauce drizzle (so good!).
Creamy Tahini Sauce
Use this easy lemon garlic tahini sauce on anything. Try it as a dip or salad dressing, drizzle it over vegetables and meats, and serve with pita and wraps.
Makes approximately 1/2 cup
Watch Us Make the Recipe
You Will Need
1/3 cup (80ml) well stirred tahini, try our tahini recipe
1 garlic clove, finely grated or made into a paste, see note
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, half of a large lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch fine sea salt
2 to 6 tablespoons lukewarm water
Pinch cumin, optional
Pinch cayenne, optional
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, optional
1Whisk tahini, garlic paste, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt in a bowl until combined — the mixture may thicken and look lumpy.
2Whisk in the water, a tablespoon at a time, until you have your desired consistency. If making a spread, look for the consistency of peanut butter. For a sauce, add enough water to resemble the consistency of runny yogurt.
3Stir in the optional cumin, cayenne pepper, and parsley. Taste for seasoning and adjust with additional salt or lemon juice.
4Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Adam and Joanne’s Tips
- How to make garlic paste: Use a fine microplane and grate the garlic or make a paste with your knife. Peel and finely mince the garlic clove. Sprinkle the garlic with a pinch of coarse salt, then use the flat side of a knife to drag it over the garlic, scraping it across the cutting board’s surface. Pile up the garlic again, then repeat a few more times until the garlic is a smooth paste.
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.
Nutrition Per Serving