I use this lemony, garlic tahini sauce on everything! Use this quick and simple sauce as a dressing for salads, a sauce for veggies and meats, a spread for sandwiches and pitas or serve it as a dip. Jump to the Tahini Sauce Recipe
How To Make Tahini Sauce — It’s Dairy-Free and Vegan
Ever since we shared our recipe for making homemade tahini, we’ve been playing around with more ways to use tahini. Tahini is a staple when making hummus, but there are many more ways to use it. This extra easy dairy-free tahini sauce is one of them. I keep a jar in my fridge at all times!
More: Here’s a similar sauce made with tahini! Try our lemon garlic tahini dressing that’s perfect for salads and grain bowls.
The Ingredients You’ll Need
There are lots of variations when it comes to making tahini sauce, but this lemon garlic version is the recipe I go back to over and over again.
Here’s what I use to make it:
- Tahini paste, which can be made from scratch (here’s our easy recipe) or bought at the store.
- Fresh garlic is a must for me when making the sauce. Since I add it raw, 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 is another must add for me and I like to add a lot of it.
- Olive oil makes the sauce smooth and luxurious.
- Cumin, cayenne, fresh parsley, and salt all add flavor to the sauce.
- Warm water is the secret ingredient to the smoothest, creamiest tahini sauce.
Making Tahini Sauce
This sauce is much more than the sum of its parts. The tahini, lemon, and water combine to make the creamiest, most delicious sauce. It’s almost addictive. The sauce is really easy to make. Let me show you how:
Step 1: Stir tahini, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and a pinch of salt together in a bowl. It will start creamy and then might seize up on you — see the photo below. Don’t worry if it looks lumpy, that will be fixed when we add the water.
Step 2: Whisk in warm water. The moment you begin to whisk in lukewarm water it turns into to dreamy, 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, don’t add as much. If you want to use the sauce as a dressing or for drizzling, add a bit more.
Step 3: Add extra flavor with spices and fresh parsley. I love a little smokiness from ground cumin, some spice from cayenne, and a fresh pop of color and flavor from parsley.
The tahini sauce keeps in the refrigerator up to 5 days or so, but we’d be shocked if you didn’t find ways to enjoy it by then!
More Ways To Use Tahini
- I use this tahini sauce as a dressing for our Easy Kale and Bean Salad.
- These Honey Roasted Carrots are amazing and drizzled with tahini sauce.
- We love these Chicken Lettuce Wraps filled with honey dijon marinated chicken, hummus and veggies. I drizzle lots of tahini sauce on top.
- Use tahini to make Baba Ganoush! It’s an amazing roasted eggplant dip, is so simple to make. Or make Homemade Hummus!
- Drizzle it over or serve on the side of Crispy Homemade Falafel (I love this falafel recipe).
Recipe updated, originally posted December 2015. Since posting this in 2015, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear and added a quick recipe video. – Adam and Joanne
Dreamy Tahini Sauce
Use this vegan tahini sauce as a dressing for salads, a sauce for vegetables and meats, a spread for sandwiches or a dip for just about anything. It’s very simple to make and is much more than the sum of its parts. Just delicious!
Watch Us Make the Recipe
You Will Need
1/3 cup (80 ml) well stirred tahini, try our easy tahini recipe
1 garlic clove minced very finely into a paste or use a microplane, see note
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, about 1/2 a 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 the salt in a bowl until combined — the mixture will thicken, don’t worry about this.
2Add the water, a tablespoon at a time and whisking well after each addition until desired consistency. If making a spread, look for the consistency of peanut butter. If making a sauce, add enough water until 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. Store covered in the refrigerator up to 5 days.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- How to Make Garlic Paste: Since we are adding the garlic raw, it is best to add it as a paste. To do this, 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 surface of the cutting board. 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.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste
I’m very new to cooking, please be kind. What is tahini?
Hi Jennifer, Tahini is a sesame seed paste. Here’s our detailed explanation of tahini and how to make it.
I make a really good tahini dressing. Just my own creation, no recipe. However, I do enjoy looking up recipes for things I already make to see what others do or come up with. That’s how I landed on this recipe. My tahini dressing is very good, but this one absolutely blew me and my husband away. Going forward, this is the tahini dressing that I will continue to make.
My family loved the lemony tahini sauce! It was perfect with your falafel recipe. A welcome change from the traditional tzatziki and hummus. Flavourful, fast and fresh. Can’t wait to make it again.
Thank you for this easy recipe. I have just made it and it has turned out great! I am going to try your falafel recipe next!
Tahini is one of those ingredients we always have in the cupboard but I never quite know how to use it. This dressing was so simple and delicious. I poured it over baked pumpkin, feta and spinach. I will be making the dressing again and again, thank you!
Thank you for making the tahini sauce so simple. I have spent 2 days trying to figure out how to make it. You could of saved me so. much money. Every sight had more or different ingredients. I am a loyal fan from now on. Thanks for sharing.Pamela
The sauce came out bitter… 🙁 any tips on how to fix that?
Hi there, Certain brands of tahini can be more bitter than others so changing the brand of tahini or making your own might be best. You can also try adding a little more olive oil to balance it out a bit.