This bright and creamy tahini dressing makes a fabulous addition to salads, kefta, falafel, and more. Learn how to make it in just five minutes, with five simple ingredients. This recipe can be used as a dressing, sauce, or dip.

a container of tahini dressing

The first time I had this sauce was at the halal carts in Morocco. We would order several sides of it to go with our shawarma and fries, and hoarded any leftovers in our fridge to enjoy with just about anything.

I think we can all agree that dressing is the best part of a salad. Whether it’s heavy and rich or light and zingy, it’s the flavor that coats everything and brings the veggies to life. And this tahini dressing has it all.

Usually a dressing this creamy and rich requires some form of dairy, but tahini is that magical ingredient that provides all of those textures and flavors without any animal products at all.

Blended sesame seeds create something truly special with a bold nuttiness and silky smooth mouth feel. The tahini is complimented perfectly with a squeeze of lemon juice then thinned out with a splash of water.

My favorite part about this sauce is how easy it is to make in a matter of minutes, without any fancy tools. Everything gets thrown into a bowl, whisked together, and in just five minutes you’ve got a restaurant-quality dressing. If you don’t have a microplane to grate the garlic, mincing it will work just fine.

While this Middle Eastern recipe isn’t traditional in Moroccan cuisine, the flavors go really well with many of my favorite dishes.

Recipes you’ll love drizzling this sauce on: Moroccan kefta, 30-minute Roasted Eggplant, and Grilled Lamb Chops.

bowls of lemon juice, tahini, water, and more

Ingredients

This recipe comes together with a few simple ingredients you may already have on hand in your kitchen. Here’s the rundown:

  • tahini 
  • lemon juice
  • water
  • garlic, grated or toum
  • salt

Find the full ingredient list with exact quantities in the recipe card below.

How to Make Tahini Dressing, Step by Step

Tip: Add more or less water depending on your desired consistency. The more water, the thinner the dressing will be. 

a container of tahini dressing

What to Serve This With

This tahini sauce goes great with salads, especially cucumber tomato salads, red meat, falafel, gyros, shawarma, and so much more.

It’s also ridiculously delicious on it’s own, making it great fun to spread on a piece of toast or pita bread.

Here are some more recipes I love drizzling it over:

a greek salad with tahini dressing

Don’t Skip the Water

It took me way too many years to realize the secret ingredient in 99.9% of my favorite dressings was water. It seems so simple and so unsubstantial but this single ingredient has a huge impact.

Without a splash of water many dressings can be too rich, too thick, and sometimes overwhelming. Water (along with lemon juice) balances out all of the richness and helps in achieving the perfect, silky smooth texture.

Keep in mind that you can easily adjust the amount of water to make your tahini dressing thicker or thinner based on your preferences. This tip is also crucial in making this more of a dip versus a dressing or sauce.

falafel with tahini sauce on a plate

Easy Substitutes & Additions

As long as you’ve got the basic salt, fat, acid, heat thing going on, substitutes & additions are pretty easy to make in this dressing. The only ingredient you really can’t do it without? Tahini & water.

Here are some easy ideas for when you can’t be bothered to make a trip to the store:

  • No lemon juice? If you don’t have fresh lemon juice on hand, no worries. You can easily substitute this with equal parts apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar. This dressing just needs some form of acidity to stand up to all the richness the tahini provides.
  • Skip the garlic: When I don’t have garlic on hand or can’t be bothered to get my microplane dirty, skipping the garlic turns out just fine. The dressing still provides lots of flavor and that creamy smooth texture always delivers.
  • Add maple syrup or honey: Feel free to use a teaspoon or two of either if you’d like a to add a hint of sweetness to this sauce. If you’re wanting to keep things plant based, maple syrup is a great option.

You can also add a few tablespoons of olive oil to the bowl and whisk to add to the silkiness of this dressing, but I find that the texture is just as delicious without any added oil.

a container of tahini dressing

More Tasty Sauces

If you enjoy this easy homemade tahini sauce, be sure to check out this collection of my favorites:

Enjoy,

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a container of tahini dressing

5 Minute Creamy Tahini Dressing

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  • Author: Salima Benkhalti
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x
  • Category: Sauce, Dressing, Dip
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This bright and creamy tahini dressing makes a fabulous addition to salads, kefta, and more. Learn how to make it in just five minutes, with a few simple ingredients. This recipe can be used as a dressing, sauce, or dip.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 46 tbsp water
  • 12 cloves garlic, grated or 1 tsp toum
  • 1/2 tsp salt


Instructions

  1. Add ingredients to a bowl. Grate the garlic (if using) and add everything to a bowl.
  2. Whisk. Whisk everything together until creamy and smooth. Enjoy on falafel, kefta, and salads!

Notes

Add more or less water depending on your desired consistency. The more water, the thinner the dressing will be.