Tahini Dressing

Keep this lemon tahini dressing on hand in the fridge, and you'll eat more salad than you ever have before! It's creamy, nutty, bright, and delicious.

tahini dressing recipe

Of all of the homemade salad dressings out there, this lemon tahini dressing might be the one I make most often. It’s really versatile – it tastes just as good with tomatoes and cucumbers in the summer as it does with roasted sweet potatoes, cauliflower, or broccoli in the fall. It consists of a short list of ingredients that I always keep on hand, and it’s super easy to stir together. No blender or food processor required!

Nowadays, most home cooks I know are familiar with tahini, but in case you haven’t heard of it, it’s a paste made from ground sesame seeds that originated in the Middle East. It’s what makes dips like hummus and baba ganoush so velvety and rich, and if you’re a fan of falafel, there’s a good chance you’ve drizzled nutty tahini sauce on top. In my kitchen, I use tahini in oatmeal, cookies, ice cream, and more, but I especially love it in this simple tahini dressing recipe. It’s creamy, rich, nutty, and bright. I like to keep it on hand at all times, and once you try it, I think you will, too.

Tahini dressing recipe ingredients

Tahini Dressing Recipe Ingredients

Ready to make tahini salad dressing? You’ll need these simple ingredients:

  • Tahini – It makes up the dressing’s creamy base. For the best results, use really smooth, runny tahini here, not the dry, stiff stuff that you might find at the bottom of a jar. Tahini’s consistency can also vary from brand to brand; my favorites are Soom, Cedar’s, Trader Joe’s, and Seed+Mill.
  • Fresh lemon juice – It makes the dressing nice and bright.
  • Sesame oil – It highlights the tahini’s rich, nutty flavor.
  • Garlic – For sharp depth of flavor.
  • Maple syrup – For balance! It tames the bright lemon juice and sharp garlic.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil – It adds body and richness.
  • And sea salt – To make all the flavors pop!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Hands whisking olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, sesame oil, and maple syrup in a small bowl

Add the ingredients to a small bowl along with 3 tablespoons of water, and whisk to combine.

Hands whisking creamy lemon tahini dressing

As the dressing starts to come together, the tahini will seize up, and the sauce will thicken. Don’t worry about it! It’s totally normal. Keep whisking, and you’ll have a smooth, creamy tahini salad dressing in no time.

If the dressing is still thicker than you’d like it to be, add more water, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, until it reaches your desired consistency. Season to taste with more lemon juice, salt, maple syrup, or sesame oil, and enjoy!

Hands whisking tahini salad dressing

How to Use Lemon Tahini Dressing

Clearly, this lemon tahini dressing is fantastic on salads. I call for it in this Sweet Potato Salad recipe, but it’d also be great on this kale salad, this roasted cauliflower salad, this pomegranate salad, this beet salad, or this butternut squash salad. Not in the mood for salad? No problem. Here are a few more delicious ways to use this tahini dressing:

How do you like to use lemon tahini dressing? Let me know in the comments!

tahini dressing

More Favorite Dressings and Sauces

If you love this tahini dressing recipe, try one of these flavorful dressings next:

Tahini Dressing

rate this recipe:
4.93 from 51 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Serves 4 to 6
This tahini dressing is fantastic on almost any salad, but your options for using it don't end there! Drizzle it over roasted veggies, grain bowls, and more. Find additional suggestions in the post above.



  • In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, water, lemon juice, olive oil, maple syrup, sesame oil, garlic, and salt until smooth.
  • If the dressing is too thick, add more water, ½ tablespoon at a time, until it’s a drizzleable consistency.


*For the best results, use really smooth, runny tahini here, not the dry, stiff stuff that you might find at the bottom of a jar. Tahini's consistency can also vary from brand to brand; my favorites are Soom, Cedar’s, Trader Joe’s, and Seed+Mill.


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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Sarita

    5 stars
    Thanks for sharing, was delicious…I didn’t measure but used as a guide …tasting throughout.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Nors

    5 stars
    I was starting to think that I didn’t like Tahini Sauce and then I made YOURS!!
    Wow, the combinations of flavours make it the star of the recipe, so Delicious <3
    I think the sesame oil was a wonderful addition. Thanks so much~

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m glad you loved it! Tahini can be a little bitter (although I love it). The maple also helps tone it down.

  3. Michele

    5 stars
    Made this a month or so ago but couldn’t remember how I came across it. Made a stuffed butternut squash tonight with an alternative tahini sauce and it wasn’t nearly as good. So pleased to have tracked down this recipe again – it’s now bookmarked!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Michele, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  4. CJ

    5 stars
    Wow, was so good! Full of flavour! Thanks for an awesome recipe!!

  5. Karina

    4 stars
    I just made it & while it tastes great, I’m very curious what your breakdown is in nutrition? I placed in a mason jar and believe it’s 5 oz meaning calories are 217 for 2 tablespoons?
    I’m just starting the Mediterranean diet and putting all stuff in the MFP site to ensure I stay at a certain amt. of calories to lose wt.
    Thanks for sharing this and I’m using on my first salad for lunch.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Karina, I’m sorry, I don’t calculate nutrition facts but you can plug the ingredients into a site like my fitness pal.

  6. Dana

    5 stars
    This dressing is fantastic! I made it according to the recipe and it was delightful on my salad. Then I added some minced lemon peel to amp up the lemon flavor and used it as a dressing for coleslaw. Fabulous! Tonight I mixed it (with the added minced lemon peel) with some soy sauce and dressed my just-made veggie stir fry. Absolutely divine. I plan to keep this on hand all the time from now on. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

  7. Bernice

    5 stars
    Just made this to drizzle on a cauliflower Buddha bowl – it is indeed delicious! And super simple to make which things I already had in the cupboard. Really good!

  8. Kim

    5 stars
    So delicious! Using it for a salad tonight. Can’t wait to try it on roasted veggies.

  9. Allison P.

    5 stars
    I never leave reviews, but I cannot stop eating this dressing! I made it for one of your salad recipes and have had plenty leftover and I’ve been dipping grilled veggies and roasted sweet potatoes in it. I’m going to be making this on repeat.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it so much!

  10. Jessae

    5 stars
    Do you have to refrigerate the left overs?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      yep, refrigerate the leftovers

      • Shari Richart

        How long will they last in the fridge?

        • Jeanine Donofrio

          I keep them for about 5 days.

  11. Sarah from Loveandlemons.com

    5 stars
    Excellent dressing!! I made it to go with a Buddha bowl and can’t wait to use on so many other things. YUM!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  12. Randi

    5 stars
    Simple and delicious. Can’t go wrong!

  13. Andrea

    5 stars
    I made this tonight. Have the Trader Joe’s organic tahini. My daughter has asked to go more plant based and I’m totally up for it! I’m a big huge fan of toasted sesame oil too and not many recipes I saw had this as an ingredient. Thank you so much! I’ve also made your lemon vinaigrette and it’s another keeper!

  14. Georgia

    Absolutely love this! How long does it last in the fridge?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      So glad! I keep it 4 to 5 days in the fridge. If it thickens, stir in some water before serving again.

  15. Bay

    5 stars
    Made a double batch of Tahini Dressing to go along with your Sweet Potato salad with feta. My family went crazy for it!!!! Have made a quadruple batch, because we like it on everything. Thanks for the inspiration and sharing this recipe. P.S.- Your recipe for roasting sweets with skins on is now a staple, delicious warm or cold.

  16. Sam

    5 stars
    I just made this dressing for roast veg buckwheat bowls and it is dreamy and delicious!!!

    I used 1 less Tb of EVOO and added a touch more tahini from the bottom of the jar to make the consistency just right (mine came out quite watery as I used very smooth tahini as well as all 3 Tbs water by mistake at the start) Oh and I used garlic powder instead of grated garlic (not a fan of raw garlic is all)

  17. Karen

    5 stars
    Really delicious – wonderful consistency. I used TJ’s tahini. Thank you!

  18. Katalina

    5 stars
    So lovely.thanks for sharing

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.