This lemon herb tahini dressing is delicious, simple, and versatile. You can enjoy it as a salad dressing, on potatoes, on Mediterranean grain bowls, with pita bread, or pour it over your favorite roasted or fresh veggies. It is great for meal prepping and enjoying throughout the week in any way you like!
Tahini is one of the most common bases to use for dressing in plant-based cooking. If you don’t like tahini, give it another chance! Try a different brand because they all taste a little different and you might find one that you love!
- Tahini - Tahini is made out of sesame seeds that have been ground into a smooth butter, similar to peanut butter. It is a delicious base for many dressings and a staple in most plant-based kitchens. It has a rich and somewhat bitter flavor perfect for rounding out a meal. You can find it in the grocery store either near the peanut butter or in the oriental section. You can also find it on amazon. Or, since it is just ground sesame seeds, you can try making it at home. It is worth having around to use in many different delicious sauce recipes. I like to add it to my favorite ranch recipe, this creamy cowboy caviar, and to this delicious lemon dill hummus.
- Lemon Juice and Zest - The bright acid in lemon juice helps to balance out the rich bitterness of the tahini and pairs well with the herbs. Make sure to zest the lemon before you cut and juice it.
- Herbs - You can use any mix of dry or fresh herbs that you like. I used fresh parsley, fresh cilantro, fresh chives, and fresh dill. You can omit or substitute any of these depending on your taste. You can also use a smaller amount of dried herbs which I often do if I don't have fresh on hand.
- Maple Syrup - You could also use agave or date syrup. The sweetness helps to balance out the bitterness in the tahini along with the lemon juice.
- Garlic Cloves - If you don't have fresh garlic you can use about ½ teaspoon of garlic granules. Either one is delicious!
- Salt and Black Pepper - Add these to taste. I ended up using more of each than I thought I would need so make sure to taste and adjust.
See recipe card for quantities.
There are a couple of different ways to make the lemon herb tahini sauce. It is easier to use a blender or a food processor to mix this dressing. But if you don’t have either you can mix it by hand. Tahini likes to dry and stiffen up as you mix it. No worries, as you add in more water it will loosen back up. Add in water a bit at a time until your dressing is a consistency you like.
To use a blender or food processor, add everything in and blend! If it is too thick add a little water at a time until it is your desired consistency.
To mix by hand add everything in with a splash of water and start mixing. Add in more water a little at a time until you’ve reached the consistency you like.
If you accidentally add too much water and it becomes runny, you can simply add in a little more tahini. This is a simple recipe and I am confident you won't mess it up!
Always taste the dressing at the end to make sure it tastes how you like it. If it is too bitter add in more sweetener, too bland try more lemon juice or salt, etc.
Hint: if you don’t want your dressing to turn green, add the herbs at the very last. I like to chop mine before I add them to a blender so I don’t have to blend them too much. If you like the green color just add them in with everything else.
Extra Hint: It is easier to stir with a fork than with a whisk!
This dressing stores well in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. If it is too thick when you take it out of the fridge, stir it up and then add a little water until it thins back out. Sometimes, stirring is all that it needs so don’t add liquid until you have given it a good stir first.
Lemon Herb Tahini
- ½ cup tahini
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley or 2 teaspoons dried
- 1 tablespoons fresh cilantro or 1 teaspoons dried
- 1 tablespoons fresh chives or 1 teaspoons dried
- 1 tablespoons fresh dill or 1 teaspoons dried
- 1 lemon juice and zest
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- ¼-1/2 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- water as needed
- Add all ingredients except water to a blender or food processor.
- Add water a little at a time and blend until you reach a pourable consistency.
- Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
- Zest your lemon before you cut and juice it. If you juice your lemon first or even cut it first it gets much harder to zest.
- You can also mix this dressing by hand. Just mince your garlic and herbs before you add them.
- The tahini will start to dry out a little as it gets mixed, but once you start adding water it will thin out again.
Let me know in the comments below how you like to use tahini!