Make this healthy tahini sauce (aka lemon tahini dressing) to add creaminess and taste to your falafel, wraps and salads. It’s so easy and delicious you’re gonna love it!
Now that you know how to make homemade tahini, it’s time to tell you about my delicious tahini sauce recipe. Tahini sauce is common to the Mediterranean cuisine and it’s a healthy way to add creaminess and extra taste to many dishes like falafel, hummus, wraps and green salads.
Tahini is made of sesame seeds and sesame seeds are full of protein and healthy fats, so tahini sauce is nutritionally a much better option than many other store-bought sauces. You can literally make this sauce in just 3 minutes from start to finish and you’ll only need a bowl and a spoon to mix it, nothing else!
And as with almost every homemade recipe, you can bring this tahini sauce to your taste by tweaking the quantities of the ingredients or by adding extra herbs and spices. Add more lemon juice if you like it more tangy, increase the garlic if you want it to be more garlicky, or add some cayenne pepper to make it spicy.
Keep in mind that your tahini sauce will be as good as its ingredients, so choose a natural tahini made from 100% sesame seeds with no preservatives or other additives (or better yet make your own!). The tahini should smell earthy and nutty and by no means rancid.
What is tahini sauce made of?
The basic ingredients for tahini sauce are:
- Tahini. It’s made of ground sesame seeds which can be whole or hulled. Also, they can be raw or toasted for more intense flavor.
- Water. It’s used to make the sauce thinner.
- Lemon juice. It adds a pleasant acidity and balances the fat from the tahini. Freshly squeezed lemon juice is the only option here. Some types of lemons can be more tangy than others, so taste the sauce after adding the lemon juice and add more if needed.
- Garlic. I normally use garlic powder because I prefer the subtle flavor it provides but you can use minced garlic or even black garlic if you like. For a more garlicky flavor add more according to your taste.
- Salt and pepper to taste. Use sea salt and freshly grated black pepper if possible.
Optionally, you can add any spices or herbs you prefer like cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, chili flakes, sumac, chopped parsley, chives
How do you make homemade tahini sauce?
Making homemade tahini sauce from scratch is very easy because you only need a bowl and a spoon. The only thing you have to be mindful of is to add the water and the lemon juice to the tahini gradually. If you add it all at once, the sauce will seize and it will never become smooth and creamy like it should be.
So, add 1-2 tablespoons of liquid (lemon juice or water) to the tahini and mix with a spoon. You will notice that the tahini will start to thicken. Keep adding the liquid by the tablespoon while mixing until the mixture starts to loosen up and homogenize. Keep adding the liquid until it reaches the consistency you desire.
I prefer it to be runny but still thick, almost like pancake batter.
What is tahini sauce used for?
- Tahini sauce can be used as a dressing for salads. Every green salad will love this sauce, but you can also add it to salads with lentils or grains.
- It can also be used as a dip. Raw vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, radishes and celery are ideal for dipping. However, homemade pita chips are also delicious!
- Finally, it can also be drizzled over other Mediterranean dishes like falafel, homemade hummus and baba ganoush. Roasted vegetables will also pair nicely with this sauce.
Is tahini sauce vegan?
Yes, tahini sauce is naturally vegan since it’s made from 100% plant-based ingredients. It’s also Keto, Lenten and gluten-free.
How long does tahini sauce last and how to store it
The best way to store tahini sauce is in a well sealed glass jar inside the fridge. This way, tahini sauce will last at least 5 days (the garlic flavor will be more intense after a couple of days). Because tahini lasts longer than tahini sauce and because tahini sauce is so easy to make, it is best to make a small quantity each time so you don’t have to worry about it going bad.
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin or paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Freshly grated black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 5-6 tablespoons cold water
- Fresh parsley and sumac for serving, optional
Transfer the tahini to a bowl. Add the the cumin, the garlic powder, the salt and the black pepper and mix with a spoon.
Add the lemon juice and stir to combine. The mixture will start to thicken but this is normal. Start adding the water one tablespoon at a time mixing well after each addition. Gradually the mixture will start to become thinner and creamy.
When you have used almost all of the water taste the sauce and add more salt, lemon juice or garlic if needed. If you want the sauce thinner add a bit of extra water.
Serve over salads, falafel, hummus, or as a dip.
- 45 calories per tablespoon
- Guys, this is a tahini sauce, not a garlic sauce. So it is very mild in garlic flavor. After tasting it you can adjust it to your liking but keep in mind that the garlic taste will get stronger after storing it in the fridge.
- Minced fresh garlic or black garlic will also work. The quantity will depend on your taste.
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