This easy lemon herb tahini sauce can be whipped up in minutes for a tasty dressing or dip for vegetables or pita bread and is egg-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free.
Why you’ll love it:
- It’s incredibly quick to make.
- It’s tasty and zesty and filling.
- It’s a great alternative to a vinaigrette.
- It’s vegan.
- It’s perfect for making in batches.
- It can be tweaked endlessly to suit your preferences.
A big fan of tahini paste or just looking for different ways to use up the giant tub you bought? It’s not just for hummus!
Take a look at the ingredients below to make sure you’re on the right track to making this recipe.
As this is such a simple recipe, there aren’t really many substitutions you can make if you’re missing an ingredient. Use high-quality tahini made only from ground sesame seeds, oil, and salt (or make your own!), and make sure you’re using freshly squeezed lemon juice, not concentrate.
You can definitely play around with the quantity or ratio of the fresh herbs, (the parsley and cilantro) or use different ones, add extra garlic if you want, and add an optional tablespoon of honey (or agave/maple syrup for vegans) if you prefer a milder tang.
These are all the ways I can think of that I use this sauce, but I’m sure you can think of more!
- As a salad dressing.
- As a dip for crudités (raw veggies).
- In burgers, instead of ketchup or mayonnaise.
- As a dipping sauce for sushi or dumplings.
- Drizzle it over a plate of falafel, salad, and rice.
- Add as a dip to a Greek Mezze platter (or a vegetarian charcuterie board)
- As a dressing for leftover noodles.
- As a pasta salad dressing.
- Drizzled over buddha bowls.
This recipe is also a great jump-off point if you’re looking to make something a little different. I do have some suggestions for two different variations I make:
- For a more East-Asian-style flavor, you can add two tablespoons of light soy sauce, half a tablespoon of toasted sesame oil, a tablespoon of chopped chives, or two tablespoons of chopped scallions, and a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger.
- For an Italian-style twist, add in a quarter cup of sun-dried tomatoes (the kind stored in oil), a handful of stoned black olives, a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, and substitute the cilantro for fresh basil.
How to make it
With such a simple recipe, this is going to be a pretty short section!
You’re simply going to add all the ingredients to a small processor or blender bowl, as in the images below, and process until smooth!
This gives you a super tangy sauce but as I said above, you can also optionally add between half a tablespoon to one tablespoon of a liquid sweetener (honey, agave syrup, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, etc.), or dial back on the lemon and add to taste.
The smaller the blender or processor bowl the better. If you have a stick blender, blending it with that in a small container with high edges (like a shaker) will yield even better results.
If you don’t have a blender or food processor, You can still make this dressing but you’ll need to press the garlic and very finely chop the herbs and whisk it all together. I’d recommend letting it sit for half an hour if you make it this way, for the flavors to develop as the ingredients won’t be as finely and evenly distributed.
Right off the bat, the consistency will be of salad dressing, and it will thicken up to more of a yogurt consistency after half an hour or more in the fridge. If it’s thickened too much for whatever purpose you have in mind, just thin it with a little more water.
If you’d like it thicker, like a dip, straight away without waiting for it to chill, reduce the water to four tablespoons instead of six.
Taste and adjust salt and other seasonings if needed before serving. Enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
In the fridge for up to four days in a tightly covered container (it will thicken up, just thin with a little water until at your desired consistency). It can also be frozen for up to three months.
No, dried herbs have a totally different flavor profile and aren’t suitable for this recipe.
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how much you loved it with a star rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐, review, and/or comment below.
- 1 clove garlic
- 6 Tablespoons tahini
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 6 Tablespoons water
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro, tightly packed (20g)
- ¼ cup chopped parsley, tightly packed (20g)
- ½ tsp salt
- (Optional) 1 Tablespoon of honey (or agave/maple syrup)
- Peel the garlic.
- Add all the ingredients to the smallest blender or processor bowl you own. If you don't have a blender or processor, simply crush the garlic, finely chop the herbs, add everything to a bowl and whisk together. Use 6 tablespoons of water for the consistency of a dressing, and four for a thicker dip-like consistency.
- Blend or process until smooth.
- Adjust seasoning to taste.
- Enjoy! This sauce can be eaten straight away, or storing it in the fridge for at least half an hour will help the flavors develop and thicken the consistency even more.
Serving Size1/4 cup
Amount Per Serving Calories 156Total Fat 12gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 0mgSodium 306mgCarbohydrates 11gFiber 1gSugar 5gProtein 4g