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Dreamy Tahini Dressing

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This Dreamy Tahini Dressing recipe is quick and easy to make, and full of the best savory flavors that are sure to kick any dish up a delicious notch. (This post contains affiliate links.)

This Dreamy Tahini Dressing is the BEST! It's perfectly creamy and savory and delicious, especially with the zesty kick of lemon and garlic. Perfect drizzled on a salad or roasted vegetables or grilled chicken or more! | (Vegetarian / Gluten-Free)

I still remember the first time I ever tried a tahini dressing.

It was back years and years ago when The Westside Local restaurant first opened in Kansas City, and I happened to notice that they were one of the first restaurants back then to offer a shaved Brussels sprouts salad (mixed with kale) on their menu. Eager to support the new trend of Brussels in salads — and also swayed by the bacon and fried shallots included in the toppings — I ordered myself a big bowl. But low and behold, the starring ingredient in the salad ended up being this irresistible maple tahini dressing that made every bite taste like absolute magic.

Back then, it was the first time that any of my friends and I had even heard of tahini being mixed into a dressing. But of course, it made perfect sense. Its creamy, nutty, savory flavor was so rich and delicious, and was versatile enough that it had a way of pulling just about any variety of salad ingredients together perfectly. And we couldn’t get enough of it.

Years and years later — and literally dozens and dozens of these salads later — this dressing has fondly become known in our friend group as the “Dreamy Tahini Dressing”. And by now, I’m also happy to say that I’ve tweaked a homemade version that never fails to satisfy the craving here in my little “local” kitchen.

It’s quick and simple to make, naturally gluten-free, easy to customize, and always SO good.

And, if you ask me, totally dreamy. ?

Tahini Dressing Ingredients:

To make it, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • tahini
  • lemon juice (freshly-squeezed!)
  • minced garlic (preferably fresh, although you could sub in 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder in a pinch)
  • either ground cumin or smoked paprika (for a smokey kick)
  • cayenne
  • salt and pepper

How To Make Tahini Dressing:

Mix everything together along with 1/4 cup water until combined. Then if the dressing seems to thick, whisk in an additional tablespoon or two of water at a time until the dressing reaches your desired consistency.

For a fresher kick, I also recommend pureeing this in the blender or food processor, along with a small handful of fresh cilantro leaves. Or for an Italian kick, it also tastes delicious if you omit the cumin/paprika, and instead blend in a few fresh basil leaves.

Ways To Use This Dressing:

I recommend using this recipe:

  • as a dressing for green salads (such as my Roasted Cauliflower, Chickpea & Arugula Salad)
  • tossed with pasta salads (such as my Mediterranean Pasta Salad)
  • drizzled on top of roasted veggies or baked potatoes
  • drizzled on sandwiches or into wraps
  • as a dipper for fresh veggies or crusty bread

However you serve it, I really hope that you love it as much as we do!

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Dreamy Tahini Dressing

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 0 About 1 cup 1x


This Dreamy Tahini Dressing recipe is made with the most delicious savory ingredients, and it’s easy to customize with some of the suggestions mentioned in the post above.


  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/3 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 small cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon either: ground cumin or smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon each: Kosher salt, freshly-cracked black pepper, cayenne
  • (optional sweetener: 1 tablespoon maple syrup)


  1. Whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, water, garlic, cumin (or smoked paprika), salt, black pepper, cayenne and maple syrup (if using) in a small bowl until evenly combined.  (Or — my favorite — shake everything up in a sealed mason jar or salad dressing jar until evenly combined.)
  2. Add an additional 1-3 tablespoons of water if you’d like to thin out the dressing a bit.
  3. Serve immediately, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 1 week.


*The top photo in this post features a double batch of this recipe.

Be sure to also check out my other favorite salad dressings!

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12 comments on “Dreamy Tahini Dressing”

  1. Absolutely delicious. The whole family loves it, so now I keep a jar pre-made and ready for use in the fridge. Love it on the salad, but use it most often as a dip for veggies when we want a healthy snack. Yum!

  2. This dressing is soo good! I needed something to top a bowl full of roasted veggies and chick peas and found this recipe, luckily I had a jar of tahini sitting in the fridge needing to be used. I love this so much, and it is so simple! I added a touch of pure maple syrup and it was just perfect. Thank you!

  3. This was wonderful!! Will make again very soon. I followed the recipe as is. Next time I will add smokey paprika and little more cayenne to adjust to our liking.

  4. OMG I love this dressing Ali! I made it for an arugula salad with lentils, roasted sweet potatoes, and goat cheese and it paired perfectly! I also used the leftover dressing as a dip with fresh raw veggies. Mine came out pretty thick-more the texture of hummus than dressing so it probably needed more water. Still-such great flavor!

  5. Thanks, enjoying it right now on a simple green salad w/ cukes and tomatoes. The smoked paprika is a great flavor. Next time I make it I’ll put a little more lemon juice in it, and some cayenne per other suggestions. Thinking it would be good with some fresh parsley as an alternative to cilantro.

  6. This is by far my fave dressing recipe I’ve found since turning plant based. Thank you!!!

  7. Must have in the fridge in constant supply

  8. I’ve subbed peanut butter for tahini in hummus. Do you think it would work in this recipe??? I can hardly wait to try this recipe! “Loven” your recipes!

  9. Dozens of batches later, I’m still obsessed with this dressing. I had thought it best to partner with winter/fall veggie salads, until my neighbors gifted me with an abundance of fresh summer veggies – it’s still a great flavor combo with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, green and waxed beans, avocado, summer squash and my favorite – thank goodness, someone has a bumper crop of butternut squash – air fried butternut squash cubes. So happy I discovered this recipe years ago!

  10. Porqué se ve tan cremoso ?, No lleva yogur ni crema?

  11. It sounds like a really good Tahini sauce.
    How do you save the Tahini sauce? Does it need to be kept refrigerated?
    Thank you!

  12. Is there a way to find the nutrition value on the recipes? I am trying to keep in with dietary restrictions for my husband.